The Best Chocolate Birthday/Celebration Cake (dairy, egg, soya and nut-free)

Unicorn birthday cake, dairy-free egg-free

I’ve realised that although I make multiple versions of this cake every year, I’ve never posted it as a recipe. Silly really because it’s a fantastic recipe and everyone needs a great birthday cake up their sleeve!

Birthday cakes were one of my first big challenges as a dairy and egg free cook. I was determined that my girls could have a pretty ‘Wow’ cake like all their friends, that could challenge the popular store bought versions that everyone gasped over at the countless birthday parties we’ve attended. So I needed a great, fail-safe reliable recipe, and this one ticks all those boxes

My first versions, despite trying my very hardest were not particularly great (totally round cake shaped bumble bee anyone?) but as the years pass they’ve improved, I think!

I use this lovely chocolate cake recipe which gives just the right crumb to turn into an iced sandwich cake. You could make two sponges and sandwich together but my preference is to make one large cake and then split it in half when it’s cool. I find that way gives a better finish when the whole cake is iced.

sliced chocolate celebration cake, dairy-free, egg-free

As I make a chocolate sponge, I sandwich it together with vanilla buttercream and also coat the top and sides with a thin layer of the buttercream to help the icing stick.

Next it’s a layer of fondant icing which is then decorated for the chosen theme.

underwater dairy-free cake

Chocolate Celebration Cake

(dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, sesame-free, can be soya-free, vegetarian and vegan)

make up cake, vegan

makes one cake

330g self-raising flour

5 tbsps cocoa powder

220g caster sugar

1 1/2 tsps bicarbonate of soda

pinch of salt

290ml dairy-free milk

2 tbsps dairy-free yogurt

100g dairy-free margarine, melted

1 tsp vanilla extract

  1. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees Centigrade/Gas Mark 5. Grease and line a deep cake tin
  2. Sift together the flour, cocoa, bicarb and salt
  3. Stir in the sugar
  4. In a separate bowl, mix together the oat milk, melted dairy-free margarine, yogurt and vanilla.
  5. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry. Mix gently until well combined.
  6. Pour into the cake tin and bake for 40-50 minutes, until a knife comes out clean
  7. Cool in the cake tin.

chocolate celebration cake, egg-free

 

Fill and cover with buttercream:

Vanilla Buttercream

(dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, vegetarian and vegan)

chocolate birthday cake, vegan

makes more than enough for the cake!

2 tbsp vegetable fat (such as Trex)

1/2 cup dairy-free margarine (such as Pure)

1 1/2 to 2 cups icing sugar, sifted

1 or 2 tbsp dairy-free milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

  1. Whisk together the spread and vegetable fat.
  2. Add the icing sugar, 1/2 cup at a time with a splash of the oat milk and vanilla, until fully combined and nice and fluffy.

Here’s a gallery of some of my other favourites over the last few years.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

‘Strictly Come Dancing’ Birthday Cake

So here is Little S’s Birthday cake from this year – she loves the TV program “Strictly Come Dancing” and really wanted that as the theme for her party. We thought about it for ages and even researched possibilities with Big S and her friends acting as the ‘Judges’. In the end though we thought a bunch of 6/7 year olds wouldn’t take too kindly to having their dancing judged. So the theme had to put to one side, and we went for a more traditional party with games and craft activities.

But the cake retained the theme! With glitter, mirror ball, shoes, hopefully it looked the part. Happy Birthday Little S, I hope you enjoyed your party and loved the cake – it didn’t hang around long  🙂

Chocolate Birthday Cake (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, sesame-free, vegetarian and vegan)

20131026-101534.jpg

makes one cake

  • 330g self-raising flour
  • 5 tbsps cocoa powder
  • 220g caster sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsps bicarbonate of soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 290ml oat milk
  • 2 tbsps soya yogurt
  • 100g dairy-free spread, melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

– Preheat the oven to 190 degrees Centigrade/Gas Mark 5

– Grease and line a deep cake tin

– Sift together the flour, cocoa, bicarb and salt

– Stir in the sugar

– In a separate bowl, mix together the oat milk, melted dairy-free spread, soya yogurt and vanilla.

