Home » Black Forest Flourless Brownie Cookies

Black Forest Flourless Brownie Cookies

These incredible Black Forest flourless brownie cookies capture all the opulence and deliciousness of a Black Forest gateau – but are also much easier and quicker to make and assemble. With perfectly fudgy flourless chocolate cookies, a fluffy vanilla whipped cream and luscious, syrupy cherry filling, these gluten free cookies are the very definition of luxurious decadence. 

Black Forest sandwich cookie on a light surface with more cookies in the background.

I’ve got *such* a treat for you today. All the deliciousness that is the Black Forest gateau – in ultra-fudgy, chocolatey flourless brownie cookie form.

These are hands down one of the best things I’ve ever tasted. The flavours and textures complement each other perfectly, to give a truly spectacular and unforgettable dessert.

These Black Forest flourless brownie cookies came about because I really fancied a generous slice of Black Forest gateau but didn’t want to make a whole large cake. These cookies are just as (if not more) delicious, but are far quicker and easier to make and assemble.

Partially assembled Black Forest flourless brownie cookies on a lined baking sheet.

The first element are the flourless brownie cookies. Let me tell you: they are a total revelation. They require just 6 ingredients and are almost ridiculously easy to make. As they don’t contain any flour, they are naturally gluten free. And oh my goodness, they are so incredibly fudgy, bordering on gooey, and intensely chocolatey.

Then, there’s the luscious, syrupy cherry filling that I could easily eat by the spoonful. It’s just as easy to make as the cookies: just cook pitted and halved cherries (fresh or frozen, both work great) with some sugar and lemon juice until they’ve softened a bit and released their juices.

Then, thicken the filling with some cornstarch and voilà – you’ve got yourself a perfectly luscious cherry filling. Aside from using it in these Black Forest cookies, you could also spoon it over ice cream, spread it between cake layers, or even stir it into some yoghurt for a quick and super scrumptious snack.

Finally, to bring the whole thing together and finish off the Black Forest gateau theme: some lightly sweetened vanilla whipped cream. Nothing complicated here, just be sure not to over-whip the cream and be generous with the vanilla. If possible, use vanilla bean paste – both because it gives the best flavour and because seeing those little specks of vanilla in the cream makes the whole thing even more special.

Black Forest cookies on a cream-coloured plate, with a small bowl of cherry filling behind them.

A Black Forest sandwich cookie that's been cut in half on a light surface.

Before we get to the bits and bobs of making these amazing cookies – if you like what you’re seeing, subscribe to my newsletter to keep up to date on the latest recipes and tips!

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Note: the whole recipe, including the ingredient quantities, can be found at the bottom of this page – just scroll down to the bottom, or click the ‘Jump to Recipe’ button at the top of this post.

How to make flourless brownie cookies

Making these flourless cookies honestly couldn’t be easier. You need only 6 ingredients (chocolate, butter, eggs, sugar, cocoa powder and salt) and either a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or a hand mixer fitted with the double beaters.

I don’t recommend making them by hand, as you need to whip the eggs and sugar until pale, super fluffy and about tripled in volume. This is known as the “ribbon stage”: when you lift the whisk out of the mixture, the batter should fall in thick trails, and leave a “ribbon” on top of the mixture for a second or two before it disappears into the bulk.

The initial cookie batter (after you’ve mixed together all the ingredients) will be VERY runny. You’ll need to chill it in the fridge for 6-8 minutes until slightly thickened but still fairly loose, like a thick brownie batter. This short chilling time prevents the cookies from spreading out too much in the oven.

Then, use a “2 tablespoon” ice cream or cookie scoop to portion out the cookies. Make sure to leave enough space between them as they will spread out slightly during baking.

Scooping the flourless brownie cookie batter onto a lined baking sheet.

Finally, bake the cookies at 350ºF (180ºC) for 8-9 minutes until slightly puffed up. They will have a glossy, cracked crust. Immediately out of the oven, they will be fairly puffed up into rounded mounds, but they will settle and collapse during cooling.

Directly out of the oven, while they’re still very hot, you can use a round cookie cutter to nudge or scoot the cookies into a more regular, round shape.

Baked flourless brownie cookies on a lined baking sheet.

Overhead view of flourless brownie cookies.

The luscious, syrupy cherry filling

For the cherry filling, you can use either fresh on frozen cherries, both will work great. I recommend using halved cherries, as they will fit better into the cookies due to their slightly smaller size compared to whole pitted cherries.

Making the cherry filling is super easy: just cook the halved pitted cherries with some sugar and lemon juice until they’ve softened and released their juices. Then, spoon out a few tablespoon of the juices and mix them together with cornstarch (known as cornflour in the UK) to form a slurry.

Transfer the cornstarch slurry back into the cherry mixture and cook, with frequent stirring, on medium-high heat until the mixture comes to a boil. Once it’s come to a boil, cook it for about a minute more – this is very important, as the cornstarch will only reach its full thickening potential if the mixture reaches the boiling point and stays there for a minute or two.

Syrupy cherry filling in a glass bowl.

