Vegan chocolate cake decorated with homemade simple candy for Halloween…
Recently I’ve been really interested in vegan baking, it’s an interesting challenge having to substitute animal based ingredients with plant based ingredients without sacrificing the taste and making sure that the bake is still fluffy and perfect.
So for Halloween I decided to bake a chocolate cake, frost it with fudgey chocolate frosting and decorate with homemade pumpkin shaped candy.
BAKING A VEGAN CHOCOLATE CAKE
I have always baked cakes using eggs and milk, because this is what I have learned to do from my mother and probably the most common recipe to bake any cake. However, I found that baking a vegan cake is also very easy and can be made with very simple ingredients. My worry was that the cake won’t rise without using eggs, but if you add baking soda with vinegar that will make sure that the cake rises nicely and turns out fluffy.
HOW TO MAKE VEGAN FUDGY CHOCOLATE FROSTING
To make a rich, decadent and delicious buttercream frosting vegan, it does not mean that it has to be made with dairy. It’s still called buttercream but made without any dairy butter, and it’s ridiculously delicious! For the best vegan buttercream, I found that using coconut shortening results in a very tasty frosting and vegan butter works great as well. The reason why I like to use coconut shortening and not coconut oil, is because the frosting will not melt and turn into liquid at 24 degrees. So if you use coconut shortening, you won’t have to worry about things getting messy if you’re serving the cake in a warm room.
So to make the vegan buttercream frosting, I use coconut shortening, powdered sugar, coconut milk and vanilla extract to taste.
Below is the recipe for the vegan chocolate cake and the butter cream frosting.
Vegan Chocolate Cake with Buttercream Frosting
Simple vegan chocolate cake with vegan chocolate butter cream frosting...
- 200 grams all purpose flour
- 150 grams granulated sugar
- 4 tbsp cacao powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp white vinegar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 250 ml water
- 4 tbsp coconut oil
- 450 grams powdered sugar
- 100 grams cacao powder
- 100 grams coconut shortening or vegan butter
- 125 ml coconut milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 180c degrees. And grease 2 x 16cm cake baking tins.
- In a medium sized bowl, sift together all dry ingredients.
- Add vinegar and coconut oil, and give it a good mix.
Add water, and mix again but make sure not to overmix the mixture.
- Pour mixture into your prepared greased baking tins, and bake until a toothpick comes out clean from the centre of the cake.
Take the cakes out of the oven, and let them cool down on a cooling rack until they're ready to be frosted.
To make the buttercream frosting, add powdered sugar, cacao powder, coconut shortening or vegan butter, coconut milk and vanilla extract to a mixing bowl and using a hand mixer beat until it's creamy and smooth.
If you need to thin out the buttercream frosting, you can 1 tbsp of milk and mix again.
Preheat oven to 180c degrees. And grease 2 x 16cm cake baking tins. In a medium sized bowl, sift together all dry ingredients. Add vinegar and coconut oil, and give it a good mix. Add water, and mix again but make sure not to overmix the mixture. There will be some lumps left but that's ok. Pour mixture into your prepared greased baking tins, and bake until a toothpick comes out clean from the centre of the cake. Take out of the oven, and let it cool down on a cooling rack until it's ready to be frosted.
A few years ago I taught myself how to perfect marshmallows. Marshmallow making sounds very complicated, until you learn how to make it by carefully following the instructions and you can achieve fluffy and soft marshmallows in different flavours and colours. The secret to the perfect marshmallows is using a good cooking thermometer (I recommend the Thermapen Mk4) as it responds very quickly (gives you an accurate reading in 3 seconds) and it’s very easy to use. If you want to learn how to make marshmallows, you should try making my homemade Strawberry Marshmallows.
To decorate this cake, I wanted to make hard candy in my pumpkin moulds. I’m also a huge fan of the orange chocolate combination, and added orange essence to the candy but you can use any other essence if you prefer. When it comes to candy making it’s very important to understand the difference between soft ball stage, hard ball stage, soft crack, hard crack etc..
To make these pumpkin shape candies, I let the sugar syrup reach the hard crack stage which is 146-154 °C. At this stage sugar concentration is 99% as most of the liquids is evaporated and gone.
Pumpkin Shaped Hard Candy
Pumpkin shaped hard candy, flavoured with orange essence and coloured with orange food colouring.
- 200 grams granulated sugar
- 100 grams golden syrup
- 60 ml water
- 1/2 tsp orange essence
- orange food colouring
Prepare the moulds by spraying them with cooking spray
Combine sugar, golden syrup and water in a medium pot over medium heat. Let the sugar dissolve and starting boil.
Don't stir the mixture and just let it boil until it reaches 146-150 C°. Using a cooking or candy thermometer, check the temperature and once it reaches 146 C° remove from heat.
Stir in the extract of your choice, and food colouring if using.
Pour mixture into moulds, and allow to cool completely.
Do not under any circumstances use powdered sugar instead of granulated sugar as it will not work.
For candy making, it is very important to use a good cooking thermometer, and I like to use the Superfast 4 Thermapen. It is one of my all time favourite kitchen gadgets. It’s a little cooking thermometer that takes cooking and baking to the next level. I find it very useful when I’m cooking meat, turkey, poultry, or baking a cake and making candy. It will tell you when is your food ready, and helps you reach the perfect dish without undercooking or overcooking it.
Below is more important detail about the Thermapen…
- It’s the world’s quickest thermometer, it actually gives you an accurate reading in just 3 seconds!
- It’s waterproof. So no need to worry about working with it in your busy kitchen, or even outdoors when it’s raining.
- The display automatically rotates to make it easier for you to read the temperature.
- It comes with an intelligent backlight that automatically activates when it’s in a dark environment.
- Motion sensor works in a smart way which means that the thermometer sleeps when you put it down, and activates again when you pick it up.
- It measures temperature over the range of -49.9 to 299.9 °C (-58.0 to 572.0°F).
- It comes in 10 different colours, mine is red!
The reason why I like to use my Thermapen when I’m making candy, is because candy making requires speed. This Thermapen gives accurate reading in as little as 3 seconds and helps me reach the required sugar ball stage without burning the sugar.
The lovely team at Thermapen are offering one of my readers the chance to win a Superfast Thermapen 4 with an apron and a tea towel RRP £82! To be in chance of winning, please enter via the rafflecopter form below. For more chances to win, you can tweet about this giveaway, comment on my posts, or share my recipes each day. The giveaway is open to UK entrants only and runs until 24/11/2017 12am.
For more exciting prizes, visit my Giveaways page.
This post is sponsored by Thermapen®. Thank you for supporting the brands that make Little Sunny Kitchen happen. All opinions are my own