Black Forest chocolate Cake (GF, DF, RSF)

Gluten free,, dairy free, refined_sugar free black forest chocolate cakeSo I know it’s the middle of summer and everyone is juice feasting and salad munching and not setting foot anywhere near the ovens right? But just in case you’re one of the odd people like me, I came up with a rich, triple chocolate, cherry filled black-forest cake to counter act all of those crisp fruits and veggies your eating and add some comfort food feelings to the long summer days. I’m sure you’re not at all interested so feel free to move on, but just in case you are, I popped the recipe down below for you. Just incase. Ok…Gluten free,, dairy free, refined_sugar free black forest chocolate cakeSummer. Fruits. Chocolate. Gateaux. Cake. Yep I’m all over the light and zingy lemon tarts and popsicles right now too but seriously, this cake has been perfected over way too many special occasions lately and I just had to share it with you today. It’s that good I promise and just happens to be dairy-free, gluten-free and refined-sugar free too. Don’t let that put you off making it for your traditional-cake loving friends and family though. I’ve tested this on many family members who had no idea that it was ”good for them” if you can put a triple chocolate cake in the health food catagory? Well if you could, this one would be top of the list as it is choc full of healthy fats, natural sugars and vitamin-packed berries, but best of all, it is off the SCALE when it comes to the most important nutrient of all.. the endorphin-boosting, feel-good-factor, tongue-tantalising PLEASURE mineral! The rest is just a huge bonus to you today so your blood-sugar levels will thank me later, as well as all the cows we saved of stealing their milk from so we’re really spreading the love here. Make it, share it, feel awesome about it. Ok, I’ll stop now and get your juices flowing with some pictures. Happy summer folks! Gluten free,, dairy free, refined_sugar free black forest chocolate cakeGluten free,, dairy free, refined_sugar free black forest chocolate cakeGluten free,, dairy free, refined_sugar free black forest chocolate cakeA few notes on the recipe: The quantities below make enough batter for three 8” cakes which I tiered to make the cake you see here. If you don’t have three cake tins in this size, I’m almost certain the same quantities would work for two larger cake tins of approx 9-10” to make a larger two tired cake. I make the whole batter in my 2 litre vitamix jug, though mixing by hand would be totally fine. If you don’t to make the cherry jam you could skip this step and use some store bought instead. I suggest an un-refined one like Meridian merello cherry fruit spread. I ended up covering it in all kinds of berries from our garden, though I originally planned to just use cherries so I say go with what fresh berries you can get your hands on! The ganache and jam can be made up to three days in advance and the cake is super moist and keeps in the fridge for at least four days. You could spread the work out over a few days if you wished but I promise you, it’s all alot simpler than it looks! I’ve made it before covered in whipped coconut cream which is taking it to whole other level. If that’s a step to far for you, a dollop on the side as I did when devouring this one is just as good.

Inspired by both Dolly and Oatmeal’s Chocolate layer cake with cacao macadamia mousse and Amy Chaplins Chocolate Hazelnut layer cake with cherry filling

Black forest Chocolate Cake

11/2 cups fine brown rice flour

11/4 cups almonds (or 1 cup almond flour)

1 1/4 cups rolled oats (GF if neccesary)

6 tbsp ground flax seeds soaked in 1/4 cup water

2 cups unrefined sugar /coconut palm sugar

1 cup cocoa powder

4 tsp baking powder

2 tsp bicarb of soda

1 1/4 tsp fine sea salt

2 cups thin coconut milk (or other plant-based milk)

1 cup coconut oil, melted

2 tsp vanilla extract

2 cups strong brewed coffee

Cashew chocolate ganache

1 cup cashews, soaked over night or for at least 4 hours

2 tbsp cocoa powder

75g dark chocolate, melted

1/4 cup maple syrup

1/4 cup plant-based milk (I used thin coconut milk)

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 cup coconut oil, melted

Cherry Jam 

2 cups pitted cherries

1 tablespoon maple syrup

pinch sea salt

1 teaspoon arrowroot powder

2 teaspoons filtered water

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

120 ml unsweetened black cherry jam

Assorted Fresh berries and cherries

Shaved chocolate and whipped coconut cream to serve (optional but recommended)

To make the cakes: Grind the oats and almonds separately in a high-powered blender until fine (alternatively you can use store-bought oat flour and almond flour). Place the flours in a bowl with the brown rice flour, coconut palm sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cocoa powder. Mix well and set aside. In a large blender blend the flax seed ‘gel’, coconut milk, coconut oil, vanilla essence and coffee until smooth. Add the dry mix to the blender and blend until completely combined or stir the wet mix into the dry ingredients in the bowl. Make sure there are no lumps left and set aside while you prepare your tins.

Preheat the oven to 180 deg C. Oil the sides of the tins with coconut oil and line the bases with parchment. Divide the batter equally between the three tins and place in the oven when it reaches temperature, baking for 35-40 minutes until a skewer comes out clean. Turn out from the tins and cool completely on a cake rack.

To make the gananche: In a small saucepan gently heat the milk, coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla essence and chocolate. When the chocolate is almost fully melted, remove from the heat and place into a blender with the soaked and drained cashews, cocoa powder and salt. Blend until completely smooth, adding more milk if needed. Transfer to a container and place in the fridge for at least three hours until firm. Remove from the fridge 10 minutes before assembling the cake.

To make the cherry jam: In a sauce pan place the pitted cherries, maple syrup and salt and bring to the boil over high heat. Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 10 minutes until soft. Dissolve arrowroot in the water and drizzle into simmering cherries; stir constantly until mixture thickens slightly and returns to a simmer. Remove from the heat and stir in vanilla extract and jam. Pour into a jar and place in the fridge to cool completely before filling cake.

Assembling the cake: Place one cake on a large plate and spread generously with the chocolate ganache. Spoon over some of the cherry jam and place the second cake on top. Repeat with the next layer, then top with the last cake and cover with the remaining ganache and jam. Top with fresh berries and cherries and shaved chocolate. Serve with freshly whipped coconut cream for extra decadence.


So I know you only want to touch raw fruits and veg until at least Autumn but in case you happen to be in need of some of those happy-comfort-food minerals, I say give this a try! And let me know if you do, you know I love seeing you recreate my creations on Instagram and your comments below.

You can thank me later.

Jo xx


  1. says

    Jo we LOVED this! I spent a morning slowly making this with my 2 year old. I was so proud, have never made my own flour before – so simple. Most importantly, the finished result was incredible. It was moist, light, full of flavour, and gobbled up by my extended family!

  2. says

    Hey lovely Jo, hope this finds you well :) Is there a way to make this cake with no eggs? Wasn’t sure if a linseed or chia seed alternative would work on such a quantity?? Any ideas or other recipies? xx

  3. Rachael says

    I am making a cake for my work colleagues and one suffers from IBS. This cake looks amazing, I’m just wondering if there was anything I can substitute for the coffee?

  4. Barb says

    I tried in two 9.5 inch pans and it overflowed and took about 60 minutes. But this cake was delicious. i found that letting the cake cool before turning out worked better. The warm one fell apart. But that just might because of the larger pan. Thanks so much for this recipe.

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