slice of vegan black forest cake on white plate topped with cherries

Vegan Black Forest Cake

  • Author: thebananadiaries
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 23
  • Total Time: 38 minutes
  • Yield: 10 1x


The most decadent vegan black forest cake filled with sweet cherries and a coconut whipped cream, and topped with a dairy free ganache! You won’t believe this cake is vegan nor refined sugar free!



Vegan Chocolate Cake:

  • 3 cups organic white flour, sifted *see note for gluten free option
  • 3/4 cup cacao powder
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 cup coconut sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce, room temperature
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond or coconut milk + 2 tsp apple cider vinegar, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup coconut or olive oil, melted
  • 1 1/4 cup hot water (not boiling, but hot to touch)
  • 1/2 cup cherry reserve from the cooked cherries

Cooked Cherries:

  • 3 cups pitted cherries
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tbsp arrowroot powder

Coconut Whipped Cream:

  • 1  can coconut cream, only using the cream (separated from the water)
  • 2 cups powdered organic sugar or 1/2 cup coconut flour + 1/2 cup maple syrup*
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Chocolate Ganache:

  • 1/2 cup vegan butter (I recommend Miyoko’s)
  • 6 ounces dark chocolate


Cooked Cherries:

  1. Place pitted cherries and water into a large pot and bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce the heat and cover. Cook for 12-15 minutes.
  3. Stir in arrowroot powder and save about 1/2 cup of the cherry reserve for the chocolate cake.
  4. Place the cherries into the fridge.
  5. Let the cherries cool for 1-2 hours before making the cake.

Vegan Chocolate Cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375F and grease two 8″ cake pans with coconut or olive oil.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cacao powder, baking soda, baking powder, sea salt, and coconut sugar. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together only the applesauce, vegan “buttermilk” (coconut milk + apple cider vinegar), vanilla, and melted coconut or olive oil. 
  4. Pour about 1/3 of the wet ingredients into the flour mixture and mix well. Add in a second 1/3 of the wet ingredients again and mix. Finally, pour the last 1/3 of the wet ingredients into the cake mixture and mix until it’s a thick batter.
  5. Once everything is mixed, add in the hot water to make the batter more liquidy. It should now resemble regular cake batter.
  6. Pour the cake batter into each pan evenly and place into the oven to bake. Bake for 20-23 minutes, or until the toothpick comes out clean.
  7. Remove from the oven and let rest for 15 minutes before removing from the pan. Once you do, place the cakes onto a cooling rack or plate, and level the tops of the cake.
  8. Pour about 1/4 cup of cherry reserve on top of each cake to soak.
  9. Once the cakes have completely cooled, begin to prepare the coconut whipped cream frosting.

Coconut Whipped Cream:

  1. In a large bowl, add in the coconut cream only and beat on medium until it begins to thicken.
  2. Add in the vanilla extract with either the powdered sugar or the coconut flour with maple syrup and beat again until fluffy.
  3. Store in the fridge until you’re ready to frost and prepare the cake.

Chocolate Ganache:

  1. In two microwave safe bowls, place the vegan butter into one and the chocolate into the other.
  2. Microwave the butter until melted, about 1 minute-2 minutes depending on the microwave.
  3. Pour the melted butter into the chocolate and stir until completely melted. 
  4. Now you can prepare the cake!

Stacking the Black Forest Cake:

  1. Place 1 cake layer on the bottom and add the coconut whipped cream evenly all around. You can either use all of it or save some for topping on top.
  2. Pour about half of the cooked cherries on top of the whipped cream and place the second cake layer on top.
  3. Pour the ganache on top of this layer and spread it around evenly so that it can slowly drip down the sides.
  4. Place the cake into the fridge for 5 minutes to let the ganache set.
  5. Remove the cake from the fridge and top with the remaining cherries, any leftover coconut whipped cream and fresh cherries!


*you can sub in a cup-for-cup gluten free blend with a pinch of xanthan gum here. I recommend Bob’s Red Mill gluten free baking flour!

*the coconut flour + maple syrup option is for those who would prefer to keep this cake entirely refined sugar free! This method yields a slightly less fluffy whipped cream, but it still tastes amazing and works with the recipe.

  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: German


  • Serving Size: 1 slice
  • Calories: 472
  • Sugar: 29
  • Fat: 20
  • Saturated Fat: 14
  • Carbohydrates: 67
  • Fiber: 4
  • Protein: 8

Keywords: vegan, black forest cake, cherries, chocolate, gluten free, healthy, refined sugar free, dessert