Thursday, 29 May 2014

Vegan Vanilla Cake with Coconut Cream Frosting

I'm bacccckkk! 

Now I know I've been quiet for a little while, but I have big news. 
I have finally perfected my recipe for a vegan vanilla cake! 
This cake also happens to be free from both gluten and wheat, as well not containing any refined sugars. 
Alright, Ok I lied - this not big news - this HUGE news...for me anyhow.

It's such big news in fact, that you may imagine I've been hiding away in my kitchen for the last two months, desperately trying to perfect this recipe, but I'm afraid that would be a lie. 

I've been in Australia, eating and drinking too much, getting a fabulous tan and generally having the time of my life, but now I'm home and the only thing I have to do is cook! 
(er, until I get a new job…) 
It's been the ideal time to perfect a few recipes. It also happened that I arrived home in time for my sister's birthday, giving me even more reason to get back in the kitchen.

When I've attempted baking vegan vanilla cakes in the past they've come out all wrong and what is meant to be a simple recipe has turned into an absolute disaster. It took a few goes to get this one right. I didn't want to add in any ingredients that were going to overpower the flavour, make the sponge too dense or just have an altogether too complex recipe for something so classic. 

The cake is light, spongey and soft, not too sweet with the delicious vanilla flavour. I chose to top it with a simple vanilla coconut cream frosting, but this would work with pretty much anything. Try adding in some cacao powder to this recipe to make it chocolate cream, or even add in some fresh fruit or jam when assembling to make it into a classic victoria sponge!

The recipe below is enough for a single layer 8 inch cake or 12 cupcakes. 
To make a double layer 8 inch cake, a triple layer 6 inch cake or just more cupcakes it can easily be doubled.

For the Cake:
3/4 cup plain GF flour
1/4 cup ground almonds
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 cup pure maple syrup (can sub. for honey)
1 cup almond milk
1/3 cup coconut oil
2 tsp vanilla bean paste
3 tbsp white wine vinegar

For the Frosting:
1 (400ml) tin coconut milk (refrigerated over night)
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
1 tsp maple syrup

To Make:
  • Preheat oven to 180C. 
  • Grease cake tin of your chosen size or line muffin tin with cupcake cases.
  • Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl and mix together.
  • In a smaller bowl/jug, combine all the wet ingredients and whisk together.
  • Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix together lightly.
  • Pour the mixture into cake tin or cupcake cases.
  • Bake in the pre heated oven until golden brown and the top springs back when lightly touched. 
  • For a 6 or an 8 inch cake, check after 20 minutes in the oven, but it may take up to half an hour to cook through - test with a skewer in the middle to see if the centre is done. 
  • For cupcakes bake for about 15 minutes.
  • Whilst the cake is cooking, make the frosting. Remove the coconut milk from the fridge and scoop out the hardened coconut cream (keep the leftover coconut water for making smoothies etc.)
  • Use a food processor or hand held electric whisk and whip to soft peaks, fold in the maple syrup and vanilla.
  • Store the frosting in the fridge until you are ready to frost the cake.
  • Allow the cake to cool slightly in the tin before removing and placing on a cooling rack to cool though completely before frosting.
  • Once cooled, layer the sponge layers and the frosting alternately and decorate as desired.


  1. beautiful cake- sponge looks amazing! x han

    1. wow thanks! your blog looks beautiful x

  2. Hello!

    I saw your blog and thought it had great recipes and awesome pictures! I therefore would like to invite you to our new culinary website which has just started.

    This is how it works in short. is a website for food bloggers and their fans allowing them to automatically collect recipes from your food blog. It’s a large database of links to recipes on food blogs. Everyone can join us for free.

    For more please visit: is an English version of our main website called “Mikser Kulinarny”, founded in Poland. “Mikser Kulinarny” has a large audience (over 2 mln unique visitors monthly) and with we want to repeat that success and drive thousands of new visitors to your food blog.

