Black Forest gateau

Black Forest gateau

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(67 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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17th Sep, 2013
I followed this recipe to the letter - what a pity I went by the star rating and didn't read the comments before making the cake! Definitely has a problem with rising. Maybe self-raising flour will do it but I'm not trying this recipe again.
30th Aug, 2013
not big on this recipie at all. next time I will just make a basic chocolate sponge as mine just didnt rise at all. All my staff said they werent keen on the finished product.
8th Jul, 2013
It was ok but not great, it seemed to lack something. I think that maybe I didn't soak the sponges in enough syrup?? I didn't think the ganache went with the cake either.
28th Apr, 2013
Dire. Awful. Nothing is right about this recipe. There is insufficient raising agent and it is dreadfully difficult to get the cakes to rise. The proportions in the ganache tend to over liquidity also. Sorry guys - need to try harder. Hint - it will work with SR flour and more choc in the cream to finish.
22nd Apr, 2013
Absolutely amazing gateu! Highly recommended! And 3rd day it tasted the best, so would recommend to prepare in advance!
17th Mar, 2013
I'm making this later today but do not have any Kirsch. Any substitute?
8th Mar, 2013
I made this at Xmas and it was amazing. I made the sponge cakes, poured on the juice, let them cool and put them in a tin for a couple of days. I then assembled the cake a few days later. It was really easy to make and amazing. Very tall and luxurious.
2nd Mar, 2013
Great taste, great recipe, great cake, GREAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
louhands25's picture
14th Feb, 2013
I made this for valentines day, it went down with my fella a storm so much so he ate a huge slice all to himself, even after sirloin steak and chips before hand.
13th Feb, 2013
Guys my cake tasted gr8 but it fell to pieces before I could even serve it :( I think I put too much cream between the layers which made everything slide and my top layer fell to bits perhaps because of the juice I put in it. Was so sorry to see it obtain trifle status ... Don't think there is any way of fixing it


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