Vegan Chocolate Cherry Cake
This Vegan Chocolate Cherry Cake is absolutely fool proof making it the perfect cake to whip up for any occasion. Get the recipe below.
Vegan baking doesn’t need to be as scary as it sounds. When you attempt your first vegan cake it can be a little daunting when eggs and butter are no where in sight. But, it’s surprisingly easy to make a moist, fudgy chocolate cake without either. The key to making a decadent vegan chocolate sponge cake is good quality cocoa powder, your favourite nut milk (I like almond for this particular recipe) and oil for richness. It’s amazing how few ingredients you need to make something this tasty! I use “self-raising” flour which is common place in the UK. Self raising flour is flour with the baking powder (and often a pinch of salt) already added. That’s why this cake rises! If you can’t get hold of self-raising flour where you are it’s easy to make it: for every 120 grams of all purpose flour add 1.5 teaspoons of baking powder and a pinch of salt.
The chocolate buttercream is just as simple. Vegan “butter”, icing sugar and cocoa powder are all you need! Cherries feature in the jam sandwiching the layers of sponge together – a nice surprise when you cut into the cake! Sometimes I like to include cherries all over the top of the cake to make it more obvious but on this occasion I thought a single glossy cherry looked elegant. You can decorate your cake any way you wish. Mine is just a suggestion. If you do want to ice your cake in a similar way to mine you will need a disposable icing bag and a Wilton 1M icing tip. Use this to pipe round the base of the cake and to make the swirls on top! Add a couple of sprinkles and you’re good to go.
If you want to find out more about baking without egg or dairy, then I really recommend that you check out my big vegan baking guide. It covers a wide range of different ways to make cakes, biscuits, desserts and other baked goods without the need for butter, milk, cream, eggs, yogurt and more!
Tips for success
Because this vegan chocolate cherry cake uses the all in one methods it’s incredibly easy to make and can be whipped up in no time at all. But here are a few hints and tips to make sure you get the perfect cake first time:
- Do all of your prep before you start baking. This includes pre-heating the oven, lining your cake tins and weighing out all of your ingredients. The reason this is so important is because the act of mixing the cake is so quick. We rely on chemical raising agents to give the cake lift and so we want to move swiftly from making the batter to baking it.
- Avoid over mixing the batter or it will get tough. We want a light, fluffy crumb so only mix the ingredients until such time as they are combined. You don’t need to mix them any longer than that.
- Use good quality ingredients. This really goes without saying but do try and use the best quality cocoa powder and best quality cherry compote that you can afford. These are the two key flavours and so we want them to taste the best that they possibly can.
- Don’t skip the “crumb coat”. In the instructions you will see that I tell you to cover the cake with a thin layer of the icing and then to place this in the fridge. We do this for two reasons (1) to trap any crumbs and stop them appearing on the outside of the cake; and (2) because it helps make the cake more stable when you come to ice it. If you don’t add this layer and let it firm up in the fridge the layers might “slip and slide”.
- If you want to get those perfect swirls then use a Wilton 2D piping nozzle. It’s my favourite piping nozzle and I don’t know what I’d do without it!
I made this cake for my friend’s birthday. Sadly for him we were in lock down so I had to eat it for him. But this cake would be perfect for any special occasion.
Vegan Chocolate Cherry Cake
- 2 x 6" cake tins
- Off set spatula
- Icing bag
- Piping nozzle
For the cake
For the filling
- 1 jar cherry jam
To bake the cake
- Line your cake tins with grease proof paper or grease well with non-dairy butter.
- Pre-heat your own to 180C / gas mark 4 / 356F.
- (Using the all in one method) put just half of of the cake ingredients into a large mixing bowl and whisk for 3-4 minutes or until you have a smooth batter.
- Pour the batter evenly between the two tins and bake in the centre of your oven for 25-30 minutes or until they are springy to touch and a skewer comes out clean.
- Remove the cakes from the tins and place on a cooling rack.
- Re-line / grease your tins before adding the remaining cake ingredients to your mixing bowl and whisking for another 3-4 minutes until you have a smooth batter.
- Again, pour the batter evenly between the two tins and bake in the centre of your oven for 25-30 minutes or until they are springy to touch and a skewer comes out clean.
- Again, remove the cakes from the tins and place on a cooling rack. Only once all four cakes have cooled completely move on to making the icing.
To assemble and decorate the cake
- Using a serrated knife, carefully cut off any "domed" tops from your cake – you want to make sure they are as flat as possible to make stacking them more easily.
- In a large mixing bowl slowly whisk together all of the icing ingredients except the almond milk.
- If the icing mixture is too stiff to spread or pipe, slowly add the almond milk and keep whisking until it is a smooth, creamy consistency.
- Spread a small amount of icing (just a teaspoon's worth will do) on to your cake plate/board.
- Carefully place your first sponge layer onto the plate and spread with 2-3 tablespoons of cherry jam.
- Repeat this process until each of the sponge layers has been stacked on top of the others.
- Cover the cake in a thin layer of the icing using an offset spatula and place into the fridge for 30 minutes (this will help the cake to firm up a little and become more stable – we don't want it falling over!)
- Remove from the fridge and cover with another layer of the icing.
- Fill an icing bag that has been fitted with your favourite icing nozzle with the remaining icing.
- Decorate around the base and top of the cake with the remaining icing adding cherries and sprinkles for a final flourish!
- Keep the cake in the fridge until you are ready to serve. Enjoy!
What if you don’t have the right sized cake tins?
Don’t worry, it’s not a problem at all. But you will need to do some maths to work out the precise amount of ingredients you need. In this post I teach you how to adjust the ingredients in a cake recipe so that it will fit your tin perfectly.