A rich vegan chocolate layer cake, with caramel frosting and toffee popcorn topping. An indulgent celebration cake, great for birthdays!
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.
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!
But now onto the recipe.
Admittedly, there are a few components to this cake so it is a bit time-consuming. But SO worth it. I swear.
The vegan popcorn cake is a chocolate sponge made in four layers, sandwiched and frosted with caramel-infused buttercream.
Drizzled with extra caramel sauce and decorated with toffee popcorn.
For the chocolate cake
- 375 g self-raising flour
- 1 ½ tsp baking powder
- 350 g light brown sugar
- 100 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
- ⅓ batch of the caramel sauce
- 300 g good-tasting dairy-free butter
- 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 toffee 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 the wet ingredients together in a jug or medium bowl. Mix all the dry ingredients into a large bowl, and the whisk together until well combined. The vinegar will react with the rising agents so don't let it sit too long.
- 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. Allow it to cool before using, but note it will harden if chilled too much.
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 room temperature 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.