My vegan chocolate cake with roasted cocoa and crunchy hazelnuts isn’t just for vegans. Everyone should give this Best Vegan Birthday Cake a try!
Ingredients for Vegan Birthday Cake:
80 g high quality cocoa powder
a little oil to grease the baking tin
200 g flour
3 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
200 g sugar
450 ml hazelnut milk
3 tbsp tasteless vegetable oil (e.g. corn germ or sunflower oil)
1 tsp vanilla extract
70 g whole hazelnuts
Vegan chocolate buttercream:
250 g soft organic Alsan, or another vegetable margarine
65 g high quality cocoa powder
225 g sifted icing sugar
50 ml hazelnut milk
50 g vegan dark chocolate
1 tsp coconut oil
Blueberries,strawberry,fig and mint (optional)
Tip: The special thing about this chocolate cake – apart from the fact that it is vegan, of course – is the oven-roasted cocoa powder. Roasting the cocoa makes its flavour even richer and nuttier. So it goes just perfectly with the crunchy hazelnuts that come between and on top of our cake, and the hazelnut milk I use instead of conventional cow’s milk.
To roast the cocoa powder, first preheat your oven to 330°F. Now line a deep baking tray with baking paper and place the cocoa powder on it. Layer the cocoa powder evenly to a height of approx. 5mm. Use a high-quality cocoa powder, because the quality of your ingredients is usually reflected in their taste.
Now carefully place the tray in the oven for about 20 minutes. Turn the cocoa powder every 5 minutes with a spatula so that it can roast evenly and does not burn. Then take the now deep dark brown cocoa powder out of the oven and let it cool. While the cocoa is cooling, you can prepare your baking tin and brush it all around with a little oil and line it with baking paper.
For the chocolate cake base, sift the flour into a bowl and mix with the baking powder, baking soda and sugar. Then add the cooled, roasted cocoa powder and mix thoroughly.
In a second bowl, whisk the hazelnut milk with the oil and vanilla extract. Add the flour-cocoa mixture in two stages and stir everything in with a wooden spoon. Pour the chocolate batter into the prepared baking tin, increase the oven temperature to 350°F and bake the chocolate cake for about 45 minutes. As always, when the cake is no longer sticking to the wooden skewer, it is done. Take the finished cake out of the oven, let it cool for about 10 minutes and then remove it from the tin. It can then cool completely on a cooling rack.
Meanwhile, chop the hazelnuts and place them in a small bowl. To turn this vegan chocolate cake into a vegan chocolate cake, we still need the cream. A chocolate buttercream to be exact.
A classic buttercream, as the name suggests, consists mainly of butter. But since our chocolate cake remains vegan through and through, I use a purely vegetable margarine for this recipe. Whip the room-warm, soft Margarine with a mixer until creamy and then add the cocoa powder. Mix everything briefly and then add a little icing sugar and a little hazelnut milk alternately. This creates a nice, spreadable cream that we can use to coat our cake wonderfully.
Before you do this, straighten the chocolate cake with a sharp knife and then divide it horizontally in the middle. Place the first layer in the middle of a cake plate and spread it with a little more than a quarter of the chocolate buttercream. Sprinkle the cream with a good handful of the chopped hazelnuts. Then place the second cake layer on top of the chocolate and nut cream. Now it’s time to frost the cake with chocolate icing. Then decorate with optional nuts and fruit.
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