Black Forest gateau

Black Forest gateau

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(66 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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11th Feb, 2013
Hi Lou, frozen cherries should work ok, but drain and dry them well with kitchen paper once they're thawed otherwise they'll be too wet, I would then taste for sweetness as they won't be in syrup like tinned / jar ones so you may need more sugar or jam.
louhands25's picture
8th Feb, 2013
I can't find any canned/tinned cherries would frozen ones work if I thawed them out first? I want to make this for valentines day. Please can someone advise me?
3rd Feb, 2013
Brilliant to make- looked and tasted amazing!!!! First ever cake and i decided to hit the ground running with this one and it went brilliantly! Success all around
althenasg's picture
31st Jan, 2013
Made this for my mum's birthday, everyone loved it!! I used the extra whipped cream to cover the whole cake, drizzle chocolate ganache on top and chocolate shaving on the sides. Looks great and taste great too. Very easy to make too . Thank You Sarah :)
25th Jan, 2013
I made this at Christmas and everyone loved it. I am making another for my grandma as there wasn't any left for her to try, she has a sweet tooth and will love this. I add Cherry Brandy to mine along with Kirsch. I do think the sponge takes a long time to bake and like a previous comment - the cream/choc needs to be left a long time or it is too runny. I have made this already and it is waiting on the side whilst the sponge is in the oven. "Oh and the house smells amazing" :0) xx
5th Jan, 2013
Fantastic cake, followed recipe exactly. Impressive to look at, you could make 2 sponges for a less dramatic look. Cake once cut and 6 pieces gone would not stand straight!
31st Dec, 2012
JSB - You can either use equivalent mls to suggested grms, or, if like me, you get everything together and then realise you've got no buttermilk/yoghurt in the fridge, use 2 extra eggs and a splash of ordinary milk. Works fine, still tastes delish!
30th Dec, 2012
This recipe is great however at 859calories a slice I couldn't risk it! I used this as a bit of inspiration for my own black forest gateau, but for a fraction of the calories. I made a fatless chocolate sponge. And I am going to fill with the same filling as stated in the recipe but half the ammount of cream and a low fat substitute cream. Should be very nice for new years :)
27th Dec, 2012
I am presently having a go at this recipe but have one query - Butter milk is liquid and on the carton is measured in milliliters not grams ?? can someone please throw any light on this?
26th Dec, 2012
Very nice but needs more kirsch and leave the cream and chocolate topping in the fridges for15 mins before spreading works well


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