Black Forest gateau

Black Forest gateau

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(63 ratings)

Cook: 40 mins Prep 1 hr plus cooling


Serves 8 - 10

Impress your guests with this chocolate cherry layered cream cake - a revamped version of a retro classic

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per serving (10)

  • kcal859
  • fat48.9g
  • saturates29.9g
  • carbs93.7g
  • sugars73.6g
  • fibre2.6g
  • protein7.2g
  • salt0.7g
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  • 175g salted butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 200g bar dark chocolate
    Dark chocolate soup pots with double cream in spoons

    Dark chocolate

    dahk chok-o-let

    Dark chocolate means the shiny, dark-reddish brown treat produced from the cacao bean, theobroma…

  • 300g plain flour
  • 375g golden caster sugar
  • 25g cocoa
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
    Bicarbonate of soda

    Bicarbonate of soda

    Bicarbonate of soda, or baking soda, is an alkali which is used to raise soda breads and full-…

  • 2 medium eggs
  • 200g buttermilk or natural yoghurt
    Buttermilk pancake mixture in bowl with whisk



    There are two types of buttermilk. Traditional buttermilk is a thin, cloudy, slightly tart but…

To assemble

  • 425g can pitted cherry, 2 tbsp juice reserved, rest drained



    One of the delights of the summer, cherries are much loved for their succulent texture, flavour…

  • 100g morello cherry jam



    One of the delights of the summer, cherries are much loved for their succulent texture, flavour…

  • 4 tbsp kirsch (or more juice from a can if you want it to be non-alcoholic)



    Produced in mainly in Germany, but also in Switzerland and the Alsace region of France, Kirsch…

  • 500ml tub double cream
  • 3 tbsp icing sugar
  • 1 small punnet fresh cherries (optional)



    One of the delights of the summer, cherries are much loved for their succulent texture, flavour…


  1. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Grease and line the base of 3 x 20cm cake tins. Boil the kettle. Put the butter and 75g chocolate broken into chunks in a small pan and gently heat, stirring, until completely melted.

  2. Mix together the flour, sugar, cocoa and bicarbonate of soda with a pinch of salt in a mixing bowl. Whisk the eggs and buttermilk or yogurt together. Scrape the melted chocolate mixture and egg mixture into the dry ingredients, add 100ml boiling water and whizz briefly with an electric whisk until the cake batter is lump free.

  3. Divide the mixture between the tins and bake for 25 mins, swapping the tins round after 20 mins if they’re on different shelves. To test they're done, push in a skewer and check that it comes out clean.

  4. Prick the cakes a few times with a skewer. Mix together the 2 tbsp reserved cherry juice and the kirsch (or more juice) and drizzle over the cakes. Cool the cakes.

  5. Mix together the remaining drained cherries and jam. Tip 200ml of the cream into a small pan and heat until just below simmering point. Chop the remaining chocolate and put in a heatproof bowl, pour over the hot cream and stir until melted. Set aside until spreadable.

  6. When the cakes are cool whisk the remaining cream and the icing sugar together until softly whipped. Spread over two of the cakes, then spoon over the jammy cherries. Stack the cakes together. Spread the chocolate cream over the third cake and sit on top of the other cakes. Pile the fresh cherries in and around the cake and serve

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Comments, questions and tips

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6th Mar, 2016
Very good recipe and easy to follow.Only trouble was I completely messed things up trying to transfer to a cake stand!!Never mind try again in a few weeks.
3rd Jan, 2016
Made for New Year's dinner, delicious! Made the sponges the day before and left to cool completely before removing from tins. Too much chocolate cream for the top. Would use the recipe for the sponges to create a different cake :)
2nd Jan, 2016
Many if the comments here show this recipe to be negative. I followed it exactly and found it worked perfectly. I just wish I was watching my ganache better as I had to use a pan of water to soften it so I could spread it!! Fab cake tasted amazing looked very similar to the picture!!
2nd Jan, 2016
Turned out excellent! Made it as two layers and had enough cake mixture left for a little tester pot. I used a tin of cherry fruit filling which negated the need to use jam. I didn't use any kirsch or cherry juice to drizzle over the cake and it was still perfectly moist. As advised by previous reviews I also used a little more chocolate in the ganache. It looked fab and in two layers it was stable and easy to cut.
19th Oct, 2015
This turned out beautifully! I made the cakes the day before and left them in their pans overnight and had no trouble with them crumbling as others have mentioned. I stabilised the cream with gelatine and as there were not fresh cherries available I topped with fresh raspberries and it was delicious. Everyone loved it.
5th Oct, 2015
Made this yesterday, I expected it to be quite difficult with the whipping of cream and such, but I had an electric whisk to help. I made the recipe with blueberries instead as I don't like cherries and it was lovely. I had quite a big tin so I did two layers and baked them in the same tin at different times, which made the process a little longer. Even with having to use self raising flower as I'd just realised I'd run out of plain, the layers almost didn't rise enough to be a two layered cake. Which is why I think the recipe calls for three layers. I did most of the recipe exactly as stated, including making enough whipped cream for two layers. Once I'd finished I added some leftover ganache to the leftover cream and served it on the side. I thought the cake definitely needed it. Overall, lovely cake, easy to do. Will be baking again!
4th Sep, 2015
Really good recipe. I only substituted a third of the dark chocolate for milk chocolate as we are not huge fans of dark chocolate. I turned the cakes out onto plates and they stuck slightly, so next time I will use a cooling rack or grease proof paper. I made the chocolate topping and left it in the fridge for a couple of hours as I was transporting the gateau and decided it would be easier to put on when I got there, although quite runny at first it was perfectly set by the time I applied it. I got compliments all around and will definitely make again.
1st Sep, 2015
This cake is officially award winning - got the 1st prize for it in work's bake-off. The only deviations my cake had were: large eggs, Ready made Princess cherry filling to substitute for the jam, kirsch and pitted cherries and I used about 225g of dark chocolate for the ganache as with the suggested amount it was too pale and runny (my chocolate had 50% cocoa solids). The cakes were a bit fragile as the other comment suggested, but leave to cool them in the cake tins and you should be fine.
27th Aug, 2015
This took me four hours and forty eight minutes, not the one hour as specified. My "ganache" turned out like chocolate whipped cream which is an incredibly annoying thing. The cake is too heavy or something because the cream runs down the sides with the cherries, forming a creamy mess at the bottom of the plate and making the cake look horrendous. Tinned cherries impossible to find, had to use fresh cherries instead. Today is my mothers birthday so I made this for her & it looks terrible because of the running cream. I'm very embarrassed but unfortunately I have no choice but to serve it because of how long it took me. All in all, for me, it was a complete nightmare.
goosegirl123's picture
6th Aug, 2015
I made this some time ago. It turned out really well. I didn't add Kirsch as children were eating it too but still very good


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