Healthy meals and recipes for weight loss

Black Forest Cupcakes | Traditional Black Forest Cake Recipe (Vegan and Non-Vegan Version)

black forest cupcakes

Table of Contents

Traditional Black Forest Cake Recipe (Vegan and Non-Vegan Version)
cut black forest cupcake

Black forest cupcakes are perfect for any occasion, be it a birthday, Christmas, office party – you name it, they will be appreciated!

 

Although the Black Forest Gateau is traditionally German, it is loved all over the world, especially in the United States, United Kingdom, and India.

 

This recipe is very easy to prepare and it has been tweaked to be able to accommodate more dietary requirements, without compromising on taste.

black forest cupcakes ingredients

 

Let’s talk nutrition! 

Cocoa originally comes from Central America, where it has been used for centuries before it was introduced to the European region by the Spanish during the 16th century when it became very famous quite quickly.

 

To obtain the cocoa powder, the cocoa beans are crushed and the fat (or cocoa butter) is removed; these days cocoa is mostly used for producing chocolate, however, it was initially popular for its medicinal values.

 

Cocoa is rich in polyphenols, which, amongst the many health benefits, particularly help with reducing inflammation and assisting with cholesterol levels; it is important to take into consideration how cocoa is processed, as the amount of polyphenols substantially decreases.

 

Along with improving the levels of cholesterol, cocoa also helps with blood flow, which as a consequence may help with reducing the risk of heart attack, stroke, and heart failure.

 

~~ You may enjoy reading: 10 Foods that are super-healthy and weight-loss friendly, but have a bad reputation – ‘bad’ foods that are good for you

 

inside black forest cupcakes

Questions time!

What is black forest cake? 

Black forest cherry cake, or Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte, originates from the Black Forest region of southwestern Germany.

 

This gateau is known for its layers of chocolate sponge, tart cherries, and cream and it has a very distinct profile, as the tart and sweet flavors blend.

 

The sponge for this cake is quite dry, as it is traditionally made with very little fat, and then made moist with the use of cherry syrup; the layers are fluffed up with heavy whipping cream and then decorated with chocolate shavings or chocolate curls.

 

This recipe for black forest cupcakes revisits the whole concept, maintaining the whole flavor profile, but making it more accessible by making each step very easy to follow and a bit more modern and light (and easy to transport it has a light fluffy frosting rather than whipped cream!).

black forest cupcakes recipe

How to make black forest cupcakes? 

Black forest cupcakes, just like the Tarte, are made of three main components: the sponge, the cherries, and the cream.

 

 

1) How to make the sponge?

 

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius (FAN), 350 Fahrenheit FAN, gas 6, or static oven 200 degrees Celsius or 400 Fahrenheit.

As the traditional black forest cake requires a nice, dark chocolate simple sponge, the one for this recipe is very straightforward and only requires a large bowl and a fork to mix.

 

Start by adding in a large bowl the sieved all-purpose flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking soda and mix well until you obtain a dry black forest cake mix.

 

In a jug, mix the oil, water, vinegar, and maple syrup, then start adding it a bit at a time to the dry mix; mix well with the fork and continue doing so until all of the wet ingredients and the dry ingredients are well mixed together, in a uniform, homogeneous mix. If preferred, instead of the maple syrup, you can use vanilla extract.

 

Divide the vegan Black Forest cake batter into cupcake tins and bake in the center of the oven for 16-18 minutes; once the cupcakes are ready, remove them from the oven and allow them to cool down completely. Using a cooling rack greatly helps with speeding up the cooling downtime for the cupcakes.

 

 

2) The middle layer

 

At the center of this marvelous dessert recipe, there are the syrup or alcohol chosen to wet the sponge, and the cherries or a cherry jam; in this recipe, I use Italian sour cherries (Morello cherries) and their juice; these are very tasty and one at the center of the cupcake tends to be enough, however in the notes below I will share quite a few great alternatives.

 

To place the cherry filling in the cupcake, make a hole from the top using the top of a vegetable peeler, the metal part of a sac a poche, or anything that can remove a circular part of the top without breaking the entire cake (a potato peeler would normally have a sharper tip that is used to remove the dark spots on potatoes).

 

Once you have made the hole on the top of the cupcake, add a teaspoon of your chosen cherry flavor liquid (syrup in this case), a cherry, and a few chocolate chips.

