Vegan and Allergen Free Chocolate Cake

Veganuary has officially started! Whether you are vegan or trying it for January this deliciously dark, moist chocolate cake is the perfect treat. The cake is egg, dairy and nut free. If gluten is a problem, then substitute the flour with rice flour, checking the cocoa powder and baking powder are gluten free as well.

Serves 12

140ml sunflower oil, plus more for the tins

360g self-raising flour

60g cocoa powder

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

400g golden caster sugar

2 tsp vanilla extract

4 tsp white wine vinegar

400g raspberries

Icing sugar, to dust

Preheat the oven to 170°C/fan 160°C/340°F/gas mark 3½. Oil two 23cm cake tins and line the bases with baking parchment.

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Stir in the sugar. In another bowl, measure the oil, 400ml water and vanilla extract, then add the flour mixture, stirring in the vinegar last of all.

Pour the batter into the prepared tins and bake for 30-35 mins, or until a skewer emerges clean. Leave for a few minutes in the tins, then run a knife around the rims and turn out on to a wire rack. Remove the papers and leave to cool completely.

Put one cake on a cake stand or serving plate, and top with most of the raspberries. Place the other cake on top, and scatter with the remaining raspberries. Sift over an even layer of icing sugar to serve.


Copyright © Fiona Cairns 2011 Extracted from The Birthday Cake Book by Fiona Cairns published by Quadrille publishing ltd. Photography by Laura Edwards