Gluten Free Black Forest Cake

Beautiful, rich, and moist layers of chocolate-coffee sponge cake basted with cherry liqueur or cherry syrup, and frosted and layered with buttercream or vanilla/cherry whipped cream with more cherries between the layers. Chocolate confetti for garnish is optional.

Links You May Need:

Gluten Free Chocolate Sponge Cake Recipe

Homemade Cherry Liqueur Recipe

Buttercream Frosting Recipes (your recipe of choice) OR Vanilla Chantilly/Homemade Whipped Cream

Want to use high-quality cocoa powder that’s really dark and chocolatey?

See the below brands. Otherwise, look at the nutritional content of other brands and choose one that contains at least 1 gram of fat per 5 grams of cocoa powder. Your cake will turn out more moist and flavorful.

Droste – package labeled gluten free

Valrhona (expensive) (I checked with someone with celiac disease. She does not react to this product.)

Van Houten (Begium) -(****may contain traces of gluten****) – the originator of Dutch processed cocoa powder.

Gluten Free Black Forest Cake

Layers of chocolate sponge cake, basted with cherry liqueur or syrup, filled with whipped cream or buttercream and cherries. May be made days in advance.


  • 1 recipe Homemade Cherry Liqueur using rum, (rum optional) (or gluten free commercial brand)
  • 1 recipe Gluten Free Chocolate Sponge Cake 8-inch (REPLACE WATER WITH STRONG COFFEE)
  • 2 recipes buttercream or Chantilly
  • 30 cherries or as needed


  1. If possible, days in advance, make the cherry liqueur; set aside in a closed glass container. Omit the addition of rum if making a plain cherry syrup. Plain cherry syrup may be made the same day as the cake, if desired.

  2. Make the chocolate sponge cake in an 8-inch springform pan; set aside to cool.
  3. While the cake cools, make the buttercream or Chantilly. If you wish to make a cherry-flavored Chantilly, pour in a little cherry liqueur or cherry syrup in. Pour it in a little at a time. You don’t want to add too much or will make the whipped cream too runny. You may consider reducing the confectioners’ sugar if using cherry liqueur/syrup. If using, refrigerate the Chantilly until ready to assemble the cake.
  4. Once the cake cools, slice it into three layers. Baste each layer with cherry liqueur/syrup. Layer some buttercream or whipped cream/Chantilly on top of the bottom layer. Then, place a few cherry halves in the buttercream/Chantilly. Place the second layer on top and repeat with buttercream/Chantilly and cherries. Place the final cake layer on top and frost the entire cake. Pipe additional mounds of buttercream or Chantilly where you would like to place additional cherries.
  5. Refrigerate the cake overnight, if possible, or up to two days. The longer it rests the more moist sponge cake becomes.
  6. Closer to the serving time, decorate the cake with additional cherries and either chocolate curls using a vegetable peeler and a chocolate bar, chocolate cake crumbs (should you have an extra layer), or chocolate confetti. To make chocolate confetti, melt some chocolate and pour it onto a parchment-paper-lined baking sheet in a very thin layer. Freeze the chocolate until completely set. Break the chocolate into small pieces and top the cake.


To make this recipe dairy-free, use refined coconut oil to replace butter.

To make this cake egg-free, replace each egg with 2 tablespoons liquid from a can of cannellini beans and 1 tablespoon refined coconut oil or palm oil (not non-hyrogentated).

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