Black Forest Cake. Vegan. Oil-Free. Gluten-Free.

Did I mention it's sugar-free, too? Who says you can't have your cake and nutrients, too?? Wow. Damn. Helll-llo. This was a first-try recipe for me. Did I get lucky or am I just learning how to work with my nutrient-dense ingredients? Or am I a "Sweet Genius?" I don't know. I don't care. I'm so happy. Black Forest cake was always one of my favorite desserts and now I can not only enjoy it again but I can be happy knowing that I am eating something that actually has NUTRIENTS. With no eggs, no sugar, no wheat, no oil... it just doesn't get much better than this, folks.

Searching the internet for vegan desserts has always been futile for me. Just because something is "vegan" does not necessarily mean that it is healthful! Almost all vegan cake recipes I have found contain oil and sugar and wheat (which I usually try to avoid, but whole wheat is not a bad choice if you don't have a sensitivity to gluten).

Okay, I must confess. I was trying for a brownie here! I never expected a rich, deliciously decadent cake instead. I used dates for sweetness and flax meal for egg replacement and there's a whole cup of black cherries in there, too! If you try this recipe, don't be alarmed at the color of the batter. Before it's baked it looks like tar, it's so dark.

I used a bit of Bob's Red Mill gluten-free flour too and that, for some mysterious reason I still haven't figured out, smells really weird before it's cooked. So licking the bowl is probably something you'll want to skip on this one

The history of this dessert has many stories, but perhaps the most popular version is that confectioner Josef Keller invented Black Forest cake, or as he called it, the Black Forest cherry in 1915 in his café Agner in Bad Godesberg. However, it is a known fact that the recipe for Black Forest cake did not appear in print until 1930

The typical Black Forest cake contains several layers of chocolate cake, with oodles of whipped cream and cherries in each layer, further decorated with additional whipped cream, chocolate shavings and cherries. Also, in traditional Black Forest cakes, Kirschwasser or kirsch, which is a clear colorless fruit brandy is also added. Why do I love Black Forest cake so? Maybe it's because my grandmother was born in Baden-Baden, a city located at the foothills of the Black Forest in the southwestern part of Germany. But seriously, what's not to love? And without all those empty calories and cholesterol, I'm in love all over again.

~ for the cake

  • 15 medjool dates, pits removed
  • 1/4 cup non-alkalized cocoa powder
  • 2 TBS flax meal
  • ½ cup warm water
  • ½ TBS baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ cup Bob's All Purpose Gluten-free flour
  • ¼ cup brown rice flour
  • 1 10 oz. bag frozen black cherries (less 1/2 cup-set aside for topping)
  • 1 TBS vanilla extract

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 
  2. Lightly grease a 9" x 9" square baking dish 
  3. Place dates in a food processor. 
  4. Add water and process until a paste is formed. 
  5. Add cherries and process again until smooth. 
  6. Add remaining ingredients. Process until smooth. 
  7. Pour into baking dish and smooth the top. The mixture will be quite thick. 
  8. Bake about 30 minutes or until the top is firm when lightly pressed. 
  9. Let cool.

         ~ for the icing

    • 1½ cups raw cashews
    • 1 cup unsweetened soy milk or other non-dairy milk
    • 2 TBS date sugar or any minimally processed sweetener
    • 2 tsp vanilla extract

    1. Place cashews in a high powdered blender.
    2. Add enough milk just to cover.
    3. Blend until smooth.
    4. Add remaining milk and all other ingredients and blend until smooth.
    5. Spread onto top of cooled cake.
    6. Refrigerate before serving, until icing is set—about 1 hour.
    7. Top with the cherries that you set aside. You can certainly use fresh cherries but the frozen ones are perfect for this because as they thaw they leak a bit of juice and it looks lovely on the top of the icing and adds more moisture to the cake as well.

    Makes about 8 portions. Enjoy!

    Healthy trails!

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