Sometimes you just need cake. I have always been a keen cake-eater and I’m not going to let a small issue like being vegan get in the way of my cake habit. Unfortunately, it would seem I am going to have to get into the habit of baking my own: vegan cakes are hard to come by.
I used to enjoy popping into a coffee shop for a latte and slice of cake whenever I was in town or just out and about, in the vicinity of a nice cafe. Being a vegan means that most of these cake options are now off the table. I suppose the plus-side of this is that I am not spending loads of money stuffing my face with cake in cafes; but it also means I am not stuffing my face with cake in cafes. A clear negative, I think we can all agree.
Cake-baking, vegan style
I’ve never really been a baker. Until I had kids, I didn’t go near the hobby. My sisters and mums have always had that particular side of life boxed off, baking cupcakes, birthday cakes, banana loaves, mince pies and the rest. I didn’t ever feel the need to bother. But then I realised how fun baking with kids can be and, armed with The Usborne First Cookbook, we set about trying our hand at a victoria sponge, brownies and flapjack.
These things are all off the cards now we are vegan. So a little creativity is required. Thankfully the internet is chocka with great vegan recipes – all it takes is a little research and a willingness to give it a go.
The Dirty Vegan programme on the BBC featured an episode about cake-baking with the WI in Wales, and the presenter showed how to make chocolate cupcakes without eggs. So I knew it was possible. His sponge recipe looked a little fiddly (although I have just looked at his recipe and it is really anything but!) so I searched for an alternative chocolate cake recipe online. And I found a great one. I combined it with the chocolate icing from the Dirty Vegan and voila – my Super Gooey Chocolate Cake was born.
Super Gooey Vegan Chocolate Cake
For the cake:
1 large, ripe avocado
350g plain flour
50g cocoa powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda (or baking soda if you are in the US)
2 tsp baking powder
400ml soya milk
150ml vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
For the icing/filling:
75g cocoa powder
500g icing sugar
100g dairy-free spread
125g soya milk
1. Preheat the oven to gas mark 3 or 160C and grease and line two cake tins.
2. Grab your blender and blend the avocado and sugar until smooth.
3. Add the flour, cocoa powder, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, soya milk, vegetable oil and vanilla extract, along with a pinch of salt and blend until you have a smooth batter.
4. Pour it into the two tins and bake for 25 minutes. If your skewer comes out clean then it is cooked.
5. Leave it to cool in the tins for 5 minutes and then cool on a rack. I told you it was easy!
6. Whilst your sponges are cooling, crack on with your icing/filling.
7. Just sift the cocoa powder and sugar into your blender and add the marg. Turn your blender on and gradually add the soya milk until the icing is the right consistency. You may not need all the milk. We added it all and ended up with a very runny icing that didn’t really set. It meant we had a super gooey, moist cake with a ready-made runny chocolate sauce. If that’s not your thing, pay a bit more attention to the consistency as you are adding the milk than we did!
8. Spread some of your icing mixture onto your bottom layer of sponge, put the other layer of sponge on top and cover with the icing.
9. Then the pièce de résistance: sprinkle with bashed up party rings – everyone’s favourite vegan biscuit 😉
10. Enjoy your super gooey vegan chocolate cake. Delicious!
I think we can all agree, this is a chocolate cake of true wonder and, most importantly, it is surprisingly easy. It even contains an avocado – so, if you eat the whole thing, that’s one of your five-a-day boxed off too. Let us all eat cake.