This Vegan Black Forest Cake is quite the project, I’m not going to lie!
But it is worth it and I’m going to lay it all out for you in the easiest possible way to make it go smooth as can be.
This is a building on recipes project so that means there are several recipes to prepare before we get to the final.
If you make a plan and give yourself a couple days advance preparation, the whole task seems less daunting.
Don’t get me wrong, it can all be done in one day if you prefer.
But for ease of preparation for the cherries especially, it gives the flavors time to meld.
So the cherry filling can be (and should be) done the night before, this gives it time to macerate and let the liqueur really soak in.
Yes there is liqueur in a traditional classic Black Forest Cake, cherry brandy to be exact~ Kirschwasser.
You can leave it out of course, with no changes to the recipe.
The chocolate bark is also something that can be done days in advance, and if you are not familiar with how to temper chocolate, you may want to do that ahead of time because it may take a couple tries to get it right.
The whipped cream is another recipe I set up the night before because in order for it to whip up properly it has to be super cold, so doing the liquid part the night before just makes the most sense.
The chocolate cake can be baked the day you are ready to assemble the whole cake, but not until it is super cold as well.
So as you can already see this is a project that takes some planning ahead.
But just go at it like I wrote above and you will be golden!
PLEASE READ THE NOTES SECTION FOR THE WHIPPED CREAM TROUBLESHOOTING!!
- For the Chocolate Cake
- All Purpose Flour 2 cups (250g)
- Cake Flour 1 cup (120g)
- Natural Cocoa Powder 8 Tablespoons
- Granulated Sugar 2 cups (400g)
- Salt 1 teaspoon (6g)
- Baking Soda 2 teaspoons
- Apple Cider Vinegar 2 teaspoons
- Vanilla Extract 2 teaspoons
- Vegetable Oil ¾ cup (177ml)
- Strong Brewed Coffee 2 cups
- For the Whipping Cream **Good Idea to CLICK HERE before proceeding!
- Soy Milk 2 cup (474ml)
- Coconut Oil melted 2 cup (454g)
- Granulated Sugar ½ cup (100g)
- Xanthan Gum ½ teaspoon
- Vanilla Extract 3 teaspoons (15ml)
- For the Chocolate Bark
- 12oz - 1lb Semi Sweet Chocolate Couverture *Tempered
- For the Cherries
- Fresh or Frozen Cherries (fresh is better for the garnish on the final cake, but frozen is fine for the filling) 1Lb
- Sugar ¼ cup
- Kirschwasser Cherry Brandy 1 cup
- For the Cake Sift both flours, baking soda, salt, and sugar together in a large mixing bowl.
- Combine the natural cocoa powder with the hot coffee and then add the vinegar, oil and the vanilla extract.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the sifted dry ingredients and whisk vigorously with a hand whisk until smooth (about 15 strokes)
- Pour batter into 3 greased and parchment lined 7" x 2" cake pans
- Bake immediately in a preheated 350°f oven for approximately 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with moist crumbs
- For the Whipping Cream Combine everything in a high speed blender and blend for about 20 seconds
- Pour into a clean container and refrigerate until cold preferrably overnight (I sometimes speed the process and place in the freezer for about an hour but not so it is getting hard)
- Whip with a balloon whop attachment for about 3 minutes until soft peaks form, be careful not to over whip or it will get really tight.
- If you do over whip, you can add a little more soy milk and fold in by hand to loosen the cream
- For the Chocolate Bark
- Temper the chocolate and then spread it out onto a parchment lined sheet pan to about 11" X 6"
- Let it almost set then roll up the paper on the short end and refrigerate until needed
- For the Cherries
- reserve 10 of the best cherries with their stems for the garnish on the final cake
- Chop the rest of the fresh or frozen cherries into ¼'s and place in a bowl with the sugar
- Add the Kirshwasser and let macerate in the refrigerator overnight OR if you are not working ahead, you can quickly simmer the entire mixture over a very low heat in a small sauce pot until the sugar dissolves
- Assemble the cake as shown in the video
WHIPPED CREAM:: If you over whip the cream it will get grainy so be careful to just whip to soft peaks. I find that we are so used to whipping cow cream that we are looking for the same results, this is not the case here, you will get very soft peaks, and then it will thicken over time & in the refrigerator on the finished cakes or even as you are icing it, you will see it gets more stiff.
If you DO over whip though, you can add a tablespoon or two of soy milk and gently fold it in to loosen
**For the stubborn occasion where it just will not whip, I have put the entire container back into the freezer and froze solid. Thawed in the refrigerator and then re-whipped with good results. This of course is not convenient when you need it NOW! So I am now in the habit of preparing the cream 1 day ahead, freezing sold and then thawing to whip just to play it safe