- 320g plain white flour
- 300g caster sugar
- 80g cocoa powder
- 2 tbsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- 200ml unsweetened almond milk
- 250ml neutral-tasting oil
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- Chocolate buttercream:
- 150g coconut oil
- 225g icing sugar
- 300g dark chocolate, chopped
- Dark chocolate shavings
- Preheat the oven to 180°C fan/400°F/gas 6. Grease and line 2 × 20cm springform cake tins with non-stick baking paper.
- Mix all the dry ingredients together in a bowl, then sift them through a fine mesh sieve into a separate large bowl. Make a well in the centre.
- Mix all the wet ingredients together, then add to the well in the centre of the dry ingredients. Using a spatula or a hand mixer, mix together until just combined.
- Divide the mixture evenly between the two tins and bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, rotating the tins halfway through the cooking time to ensure they cook evenly. When done, a skewer inserted into the centre should come out clean – if not, they need to go back in the oven for a little longer, until the skewer comes out dry. Remove the cakes from the oven and set aside on a wire rack to cool in the tins for 10 minutes before turning out and allowing to cool completely before frosting.
- To make the frosting, put the coconut oil and chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of gently simmering water, ensuring the water doesn’t touch the bottom of the bowl, and allow them to gently melt together. Remove from the heat. Sift the icing sugar into the bowl. Beat together using a hand mixer or a whisk. Leave to set in a cool location (not a fridge as it will be too cold) for 20–30 minutes, until the frosting is firm enough to pipe.
- To assemble the cake, put one cooled cake on a cake stand or serving plate and add half the frosting to the top of the cake. Working your way out from the centre, spread it evenly but not all the way to the edge, leaving about 1cm clear. Place the second cake on top, pressing it down lightly so the filling just comes to the edge. Add the top layer of frosting to the top of the cake, again working your way from the centre to spread the frosting all the way to the edge. Decorate with the chocolate shavings and cut into slices to serve.
Recipe from The Happy Pear: Vegan Cooking for Everyone by David and Stephen Flynn published by Penguin Life. thehappypear.ie
Image by Alistair Richardson