    In case of any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us.

    Best regards

    1. Hi there! Thanks so much, I'll for sure take a look at your site now :)

  3. hello, I would like to use this for a birthday party but have someone with a nut allergy, is there something else you could suggest I use in place of the ground almonds?


    1. hi there, the only thing i can think of using to replace the ground almonds would be some extra flour, as it is only a small amount used I can't imagine it changing the final result too much! hope it turns out ok

  4. Hi,
    I was wondering if the Vanilla Bean paste can be subbed for Vanilla Extract?

    Also, GF flour- would spelt work, or too heavy?


    1. Hi Pamela,
      Vanilla extract is definitely fine to use instead of the paste! it might just not be quite as an intense flavour, so maybe try adding a tiny bit extra! like you said, spelt flour may be a bit too heavy for the cake as its meant to be quite light..I'd say try using buckwheat/rice flour or a different variation instead? though i use doves farm GF flour which is a blend of a couple! hope that helps, let me know how it turns out!

  5. Hi!
    Tried this today and sponge turned out amazing!! However, when I tried to make the frosting my coconut cream would turn into some sort of coconut butter and it never looked as fluffy white and soft as yours :( Was I just to impatient with the coconut milk? Cause I didn't leave it in the fridge for the night but only put it in freezer for half an hour....... :S What do you think?
    Thanks so much - lovely pictures of your cake xx

    1. Hi Paula, Thank you so much :) I'm so happy the sponge worked out so well for you!! I imagine that the problem with the frosting probably was because it hadn't been left to chill for long enough…can't be completely sure but I have had similar problems in the past when I've been impatient! If you can't do over night, 4 hours in the fridge should be enough. Had the thick cream in the can separated from the coconut water? If it was still all mixed together it wouldn't have been thick enough (when it's been chilled for long enough it should naturally separate itself, making it easy to scoop the cream from the top of the can and leave behind the water.) Unfortunately some brands have added stabilisers in to prevent them from seperating so this could have also been a problem and not your fault at all! Also, make sure you are using full fat coconut milk as reduced fat varieties often won't separate. Hope this helps, good luck with trying it out again in the future! x

  6. Hi, i am wanting to make your frosting to go on a birthday cake for the weekend but am wondering how well does the icing stay together once it's on the cake and not in the fridge? The party is outdoors so the cake will not be in the fridge for a couple of hours before it gets eaten.

    1. Hi sorry to have not replied sooner! the frosting really is best kept in the fridge as it can quite easily melt in warmer temperatures, I think it will depend on how warm it is outside on the day! It shouldn't melt completely but to be on the safe side, try and leave it in the fridge for as long as possible to help it out.

  7. Maple syrup can be replaced with honey bee?

    1. yes it can! gives a slightly different flavour and is not vegan but works to sweeten just the same :)

  8. Didn't work for me, the batter was absolutly liquid and the cake never set.

  9. My batter turned out super liquid as well. Just added more flour, but had to compensate by adding more honey. I wonder if I am reading the recipe wrong?? Anyway, turned out great after all was said and done. Thank you

    1. Hi so sorry to hear you had some trouble, but glad it all worked out in the end!

  10. Hmmm... what is the consistency MEANT to be before going into the oven?
    Mine has been in the oven for 30min now. looks like its semi cooked on the top but it is liquid underneath, and is bubbling away under the soft top? soooo liquidy, I don't think it'll set

  11. I am having the liquidy problem as well. The top and sides look done, but the middle is complete liquid and it has been baking for 30 + minutes. The batter had a very thin, almost watery consistency. Is this correct? Also was the coconut oil supposed to be melted? I melted it. Also, I was using a 4 inch round by 3 inch high glass cake baking bowl. Any help would be appreciated. I am trying to make a healthy cake for my son's first birthday. Thanks!

  12. No side picture? We want to see the texture. Thanks. Looks good though.