Chocolate Cherry Black Forest Cake


  • 1 c Date Paste
  • ⅓ c Coconut Oil, plus more for the pan
  • 3 T Water
  • ⅛ tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • ¼ tsp. Himalayan Sea Salt
  • 4½ c Almond Pulp, recipe follows
  • ¾ c Raw Cacao Powder
  • ¼ c Almond Milk
  • 2 T Agave Nectar
  • 3 c Cherries, pitted and chopped
  • Cherry frosting, recipe follows
  • Vegan whipped cream, your recipe
  • Whole cherries to garnish, as needed
  • Vegan chocolate shavings, as needed


Lightly grease a 9-inch springform pan with coconut oil and set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine date paste, coconut oil, water, vanilla and salt. Beat on low and slowly increase to medium speed until very smooth and creamy for about 3 minutes.

Add almond pulp, cacao powder, almond milk and agave. Beat at low speed for 5 minutes. Fold in 2 cups of cherries. Add half of the cake batter to the prepared pan and scatter 1 cup of chopped cherries over the top, followed by half of the cherry frosting. Place the cake in the freezer to set for about 2 hours, or until the frosting feels firm.

Gently pour the remainder of the cake batter over the set frosting. Scatter the remaining cup of chopped cherries over the top, and finish with the remaining frosting mixture. Place the cake in the refrigerator to set for 2 more hours, or until frosting is firm.

To serve, remove the outer ring from the springform pan. Using an offset spatula, spread ¾ of the whipped cream over the top. Decorate the top of the cake with more piped whipped cream (if desired), more chocolate shavings and the whole cherries.

To make almond pulp: In a blender, combine 2 cups of raw almonds, 2 Medjool dates, ¼ teaspoon of Himalayan sea salt and 6 cups of water. Blend for 2 to 3 minutes until the almonds are very finely ground. Pass the milk through a nut milk bag set over a large bowl. Squeeze the pulp well to extract all the liquid. Refrigerate for 2 to 3 days. The pulp can be frozen until ready to use.

To make cherry frosting: Combine 1½ cups of pitted cherries, ¾ cups of cashews – soaked 8 hours, ¼ cup of agave nectar, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 tablespoon of beet juice, ¼ teaspoon of Himalayan sea salt and ⅛ teaspoon of vanilla, and blend until smooth and creamy, adding more water if needed. Add ¼ cup of coconut oil and 1½ cup of soy or sunflower lecithin, and blend again until smooth.

Executive Chef Seizan Dreux Ellis | Café Gratitude, Southern California, multiple locations