Published By Becky Excell - Posts may contain affiliate links - Oven Temperature Conversion Guide

Gluten-free Black Forest Cake Recipe – BEST EVER! (dairy-free option)

Gluten-free Black Forest cake recipe – yep, it’s a dessert and a cake, all-in-one! Best of all, nobody would know it’s Coeliac-friendly and wheat-free too. See the FAQ section for advice on making this dairy-free.

Gluten-free Black Forest cake recipe? Yep, that’s right – fresh, Kirsch-infused cream, topped with fresh cherries, grated chocolate, all sitting on top of a super moist, rich and indulgent chocolate cake. And it’s so incredibly easy to make!

Gluten-free Black Forest Cake Recipe - BEST EVER! (dairy-free option)

A gluten-free black forest cake is probably rarer than spotting real, live unicorn. Which is strange, since it’s so incredibly easy to bake!

Simply whip up a chocolate loaf cake, top it with cherry compote, whipped cream, a few fresh cherries and that’s it. I’m not really sure how it could be any easier, if I’m honest.

So I decided to dedicate a recipe to this absolute classic that us gluten-free folks often go without.

Here’s a few reasons you need to make this if you weren’t convinced already:

Why make my gluten-free Black Forest cake recipe?

  • Get all the wonderful flavours of a rich chocolate cake alongside the sweet, deep flavour of cherries with Kirsch-infused whipped cream.
  • Getting that trademark ‘black forest’ flavour is incredibly easy just by having a jar of cherries soaked in Kirsch – I’ve linked exactly where to find it in the FAQ section.
  • You’d never know it was gluten-free by tasting it or looking at it – it’s super light, moist, soft and NOT crumbly at all.
  • Loaf cakes are incredibly easy to make – there’s no need to construct it once cooled. Just bake it, allow to cool and top it!
  • Believe it or not, you can easily make this beauty dairy-free (without compromise) with a few simple swaps that I’ve listed in the FAQ section.

Gluten-free Black Forest Cake Recipe - BEST EVER! (dairy-free option)

But what does my gluten-free Black Forest cake taste like, I hear you ask?

The chocolate sponge cake itself is incredibly moist thanks to the ground almonds, Kirsch syrup AND it’s packed with chocolate chips. It has an overall wonderful, rich chocolate flavour.

If that wasn’t good enough already, it’s then topped with cherry compote, whipped Kirsch-infused cream, grated chocolate and fresh cherries as a garnish.

Honestly, every bite is pure heaven and nothing else tastes quite like it!

Here’s everything you’ll need for my gluten-free Black Forest cake recipe – consider this your shopping list! Keep scrolling until you see the recipe card below if you’re looking for the full ingredients and method.

Gluten-free Black Forest cake recipe: Ingredients list

  • caster sugar
  • butter
  • large eggs
  • gluten-free self-raising flour
  • gluten-free baking powder
  • xanthan gum
  • ground almonds
  • cocoa powder
  • milk
  • jar of cherries soaked in Kirsch
  • double cream
  • icing sugar
  • Bonne Maman Cherry Compote
  • fresh cherries
  • dark chocolate

Gluten-free Black Forest Cake Recipe - BEST EVER! (dairy-free option)

So I thought I’d kick things off with a little frequently asked questions section – if you just want the recipe, then keep scrolling.

But I’ve thrown in some tips here that will be really helpful if this is your first time making this, or you want to adapt it. So here they are!

Gluten-free Black Forest cake recipe: Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make this recipe gluten free? Is it suitable for Coeliacs?

It is gluten free, though nobody would know just by tasting it – trust me!

Bear in mind that minimising cross-contamination is hugely important if you’re Coeliac or making this for someone who is. Here’s some tips from Coeliac UK on minimising the risk of cross contamination:

Also, make sure that all ingredients used don’t have any gluten-containing ingredients. Then make sure that they also don’t have a ‘may contain’ warning for gluten, wheat, rye, barley, oats (which aren’t gf), spelt and khorasan wheat (aka Kamut).

