Black Forest roulade recipe

(93 ratings)

This Black Forest roulade has a triple hit of cherries from jam, kirsch liqueur and fruit and makes a brilliant dessert in summer or winter.

Close up picture of a black forest roulade decorated with chocolate bark
(Image credit: Getty / Tracey Kusiewicz/Foodie Photography)
Cost RangeNot
Nutrition Per PortionRDA
Calories574 Kcal29%
Fat34 g49%

This Black Forest roulade is great dessert whether you serve it at a summer dinner party or as a Yule log. 

During cherry season, you can add fresh, pitted and chopped cherries to the filling for a really zingy, bright taste. Come autumn or winter, use tinned cherries or a hand full of frozen ones (defrosted) instead. Don't be daunted by making a roulade - it can be tricky the first time you try but it's a great skill to master, and we have lots of tips on doing it seemlessly. If this is a festive option, finish the roulade with chocolate 'bark' (see tips) to make it into a real Yule log. 


  • 6 large eggs, separated
  • 175g (6oz) caster sugar
  • 200g (7oz) plain chocolate, melted
  • 2-3 tbsp Kirsch
  • Icing sugar, for dredging

For the filling:

  • 284ml carton double cream
  • 340g jar black cherry conserve
  • 3-4 tbsp Kirsch




  1. Set the oven to gas mark 4 or 180°C. Line a 33 x 23cm (13 x 9in) Swiss roll tin with baking parchment.
  2. To make the roulade, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar, until the mixture leaves a trail when the whisk is lifted out from mixture. Fold chocolate into the egg-yolk mixture. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff. Fold egg whites into the egg-yolk mixture, then turn out into the Swiss roll tin. Use a palette knife to spread the mixture out to the edges, taking care not to knock out too much of the air. Bake in the centre of the oven for 20-25 mins, until the mixture has set. Remove from oven and turn the roulade out on to a board that has a sheet of baking parchment on it. Leave the lining paper on the roulade sponge and then cover with a damp, clean tea-towel and leave to cool for at least 4 hrs, or overnight.
  3. To make the holly-leaf decorations, knead the modelling chocolate to soften it and then roll it out thinly and use the cutter to cut out leaf shapes. Use the back of a small knife to mark veining on leaves, then twist each leaf slightly and leave them to set. Roll balls of chocolate for berries.
  4. To make the filling, whisk the cream until it starts to form soft peaks and fold half the jar of cherry conserve into it. Stir in the Kirsch.
  5. Remove the tea towel and lining paper from the roulade sponge and brush the Kirsch over the surface. Spread the remaining conserve over roulade, then spread over the cream. Use the base sheet of baking parchment to help roll the roulade up. Transfer roulade to a serving dish, dredge it with icing sugar and arrange the chocolate holly leaves and berries on top. Keep roulade chilled until serving. It can be made a day in advance up until being dredged with icing sugar, and kept in the fridge overnight (not suitable for freezing). Decorate just before serving.

Top Tip for making Black Forest roulade

Be fastidious with your cooking times for the roulade sponge - if it's overcooked it will hard and not roll as easily.

How can I decorate this roulade look like a real log?

To get a really cracked bark effect, you will need 200g chocolate and 150g chocolate fondant icing. Melt the chocolate. Ideally you will want to temper the chocolate, so that when it sets again it will have an attractive, glossy finish, but if you prefer, you can simply melt it. Spread a thin layer onto a sheet of baking parchment and allow to set. Peel off the paper and crack the chocolate into long shards. Stick them onto the cake at an angle, using a layer of chocolate fondant icing, so that one side juts outward for a bark-like effect. Finish with a layer of icing sugar, if you like.

How can I get a perfect roll on my roulade?

The trick is in the very beginning of the roll. Begin rolling by bending over a section about 2cm wide, and fold it completely over, so that it actually breaks along its length. This gives you a nice thick foundation to really start rolling from.

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Octavia Lillywhite
Food and Lifestyle Writer

Octavia Lillywhite is an award-winning food and lifestyle journalist with over 15 years of experience. With a passion for creating beautiful, tasty family meals that don’t use hundreds of ingredients or anything you have to source from obscure websites, she’s a champion of local and seasonal foods, using up leftovers and composting, which, she maintains, is probably the most important thing we all can do to protect the environment.