At this point, you can spoon out some of the thickened juices onto a plate and pop it into the fridge. Check the consistency of the cooled juices – are they thick and syrupy enough?

If you want them to be thicker, pass the filling through a sieve, transfer the cherries into a bowl and return the thickened juices to the saucepan. Cook them further until they’ve reached the desired consistency. Cool them completely and only then return them to the cherries, and mix well until fully combined.

Important note about cooking the cherries

It’s very important that you don’t overcook the cherries, otherwise they’ll turn into a soft mush. Ideally, you want the cherries to be soft but also to still have some texture to them.

That’s why, if you want to thicken the juices further, I recommend that you remove the cherries by passing the filling through the sieve and cook the juices separately. 

Furthermore, I recommend that you cool the additionally thickened juices fully to room temperature before adding them back to the cherries. Any contact with high heat would just soften them further, and this is something you really want to avoid.

Finally, if you’re happy with the consistency of the cherry filling straight away (that is, not further thickening is necessary), I recommend that you cool the filling down quickly in a cool water bath. Just fill a large bowl with cold water and pop the saucepan into it – if you want the cooling to be even quicker, you can put some ice cubes into the water.

This will cool the filling down very quickly and will prevent the cherries from softening further in what would otherwise have been a hot filling that would need some time to fully cool down.

Possible cherry filling alternatives

If you don’t fancy making the cherry filling completely from scratch, you could use maraschino cherries instead. Make sure to remove any pits and halve them.

As their juices will be very runny, you can thicken them further by either cooking them down to remove most of the moisture, or by adding some cornstarch and heating the mixture until it comes to a boil.

Assembling the Black Forest sandwich cookies

And finally, the fun part: assembling the cookies!

For this, you need all the elements to be ready to go:

  • The flourless brownie cookies need to be completely cooled to room temperature.
  • The cherry filling should be thoroughly chilled – I recommend placing it in the fridge for at least half an hour before assembly.
  • The vanilla cream should be whipped to very soft peaks.

To assemble the cookies:

  1. Turn one cookie upside down, so that its bottom faces upwards.
  2. Use a large open star nozzle to pipe a generous layer of whipped cream on top of the cookie.
  3. Spoon the chilled cherry filling over the whipped cream.
  4. And top it with another cookie – that’s it!

Piping the vanilla whipped cream on top of the cookies.

Spooning the cherry filling on top of the whipped cream layer.

Placing a cookie on top of the cherry filling to make a cookie sandwich.

A final note about serving the Black Forest flourless brownie cookies 

While these are technically meant to be sandwich cookies, you could also serve them without the top cookie. This is actually how I prefer to eat them!

Close-up of Black Forest flourless brownie cookies on a large cake stand.

This means that the proportion of cookie to cream to cherries is pretty much 1:1:1, which allows all the flavours and textures to shine equally. And I LOOOOVE that. However, if you want a more intensely chocolatey dessert, just serve them as sandwich cookies with the top cookie included.

Finally, I definitely recommend eating these with a fork. Because they’re almost over-stuffed with cream and cherries, things can get a bit messy… but in the best possible way.

These Black Forest flourless brownie cookies are truly an incredibly decadent, luxurious treat. The combination of fudgy brownie cookies, fluffy vanilla whipped cream and luscious, syrupy cherries is surely a match made in flavour and texture heaven – and it perfectly captures the opulence of a proper Black Forest gateau.

I really hope you’ll love them as much as I do.

Happy baking!

Signature of the author, Kat.

Black Forest cookies on a cream-coloured plate, with a small bowl of cherry filling behind them.

More amazing gluten free cookie recipes

If you need some more gluten free cookie inspiration, here are a few of my favourites:

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Black Forest Flourless Brownie Cookies

These incredible Black Forest flourless brownie cookies capture all the opulence and deliciousness of a Black Forest gateau – but are also much easier and quicker to make and assemble. With perfectly fudgy flourless chocolate cookies, a fluffy vanilla whipped cream and luscious, syrupy cherry filling, these gluten free cookies are the very definition of luxurious decadence. 
Print Rate
4.84 from 6 votes
Prep Time 45 mins
Cook/Bake Time 8 mins
Chill Time 36 mins
Total Time 1 hr 29 mins
Servings 8 sandwich cookies

Ingredients

Cherry filling:

  • 300 g (10 ½ oz) halved pitted cherries (Either fresh or frozen, both will work well.)
  • 50 g (¼ cup) caster/superfine or granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ tbsp lemon juice
  • 8 g (1 tbsp) cornstarch (US)/cornflour (UK)

Flourless brownie cookies:

  • 150 g (5 ¼ oz) dark chocolate (60-70% cocoa solids), chopped
  • 70 g (½ stick + 1 tbsp) unsalted butter
  • 150 g (¾ cup) caster/superfine or granulated sugar
  • 2 US large/UK medium eggs, room temperature
  • 30 g (⅓ cup) Dutch processed cocoa powder
  • ¼ tsp salt

Vanilla whipped cream:

