Vegan chocolate cake with vanilla buttercream

May 30, 2021

Our birthday girl requested the usual for her cake again - chocolate with vanilla buttercream. So I made it gluten-free and vegan so all the kids in the 12-strong party could get stuck in! I increased the recipe by 50% to make a higher cake.

2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 c plant-based milk (I used rice)
1 c coconut sugar
3/4 c organic golden sugar
2 c flour of choice
3/4 c cocoa powder
1 Tbsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 c + 2 tsp vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 Tbsp instant coffee dissolved in 1 c boiling water

170g vegan butter
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3 c icing sugar
3-4 Tbsp plant-based milk

Preheat oven to 180C. Line 2 x 22cm round sponge tins or 3 x 20cm round tins (I used these but also increased the recipe by 50%).
In a large jug mix the vinegar and milk and leave to curdle.
In a large bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
Mix in oil, vanilla and coffee to the milk jug.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and whisk until combined. Divide equallly into your tins and bake for 25-35 min until cooked through. Leave in the tins to cool them turn out onto a wire rack.

For the buttercream, whisk the butter in a large bowl until super soft. Mix in vanilla extract. Whisk in icing sugar 1/2 cup at a time until you get the consistency you want. Add in 1 Tbsp of milk at a time to loosen the mixture.

Place one cake layer on your serving plate. Slather with 1/2 or 1/3 of your buttercream depending on how many layers you have. Roughly cover the top and sides of your cake (crumb coating), reserving some buttercream. Refrigerate for about half hour until firm then apply the final layer of buttercream on top and sides. Dot the sides with giant chocolate buttons.

For the decoration I just printed out a 9 at 600pt in the middle of an A4 sheet and cut it out, Place on top of your cake (don't forget the middle bit of the 9) and dust with edible sprinkles, dust or glitter until your number is solid. Remove the paper carefully.



May 9, 2021

My sister gave me a madeleine pan for my birthday! Now I know how easy they are to make! They take a little prep but these soft, buttery sponges don't take long to bake and were perfect for a mother's day tea. Great for lunchboxes too.

Makes 20
1 c flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 eggs
1/2 c sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp honey or maple syrup or golden syrup
1/2 tsp lemon zest
115g melted butter

For chocolate madeleines: replace 2 tbsp flour with cocoa powder. Use orange zest or orange ext...
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Blueberry muffins

May 7, 2021

The best thing about muffins is that they only require gentle mixing and don't take long too cook. I don't seem to have baked anything for ages, so this is a quick and satisfying re-entry into Bake Club.

2 c flour (I used white and wholemeal spelt)

4 tsp baking powder

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp salt

3/4 c sugar

100g butter, just melted

1 c milk (I used rice)

1 egg

1 1/2 c fresh or frozen blueberries

cinnamon sugar (1/4 c brown sugar, 1/4 c white sugar, 1 tbsp cinnamon)

Preheat oven to 220C. Line a 12-cup mu...

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Apple Crumble Tea Cake

March 16, 2021

What's better than apple crumble? Apple crumble cake! This is a comforting recipe from Julie Le Clerc's Favourite Cakes (Penguin, 2011). It's a one-pot wonder too.

125g butter

1 c soft brown sugar

1 tsp baking soda

2 tsp cinnamon

2 apples, grated with skin on

1 c raisins

1 c milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 eggs

1 c rolled oats

1 1/2 c flour (I used white and wholemeal spelt)

3 tsp baking powder

icing sugar, to dust


100g butter, cubed

1 c flour

1/2 c sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 180C. Line a browni...

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Cherry choc cookies

March 11, 2021

I made up this recipe to use some glacē cherries that had been at the back of the fridge for too long. Almonds match well with cherries, as does chocolate.

Makes 12 big cookies

1tbsp ground flaxseed

2 1/2 tbsp water

150g butter, at room temperature

3/4 c coconut sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 c flour (I used spelt)

1 tsp baking powder.

1/2 c glace cherries

1/2 c chopped almonds

1/2 c dark chocolate chunks/melts/buttons

Mix flaxseed and water together in a cup.

In a large bowl cream the butter and sugar un...

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Chocolate cinnamon tree cookies

March 9, 2021

These lovely bites are upmarket versions of cinnamon swirls. Making the dough as thin as possible before rolling will give youThis recipe is from Bakeland: Nordic Treats Inspired by Nature by Marit Hovland (Greystone Books, 2018). She makes stunning cookies and cakes that look like flowers, snowflakes, etc, and these chocolate rocks, which truly rock.

Makes about 44


75g butter, at room temperature

1/3 c sugar

3 tbsp cinnamon


3 c (375g) flour

3 tsp ground cardamom

1/2 tsp salt

225g butte...

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Summer fruit yoghurt cake

March 6, 2021

This is a simple but lovely vanilla yoghurty batter that can be made as a slab cake or round cake. Use whatever fruit you have available - even drained tinned fruit will work.

2 c flour (I used spelt)

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 c plain yoghurt

1/2 c milk of choice

110g butter, at room temperature

1 c sugar

2 tsp vanilla extract

2 tbsp vegetable oil

2 eggs, at room temperature

about 500g fruit chopped into small pieces (I used 2 nectarines and 2 peaches, you can use apricots, plums, halved strawb...

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Healthy caramel slice

March 3, 2021

Here's a lockdown baking experiment - i wanted to make a healthy caramel slice. This recipe fits a loaf tin but you could double it to fit a 20 x 20 cm square tin.

Makes about 10 slices


1 c almond meal or flour

2 1/2 tbsp coconut sugar

2-3 tbsp coconut oil, melted or softened

1 tsp vanilla extract

pinch sea salt


1 c dates, soaked overnight then drained

1 tbsp cashew butter (or any smooth nut butter)

pinch sea salt


1/2 c cacao butter

2-3 tbsp maple syrup (or honey or rice syrup)

1/2 c...

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Passionfruit coconut slice

February 18, 2021

Is it a cake or is it a slice? It reminds me of a Louise cake/slice with a meringue-esque topping, but with a passionfruit tang.


120 g desiccated coconut 

100 g ground almonds

80 g flour of choice

4 Tbsp caster sugar

2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

2 egg yolks, lightly beaten

½ cup passionfruit pulp (about 5 or 6 fruit), plus extra to drizzle 

1/3 c milk of choice

1 tsp vanilla extract


2 egg whites

1/4 cup caster sugar

80 g desiccated coconut

50 g ground almonds

juice of 2 or 3 passionfruit (...

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Passionfruit & white chocolate lamingtons

February 12, 2021

What a joy when passionfruit are back in season. Even better when a family friend gives you a huge bag to scoff. Nothing beats it scooped straight out of the shell but I decided to flavour a sponge with these little beauties.

1 c flour

1 tsp baking powder

3/4 c desiccated coconut

1/2 c sour cream or yoghurt

1/2 c passionfruit pulp
125g butter, softened

125g caster sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

Ganache coating:
500g icing sugar

3/4 c milk of choice (I used coconut)

200g white chocolate, chopped

juice f...

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EST. 2010

Frances C loves to bake. She's also a freelance editor and DJ. She shares some of her adventures, culinary or otherwise, on Instagram and Facebook.

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