Dairy free gluten free black forest cake

Everyone claims that their cake is the best, but I actually mean it! This is a recipe handed down from generation to generation, simple ingredients and instructions but easily adaptable to today’s dietary changes. I have made this with so many variations and mismeasurements and it always turns out (so far).

The original recipe given is basically a one bowl triumph.

In this version I have made it so everyone in my family can eat it and it falls under all the dietary requests and requirements of all 14 of us.

Dairy Free Gluten Free Black Forest Cake


1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup cocoa
1 3/4 cups gluten free flour mixture
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup vegan margarine
1 1/2 cups milk (coconut,almond)*
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla

2 cups fresh or frozen cherries
1/2 cup sugar
1/8 cup corn starch

1/2 cup vegan or dairy free margarine
7-8 tablespoons cocoa powder
hot water
3-4 cups icing sugar


All ingredients, one bowl, mix together for three minutes at medium speed. Pour into two lightly greased 8 inch round pans Bake for 30-35 minutes at 325

Simmer cherries in saucepan over med heat until they start to juice, about 10 minutes, stir often.
In a bowl combine sugar and corn starch mix well, pour this mixture into the hot cherries and combine. Allow to simmer and cook until it starts to thicken. Remove from heat, let cool

Mix equal amounts of hot water and cocoa powder together in a small bowl. In mixing bowl beat margarine add vanilla and add in some icing sugar and mix.
Add cocoa mixture and mix well, add remaining icing sugar and whip for 1-2 minutes. You can always add more or less icing sugar depending on what consistency you prefer

I like to almost freeze my cake before icing it, I find it easier cause then you get less crumb interference. Chilled cherry filling in between layers and nice whipped icing to top it all off. It is a masterpiece that looks like you spent way more time creating than you actually did.

Sit, enjoy, indulge

* I like to use coconut milk as it is thick and creamy, the original recipe calls for buttermilk which has that thick creamy consistency, but almond milk works wonderful as well

Grandma’s busy day cake

I love chocolate! It calls my name. It just made me sneak chocolate chips out of the cupboard because I said it’s name. The power of it is undeniable and I wouldn’t want it any other way. I don’t care how it comes, give me some!

Drizzled, frosted, melted, solid, whipped, the options are endless and all delicious

There are very few recipes that were handed down by my grandmother, mainly because she didn’t write any of them down she just tossed the ingredients in a bowl and baked it. I remember staying with her and thinking this was going to be the perfect opportunity to watch and learn how she baked such wonderful cakes. I went and purchased all the groceries that I figured one needs to make a cake. Including buttermilk, as my mom had told me that was the secret ingredient to a moist fluffy cake.

After lunch I put them all on the counter and said to my sweet amazing grandma, ‘how about we make a cake today?’ What a lovely idea, was her response and so I got excited with my pen and paper nearby to take notes as she walked me through making a cake from scratch. She came in to the kitchen and sat in her big soft reclining chair and said ‘its so nice someone is going to make me a cake’.

Wait, what? Never in my life had I seen her use a recipe or even seen a recipe in her house. Panic set in, I don’t know what I am doing? Up until this particular day I had only made cakes from a box! I thought you would help me grandma was my response. You don’t need help dear it’s just a cake, says the woman who invented baking in my mind. Of course she could do it blindfolded and it would come out fantastic and tasty. I had to produce a cake because
1. I told her there would be cake and
2. I have a counter full of ingredients

Baking survival mode kicked in, ask questions as you go became my plan. How much flour would you normally use grandma. Not kidding her response was, depends how big of a cake, a cup maybe two….

Huh, ok this is going to be trickier than I thought. Must decide what size cake I am making. Next question, anything else I should add to the flour? Maybe some spice, I am 17 at this time and know she doesn’t mean paprika and garlic but which spice, how much of each, I don’t even know what I put in. Sprinkle of this sprinkle of that were her suggestions. Do you beat the eggs first I ask. oh no I just put them in the bowl. Which bowl grandma? The one with the flour. Oh and what about the buttermilk? Yup put that in there too. Again I ask, how much? Silly me I should have known, depends on the size of the cake. I take a guess and throw a cup in along with some eggs. We had now entered a completely experimental stage as far as I was concerned. In the oven until it is done were the baking instructions. Thankfully I knew about the toothpick test to check that it was done.

It was a dense cake, hearty and more of a meal than a dessert but we ate it and she exclaimed what a good job I had done. There will never be another one like it. She passed away shortly after our cake making day. Not because of the cake I should mention.

I love to bake now and nothing is out of a box it is all from scratch. I don’t exactly measure all the time, a splash of this a sprinkle of that. I do have a recipe of her’s that she submitted to a community cook book and I use it all the time. I have altered it to adjust to gluten free and dairy free when need be. It is a very versatile and easy to use recipe. This is how she submitted the recipe, her words.

Busy Day chocolate cake
1 1/2 cups sugar 1/2 cup shortening (soft)
1/2 cup cocoa 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 3/4 cup flour 2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp soda 1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt

Beat 3 minutes at medium speed. Bake 30-35 min, moderate oven.

Short and sweet, just like grandma! This is a large cake I have used a 9×13 pan or two 8 in round pans for this. It also works great for cupcakes
I do throw it all in one bowl and mix for the magical 3 minutes. I have decided that a moderate oven is 325 and still use the toothpick test to make sure it is done.

My gluten free dairy free version is salivated over by many. I love that most have no idea it is gluten and dairy free. It is moist and fluffy and oh so hard to share because I just want to eat it all myself.