Vegan Chocolate Celebration Cake (Dairy-Free / Egg-Free)

At the start of the Autumn half term school holidays, Lil’ L moved into double digits. I’m still dumbfounded as to how my boy grew up so fast. Seriously, where did all those years go?

His day kicked off with present & card opening. I love watching his facial expressions as he opens presents!Lil L 10th Bday Morning 2013

Another sign that he’s growing up is the lack of toys on his birthday wish list. Instead, he wanted new wheels for his scooter, a skater helmet and books (so glad he still enjoys reading!)

The birthday celebrations continued for the next few days (one of the perks of having a birthday in the school hols!) and included a Laser Quest party; a trip to Dorset to visit his Nan; walks in the forest; and bike rides with his Dad and cousin. What a lucky boy he is!

Lil L 10th Bday Activities 2013

As usual, he requested a vegan chocolate cake for his birthday. This year, I made a very simple chocolate victoria sponge sandwich cake, which worked out surprisingly well. It was moist, held together well when sliced, and wasn’t too rich or sickly sweet.

I was all set to use cashew cream frosting (which I prefer a million times over to regular frosting) … but then had a change of heart. This cake wasn’t for me, it was for Lil’ L and his friends. Rather than impose my preferences on them, I ditched the cashews and dug out an old box of icing sugar from the back of the cupboard. I even went to the shops and bought some sugar sprinkles.

Vegan Chocolate Victoria Sponge Sandwich Cake 400 copy

The cake got great feedback from the family (including my mum!) as well as Lil’ L’s friends. I was particularly surprised when Lil’ L’s best friend came up to me after the party to tell me how much he’d enjoyed the cake. This meant a lot as he isn’t normally a ‘cake person’ (you’re much more likely to seeing him diving into a fruit bowl or tucking into roasted nuts and seeds!)

Vegan Chocolate Cake 2 copy

The cake was super easy to make. Here’s how I did it:


Makes 1 x 9 inch sandwich cake    Serves: 12-16
Hands on time: 20 minutes    Ready in: 2 hours

480ml / 2 cups soya milk
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
200g / 1½ cups plain (all purpose) flour
200g / 1½ cups fine wholemeal (wholewheat) or chapatti flour (I use the latter)
60g / ½ cup cocoa powder
tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
140ml / ⅔ cup rapeseed (canola) oil (or other neutral-flavoured oil)
330g / 1⅔ cups unrefined cane sugar (e.g. golden caster sugar)
2 tsp vanilla extract

Decorating options:
– chocolate frosting (recipe below) and vegan-friendly sprinkles (e.g. Sainsbury’s or Morrisons Sugar Star sprinkles, Dr Oetker Sugar Stars and Sugar Strands)
– raspberry jam or fruit spread (e.g. St Dalfour) for filling and a dusting of icing (powdered) sugar on top

Preheat the oven to 180C (160C fan) / 350F. Lightly oil 2 x 9 inch spring-form or loose-bottomed cake tins and line the bottoms with non-stick baking paper.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the milk and vinegar, then set to one side.

In a separate large bowl, add the dry ingredients (flours, cocoa powder, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and salt) and stir through to combine.  

Add the oil, sugar and vanilla extract to the milk and vinegar, and whisk until fully combined. Sieve in a third of the dry ingredients and whisk to combine. Add another third and whisk to combine. Add the last third along with any remaining wheatgerm. Stir through to combine (but do not over stir).

Divide the batter equally between the prepared tins. Place on racks as close to the centre of the oven as possible. Bake for 40-50 minutes, until a skewer inserted through the middle comes out clean and the cakes are springy when lightly pressed. (In my oven, I find the cake on the higher rack is ready after 40 minutes, and the cake on the lower rack needs an extra 10 minutes). If both cakes are domed, decide which one will be the bottom tier, cover with a clean tea cloth and gently press down to level. 

Leave the cakes in their tins for at least an hour (they will firm up as they cool), then transfer to a wire rack. Once completely cooled, decorate and assemble the cake. Chill before serving.

Stored in an airtight container, this cake will keep for up to a week in the fridge. (I find the flavour and texture of the cake actually improves in the next day or two after baking). It also freezes well.

Chocolate Frosting
The quantities below are sufficient for frosting the centre and top of a 23cm/9 inch cake (as shown in the picture). 

150g / 1 cup icing sugar
35g / ¼ cup 4
cocoa powder
50g / 4 TBSP dairy-free spread/vegan butter (e.g. Vitalite, Flora Dairy Free, Pure)
1 – 1½ TBSP water

Sieve the icing sugar and cocoa powder into a large bowl. Add the dairy-free spread/butter and 1 TBSP water. Stir with a metal spoon until it starts to combine, then beat with an electric whisk until light and fluffy. If the frosting looks a little dry, add another ½ TBSP water and keep beating. This frosting will keep for a week in the fridge. 


