Healthy Black Forest Cake

Recipe from Chef Jacqueline Hayes, Culinary Arts Instructor, KU Melbourne



  • About ½ cup Lapin cherries, pitted
  • 2 tbsp rum
  • 3 tbsp coconut sugar
  • CAKE
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp melted coconut oil
  • ⅓ cup pure maple syrup
  • A pinch of sea salt
  • ⅓ cup cocoa powder
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp espresso powder
  • 14 oz canned black beans, drained


  • 2 oz dark chocolate, finely chopped
  • 4 oz (1/2 cup) heavy cream or coconut milk
  • A pinch of sea salt
  • 1 14 oz can coconut cream, chilled in the refrigerator overnight
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup, or more to taste
  • ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
  • A pinch of sea salt
  • A few whole Lapin cherries, with stems attached
  • Dark chocolate


  1. The night before, soak the pitted cherries in the rum.
  2. When ready to bake the cake, preheat oven 350⁰ Grease and line two 5″ round cake pans with oil and parchment paper. Place a medium metal mixing bowl into the freezer to use for the whipped coconut cream.
  3. In a food processor, combine the eggs, vanilla, coconut oil, maple syrup, salt, cocoa powder, baking powder and soda, and espresso until smooth. Add the drained black beans and blend until as smooth as possible.
  4. Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared cake pans and bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes. Cake is cooked when a toothpick inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Let cake layers cool completely and remove the parchment paper before assembling.
  5. In a small frying pan, heat the soaked cherries and the rum until at a simmer. Add the 3 tbsp of coconut sugar and allow the cherries to cook until slightly softened, about 5 minutes. Remove the cherries with a slotted spoon and let it chill. Reduce the rum until thick enough to lightly coat the back of a spoon. Turn the heat off and let the syrup cool while preparing the rest of the cake.
  6. Make the chocolate ganache by heating the heavy cream until steaming but not simmering. Place the finely chopped chocolate into a heat-safe bowl and pour the hot cream over the chocolate. Let it sit undisturbed for 5 minutes, then add the pinch of salt and stir with a spatula or wooden spoon until smooth. If the chocolate remains solid, heat over a double boiler and stir until smooth. Cool in the fridge until ready to use.
  7. Take the chilled mixing bowl out of the freezer and add in the chilled coconut cream, 1 tbsp maple syrup, vanilla, and salt. With an electric mixer or a whisk, whip until stiff peaks. Use additional maple syrup to taste. Chill in the fridge until ready to use. If in a hurry, chill in the freezer instead.
  8. To assemble, place one cake layer upside down onto the serving dish, poke holes over the surface with a fork or a toothpick, brush with the soaked rum, top with half of the whipped coconut cream, and all the soaked cherries. Then add the second cake layer, repeat the same steps, pour chocolate ganache over the top, adorn with a crown of piped whipped coconut cream, whole Lapin cherries, and shaved dark chocolate.