Cherry Blackwell Forest Cake

You may have seen the Black Cherry Compote recipe I posted a few days ago – well it kind of becomes the star here. When I was trying to describe this cake to a few friends, the best I could come up with was…if a Black Forest Gateau and a Bakewell Tart had a baby, this would be it. It was at that point I realised I was talking about desserts reproducing and I questioned what my life had become.

But it’s kind of true. It takes key elements from both of those desserts – the chocolate and cherry relationship from a black forest and merges it with that spike of almond flavour you find in a bakewell tart. And it works. So well.


It’s a rich chocolate cake with a boozy, fruity middle that keeps the cake nice and moist. There is so much cherry in the cake, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was 1 of your 5 a day. I mean, I haven’t looked into the nutritional value of it, but…let’s just tell ourselves that, shall well?

Recipe below. Don’t forgot to comment, like and share. I’m also about to hit my 100th like on Facebook, so head over there and give me a follow. My Twitter is looking sparse, too…! Demanding much?!


Yields: 15 slices.

280g plain flour
150g soft light brown sugar
150g dark soft brown sugar
170g butter, softened and unsalted
3 eggs
250g buttermilk
3 tsp baking powder
30g cocoa powder
1 tsp salt
almond liqueur, to brush

1 punnet of black cherries
100g chocolate

300g butter
600g icing sugar
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tbsp cherry jus (see Cherry compote recipe)

Cherry compote (see here)

Flaked almonds

Preheat the oven to 170c and line 2 x 6″ cake tins with butter and flour.

For the cake, beat the butter and sugar together until soft and fluffy. Add the eggs, one by one, beating in between each addition.

Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and cocoa powder into a bowl. Add a third into the rest of the mixture and beat for 30 seconds. Pour in half the buttermilk combine. Repeat the process, ending with the final third of the flour. Divide into the 2 6″ cake tins and bake in the oven for 45 minutes.

While the cakes are baking, make the chocolate coated cherries. Melt the chocolate in the microwave – first for 30 seconds and then give it a good stir. Return to the microwave and melt in 10 seconds increments until the chocolate is fully melted. Take half the cherries and dip them in the chocolate, coating fully. Place on some baking parchment on a baking sheet and place in the fridge. Set aside the other half of the cherries until decorating.

Make the buttercream. Beat the butter on high for about 5 minutes until light and fluffy. Add half the icing sugar and beat for 3 minutes. Add the second half and repeat. Once all the icing sugar is fully incorporated, add the cocoa powder, some juice from the compote and the almond liqueur. This can be Disaronno or I used a M&S Christmas Cake liqueur. Just because. Beat all together and taste. If you want a stronger almond flavour then go ahead and add some more – I shall not judge! Once the cakes have cooled, level and half, so you’re left with 4 even layers. Brush each layer with the almond liqueur.


With a palette knife, spread a thick layer of the buttercream on the top of the bottom layer and grate on some chocolate. Place the second layer on top and this time, spread a thin layer of the buttercream. Pipe a buttercream wall around the edge of this layer and fill in the middle with the cherry compote. Place the third layer on top and spread with the buttercream and chocolate shavings and top it off with a final layer. Crumb coat the cake in the buttercream and set in the fridge for half an hour.

Finish the cake off with a final layer of the buttercream and pipe some decorative swirls on the top, around the edge. Fill in the middle with the cherries and finish off with a drizzle of the cherry compote juice for good measure!