Hello, big 18! Me being the mad person that I am, I naturally had to make my own birthday cake, not only because I adore baking, but I wanted to make sure all my friends and family were able to celebrate with me, despite what dietary needs they may have.
This cake is a real show stopper, it’s moist, rich and perfectly balanced with the light coconut yogurt cream, which ties the sponge flavours together. There are three chunky layers: two chocolate and coffee, and one salted caramel vanilla; when sliced the contrast between the colours and harmony between the flavours is magic.
This celebration cake is vegan, gluten-free and refined sugar-free, which makes it the perfect addition to any occasion, and won’t leave you feeling heavy and bloated! It is made with buckwheat, almond meal and gluten-free flour blend base, sweetened with rich coconut sugar and maple syrup, and flavoured with vanilla, sea salt and cacao – the dreamy combination.
Don’t worry if you’re not a 5-star baker, this cake requires basic skills and staple pieces of equipment, meaning everyone can give it a go! I bake each sponge separately, as due to it being gluten-free it’s not the easiest to slice in half; I’d recommend this method as it gives the best results, and can be done a few at a time if you have multiple cake tins, if not just bake them one after another!
200g ground almonds (almond meal)
200g buckwheat flour
250g gluten-free flour (I used Dove’s plain flour)
300g coconut sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
Pinch sea salt
Water from half can of chickpeas*
500ml almond milk
100ml maple syrup
100ml rapeseed oil
1 teaspoon of vanilla bean paste
4 tablespoons cacao powder
Strong espresso shot
For the icing
800g coconut yogurt**
5 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
Pinch sea salt
*the water from a can of chickpeas (also known as aquafaba) works as an egg replacer in this cake – I promise you it will make it incredibly fluffy and light. Keep your chickpeas for another recipe like one of my salads or blondies!
**I have found that Co Yo coconut yogurt gives the best results, it is the most rich and fluffy out of the coconut yogurts out there
Preheat the oven to 200℃.
Add the ground almond to a large mixing bowl and sift in the buckwheat flour and gluten-free plain flour, then mix in the sugar, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, and sea salt, making sure there are no lumps.
Drain the can of chickpeas and combine half of the liquid with the milk, maple syrup, and vanilla bean paste, then pour over the dry ingredients and mix until everything is combined.
Pour 1/3 of the batter into a lined 23cm cake tin, and add the cacao powder and coffee shot to the remaining 2/3 of batter and mix leaving no lumps, split the chocolate batter in half into lined baking tins and bake in the centre of the oven for 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Make the icing while the cakes are cooling by whipping the coconut yogurt for 5-10 minutes with an electric whisk (you can do this by hand, but make sure to whip well to get enough air into the yogurt). Once the yogurt it fluffy add the maple syrup, vanilla and sea salt, and whip for another minute until everything is incorporated.
Split the icing into three and spread each third evenly over each sponge layer, stacking them as you go. I love to decorate the top of my cake with fresh fruit, cacao nibs, and edible flowers, but you can go wild and choose your favourite toppings!
This cake is best eaten the next day when the ponies have had time to rest and soften thanks to the icing.
If you enjoy the recipe dot forget to tag me on Instagram @wikis.vital.way