Here’s some more info from Coeliac UK on identifying safe gluten free products.

Can I make your gluten-free Black Forest cake recipe dairy free?

Of course you can! Here’s how…

To make the cake dairy-free:

  • Use dairy-free margarine instead of butter.
  • Use dairy-free milk instead of regular milk.
  • Use dairy-free chocolate chips instead of regular chocolate chips, if using.
  • Ensure your cocoa powder is dairy-free.

To make the cream dairy-free:

To finish:

  • Use dairy-free chocolate instead of dark chocolate.

That’s it!

Can I make your gluten-free Black Forest cake recipe vegan?

Yep! If you follow the instructions above to make this recipe dairy free, then all you’ve got left to contend with is the eggs.

Here’s a few ideas you can use as egg replacements, so each of these = 1 egg.

  • 3 tablespoons of aquafaba, pre-whisked until frothy. Aquafaba is simply the water from a can of chickpeas. Keep the chickpeas for a future dinner!
  • Egg replacement powder – I’d recommend using Orgran as it’s gluten free.
  • 1 tablespoon of chia/flax seeds mixed with 2 tablespoons of water and left for 10 minutes in the fridge.
  • 3 tablespoons of applesauce.

So use one of those egg replacement options and you’ve got a gluten free AND vegan Black Forest cake! I haven’t tested all of these egg alternatives so let me know how you get on in the comments below.

Can I make this recipe low FODMAP?

Unfortunately, as cherries are high FODMAP in serving sizes above 20g, this recipe is not suitable for the elimination phase of the low FODMAP diet.

Where can I find cherries soaked in Kirsch? Or Kirsch syrup?

You can find both of these in one jar, which is easy to source in supermarkets. The syrup is simply the liquid that’s in the jar along with the cherries!

Simply use the syrup in the jar to infused the cake once baked, as well as for flavouring the cream. Then, use a few of the cherries in the jar to mix into the cherry compote for the ultimate black forest experience.

Here’s links to cherries soaked in Kirsch so you know what to look for:

Of course, if you fancy a non-alcoholic version or just don’t fancy using Kirsch, you can always skip using it entirely – though it’ll be more of a chocolate cherry loaf cake than a black forest cake!

Which cherry compote did you use?

I used Bonne Maman Cherry Compote which you can easily find stocked with all the jam in supermarkets.

I use this because it’s so much better for this recipe than just using any old cherry jam or conserve. It actually has lots of whole cherries in it (with the stones removed) and is the perfect consistency for topping this cake.

But of course, you can always use whatever cherry jam you can get your hands on!

How do I remove the stones from my fresh cherries?

I add fresh cherries as a garnish, complete with the stem and stone. But it might be more practical to remove the stones first.

You can do this by removing the stems and then pushing a chopstick right through the middle of them, so that the stone pops out of the bottom.

Or, if you feel fancy, you can always use a gadget like this to do the job too.

Gluten-free Black Forest Cake Recipe - BEST EVER! (dairy-free option)

Can I make your gluten-free Black Forest cake in a food processor or standing mixer?

Of course you can – and it’ll save you on elbow grease! I don’t use a standing mixer or food processor to make the cake mixture personally – I use an electric hand whisk like this.

As this recipe doesn’t require longer periods of mixing, I find that an electric hand whisk is the quickest and easiest option.

Can I make your gluten-free Black Forest cake recipe by hand?

You can of course, bake this without any assistance from any appliance – just a good ol’ fashioned silicone spatula and a balloon whisk for the cream will do.

Just make sure you give it a lot of welly, otherwise your mixture won’t be consistent and might not bake properly otherwise.

Do I need any special equipment to bake your gluten-free Black Forest cake recipe?

Certainly not! You will need a good quality 2lb loaf tin though, so here’s a link to the one I use.