 

 

3) The frosting

 

Although whipped cream frosting is delicious, it is quite impractical for cupcakes, which are normally eaten using the hands, rather than a plate and fork; for this main reason, this recipe uses a maple syrup flavored buttercream frosting, which can be made either vegan or using dairy butter.

 

To start, prepare the thickener by mixing the cornstarch with the milk (soy milk is the best replacement – but there are many more: The 12 Best Non-Dairy Substitutes for Milk | What is the best alternative to milk? How to choose it? | 12+ Plant-Based Alternatives) in a small saucepan and bring it to a very light simmer on low-medium heat; keep on mixing the milk, as as soon as it starts simmering it will start to thicken.

 

Once you achieve a thick consistency, remove the pan from the heat and transfer the thickener to a small bowl and allow it to cool down completely; you can cover the bowl with some plastic wrap and put the mix in the fridge.

 

In the food processor, using the metal blades attachment, add the sugar and room temperature butter and mix until the sugar completely melts in the butter; this may take up to 15 minutes on a low to medium speed, but it is a very important step. This step can be carried out in a stand mixer however it may take a bit longer for the same result.

 

Next, add the thickener and the maple syrup and mix again until stiff peaks form; the buttercream will be very creamy and it should be used straight away once ready, as storing it in the fridge will harden it (that is why it is great for transportation and parties!).

 

To decorate the cupcakes, add the maple syrup buttercream to a piping bag and decorate as liked. For your pastry bag, you can choose any tip, however, wider tips may be easier to use as the buttercream is quite thick.

 

Once the buttercream has been applied, you can further decorate the Black Forest cupcakes with edible decorations and chocolate flakes as preferred.

Enjoy!

How to prepare the cupcakes

sieve cocoa and flour
Sieve cocoa and flour
Add sugar, salt and soda
black forest cupcakes cake mixx
Mix well until uniform
oil and water
Mix the wet ingredients
add liquid mix to dry mix
Start adding to the dry mix
chocolate cupcake batter
Smooth cupcake batter
Divide in muffin tins and bake
Allow the cupcakes to cool before removing
Then make a hole on the top for the cherries

Adding the cherriees and chocolate chips

Cupcakes with hole
adding pitted cherries and juice
Add cherry and syrup
chocolate chips
And a few chocolate chips

Preparing the maple syrup buttercream

cornflour
Put cornflour and milk in a small saucepan
milk and cornflour
On low heat, allow it to simmer until thick
thickener of milk and cornflour
Once thick, allow to cool down completely
ingredients for the maple syrup buttercream
Ingredients for the maple syrup buttercream
sugar and butter
Add sugar and butter to the food processor
Mix until the sugar melts in the butter
Add the thickener and the maple syrup
blend buttercream until fluffy
Blend buttercream until fluffy and smooth
Homemade maple syrup buttercream

Decorate the cupcakes

frosting black forest cupcakes
Add frosting
black forest cupcakes packed to go
Enjoy!

What are the best cherries and liqueur for Black Forest Cherry Torte? 

Many cherries are suitable for this German black forest cake.

 

If you have whole cherries, you can make a quick instant jam with them; dark cherries and black cherries give the best results as they are sweeter. To make the instant jam, remove the pit from the cherries and chop them in quarters (or smaller if liked); in a small pan on low to medium heat, add the cherries and a bit of sugar. As you cook the fresh cherries, they will release some cherry juice, which will mix with the sugar to create a delicious cherry jelly.

 

Maraschino cherries are not the best choice for this recipe, given their flavor and texture; should you still want to use them, I’d recommend choosing them as a decoration rather than filling.

 

Authentic Black Forest Cake has a dry chocolate flavor sponge (when compared to traditional American sponges, which are quite rich in butter and therefore richer and moister), which is made moist with the use of some cherry liqueur. There are many great options to do so, however, cherry brandy tends to be one of the most popular choices as it works well with the layers of chocolate cake; if you do not have cherry liquor, then chocolate flavored liquor is another great option.

 

As I often prepare this to be shared in the office, I tend to wet the sponge with some of the cherry juice from the Morello cherries or I use some milk or milk alternative if going vegan.

black-forest-cake-recipe
Instant cherry jam

Can I use whipped cream instead of buttercream? 

Yes, absolutely. To prepare the whipped cream it is best to use heavy cream at room temperature and to whip it in a large bowl with some sugar, using the whisk attachment until soft peaks form. To decorate the cream it is best to use ‘lighter’ decorations, such as cocoa powder or edible paper decorations; whipped cream, when whipped properly, can be stored in the fridge for up to 4 four days, however, when taken out it is best served in the next 30 minutes to one hour. Should you have remaining whipped cream after decorating, ensure it is stored in an airtight container.

