Black forest naked cake

Chocolate and cherries. Is there any better combo? Black forest cake is the favorite of most of my family and friends. But I usually never eat it because of the amount of cream and sugar. This is why I made my own recipe, which happens to be healthy, dairy- free and vegan 🙂

This cake is made of four layers of fluffy and airy chocolate cake, filled with cream cheese frosting and homemade cherry jam. If you don’t have or don’t like cherries, feel free to use any other fruit you like (raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, peaches…).

I tried many different frostings but the cream cheese one is the one I preferred for this recipe. Of course, if you’re not interested in making a naked cake, you can just whip some plain coconut cream or soy cream and simply fill your layers with it.

Black forest naked cake

refined sugar-free, dairy-free, vegan
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time50 mins
Total Time1 hr 20 mins
Servings: 1 16 cm / 6 inches 4 layer-cake
Author: Yukiko Tanzi @foodie.yuki


Ingredients for the chocolate cake

  • 330 grams / 1 and 1/2 cups almond milk
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 135 grams /2/3 cup neutral oil (sunflower seeds, canola)
  • 320 grams / 2and 1/4 cups spelt flour
  • 40 grams /1/4 cup rice flour or corn starch
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 30 grams cacao powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 200 grams /1 cup light brown sugar

Ingredients for the cherry jam

  • 300 grams /2 cups cherries fresh or frozen
  • 90 grams /1/3 cup honey or agave
  • 1/2 tbsp lemon juice

Ingredients for the cream cheese frosting

  • 250 ml /8,5 oz soy/coconut whip cream, very cold
  • 8 grams /1 tsp whip cream stabilizer (optional)
  • 2 tbsp powder sugar /maple syrup for refined sugar-free
  • 500 grams /17 oz cream cheese of choice


Make the jam

  • Add the cherries, honey/ agave to a medium size pot set over high heat. Bring the mixture to a boil. Once boiling use a potato masher or fork to break down and mash the berries. 
  • Continue to cook for 10-15 minutes or until the jam has reduced and thickened by 1/3. Remove from the heat and let cool. Should thicken as it cools

Make the chocolate cake

  • Preheat oven to 175C/ 350F degrees. Grease 2 (15cm / 6- inch) round cake pans. Grease and line the bottom with parchment paper.
  • In a small bowl, combine almond milk and vinegar, whisk and set aside to curdle.
  • In a large bowl, sift the flour, corn starch, baking powder, cacao, sugar and salt and whisk to combine.
  • Add the neutral oil and vanilla bean paste to the almond and vinegar mixture and whisk to combine. 
  • Pour the wet ingredients over the flour mixture and gently fold to combine. Don’t over mix.
  • Divide the batter equally in the two pans. 
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  • Let the cake cool down in the pans for 10 minutes, then transfer over a cooling rack to cool down completely. 
  • Use a serrated knife to cut the cakes horizontally into 2 layers each.

Make the cream cheese frosting

  • In a bowl of a stand mixer, whip the cream with stabilizer and sugar until stiff peaks. Slowly add the cream cheese and whisk until just combined. Don’t over mix.

Assemble the cake

  • Place the first cake layer over a plate. Spread 1/4 of the cream cheese and 1/3 of the cherry jam. 
  • Place the second cake layer on top of the frosting and spread the cream cheese and jam again. Repeat with the 3d layer. 
  • After you’ve placed the  4th layer,  lighlty frost the top and the sides od the cake with the remaining cream cheese.
  • Place the cake in the refrigerator to set for 30 minutes. 


You can use 300g  good quality, low sugar store-bought jam if you don’t have the time or are not interested in making your own.

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  1. What kind of stabilizer do you recommend? Would cream if tartar work?

    • yukiko83

      Hey Kathy,
      Here’s what you can do to stabilize coconut cream:
      Chill the bowl, beater blades and the cream in the fridge.
      Use veg gelatin while at soft peaks and beat to stiff peaks.
      Mix half a teaspoon of cream of tartar and 1 teaspoon of icing sugar. Add it to the cream at soft peak stage and beat till stiff peaks.
      Have fun baking!


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