– Mix the wet ingredients into the dry. Mix gently until well combined.

– Pour into the cake tin and bake for 40-50 minutes, until a knife comes out clean

– Cool in the cake tin.

– Cut in half and fill with, and ice the top with velvety white buttercream

– Decorate as desired.

IMG_6443IMG_6442

Dolphin Themed Birthday Cake

It’s Big S’s 9th Birthday party today. It’s a swimming party and she absolutely loves dolphins, so the theme was obvious! It took a lot of planning, and I’m not sure it turned out as planned – dolphins are much harder to make than penguins! But she loves it, so I’m happy 🙂

The cake is a chocolate chip chocolate sponge, filled and masked with velvety white buttercream and then finished off with roll out icing (which is also used to make the dolphins).

Chocolate Chip Stuffed Chocolate Cake (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, sesame-free, vegetarian and vegan) Warning: only soya-free if you omit the chocolate chips, contains gluten

IMG_3431

make one cake

  • 330g self-raising flour
  • 5 tbsps cocoa powder
  • 220g caster sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsps bicarbonate of soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 50g dairy-free chocolate, chopped
  • 290ml oat milk
  • 2 tbsps soya yogurt
  • 100g dairy-free spread, melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

IMG_3443

– Preheat the oven to 190 degrees Centigrade/Gas Mark 5

– Grease and line a deep cake tin

– Sift together the flour, cocoa, bicarb and salt

– Stir in the sugar

– Stir in the chopped chocolate

– In a separate bowl, mix together the oat milk, melted dairy-free spread, soya yogurt and vanilla.

– Mix the wet ingredients into the dry. Mix gently until well combined.

– Pour into the cake tin and bake for 40-50 minutes, until a knife comes out clean

– Cool in the cake tin.

– Cut in half and fill with, and ice the top and sides with a thin layer of  velvety white buttercream

– Decorate with roll out icing

IMG_3444

Penguin Themed Birthday Cake

So here it is, the birthday cake for Little S’s birthday party – the theme was penguins. They stuffed their own cuddly toys and the games were Penguin-themed, so they had to feature on the cake!

My girls have never had the delight of a shop-bought novelty celebration cake, so I’ve always made a big effort to make them as pretty/cute as possible (here are some others I’ve made). I can be pretty critical of my own cakes but this one also tasted pretty good with a moist but crumbly texture. The children were really pleased to get a little penguin with their slice of cake – what could be better than a cute edible creature!

It’s a base of chocolate chip chocolate sponge, sandwiched and masked with velvety white buttercream, and then covered and decorated with roll out icing. The icing has the advantage of being allergen-free and effectively just like play dough making moulding figures pretty easy.

Chocolate Birthday Cake (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, sesame-free, vegetarian and vegan)

makes one cake

  • 330g self-raising flour
  • 5 tbsps cocoa powder
  • 220g caster sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsps bicarbonate of soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 50g dairy-free chocolate, chopped
  • 290ml oat milk
  • 2 tbsps soya yogurt
  • 100g dairy-free spread, melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

– Preheat the oven to 190 degrees Centigrade/Gas Mark 5

– Grease and line a deep cake tin

– Sift together the flour, cocoa, bicarb and salt

– Stir in the sugar

– Stir in the chopped chocolate

– In a separate bowl, mix together the oat milk, melted dairy-free spread, soya yogurt and vanilla.

– Mix the wet ingredients into the dry. Mix gently until well combined.

– Pour into the cake tin and bake for 40-50 minutes, until a knife comes out clean

– Cool in the cake tin.

– Cut in half and fill with, and ice the top with velvety white buttercream

– Decorate as desired.

Caramel Victoria Sponge

It was Little S’s 6th Birthday yesterday – she had been looking forward to it for ages (I think that when she started counting down the days there were almost 100 to go!). I am relieved to report the day lived up to her expectations. She had a fabulous day and spent most of it in a state of joyous excitement, skipping about and looking very happy!

