Recipe: An easy vegan birthday cake

This is a recipe for a beetroot and chocolate celebration cake, which I made and served at Quinn’s second birthday party. Don’t be put off if you’re not a beetroot fan, the taste of beetroot shouldn’t be strong in the finished cake, it’s significantly over-ridden by decadent chocolatey-ness, but the beetroot does offer an extra sweetness that makes this cake especially popular with kids, and also adds to the moist texture of the finished sponge.

I tried several different ideas from a variety of recipes online for an eggless beetroot cake, and eventually settled on a hybrid recipe which worked really well for me. I’m not a natural baker, and I have a particularly poor track record with vegan cake making, so to finally find a recipe that I can be proud to serve plant based friends and non-vegans alike, is quite something!

If you give the recipe a go, please let me know what you think!

vegan birthday cake

Ingredients

(for the cake)

350g (drained weight) vacuum packed beetroot (not in vinegar)

350g soft dark brown sugar

400g self raising flour

2 tablespoons baking powder

100g dairy free cocoa powder

400g plain soya yogurt (such as Alpro)

4 teaspoons vanilla bean extract

1 tub Betty Crocker chocolate fudge icing

(for the buttercream)

600g icing sugar

250g sunflower spread (or other vegan butter substitute)

Vegan food colouring of choice (optional)

2 teaspoons vanilla bean extract

I also used fresh strawberries and glace cherries to decorate

 

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees
  2. Line one 10inch cake tin, and one 8inch cake tin with grease proof paper
  3. Use a food processor to blitz the beetroot into a smooth puree
  4. Add beetroot puree and all other cake ingredients to a large mixing bowl and combine with an electric food mixer until a thick, stiff batter is formed.
  5. Divide cake mix equally between the two tins (this will result in the cake with the smaller width, having greater height)
  6. Level the surface, and bake in the oven for around an hour or until a skewer comes out clean, checking regularly.
  7. Allow to cool slightly before turning out onto a wire rack to cool entirely.
  8. Once completely cooled, use a very sharp knife to remove the top of each cake to make it flat – this then becomes the bottom of each cake.
  9. Make your buttercream by combining the icing sugar and butter substitute in a bowl using the electric food mixer. Add vegan food colouring if desired.
  10. Spread the bottom (which used to be the top) of the 8 inch cake with a thick, even layer of butter cream, and place on top of the 10 inch cake. Use a pallet knife to make sure there is a nice, smooth layer of buttercream visible between the cakes.
  11. Cover the whole thing in Betty Crocker’s chocolate fudge icing. You can make your own soft icing if you like, but the Betty Crocker icing saves time and you’re guaranteed to achieve a nice shiny finish.
  12. Once iced, you can decorate your cake however you choose. I decorated around the base of the cake and also the “shelf” created by the two different sized tiers, with fresh fruit and glace cherries. The little wooden donkey that I used as a cake topper is by a Japanese toy company, T-Lab, which I bought from the wonderful Scout and Co Kids here in the UK.
  13. When serving, cut through the whole cake (both tiers) and offer guests tall, skinny slices with a few pieces of the fresh fruit.

Tip: If you’re using fresh fruit, leave the decorating until the last minute so that the fruit doesn’t begin to spoil, or effect the icing.

vegan chocolate cake recipe

 

 

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