  • 230 g (1 cup) double or heavy cream, cold from the fridge
  • 30-40 g (¼-⅓ cup) powdered/icing sugar (Depending on how sweet you want the whipped cream to be.)
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste (or 2 tsp vanilla extract)

Instructions

Cherry filling:

  • In a large saucepan, combine the halved pitted cherries, sugar and lemon juice. Cook over medium-high heat with occasional stirring until the cherries have softened and released their juices.
  • Spoon out a few tablespoons of the juices and mix them together with cornstarch to form a slurry. Make sure that there are no clumps of cornstarch in the slurry mixture.
  • Return the cornstarch slurry to the cherry filling in the saucepan and cook, with frequent stirring, on medium-high heat until the mixture comes to a boil. Once it’s come to a boil, cook it for about a minute more with constant stirring.
    Tip: The cornstarch will only reach its full thickening potential if the mixture reaches the boiling point and stays there for a minute or two.
  • Spoon out some of the thickened juices onto a plate and place it into the fridge. Check the consistency of the cooled juices.
  • If you're happy with the consistency: Allow the cherry filling to cool completely to room temperature. Ideally, cool it quickly in a cool water bath (just fill a large bowl with cold water and place the saucepan into it). If you want the cooling to be even quicker, you can put some ice cubes into the water.
    Tip: The cold water bath will cool the filling down very quickly and will prevent the cherries from softening further in what would otherwise have been a hot filling that would need some time to fully cool down.
  • If you want the cherry filling to be thicker: Pass the filling through a sieve, transfer the cherries into a bowl and return the thickened juices to the saucepan.
    Cook them further until they’ve reached the desired consistency. Cool them completely, then return them to the cherries, and mix well until fully combined.
  • Chill the cherry filling in the fridge for at least 30 minutes or until needed.

Flourless brownie cookies:

  • Adjust the oven rack to the middle position, pre-heat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC) and line two large baking sheets with parchment/baking paper.
    Tip: It's best to scoop all the cookies onto the lined baking sheets straight away, and this recipe makes 16 individual cookies, which should fit comfortably onto two large baking sheets.
  • In a heat-proof bowl (either in the microwave or on the stove over a pot of simmering water), melt the chocolate and butter together until smooth and glossy. Set aside to cool until warm.
  • Using either a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or a hand mixer fitted with the double beaters, whisk the sugar and eggs together until pale, very fluffy and about tripled in volume.
    Tip: This is known as the “ribbon stage” – when you lift the whisk out of the mixture, the batter should fall in thick trails, and leave a “ribbon” on top of the mixture for a second or two before it disappears into the bulk.
  • Pour the warm chocolate mixture into the whisked egg mixture, and whisk until combined.
  • Sift in the cocoa powder and salt, and whisk until you get a smooth, glossy batter – it will be quite runny.
  • Chill the batter in the fridge for 6-8 minutes or until slightly thickened but still fairly loose, like a thick brownie batter.
    Tip: This short chilling time prevents the cookies from spreading out too much in the oven.
  • Use a “2 tablespoon” ice cream or cookie scoop to portion out the cookies. Make sure to leave enough space (at least 1 ½ inches/4cm) between them as they will spread out slightly during baking.
    Scoop out all the cookies at once. You should get 16 cookies, which should easily fit onto the two lined baking sheets.
  • Bake at 350ºF (180ºC) for 8-9 minutes until slightly puffed up. They will have a glossy, cracked crust. Immediately out of the oven, they will be fairly puffed up into rounded mounds, but they will settle and collapse during cooling.
    Directly out of the oven, while they’re still very hot, you can use a round cookie cutter to nudge or scoot the cookies into a more regular round shape.
  • Allow to cool on the baking sheet for at least 10 minutes before transferring them onto a wire rack to cool completely to room temperature.

Vanilla whipped cream:

  • In a large bowl, whip the cream, powdered/icing sugar and vanilla to very soft peaks.
    Tip: I like to do this by hand using a large balloon whisk (as it allows me the greatest amount of control over the consistency of the cream), but you can also use a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or a hand mixer fitted with the double beaters.
  • Transfer the whipped cream into a piping bag fitted with a large open star nozzle.

Assembling the Black Forest cookies:

  • Turn one (completely cooled) cookie upside down, so that its bottom faces upwards.
  • Pipe a generous layer of whipped cream on top of the cookie.
  • Spoon the chilled cherry filling over the whipped cream.
  • Top it with another cookie.

Serving:

  • Save any leftover cream or cherry filling to serve with the cookies.
  • While these are technically meant to be sandwich cookies, you could also serve them without the top cookie. (This is actually how I prefer to eat them!) This gives a proportion of cookie to cream to cherries that is pretty much 1:1:1, which allows all the flavours and textures to shine equally.
    However, if you want a more intensely chocolatey dessert, just serve them as sandwich cookies with the top cookie included.
  • Because of the amount of fillings, I definitely recommend eating these with a fork.

Storage:

  • The Black Forest flourless brownie cookies keep well in an airtight container in the fridge for about 3-4 days.
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