Cherries, chocolate…what more could you want? Perhaps a touch of alcohol, yes, that could do it.

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Cakes / Chocolate / Dessert / vegan

This is certainly not a black forest gateau, but it is delicious.

My German friend would be unimpressed if I labelled it as such, but let’s just say that it has kirsch, chocolate, cherries and be done with it.

You could make this as one large cake, and adorn it with lashings of the whipped coconut cream and cherries (perfection)…or make 8-9 adorable mini versions as I’ve done here. Either way, there will be cake.

The whole ensemble is very simple, and you could use any good chocolate cake recipe. I wanted to road-test Nigella’s vegan chocolate cake, and it worked beautifully. As the Dark and Sumptuous name suggest, the chocolate flavour is deep with the addition of espresso powder, and the cake itself is dense in a delightful almost fudgy kind of way.

Vegan Black Forest Cake

  • Servings: 8-9 mini cakes or 10-12 slices if making a large cake
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Chocolate Cake – Nigella’s Dark and Sumptuous Chocolate Cake

Follow the recipe as per the link above, with a couple of adjustments if making individual cakes:

  • Omit the icing, rose petals and pistachios
  • Replace the 20cm spring form tin with a 12 cup muffin pan. The yield will depend on the size of the cups, I made 8 full size cakes and a small ‘test’ cake. Fill the cups 2/3 full.
  • Adjust the baking time to 20-25 minutes, test for doneness at 20 minutes.
  • Allow to cool completely before assembling.

Cherry Syrup


  • Juice from a 670g jar of morello cherries (yield will be roughly 300 mls). Reserve the cherries.
  • 1.5 Tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 tsp cornflour
  • 4 tsp water


  1. Place the cherry juice and caster sugar in a small saucepan over medium – high heat to reduce to 150mls.
  2. In a glass or small bowl, combine the cornflour and water and mix thoroughly.
  3. Add the cornflour mixture to the cherry juice and whisk to avoid lumps.
  4. Cook for 3-4 minutes until the mixture is a syrupy consistency.
  5. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.

Whipped Coconut Cream


  • Solid cream from a 400g chilled can of coconut cream


  1. Chill the beaters of a handheld or stand mixer in the freezer for 10-15 minutes.
  2. Open the can of coconut cream (do not shake the mixture) and scoop out only the solid portion into the mixer bowl.
  3. Beat on high until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes).
  4. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Chocolate Ganache


  • 100g dark (70%) vegan chocolate
  • 100ml coconut cream (you could increase the quantity for a runnier ganache)
  • 1 Tbsp of agave syrup or sweetener of choice


  1. Melt the chocolate for 20 seconds in the microwave, stir, and then heat in 10 second bursts (stirring in between) until completely melted. Be careful not to burn the chocolate.
  2. Once the chocolate is fully melted, add the coconut cream and agave syrup and stir until it is a smooth consistency.


In addition to the cakes, syrup, whipped coconut cream and chocolate ganache, you will need:

  • Approx. 60mls kirsch (a clear cherry liqueur)
  • Dark chocolate curls or shavings – use a peeler on the side of a block of chocolate to shave little curls for decoration
  • The reserved morello cherries
  1. Once the cakes are completely cooled, split them in half horizontally.
  2. Using a pastry brush, brush the cut sides of both halves with kirsch
  3. Using a piping bag fitted with a plain round nozzle (or a sturdy ziploc bag with a corner cut off), pipe a ring of coconut cream on the bottom half of the cake. This is to stop too much of the cherry syrup and cherries from escaping.DSC_0239
  4. Spoon about 2tsp of the cherry syrup in the centre of the cake and add 3 morello cherries and top with the other half of the cake.
  5. Spoon about 2 tsp of the ganache on top of the cake (you may need to warm it to a runnier consistency in the microwave in 10 second bursts, depending on the temperature of your kitchen).
  6. Sprinkle with the chocolate shavings.

Serve with a few more cherries and a little extra of the cherry syrup.




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