Can I bake this using the all-in-one method?

In case you didn’t already know, the all-in-one method involves bunging all your sponge ingredients into a bowl at once and mixing them together. That’s instead of adding them gradually.

As there’s more dry ingredients than with your average Victoria sponge-style cake, as well as milk too, I would always advise adding them gradually, instead of all at once.

Trust me, you’ll thank me when you cake comes out and it’s not a total disaster. So no, don’t use the all-in-one method for this one!

Does this recipe need xanthan gum?

You’ll see xanthan gum in a lot of my recipes as it’s an essential ingredient in gluten free baking. And that’s exactly the case here.

Though gluten-free self-raising flour has a little in it anyway, adding a little extra doesn’t hurt – especially when we’ve got ground almonds in there AND when factoring in that this is quite a tall sponge.

So yes, if you can tolerate xanthan gum, please ensure that you use it!

Can I make this recipe using other gluten free flours like buckwheat flour or coconut flour?

There’s a big difference between ‘gluten free plain/self-raising flour’ and a *singular* type gluten free flour. When I say ‘gluten free plain or self-raising flour’ in a recipe, I mean a BLEND of gluten free flours, not just one, singular flour.

Most gluten free flour you buy in the supermarket typically contains a blend of rice flour, potato flour, maize flour, tapioca flour AND buckwheat flour. That’s a lot of different flours!

In gluten free self-raising flour, there’s usually even a little baking powder and xanthan gum in it too which always helps. So to replace it with just one specific type of flour… that’s not going to cut it at all. Definitely go for a gluten free flour blend.

Do I need weighing scales to bake your gluten-free Black Forest cake recipe?

In short… yes, yes and yes! And I wouldn’t advise attempting any of my recipes without them.

A lot of work went into fine tuning ratios and quantities and for me, baking is all about consistency and precision. I want you to make this recipe and for it to turn out EXACTLY like mine did.

I’d recommending using digital cooking scales like these so you know you’re getting an accurate measurement and replicating my recipe as accurately as poss.

How long can I keep your gluten-free Black Forest cake for?

I’ve kept my gluten free Black Forest cake for 3-5 days in an air-tight container in the fridge with no problems.

If you need to keep it any longer than that, I’d highly recommend freezing it (see advice below for doing that).

When the sponge starts getting a little dry, it’s probably starting to get past its best.

Can I freeze your gluten-free Black Forest cake?

Of course! I’ve frozen it for up to 2-3 months no problem. Ideally, slice up the cake first before freezing. Then, you can easily defrost a few slices at a time instead of the entire thing.

When you want to eat it, each slice should take around 3 hours to defrost at room temperature.

How can I tell when my gluten free Black Forest cake is done?

Grab a skewer and give it a poke in the centre. If it comes out clean, then it’s done!

But if the skewer comes out moist and cake-like, it’s best to pop it back in for a bit longer.

Gluten-free Black Forest Cake Recipe - BEST EVER! (dairy-free option)

Gluten-free Black Forest Cake Recipe: Method

Oh and here’s a printable version of my gluten-free Black Forest cake recipe. Please remember to give it 5 stars if you tried it and enjoyed it as it helps people know it’s worth trying too! ⭐️ Feel free to leave your written reviews in the comments below this post.

Gluten-free Black Forest Cake Recipe (dairy-free option)
Yield: 8-12

Gluten-free Black Forest Cake Recipe (dairy-free option)

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Gluten-free black forest cake recipe - the ultimate treat that nobody would ever know was Coeliac-friendly and wheat-free too.


