Vegan Gluten Free GF Chocolate Celebration Cake
Gluten Free GF Chocolate Celebration Cake is a review of Gregg Wallace and Chris Bavin’s recipe ‘Gluten Free Chocolate Sponge Cake’ (p198) from the book Family Feasts on a Budget (2017).
Gregg and Chris present the BBC Television show Eat Well For Less.
I’ve named this cake a celebration cake as it baked so huge! Perfect for a birthday cake.
I have used the Doves Farm brand of gluten-free flour. Everything I have baked with the Doves farm gluten-free flour has turned out well with a good texture and consistency.
So I do recommend this flour.
Also, the gluten-free plain flour makes a tasty homemade vegan white, and cheese sauce.
My slightly adapted version of GF Chocolate Celebration Cake is also dairy and egg free.
The original recipe uses buttermilk in the sponge and butter in the icing, I have subbed these out with homemade vegan buttermilk and a vegan-friendly margarine.
However, I promise that nobody will know any different!
The cake is so moist, soft, fluffy, rich in chocolate, but not too heavy.
Also the chocolate icing is so yummy, light, and fudgy-chocolatey heaven.
This cake is definitely a celebration or special occasion cake, although the reason for your celebration or occasion can be as thin as you like!
GF Chocolate Celebration Cake
- two cake pans with a diameter of roughly 20cm/ 8 inch
- Mixing bowls
- 300 grams caster sugar, I didn't have caster so I used granulated and it was fine.
- 300 grams gluten-free self-raising flour, sifted I actually didn't sieve my flour! oops.
- 100 grams cocoa powder, sifted I did sieve the cocoa as it usually has little lumps.
- 1 tbsp gluten-free baking powder I was initially worried about adding a whole tbsp as in other recipes I could taste the baking powder aftertaste. But thankfully not in this yummy recipe.
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1/4 tsp xanthan gum this can be found in health shops. I purchased a tub from Amazon UK which will last for many recipes.
- 160 ml sunflower oil I used rapeseed oil
- 2 tbsp vanilla extract or vanilla essence. I've never used an entire 2 tbsp in a recipe before but it was tasty!
- 450 ml buttermilk to make a vegan buttermilk I added 1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar to 435 ml of soya milk. Stir and leave for at least 20 minutes. You could also use lemon juice.
- 1 pinch salt
- Chocolate Icing Ingredients
- 225 grams butter, soft I used Stork margarine which is vegan as the vitamin D used is derived from plants.
- 225 grams icing sugar, sifted
- 50 grams cocoa powder, sifted
- 100 grams dark chocolate, at least 70 % solids, chopped I actually used a vegan-friendly chocolate that was only 30% cocoa solids and it was fine.
- To make the soya 'butter' milk add the apple cider vinegar or lemon juice to the soya milk and stir.The original recipe states to preheat your oven to 220 Celsius/200 Fan/425 Fahrenheit/Gas 7. *(Please see my recipe note below regarding the oven temperature before baking. I recommend turning the temperature down to 200 Celsius/180 Fan/ 400 Fahrenheit/Gas 6. Although I still feel this is a tad hot!)*
- Grease your cake pans and line line with baking paper.
- Add all the dry ingredients to a mixing bowl: the flour, sugar, cocoa, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, xanthan gum and salt. Give it all a good mix to ensure all combined.
- Pour all the wet ingredients into a smaller mixing bowl or measuring jug: the oil, soya 'butter' milk, and vanilla.Mix well.
- Add the wet mix to the dry flour mix.Give it all a good mix to make sure its all combined.
- Divide the mix evenly between your cake pans. If you want to be precise use a measuring scale and ensure each pan weighs the same.
- Level down the surfaces with the back of a spoon.
- Bake for around 25-30 minutes. Or until a knife or skewer comes out clean when inserted into the middle, and the cake is coming away from the pan sides. Also if you press on your cake top it should spring back up.
- Cool the cakes in the pans for 5 minutes. Although I did leave my cakes in for longer about 45 minutes.The original recipe writes that the cakes may sink a little in the middle. Although, my cakes seemed fine and did not have a noticeable dip.Carefully, tip cakes out of the pans, peel the parchment and leave on a wire rack to cool.If you don't have a wire rack it won't hurt the cakes just to sit them on a bread board to cool.
- How to prepare the Icing:
- Add the margarine, icing sugar and cocoa powder to a mixing bowl and whip either by hand or with a hand/stand mixer. It should be nice and creamy.
- The chocolate can be melted using either of the following two methods.Melt the chocolate using a microwave. Place the chopped chocolate into a microwave safe bowl and turn on your microwave for 20 seconds, switch off, stir the chocolate, and then another 20 seconds. Stir. Repeat until melted. I have a 700 watt microwave and on high setting it only took about two 20 second turn ons until the chocolate melted. I find that after two 20 seconds if I mix the chocolate really well then the residual heat melts the remaining chocolate and the chocolate ends up nice and glossy the more I stir.Or melt the chocolate by using a little heatproof bowl sitting in a saucepan of simmering water. Stir till melted. Don't let the water rapidly boil as if you get a splash of water in the chocolate it could seize up.
- Pour and scrape the chocolate into the icing. Mix well. My icing was really thick and dark but spread well.
- Add about half the icing to one of the cake tops or bottoms whichever side you choose to use, to create the inside icing layer.
- Sandwich the second cake on to the iced cake.Spread out the rest of the icing on to the top.The original recipe added 200 grams of strawberries chopped and some left whole, as well as 50 grams of mixed chocolate buttons to decorate.I just sprinkled some vegan chocolate vermicelli sprinkles. And served with some raspberries on the side. But any extras are entirely optional.
- I would recommend that it isn't really necessary to add the 100 grams of dark chocolate to the chocolate icing. If you would like to save calories and pennies then omit this addition as really the icing is just as tasty if the melted chocolate is not added!
Recipe notes for GF Chocolate Celebration Cake
I thought the original recipes temperature seemed too hot to bake a cake. But as I was reviewing the recipe I went with the specified temperature. Although my cake baked at 200 fan for 25 minutes it was quite dark on the outside. So I would definitely try 180 fan for next time. And suggest you turn the temperature down 1 notch. However, despite being concerned that the cake would be dry due to the high temperature, it actually was not anywhere near dry!
I would recommend that it isn’t really necessary to add the 100 grams of dark chocolate to the chocolate icing. If you would like to save calories and pennies then omit this addition as really the icing is just as tasty if the melted chocolate is not added!
The cake serves 8-10 people depending on sizes of pieces cut! My cake was easily divided up into 9 good sized servings.
The original recipe suggests serving the cake with 200 grams of chopped and whole strawberries on the top, and a sprinkling of 50 grams of mixed chocolate buttons. For a vegan cake ensure the chocolate buttons are dairy free.
I served my cake with fresh raspberries which I think are the ideal accompaniment. A splash of vegan cream would be an even bigger indulgence!
Sprinkle some dairy-free cake sprinkles over the top for a simpler finish.
Gregg Wallace and Chris Bavin’s state in the original recipe that the cake is best eaten fresh on the day of baking, but that it can keep in a covered container for 3-4 days. I agree that it was the most moist and fluffy the day of baking, and a little bit drier the next day but seriously it was still so yummy on the 2nd day! And the third was still tasty. Unfortunately the cake didn’t last for a fourth day!
Cake can be stored at room temperature or covered well in the refrigerator.
Looking for more delicious recipes to try?
Check out my really easy Vegan Macaroni Cheese Review: