It’s our 15 year business-birthday and this classic chocolate cake recipe is the one I roll out for all our human-birthdays, so I thought I’d share it with you this week. It makes the best cupcakes too! I love having this recipe up my sleeve, it’s very simple to put together and completely indistinguishable from cakes containing eggs and dairy. The recipe is easy to switch to a vanilla cake too if you’re not in the mood for chocolate. Simply replace the cacao powder in the sponge with more flour and in the buttercream icing with more icing sugar and add some vanilla essence. Easy!
- 1 & 1/2 mugs plain flour
- 1/2 mug cacao powder (replace with plain flour & 2 tsp vanilla if making vanilla sponge)
- 1 mug caster sugar (or our whole cane sugar works well in a chocolate cake here too)
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 mug oat milk (of any milk you like)
- 1/2 mug oil (neutral sunflower or rapeseed oil work well)
- 1 tsp cider vinegar
- 150g butter
- 450g icing sugar
- 50g cacao powder (replace with 50g icing sugar if making vanilla icing)
- 2 tbsp oat milk (replace with 1 tbsp vanilla if making vanilla icing)
- Preheat your oven to 175C fan and line two sandwich tins with baking parchment (or pop 12 large cup cake cases into a muffin tin).
- Measure the flour, cacao powder, caster sugar, bicarbonate of soda and salt into a large mixing bowl and whisk to combine.
- Add the oat milk, oil and vinegar and whisk until you have a smooth, shiny batter. Do not over-mix though as this can make the cake come out a little tough!
- Divide the batter into the two tins (or into the 12 muffin cases) and bake until risen and cooked through. In 2 cake tins this takes 20 minutes or so, 1 deeper cake takes about 30-40 minutes, in muffin cases this takes about 8-10 minutes. Keep an eye on the cakes – they are cooked when an inserted skewer comes out clean.
- Let the cakes cool slightly in the tins before carefully removing them onto a cooling rack. Allow the cakes to cool completely before icing.
- Measure the butter into a large mixing bowl, let it come to room temperature and soften slightly.
- Sieve the icing sugar and cacao powder in the bowl then mash into the butter with a fork. This step just stops icing sugar from flying around your kitchen when you whisk it.
- Add the oat milk and whisk with an electric whisk until light, fluffy and creamy. You may need to add a touch more oat milk but be careful! Add just a tiny amount at a time, too much milk will make the icing too runny to spread.
- Spread the icing on the cake however you like. Use a palette knife or a piping bag and decorate to your liking. I like the combination of chocolate and raspberries so always add lots of fresh, juicy berries to my chocolate cakes.
- Enjoy a big slice with a hot drink. The cake stays fresh in an airtight container at room temperature for 2 days or in the fridge for 4-5 days. It freezes well for up to 3 months.