Black Forest cakes have always been a favorite of mine, like these vegan black forest cupcakes (avid cherry chocolate fan here!). But I also especially love ice cream, so this dairy-free Black forest ice cream cake gives you both in one easy-to-make delicious recipe.
The cherry ice cream layer is flavored with a homemade cherry compote which is infused with Kirsch, a brandy made from fermented and distilled cherries. Don't worry, you can use regular brandy in its place or just leave it out altogether if you want to keep this dessert alcohol-free.
Where did Black Forest cake originate from?
The Black Forest region of Germany is known for its sour cherries and this is where the concept was born. It is believed the original Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte was invented by a confectioner named Josef Keller in 1915.
Fresh cherries: You can also use frozen cherries for this ice cream cake as they will be cooked down into a compote.
Kirsch or brandy: This gives the cherry compote a boozy kick!
Cane sugar: You can use any sugar of your preference here, light brown sugar would also work well.
Cornflour: Also known as cornstarch (yes they are the same thing!). This is the thickening agent used for the cherry compote.
Sweetened condensed coconut milk: This replaces regular condensed coconut milk which is typically used in ice cream recipes. It adds sweetness and creates a consistency that doesn’t get too solid once frozen (aka. easier to sink your teeth into straight from the freezer!).
Cashews: Soaked cashews add richness to the ice cream.
Coconut milk: It needs to be the full-fat canned type. Refrigerate the can overnight to separate the cream from the liquid – the cream is the part you want (don’t worry – you can reserve the liquid and add it to smoothies, soup, stir-fries, or curries).
Vanilla extract: As always I'm using vanilla in this recipe, especially because it enhances the fruity flavor of the cherries.
Almond extract: This is optional, as I know it's not everyone's cup of tea! But it helps to enhance the cherry flavor!
Dutch-processed cacao powder: This gives the chocolate ice cream a rich chocolatey flavor. You can also use raw cacao powder just bear in mind that this has a more bitter flavor.
Sea salt: This is needed to enhance and balance out the chocolate in the ice cream.
More Vegan Black Forest Desserts
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Cherry Sauce & Ice Cream
- 17.6 oz (500 g) fresh cherries, pitted, or frozen
- 4 tablespoons (60 ml) Kirsch or Cherry Brandy, sub with brandy
- 5 tablespoons (60 g) cane sugar
- 1 tablespoon (8 g) cornflour, cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon (14.79 ml) water
- 5.6 oz (160 g) sweetened condensed coconut milk
- ¾ cup (100 g) cashews, soaked, see notes
- 8 oz (225 g) chilled full fat canned coconut milk, or coconut cream
- 1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) almond extract, optional
Chocolate Ice Cream
- 3.5 oz (100 g) vegan dark chocolate
- 2 tablespoons (30 g) freeze dried cherries
- 2.4 oz (68 g) fresh cherries, pitted
Cherry Sauce & Ice Cream
- Start by making the cherry sauce, this will flavor the cherry ice cream and also be used to top the ice cream cake! Add the cherries, kirsch/brandy, and sugar to a saucepan and simmer on medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring often.
- In a small bowl, mix together the cornstarch and water to form a paste. Add it to the saucepan and cook out the mixture for 3 minutes, stirring to prevent it from burning to the pan.
- Reserve one-third of the cherry sauce for the topping. Add the remaining cherry sauce to your blender with the sweetened condensed coconut milk, cashews, coconut milk, vanilla extract and almond extract. Blend until completely smooth and creamy.
- Line an 8" loaf tin with parchment paper and pour the cherry ice cream mixture into it. Place in the freezer for 2-3 hours, until set.
Chocolate Ice Cream
- Add the sweetened condensed coconut milk, cashews, coconut milk, cocoa powder, and salt to your blender. Blend until completely smooth and creamy.
- Add the cherries in a layer on top of the frozen cherry ice cream and pour the chocolate ice cream on top of them. Place back in the freezer to set completely for another 3-4 hours.
- Once set, remove the ice cream cake from the loaf pan by gently heating the outer edges of the pan with a warm wet dishcloth. This will help the ice cream to come loose and release from the pan.
- Place the ice cream on a serving dish and top with the reserved cherry sauce, fresh cherries, dark chocolate, and freeze-dried cherries. Slice into portions with a hot wet knife and serve immediately.
- Any leftover ice cream can be stored in the freezer in an airtight container for up to a month.
- Soaked cashews: Soak the cashews in water for 4 hours, rinse and drain.
- Chilled coconut milk: Refrigerate the tin of coconut milk overnight, then only use the thick cream from the top of the can.
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