Can I use vanilla instead of maple syrup? 

Yes, both the sponge and the buttercream can be flavored with vanilla instead of maple syrup. Should you have some, it is great to use vanilla sugar to make the buttercream as it will taste amazing!

How can I store the buttercream? 

The buttercream can be stored in the fridge for up to four days once prepared, or in the freezer for up to three months. Remember to use an airtight container to store the remaining cream whether you are just refrigerating it or freezing it.

black forest cupcake close up

Can I make a cake instead of cupcakes? 

Yes, this recipe is great to make the traditional German dessert!

 

To help you make the chocolate sponge cake layers, you can divide the batter into two cake pans that have been prepared with parchment paper and bake them individually, to make it easier.

 

Once the layers of chocolate sponge cake are done, allow them to cool on a cooling rack (if you don’t have a cooling rack, use the wire rack from the oven instead!), before wetting the first cake layer with the syrup or liquor and adding the cherries. It is easier to decorate the cake on a flat plate or a cake stand, so use it if you have one!

 

At this stage, it is also good to add some chocolate chips to give it a crunch and for this, you can chop a chocolate bar using a knife.

 

On top of the cherries and chocolate you will put your first layer of cream or buttercream; ensure either is well whipped as they have to be strong enough to support the top layer of the cake. If it is the first time you are preparing this beautiful cake and are not confident the cream will hold, you can skip this step (I did at the beginning – see the picture below!) and put the cream only on top and on the sides of the cake.

 

Once the cream has been added, add the top layer and cover the side of the cake with cream; once the sides have been covered, move to the top of the cake, where you may want to be more decorative.

 

Not it is time to decorate this delicious cake, which is traditionally decorated using some chocolate flakes on the side and fresh cherries on top.

 

When enjoying, you will see the chocolate cake layers alternating with white cream and red cherries, so choose a serving plate that emphasizes all of these contrasts!

vegan-black-forest-gateau
Black forest cake with cream
cut black forest cupcake
Black forest cupcake with buttercream

What’s the best vegan butter to use for the buttercream? 

In the grocery store, you will find multiple brands of vegan butter, and sometimes it is hard to choose. To start, make sure you chose an unsweetened version and one that is not made specifically for baking.

 

Great brands are Miyikos which is a European-style cultured vegan butter and Country Crock Plant Butter.

A few notes: 

Bear in mind this is a treat and as such, I find it easier to portion-control when dessert is prepared in mono portions rather than a whole cake; additionally, when sharing in places like the office or a party, these are much easier (and require fewer plates and forks!) to serve. Here are a few alternative ideas, if you wish to give them a go or prefer a twist to the original recipe:

 

  • Fruit: if you are not a fan of cherries, we all know a rich chocolate cake works with almost anything! Good alternatives are raspberries, strawberries, and blueberries, however, the cherry filling can also be exchanged for some chocolate spread, such as Nutella.

 

  • Freeze: if you are preparing these cupcakes with buttercream, you can easily freeze them and defrost them when you want to eat them. As there is buttercream on top, you won’t be able to use the microwave but will have to take them out of the freezer a couple of hours in advance to allow them to naturally thaw.

 

  • Black forest cake recipes: there are many different recipes out there that claim to be the best or original version; this recipe is not the original one from the Black Forest region of Germany, but it maintains all of the flavors and – with a few tweaks here and there – the recipe is lighter and suitable for more people, such as those eating vegan, dairy-free or simply like good food!

 

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do! Jay likes me to prepare these for his birthday most years and no matter what, he never gets fed up… could this be your new family favorite? Let me know!

Black Forest Cupcakes was first published on 11th March, 2021 and updated on 1st November, 2021.

cut black forest cupcake

Black Forest Cupcakes

Traditional Black Forest Cake Recipe (Vegan and Non-Vegan Version)
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 40 mins
Cook Time 18 mins
Resting time for cake to cool down 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 58 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American, british, Indian
Servings 24 cupcakes
Calories 286 kcal

Ingredients
 
 

For the vegan sponge cake

  • 300 g All-Purpose Flour Plain Flour
  • 300 g Caster Sugar
  • 60 g Cocoa Powder
  • 2 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 120 ml Sunflower Oil or a flavorless oil, like vegetable oil
  • 2 Tbsp Maple Syrup
  • 2 tsp Cider Vinegar
  • 360 ml water

