Recently I had the very exciting opportunity to work with The Vegan Society, creating a cake recipe to start on the front cover of their magazine!
As you may know, it’s World Vegan Month so to celebrate, they were looking for a drool-worthy cake made with ordinary ingredients you can find in a supermarket. I couldn’t decide between chocolate and caramel so I combined the two with the addition of popcorn for decoration.
The Vegan magazine is free to all Vegan Society members and membership starts at just £2 month! You also get discounts in health food stores (including Holland & Barrett) so it’s definitely worthwhile. You can find out more by clicking here.
It was such an honour to have a recipe on their front cover and I’ve included a few extra recipes inside the magazine too. So if you’re a member, you might have already received the magazine in the mail – let me know if you try any of my recipes featured!
For the chocolate cake
- 375 g self-raising flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 350 g light brown sugar
- 110 g cocoa powder
- 120 ml vegetable oil , (sunflower or coconut oil work well)
- 680 ml dairy-free milk
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
For the caramel sauce
For the caramel buttercream frosting
- 1/3 batch of the caramel sauce
- 300 g dairy-free butter , (make sure it's a good tasting one! I recommend Vitalite or Earth Balance Buttery)
- 300 g icing sugar
For the caramel popcorn
- 1 small bag of popped salted popcorn, in a large bowl
- 100 ml water
- 200 g white sugar
- 1 tbsp dairy-free butter
To make the caramel popcorn
- You need to work quickly making this so have a prepared large flat baking tray ready to set the popcorn and all the ingredients to hand.
- Add the sugar and water to a large pot on a medium-low heat. Don't stir but you can shake to stop it burning.
- Once the sugar turns a deep caramel colour, remove from the heat and add the tablespoon of dairy-free butter. It will bubble up, keep stirring until smooth.
- Then pour over the bowl of popped corn. Quickly transfer to the tray to set.
To make the chocolate cake
- Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F and grease and line two 8-inch cake tins.
- Mix all the dry ingredients into a large bowl, then whisk in the wet ingredients, leaving the apple cider vinegar til the last minute, as it will react with the rising agents to help make the cake fluffy and risen.
- Pour the batter equally between the two cake tins and bake for approximately 35 minutes or until a toothpick poked into the middle of the cake comes out clean.
- Once baked, leave to cool completely before removing from the tins. Then freeze the two layers for a few hours, so it's easier to trim.
- Remove from the freezer and trim the tops to make them even. Now slice each layer in half, length-ways, to create four cake layers.
To make the caramel sauce
- Follow instructions from my "5 Minute Caramel Sauce" recipe
To make the caramel frosting
- Whisk the dairy-free butter in a large mixing bowl, adding the icing sugar a small bit at a time.
- Then whisk in the caramel sauce, working whilst the sauce is still warm and at a pourable consistency to stop it from hardening.
- Let the buttercream chill in the fridge for at least a couple of hours before using.
To assemble the cake
- Add buttercream to the top of the first cake layer and sandwich together with the next layer, repeating and covering all layers with a generous dollop of the buttercream.
- Then frost the outside of the cake, starting with a thin crumb layer before adding a more generous coating.
- When the caramel sauce has cooled but is still a thick, pourable consistency, pour over the top of the cake, letting it run down the sides.
- Pile the popcorn on top and pour more caramel over to keep it in place.
- Leave in the fridge for a few hours to set and keep fresh, before serving.