25 January 2017

Black Forest Crumble

Although most of my travelling has been done in the summer, there's a few trips I've taken during the winter and I was thinking back on them recently. I have a few distinct food memories from my travels, one being trying real black forest gateau.

I was about 11 at the time and we were in Germany travelling in my families' campervan, I remember going for a walk through the black forest, before looking around the quaint little shops for the perfect cuckoo clock for my mum and finally huddling out of the snow in a traditional pub, all snug with low ceilings and tucking into our first black forest gateau. It's a memory still so clear to this day and I can't help but smile when I think about it. I told my mum what I was making for this post and she looked back through some old photos, so here's some pictures of my trip to the Black Forest in 2008:

I think the funniest thing about the gateau was that we didn't actually love it as much as we expected to, except maybe my brother who was 13 at the time and definitely took a liking to it! Probably because of the sheer volume of booze the cake had been soaked in, which my 11 year old palate didn't quite appreciate yet. That said the sponge itself was soft and moist and so rich, and today I would definitely enjoy it - if it were vegan!

Real Black forest gateau is definitely an acquired taste and the fond memories inspired me to create something a little simpler, whilst still delivering the authentic flavours of the black forest. If boozy desserts aren't your thing or you're cooking for children, then simply leave out the kirsch in this recipe - it's still super delicious, with a sharp yet sweet black forest fruit base and an rich oat-chocolate crumble topping. I served mine up with some vegan vanilla ice cream, but to be a little more authentic, some vegan whipped cream would also be delicious!

Black Forest Crumble | Serves: 6-8 | Time: 50-60 mins

You'll need

  • Mixing bowl
  • Measuring cups
  • Glass bowl + saucepan
  • Spatula
  • Baking dish
  • 1 tbsp margarine for greasing
  • Food processor



  • 500g black forest frozen fruit
  • 1/4 cup agave or maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp kirsch or cherry brandy (optional)

  • 100g 75% dark chocolate
  • 2 cups coarsely ground oats/ oat flour
  • 2 tbsp agave or maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

To serve:

  • Vegan ice cream/whipped cream


  1. Grease the baking dish and preheat an oven to 180°C.
  2. Combine the fruit, syrup, vanilla extract and kirsch in a bowl and spread out in the baking dish.
  3. Then melt the chocolate over a double boiler with the syrup and vanilla. Meanwhile, coarsely grind the oats in a food processor, alternatively use oat flour. When the chocolate has melted, stir in the oats, then use your hands to fully combine the mix. Spread out over the fruit base and bake for 30-35 minutes.
  4. Serve up with vegan ice cream or whipped cream and enjoy! 
Cassidy xx

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