For the Cherry Jam Filling

  • 24 Sour Cherries in Syrup

For the Maple Syrup Buttercream

  • 2 Tbsp Cornstarch
  • 240 ml Milk Oat or Semi Skimmed
  • 250 g Butter Vegan or Dairy
  • 250 g White Sugar
  • 1 Tbsp Maple Syrup

Additional ingredients

  • 50 g Dark Chocolate Chips

Instructions
 

Prepare the sponge

  • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius (FAN), 350 Fahrenheit FAN, gas 6, or static oven 200 degrees Celsius or 400 Fahrenheit.
  • Start by adding in a large bowl the sieved all-purpose flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking soda and mix well until you obtain a dry black forest cake mix.
  • In a jug, mix the oil, water, vinegar, and maple syrup, then start adding it a bit at a time to the dry mix; mix well with the fork and continue doing so until all of the wet ingredients and the dry ingredients are well mixed together, in a uniform, homogeneous mix.
  • Divide the vegan Black Forest cake batter into cupcake tins and bake in the center of the oven for 16-18 minutes; once the cupcakes are ready, remove them from the oven and allow them to cool down completely. Using a cooling rack greatly helps with speeding up the cooling downtime for the cupcakes.

Prepare the cherry filling

  • To place the cherry filling in the cupcake, make a hole from the top using the top of a vegetable peeler, the metal part of a sac a poche, or anything that can remove a circular part of the top without breaking the entire cake.
  • Once you have made the hole on the top of the cupcake, add a teaspoon of the cherry syrup, a cherry, and a few chocolate chips.

Prepare the maple syrup buttercream

  • To start, prepare the thickener by mixing the cornstarch with the milk in a small saucepan and bring it to a very light simmer on low-medium heat; keep on mixing the milk, as as soon as it starts simmering it will start to thicken.
  • Once you achieve a thick consistency, remove the pan from the heat and transfer the thickener to a small bowl and allow it to cool down completely; you can cover the bowl with some plastic wrap and put the mix in the fridge.
  • In the food processor, using the metal blades attachment, add the sugar and butter and mix until the sugar completely melts in the butter; this may take up to 15 minutes on a low to medium speed, but it is a very important step.
  • Next, add the thickener and the maple syrup and mix again until stiff peaks form; the buttercream will be very creamy and it should be used straight away once ready, as storing it in the fridge will harden it (that is why it is great for transportation and parties!).

Decorate the cupcakes

  • To decorate the cupcakes, add the maple syrup buttercream to a piping bag and decorate as liked. For your pastry bag, you can choose any tip, however, wider tips may be easier to use as the buttercream is quite thick.
  • Once the buttercream has been applied, you can further decorate the Black Forest cupcakes with edible decorations and chocolate flakes as preferred.

Notes

Should you not have apple cider vinegar, you can use distilled white vinegar instead, and it will work the same.
Should you not have maple syrup, you can substitute this with vanilla extract. 
 
Make sure the butter you use for the buttercream is brought to room temperature before starting to mix, as it is crucial for the final result; do not bring it to room temperature using the microwave, as that will melt it, but just remove it from the fridge at least one hour prior to needing it (even longer before if you live in a cold place). 

Nutrition

Calories: 286kcalCarbohydrates: 38gProtein: 2gFat: 15gSaturated Fat: 7gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 23mgSodium: 223mgPotassium: 88mgFiber: 1gSugar: 26gVitamin A: 284IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 29mgIron: 1mg
Keyword Black Forest Gateau, Vegan Black Forest Cake, Vegan Chocolate Dessert, Vegan Dessert, Vegan Sponge Cake
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
Share on pinterest
Share on facebook
Share on email
Share on whatsapp

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




YOU MAY ALSO LIKE...

My Personal Favorites

This opening statement, this blog… they have been a long time coming. 

 

While looking from afar, I am sure my life does not appear as anything else but ordinary (there were probably three moments that changed the course of my story), some choices I made I hope will encourage change for better health for others, as much as they have for me. 

 

As any well-respected story, this is how it starts… 

 

Once upon a time in the late ’80s… 

 

But that would make this page way too long and way too boring, so flash forward… 

 

Elle

BE THE FIRST TO GET THE BEST

Get our latest recipes and posts in your inbox. You won’t regret it!

Interesting
Explore
Follow Us

We use cookies to help personalise your experience. By using our website you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy

Subscribe to our mailing list