If an occasion arises where homemade baked goods are required, you can’t go wrong with a little chocolate something-something. I’m confident in my abilities to make a good muffin or loaf, but I’m a bit intimidated by celebration cakes! I feel like there’s more pressure to get them right as they are for a special occasion and not just for mindless snacking while binge watching The Great British Sewing Bee (anyone else? God I love Joe Lycett.)
This is a simple recipe from a cookbook that I’ve adapted to make perfect. It could also be made vegan by swapping the honey for agave syrup!
For the sponge:
350g runny honey
450ml nut milk (I used Alpro’s unsweetened almond milk)
150g coconut oil, melted
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
300g plain flour
100g cocoa powder
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
For the filling and topping:
5 tbsp cocoa powder
5 tbsp set honey
3 cans coconut milk (refrigerated for at least 4 hours beforehand but ideally overnight)
Berries for decoration (I used raspberries!)
- Set your oven to gas mark 4/180C and line two 20cm round tins with baking paper. Lightly grease with coconut oil/butter if you’re not fussed about being dairy-free.
- Combine all the dry sponge ingredients in one bowl and the wet sponge ingredients in a separate bowl, not including the white wine vinegar. Once mixed, slowly stir the wet ingredients into the dry bowl.
- Add the white wine vinegar, quickly stir thoroughly (it will fizz – really weird!) and then split the mixture equally between the two greased tins. Pop in the oven for 35 minutes or until a fork comes out clean from the middle.
- While the sponges are cooking, carefully take the tins of coconut milk out of the fridge and be careful not to shake them. Open the tins and scoop out the thick cream that has collated on the top and pop into a bowl (the top half of the tin will be cream and the bottom half will be oil – avoid spooning any of the oil into your bowl).
- Add the set honey and cocoa powder to the coconut milk and use a hand mixer/food processor/your very energetic stirring technique to whip into a ‘buttercream’. Cover the bowl and pop in the fridge for at least one hour.
- Once the cakes are ready and completely cooled (this is important – the buttercream won’t stay put even if the sponges are just a tiny bit warm), smother one sponge with the buttercream, pop on the second sponge, and smother that too. Decorate with berries as you wish and insert into mouth.
Place your bottom sponge on the plate/cake board you’re going to keep it on before assembling with the buttercream. It can be messy to move once it’s all put together! Keep in the fridge before consumption to keep the buttercream on top form.
Be sure to tag me on Instagram @kirstiepickering if you give this recipe a go!