This has also meant that I’ve been able to do quite a lot of baking this week (expect lots of cake themed posts!): cupcakes for school, this caramel cake for tea with her grandparents, and a fancy and yet-to-be-made cake for her party on Saturday. Phew… I think I might give the cake making a rest after this weekend 😉

This recipe was inspired by a cake my mum used to buy in Marks and Spencer when I was little – a kind of caramel victoria sponge, which was always sweet and delicious. This is a rich, sweet cake so I would suggest giving people small slices!

Caramel Victoria Sponge (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, sesame-free, vegetarian and vegan) warning: contains soya and gluten

makes 1 deep 8 inch cake or 2 to sandwich together

  • 1 cup dairy-free spread
  • 1 cup soft brown sugar
  • 2 cups self-raising flour
  • 2 tsps baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 500ml soya yogurt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

– Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Centigrade/Gas Mark 4

– Grease and line the bottom of the cake tin(s)

– Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

– In a saucepan, melt together the dairy-free spread and sugar. Add the soya yogurt and vanilla, give it a quick stir and then pour into the flour mix.

– Gently mix to form a soft, puffy batter.

– Pour into the tin(s) and bake for 30-40 minutes, until well-risen, golden and a knife comes out clean.

– Remove from the tin and cool on a wire rack.

Caramel Buttercream (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan)

makes plenty to fill and cover the above cake

  • 1/3 cup dairy-free spread
  • 1/3 cup vegetable fat
  • 1/2 cup soft brown sugar
  • 3-4 cups icing sugar
  • 1/4 cup oat milk

– Whisk together the vegetable fat with the icing sugar, until light and fluffy. Set aside.

– In a small saucepan, melt together the dairy-free spread and brown sugar. Bring to the boil for about 1-2 minutes until starting to darken in colour.

– Whisk together the oat milk and vanilla.

– Alternate adding the boiled sugar mixture and the oat milk mixture to the icing sugar mix until it is all fully combined.

– Sandwich the cake together with about 1/4 of the buttercream and smooth the rest all over the top and sides.

– Decorate as wished.

– Makes a perfect birthday cake!

Banana and Passionfruit Birthday Cake

It was my lovely Mum’s birthday yesterday and I thought I’d make her a cake. I’m not sure she really wanted a cake, but I think anything handmade is lovely to receive and it gave me an opportunity to blog about it too! She doesn’t eat chocolate so I thought I’d come up with a summery, fruity flavour instead. Two bananas were slowly gathering a mass following of fruit flies in the fruit bowl, so they had to feature, and I’ve been wanting to use some passionfruit for a while… so we ended up with a banana and passionfruit combo! It turned out to be a delicious combination, and one that I am going to be repeating. Nice when experiments work out.

Banana and Passionfruit Birthday Cake (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, sesame-free, vegetarian and vegan)

makes 1 cake (mine is a rather tall 8 inch cake, but would make a rather more conventional 9 inch layer cake)

  • 400g plain flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 over-ripe bananas
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 175ml sunflower oil
  • 250ml soya milk (I used Alpro banana flavour)
  • 1 tsp vinegar

– Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Centigrade/Gas Mark 4

– Grease and line the cake tins

– Add the vinegar to the soya milk and set aside to curdle

– Sift together the flour, bicarb, baking powder and salt. Stir in the sugar.

– In a blender, whizz up the bananas, sunflower oil and soya milk mixture.

– Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and gently mix until no raw flour remains

– Pour into the tins and bake for 30-35 minutes for normal height cake tins, 45-50 minutes for one deep tin, or until a knife comes out clean.

– Cool completely in the tin, then transfer to a wire rack.

– Meanwhile, make the buttercream…

Velvety White Buttercream (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, sesame-free, gluten-free, soya-free, vegetarian and vegan)

enough to ice middle and top of the cake

  • 1/4 cup vegetable fat (such as Trex)
  • 3/4 cup dairy-free spread (such as Pure)
  • 3 cups icing sugar, sifted
  • 1/4 cup oat milk
  • plus, one passionfruit

– Whisk together the spread and vegetable fat.

– Add the icing sugar, 1/2 cup at a time with a splash of the oat milk, until fully combined and nice and fluffy.

– Sandwich the cakes together with the buttercream and the seeds and pulp of 1/2 a passionfruit.

– Spread the remaining buttercream on top and scatter over the seeds and pulp of the remaining 1/2 passionfruit.