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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14th Dec, 2012
Really lovely! never made a BFG before, but it turned out well and has been much appreciated by my housemates. The only thing to remember for next time is that the chocolate for the topping takes a LONG time to cool down enough to be of a spread-able consistency (rather than being runny and falling off the sides), so I will probably make it as soon as the cakes come out of the oven next time to give it more time to thicken.
5th Dec, 2012
Excellent - turned out perfectly even though my mixer broke half way through and I had to do most of it by hand! The resulting cake was huge and very impressive for a colleagues birthday. Lots of lovely comments about this one.
25th Nov, 2012
This BFG is a a major winner for an inexperienced baker like myself as the the fruit & cream filling disguise most textures/ dryness/ cracks etc- hurrah! The triple layers look impressive and it's as rich & decadent tasting as it looks. Next time I will make a coulis (or just melt some sugar into some cherry juice) and then stir in the whole cherries to the sauce. Water seeped from the the tinned fruit over the layer of cream below even after the cherries had been well drained and some cherry jams lack sweetness. I notice this is what Mary Berry does too so must be a worth a try!
16th Nov, 2012
It looks gorgeous and can't wait to make it .....
20th Oct, 2012
Looks yummy shall have to make it when I have guests as otherwise I shall put another stone on.............
8th Oct, 2012
This is a good recipe it also tastes very tasty .its very good.
2nd Sep, 2012
Really really good! I thought it needed more cream, but then I always do.
25th Aug, 2012
It looks fab, I've3 got my own recipe for it it needs three eggs and no chocolate just cocoa
16th Aug, 2012
Great recipe!
30th Jul, 2012
I made 2 of these gateaux, one for my work colleagues and one for family. And they all commented on how nice it was. It was my first attempt at making a black forest gateaux and i was impressed with the end result. Think i went a little OTT with the Kirsch though! Hic! This is definitely a recipe i'll use again and share with family and friends. Infact i shall be making it this week for my engaement party on Friday!


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