Black Forest gâteau recipe

Make a genoise sponge for the lightest, fluffiest Black Forest gâteau filled with cherries and cream. Absolutely classic.


  • 6 free-range eggs
  • 250g/9oz caster sugar
  • 100g/3½oz plain flour
  • 60g/2¼oz cocoa powder
  • 150g/5½oz butter, melted and cooled, plus extra for greasing
  • 100g/3½oz morello cherry jam
  • 425g tin pitted black cherries, drained
  • 500ml/18fl oz double cream
  • 2 tbsp icing sugar
  • 100g/3½oz dark chocolate, to decorate


  1. Preheat oven to 180C/160C Fan/Gas 4. Grease and line the base of three 20cm/8in sandwich tins with baking paper.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar with an electric hand whisk until very light and fluffy. The mixture should leave a visible trail when you lift the whisk (ribbon stage). This will take around 10 minutes.
  3. In a separate bowl, sift the flour and cocoa powder together before folding it into the egg mixture, being very gentle so as not to knock the air out.
  4. Gently pour in the cooled melted butter down the inside of the bowl and carefully fold it in.
  5. Divide the mixture equally between the three tins and bake for 20–25 minutes, until springy to the touch. Set aside to cool for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack, peeling off the baking paper, and allow to cool completely.
  6. Heat the jam in a small saucepan to melt. Reserve eight of the tinned cherries for the top of the cake, then mix the remainder into the jam. Set aside to cool completely.
  7. Whisk the cream and icing sugar together until soft peaks form. Set aside in the fridge until you are ready to assemble.
  8. When the cake is completely cool, place the whipped cream in a piping bag with a star nozzle and pipe a small amount of cream onto the first layer of sponge and spread evenly. Then pipe a ring around the edge and fill the middle with half the cherry mixture. Place the second layer of sponge on top and repeat the process.
  9. Pipe eight swirls of cream on top of the cake, topping each with a reserved cherry.
  10. Use a vegetable peeler to shave the dark chocolate into curls over the top (alternatively, grate the chocolate and sprinkle over). This cake is best eaten on the day it’s made.