swiss roll made with kirsch

Boozy Black Forest Swiss Roll

At the top of a list of boozy cakes, you're probably going to find a Black Forest Gateau. This twist on the classic can be served as a tea time treat or an indulgent dessert. To truly make it special, you can add extra fresh cherries and chocolate curls to the top as extra decoration.
Course Dessert
Cuisine English
Keyword Boozy Black Forest Swiss Roll
Prep Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 10 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 350 kcal


For the cake

  • 65 g light brown sugar
  • 50 g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 egg white
  • 90 g plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 10 g cocoa powder

For the honeycomb

  • butter for greasing
  • 200 g caster sugar
  • 5 tbsps golden syrup
  • 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

For the cherry jam filling

  • 125 g cherries fresh, tinned (not in syrup or frozen)
  • 85 g granulated or jam sugar
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 125 g mascarpone
  • 125 g double cream
  • 4 tbsp kirsch half for the jam, half for the final filling


  1. Grease then line a Swiss roll tin or baking tray measuring 12 x 16 inches. Preheat your oven to 200C.
  2. Whisk the sugars, eggs and egg white until pale and volumised. This can take up to 10 minutes. Into the egg mixture sieve the flour, baking powder and cocoa powder. Gently fold the mixture until combined.
  3. Spread the mix onto the baking tray in an even layer. Bake for 8 minutes. Tip the sponge onto a clean sheet of greaseproof paper, dusted with icing sugar and roll into a tight spiral while still hot. Leave to cool before filling.
  4. Now start your jam. If you’re using fresh cherries, wash and pit them then cut in half. Place the cherries, 2tbsps kirsch and lemon juice into a saucepan and lightly crush them with a potato masher. Simmer the fruit gently over a medium heat for around 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Add the sugar, stir through and continue to heat over medium-low until the sugar has dissolved. Once you can see all the sugar has dissolved, turn the heat up and boil the mixture for around 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. To check if the jam is ready or set, place a teaspoonful of the mixture onto a cold plate and leave for 15-20 seconds before pushing your finger through the jam. If it keeps its shape and wrinkles, then the jam is ready. However, if it’s still a little runny, then continue to boil the mixture for a couple more minutes and test again.
  7. Once you’re happy that it’s set, pour the mixture into a sterilised jar, or leave to cool in the pan if you’re using it straight away.
  8. For the honeycomb, line a tin or baking sheet with some greaseproof paper. Put the sugar and syrup into a small saucepan and place over a low-medium heat to dissolve the sugar and melt the syrup. Once the mixture is bubbling and looks amber in colour, add in the bicarb and remove from the heat, stirring the mixture. Be very careful as the mixture tends to bubble up. Pour the hot bubbling mixture carefully into your prepared tin and leave somewhere safe to cool. This will take a minimum of 30 minutes to cool and harden.
  9. To assemble, spoon around 2/3 of the jam into a medium bowl and add the mascarpone and the kirsch. Mix lightly to swirl the jam into the cheese – you can add more jam if you wish.
  10. Unroll the Swiss roll and gently spread the mixture onto the cake, reserving a small amount to decorate the top. Very gently, roll the cake back up and place on your presentation plate. Dust with a little icing sugar then place the remaining filling in a piping bag and pipe small amounts across the top of the cake then decorate with some of the honeycomb, broken up into bite-size pieces.

Recipe Notes

This cake is perfect for a cheeky spot of afternoon tea or can be served as a delightful showstopper at any dinner party