black forest layer cake

black forest layer cake

If there’s a dessert I’m guaranteed to go giddy for, it’s Black Forest Gateau. The combination of cherry, chocolate and cream is just perfect. And so if I see an opportunity to reinvent it, I’m there.

I wanted to reuse one of my favourite recipes of this year was Russian honey cake. It’s such an enjoyable technique I knew it had legs. And this black forest version proves it: the ‘cake’ is quite biscuity, but if you can stand to leave it in the fridge for a couple of nights, you will have a dense, squidgy and super moreish cake. So good.

Black forest cake (makes a cake about 20cm x 10cm):

For the dough:

3 large eggs

A big pinch of vanilla salt

220g caster sugar

70g butter

70g black cherry jam (I like Tiptree)

2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda

350g flour

200g cocoa

For the cream:

700ml double cream

300ml mascarpone

180g caster sugar

To finish:

The rest of the jar of black cherry jam

Dark chocolate (I found Co-op did a marvellous one with cranberries in that was perfect)

  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C. Line a large baking tray with greaseproof paper, then give that a little extra grease. Melt together the butter and jam until fluid and then turn off the heat.
  2. Whisk together the eggs, salt and sugar until pale and fluffy. Gradually whisk in the cherry jam butter a trickle at a time, and then sift in the bicarb, cocoa and flour. Stir until combined to a dough – this will be quite firm, more like a biscuit dough than a cake batter. Using wet hands press this mixture in to your baking tray, as thin as you can. Bake for around 8 – 10 mins, until the it is golden on top and a skewer inserted comes out clean. Peel off the paper and leave to cool.
  3. While it cools make the cream. Whip the cream and sugar until soft but still a touch runny, then incorporate the mascarpone and keep beating until it just holds its shape.
  4. When cool, slice the cake into long thirds. Then proceed to cut in half horizontally, by placing your hand on top and slicing across with your sharpest bread knife. You want a thickness of about 5mm.
  5. Slather one side of the cake slices with jam, and the other with cream. Sandwich together to make a giddy tower. Be generous with the cream as it is going to get absorbed by the sponge. Smooth some more cream over the top and sides of the cake and leave to set in the fridge for about 12 hours.
  6. Before serving grate over some dark chocolate.


  • I love how there’s only one slice of this in the picture – I take it that was what was left?! I have had this happen to me many times.

    I am bemused by the red stripe video at the bottom here?

    • It’s more because I’m hopeless at taking pictures 🙂 It does look quite nice as one black forest ‘brick’ too.

      I can’t see the Red Stripe video – I assume it is an advert you are being served.

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