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Lauren Toyota’s Black Forest Loaf Cake: A vegan variant that is particularly tasty in the cherry season



Lauren Toyota's Black Forest Loaf Cake: A vegan variant that is particularly tasty in the cherry season

(Photography by Lauren Toyota)

This chocolate cake is full of cherries, as you would expect from a Black Forest cake – but this one is vegan. The recipe is from Lauren Toyota’s All Day Hot for Food: Simple Recipes to Enhance Your Vegan Meals [A Cookbook]. And their version not only does without dairy products and eggs, there are also no levels that can be made and stacked separately. It’s a simple loaf cake that would be a delicious casserole anytime – especially when cherries are in season.

Black Forest bread cake

By Lauren Toyota

I’m pretty sure the Black Forest cake I ate from the supermarket bakery as a kid was full of artificial cherry flavor and gross maraschino cherries. No cherry liqueur in sight! So I thought I was going to try a real one. Having lived without a kirsch for all these years, I didn’t think it was imperative that you buy a liquor that you will only use a few times, so I made up my mind. This is still rich and chocolaty and I filled it with lots of real cherries, which in my opinion is REALLY what the Black Forest is aiming for. If you do this in cherry season, be sure to buy fresh cherries, and if you have cherries in your closet, be sure to dip your cherry garnish in a splash. If you choose frozen cherries, try to find tart cherries because they are even better than the dark sweet ones. Thaw frozen cherries completely and save the juice for the finished loaf.



  • 1 tbsp golden flax flour
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup cocoa powder processed in the Netherlands, sifted
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ⅓ cup of vegan butter
  • 1 cup vegan chocolate chips or coarsely chopped dairy-free semi-sweet baking chocolate
  • ½ cup of granulated sugar
  • ⅓ cup of non-dairy milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1½ cups fresh or thawed frozen pitted whole cherries, halved


  • 1 cup of store-bought coconut whipped topping
  • ½ cup fresh or thawed frozen pitted whole cherries
  • Grated or grated chocolate for garnish (optional)


Preheat the oven to 350 ° F.

Use an 8 by 4 inch metal baking pan. Cut a strip of parchment paper as wide as the length of the loaf pan so you can line it up and have some overhang to lift out the finished bread.

To prepare the dough, mix the flax flour and water in a small bowl and set aside to thicken.

In a large mixing bowl, mix the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, sea salt and baking powder and set aside.

Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Turn the heat down to low, add the chocolate, stirring constantly until it is melted and smooth. Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the mixture of sugar, non-dairy milk, vanilla, and concentrated flaxseed. Pour this mixture over the dry ingredients and add the cherries. Fold with a spatula until the batter has just bonded and the batter has peeled off the sides of the bowl.

Portion into the loaf pan and use a spatula to smooth the top and edge to fill the pan. Bake for 60 to 65 minutes, until the edges have peeled off the sides, the top looks firm and is slightly cracked, and a toothpick comes out neatly from the center.

Place the pan on a rack to let it cool for 15 to 20 minutes. Lift the parchment paper to remove the cake and place it on the wire rack. Let the cake cool completely before glazing it.

Take a skewer or toothpick and poke many holes on the top about halfway into the loaf. Pour the reserved cherry juice over it, if available. If you’ve used fresh cherries, skip this step. It won’t make or break the cake!

Top with desiccated coconut, cherries and grated chocolate. Or you can serve the toppings with each piece of cake.

Yield: Makes 1 loaf (8 slices)

Excerpt from Hot for Food All Day by Lauren Toyota. Copyright © 2021 by Lauren Toyota. Published by Penguin Canada, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduction after consultation with the publisher. All rights reserved.

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