Products used in this recipe
Morrisons 23cm Non-Stick Springform Cake Tins – These are made in the UK, cost only £4 each and have a 5-year guarantee!
Salter Aquatronic Electronic Kitchen Scale – These scales are great as you can weigh everything directly into the same bowl. As an added bonus, they come with a 15 year guarantee!
Tesco Chapatti Flour – I use this flour in all my baked goods. It’s a very fine wholemeal flour and super cheap too!
– Dr Oetker Sugar Stars and Sugar Strands – Purchased from The Co-Op; also available from Tesco

Vegan Chocolate Cake 3 copy

For those of you that dislike the traditional Christmas fruit cake, I think this would make a great alternative. You could even add some festive sprinkles!














18 thoughts on “Vegan Chocolate Celebration Cake (Dairy-Free / Egg-Free)

    1. Thank you so much for your kind comments ♥ When you’re back on the fat/oil, you’ll have to try this cake for me & see how it works out in your temperamental oven 😉 In the meantime, have you tried the 3 Ingredient Pineapple Cake? That’s a tasty fat free cake. And how about tea loaf? That’s one of my favourite kind of cakes and it just so happens to be fat free 🙂 Do you have a recipe? If not I’ll send you mine x

  1. Happy Birthday Lil’L! I can vaguely remember (!) how big a deal moving into double digits was 🙂
    Looks like he had some wonderful celebrations with family and friends and I’m not surprised the cake went down well- it looks spectacular!
    I’ll have to take a look at Rajpoot on your recommendation.

    1. Thanks Emma ♥ He read all the comments on this post and they made him feel very special indeed 😉
      Rajpoot is a great venue as it’s in a cellar, so very atmospheric. The food’s lovely but I’m not sure if they use vegan-friendly ghee in their cooking as I’ve never asked (not sure how strict you are on this).
      We’ll definitely have to visit Wagamamas. I can’t believe we haven’t made it there yet!

    1. Thank you Nikki! I loved the wolves too! I was really surprised to see white wolves as I always thought they were dark brown. They didn’t look scary at all (my impression of wolves has clearly been warped by horror movies 😉 )
      I hope all is going well with your new job. Fantastic to see that you’re managing to fit in blogging too. I love the look of your pumpkin brownie. I wonder if it would work without the egg? I must give it a try and see. If it fails, I’ll just turn it into a pumpkin brownie pudding 😉

  2. Happy birthday to your little man! Time sure flys with kiddies growing up!
    Glad to hear they all enjoyed the cake so much – it looks so super yummy 🙂

    1. Thank you so much Rekha! I passed your birthday wishes onto Lil’ L and it made him smile 😉
      I’m so happy to hear you’re enjoying the blog ♥ That’s made my day! xx

  3. Hi Sharon,
    I have just found your site and what a mine of information it is. Love the recipes.

    I’m planning to make the Chocolate Celebration cake for a friend and his grandson’s pressure for it to turn out well!
    I’m a fairly competent cake baker but have not used chapati flour in a cake. Can you tell me what difference it makes to the cake please?
    I was thinking of using SR wholemeal instead or just SR. Hoping for a light and moist bake.
    Would appreciate any advice you can give
    Many thanks in advance

    1. Hi Elaine.

      Thanks for getting in touch. How lovely that you are planning to bake this cake for a friend and his grandson!

      The chapatti flour isn’t essential. I prefer to use it in my baking as the wheatgerm is milled finer than in regular wholemeal flour but for this chocolate cake, the difference won’t be noticeable. I’ve used both flours in the past, and the cake always comes out fluffy and moist.

      I like to use half wholemeal flour/half plain flour in my cakes because I personally prefer the flavour, but you could easily use all plain flour (and omit the wholemeal). I’ve done this on a couple of occasions and the cakes turned out absolutely fine.

      I haven’t tried SR flour though. If you use this, I guess you would have to adjust the quantities of baking powder/bicarb of soda in the recipe.

      I hope this helps!
      Kind regards,
      Sharon x

      1. Hi Sharon,
        Thanks so much for your advice Sharon.
        I made the cake and was really very pleased with the result. I used the plain flour and wholemeal plain flour mix after all. The cakes rose and were delicious, light and had a great flavour. It makes a large cake so looked very impressive! I included black cherry jam for the filling too and it complemented the chocolate icing. Perfect recipe and will make again and again
        Thank you again x

        1. Hi Elaine.
          I’m thrilled to hear that the cake turned out so well for you! I love the idea of using black cherry jam for the filling. I’m definitely going to give this a try next time I make it 😀

          Thank you for coming back to give your feedback. Means a lot to me xx

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.