For the cake

  • 175g caster sugar
  • 175g butter, softened (dairy free if necessary)
  • 3 eggs
  • 135g gluten free self raising flour
  • 1/2 tsp gluten free baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp xanthan gum
  • 85g ground almonds
  • 25g cocoa powder, sifted
  • 100ml milk (dairy free if necessary)
  • 65g chocolate chips (optional - dairy free if necessary)
  • 1-2 tbsp Kirsch syrup (taken from a jar of cherries soaked in Kirsch - linked in FAQ section)

For the cream

  • 300ml double cream (dairy-free alternative listed in FAQ section)
  • 3 tbsp icing sugar
  • 1 tbsp Kirsch syrup (taken from a jar of cherries soaked in Kirsch - linked in FAQ section)

For the rest

  • 5 tbsp Bonne Maman Cherry Compote (linked in FAQ section - any cherry jam will do though)
  • 4-5 cherries soaked in Kirsch (taken from a jar of cherries soaked in Kirsch - linked in FAQ section)
  • 10-12 fresh cherries, for the topping
  • 60g dark chocolate, grated (dairy-free if necessary)


For the cake:

  1. Preheat your oven to 160C Fan / 180C and prepare a 2lb loaf tin by lining it with baking paper. Allowing some overhang will make it easier for you to remove your cake later.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, cream together your softened butter and sugar until light and fluffy (I use an electric hand mixer for this part).
  3. Add in your eggs, self raising flour, baking powder, xanthan gum, sifted cocoa powder, ground almonds and milk. Mix together until combined using your electric hand whisk. You can do all of this by hand too, just ensure everything is well incorporated without pockets of dry ingredients.
  4. Carefully fold in your chocolate chips.
  5. Spoon the cake mixture into your tin, ensuring it's as even as possible. Place in the oven for about 50 minutes until cooked through. You can always poke the middle with a skewer to check.
  6. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a couple of minutes before gently poking all over and drizzling a tbsp or two of the Kirsch syrup. Allow to cool in the tin before removing to a cooling rack to cool completely.

For the cream:

  1. Pour your cream into a large mixing bowl and add your icing sugar. Whisk until just past soft peaks and then gently fold in your Kirsch.

To assemble:

  1. In a small bowl, mix a four or five of the cherries from the jar of cherries in kirsch into your cherry compote. The infused cherries taste incredible!
  2. Next, place your cooled cake onto your serving plate and spread the top with your cherry compote mix. Spread a generous amount right to the edges - if some drips down the sides that's fine.
  3. Dollop or pipe (I use a piping bag and snip off the end, leaving a 2.5cm hole) blobs of your cream mixture on top of the compote.
  4. Place your fresh cherries on top of the cream. You can optionally remove the stones from the middle first if you like using the gadget I linked in the FAQ section, or by pushing them out using a chopstick.
  5. Sprinkle your grated chocolate all over the top of the cake.
  6. Slice and enjoy! Because of the cream this cake ideally needs to be kept chilled.


  1. You might not need all the whipped cream, depending on how you decorate it but keep it and serve it on the side with each slice.
  2. You don't have to use Kirsch if you can't find it or don't want to - you could easily just use cherry compote and fresh cherries.
  3. I got my black cherries in Kirsch from Marks and Spencer but you can get it is a lot of different places, all of which I've linked in the FAQ section.

      Nutrition Information:



      Serving Size:


      Amount Per Serving: Calories: 371Total Fat: 24gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 86mgSodium: 256mgCarbohydrates: 37gFiber: 2gSugar: 24gProtein: 5g

      Nutritional info is estimated and not always accurate.

      Thanks for reading all about my gluten-free Black Forest cake recipe! If you make it, I’d love to see how it turned out so don’t forget to take a snap of your creations and tag me on Instagram!

      Any questions about the recipe? Please do let me know by following me on Instagram and leaving me a comment on a recent photo!

      Thanks for reading,

      Becky xxx

      Don’t forget to pin this for later!


      Tap here to buy my first ever gluten-free recipe book!

      You Might Also Like

      Order my NEW recipe book on Amazon - it's OUT NOW! 👉🏻👉🏻TAP HERE
      Privacy policy.