No fuss and healthier – we’re taking a retro step back to simpler times when everyone loved a Victoria sponge sandwich with jam and cream in the middle. This lovely cake is a vegan take with tangy homemade blackcurrant or raspberry curd and silky coconut frosting. You can also fill with jam. The sponge is satisfying and curiously moreish. The cake is lower sugar, with reduced quantities of icing sugar or light brown sugar and optional ground birch xylitol – it feels so light and delicious you can happily help yourself to a couple of slices and have some every day! I’m not vegan but naturally appreciate ‘having my cake and eating it’ (two slices) and feeling great without going on a … you know, diet. It’s not difficult to make and quite nice-looking in a wintry kind of way, this snowy love cake. Tempted?
Though it’s summer, a snowy cake is always welcome I think. But do keep this recipe for Christmas too. 😉
This is an earlier prototype with raspberry curd. Also super yummy, decorated with rose petals and freeze-dried raspberry pieces.
Different types of soya yoghurts, glutenfree flours and sugars have varying degrees of lightness and texture. So the quantity of milk you need is flexible. Start with 50g/ml milk and use more if the batter’s too thick.
Using standard sugar and plain flour could give you a lighter fluffier cake. But I really enjoy slightly healthier options. Though initially concerned my cake was slightly denser than expected, in the end I loved it so much I wouldn’t change a thing! There’s something to be said for a satisfying, extremely tasty sponge that holds its own with the fillings.
Preparation: make fruit curd in advance. Chill can of coconut milk at least 24 hours before assembling cake.
On the day: sponge (20 mins to make + 20-30 mins baking + 2-4 hours cooling); coconut buttercream (15 mins); assembling cake (10-15 mins).
VEGAN BLACKCURRANT CURD
This is a fairly flexible recipe. You can make it sweeter with more maple syrup or milder with more milk. If you add more liquid, add a little extra cornflour too.
Makes about 140-170g/1/2 cup
- 3 tsp (8g) cornflour (cornstarch/Maizena)
- 3 tsp (15g) mineral water
- 92g/ml blackcurrant purée (if using Capfruit purée that already includes 10% sugar: 100g purée and 40g/2 tbsp pure maple syrup (or honey/sugar)
- 50g/2 and 1/2 tbsp pure maple syrup (or honey/sugar), or more according to taste
- 30g/ml almond milk (or other kind of milk) – for a milder cream try increasing quantity to 35-40g
- 15g/1 tablespoon vegan butter (optional)
Follow the instructions in the illustrated recipe below, but with the quantities above.
VEGAN ALMOND SPONGE
- grease (with vegan margarine) then flour a round (preferably spring-form) baking tin (16cm/6in diameter and 4.5cm/1.8in high); line with a round of baking paper on the base.
- Preheat oven to 160ºC/320ºF (fan oven) or 180ºC/355ºF (static/non-convection)
- 100g/3.5oz soya yoghurt
- 1/3 tsp cider vinegar
- 1/4 tsp almond extract
- 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 50g/ml almond milk or some other vegan milk
- 125g/1 cup glutenfree flour (I used Doves Farm self-raising mix) or plain flour
- 45g/1/5 cup light brown sugar
- 35g/9 tsp ground xylitol
- 25g/1/4 cup ground almonds
- 1tsp/5g baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda (sodium bicarbonate)
AT THE END
- 67g/1/3 cup grapeseed oil, or some other light vegetable oil (like 4% cold-pressed olive oil)
- If needed: 40-60g/ml extra almond milk (total: 90-110g/ml)
- In a small-medium bowl, whisk soya yoghurt, cider vinegar, milk, almond extract and vanilla.
- In a large bowl, whisk dry ingredients briefly to combine: flour, sugar, xylitol (if using), ground almonds, baking powder and sodium bicarbonate.
- Briefly whisk oil into wet ingredients.
- Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in wet ingredients. Slowly stir with a whisk until you get a smooth batter. Gradually add more milk if needed to get a dropping consistency where the batter is still thick enough to hold some shape. TO TEST DROPPING CONSISTENCY: lift a big spoon of batter up over the bowl and let the batter fall – it should slowly make it’s way down the spoon and eventually decide to drop off down to the bowl, leaving some on the spoon. If it refuses to leave the spoon and drop off, you should gradually stir in a little more milk until it reaches ‘dropping consistency’. Don’t make it so liquid that it just runs off.
- Fill prepared cake mould to 3/4 full (or almost to top).
- Bake 20 to 30 minutes until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. If you press top lightly with your finger it should spring back slightly.
- Allow to cool 10 minutes then carefully unmould. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack before filling.
LOWER SUGAR COCONUT FROSTING
- 175g/3/4 cup (6oz) coconut cream from top of can of coconut milk chilled in fridge overnight or at least 24 hours
- 50g/1/4 cup vegetable shortening like Crisco’s (or vegan margarine)
- 35g/1/4 cup + 1 and 1/2 tsp icing (powdered) sugar, to taste
- 15g/4 tsp ground birch xylitol (or icing sugar)
- 10g/ml almond milk (or some other vegetable milk) – omit if your frosting is liquid enough
- scant 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- optional 2 tsp warm water if frosting curdles/separates
Whisk coconut cream and shortening until creamy. Whisk in remaining ingredients until you get a silky frosting. If it separates then try warming the bowl over heat and whisking vigorously. If that doesn’t work, add 1 or 2 tsp warm water and whisk well until you get that really lovely silky frosting. Don’t give up – it will happen.
- 3-4 tablespoons almond milk mixed with a few drops of vanilla extract
- About 140-150g/1/2 cup blackcurrant or raspberry curd
- Coconut frosting
- Enough dessicated coconut to cover sides and top of cake (a few handfuls)
Slice cake in half horizontally. Brush bottom half of sponge with a little almond milk to moisten. Spread layer of fruit curd on top. Spread coconut frosting over this (you can pipe it on). Brush top half of sponge with almond milk then place on base. Cover top with a layer of frosting. Scrape a thin layer of frosting around the sides with a metal spatula knife or pastry scraper, for that naked cake effect. Use hand to carefully press in dessicated coconut around the cake. Tada!
This cake keeps really well in airtight tupperware in the fridge for up to 4 or 5 days. It was all eaten and never made it to the freezer but I imagine slices would freeze fine up to a few months, wrapped in film or in tupperware.
I’m looking forward to making this cake again some time. I miss it! Could make the raspberry curd version again.
Though I do really love blackcurrant too. And though it’s summer and getting pretty hot here in Barcelona, it’s kind of soothing looking at this snowy love cake!
Hope you’ve enjoyed this vegan adventure and will accept a slice.
Wishing you a lovely week dear reader – the weekend’s coming soon! As always, happy baking, no-baking and eating! 🙂 Lili x