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Monday, 19 October 2020

Vegan Strawberry Ghost Cake recipe

Vegan.

No tricks here just treats. Change things up this year with this super cute, spooktastic cake. 

A little fact about me- I suffer from 'Samhainophobia' which is a phobia of Halloween. A holiday which most people get extremely excited about brings me so much anxiety and fear, it's a really tough time of the year for me. Even though I absolutely love horror movies, I'm terrified of anything creepy in real life- haha!

I have never made a Halloween recipe, until now. I wouldn't say this is specifically for Halloween as I wanted to make this cake cute and fun which is the complete opposite of what Halloween is. This cake is perfect for birthday parties, special occasions or a kids Halloween party!


This cake has 3 delicious and moist chocolate cakes, with a strawberry jam core, light pink vanilla buttercream decorated with iced biscuits and vegan sprinkles.

I wanted to make this cake as cute and 'non-spooky' as possible, hence the pinks and sparkles.
I just love the way the ghosts are flying across the cake, it's a real eyecatcher and centerpiece. 

Why you must make this cake:
  • It's rich and moist, just as you want a chocolate cake
  • This vegan cake is effective yet easy to make
  • The biscuits are only 3 ingredients with a 2 ingredient royal icing
  • It has a strawberry filling which adds a pop of fruity flavour
Ingredients you'll need for the cake and iced biscuits:
  • Dairy-free milk
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Self-raising flour
  • Caster sugar
  • Baking powder
  • Bicarbonate of soda
  • Vegetable oil/coconut oil
  • Icing sugar
  • Dairy-free butter
  • Vanilla extract
  • Plain flour
  • Maple syrup
  • Chickpea brine (aquafba)
  • Pink food gel
  • Black food gel
  • Vegan sprinkles

How to make vegan royal icing and iced biscuits?
  • In a large bowl with a hand whisk or stand mixer fitted with a balloon whisk attachment, add in the chickpea brine (aquafaba) and whisk on high until frothy. This usually takes around 5 minutes.
  • Add in the vanilla extract and icing sugar. Whisk together until it holds a stiff peak.
  • Divide the royal icing into three separate bowls. To the first bowl, add in a drop of pink food gel to make a light pink for the haunted house, the second bowl add in black food gel (this is for the ghost's eyes and mouth) and leave the third bowl plain white for the ghosts.
  • Transfer the royal icings into individual piping bags with a small round tip nozzle. You can also snip the end of the piping bags off to created a small hole.
Watch this video to understand how to pipe and decorate biscuits. 

Decorate the ghosts and cake as you like, just allow the icing to set on the biscuits before handling them. It's best to make the biscuits the day before decorating the cake. 

Preparation:
20 minutes
Baking time: 30 minutes
Serves: Approximately 10-12
Level: Medium
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Ingredients for the cake
-480ml of dairy-free milk 
 -2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar
-420g of self-raising flour
-45g of cocoa powder
-450g of caster sugar
-1 teaspoon of baking powder
-1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
-120g of vegetable oil / melted coconut oil

Ingredients for the buttercream
-250g of dairy-free butter
- 600 of icing sugar
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
-Pink food gel (I use Rainbow Dust)

Ingredients for the biscuits
-50g of plain flour
-20g of coconut oil (melted)
-1 & 1/2 tablespoons of maple syrup

Decorations
-Strawberry / raspberry jam
-Vegan sprinkles
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Method (iced biscuits)
TIP- It's best to make these biscuits a day in advance to allow the royal icing to set.

1. Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees c and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.

2. In a mixing bowl, combine the plain flour, melted coconut oil and maple syrup.
 Bring together with a wooden spoon or your hands until a dough forms.
Add more flour if the dough is too wet or add more melted coconut oil if too dry. You want it to be a stiff but smooth dough.

3. Roll out the dough then using a house and ghost cutters, cut out the shapes and place onto the lined tray.
If you don't have the correct cookie cutters, you can use a knife to cut out the shapes. You can print off the shapes you want and use that as a guide.

4. Place the biscuits into the oven and bake for 9-10 minutes or until golden in colour. The edges of the biscuits will turn a light golden colour.

5. Once baked, carefully place them onto a cooling rack and allow them to cool fully before icing.

Get my vegan royal icing recipe here.
You want to make a small batch of royal icing, so make 3/4 of the recipe.

Method (cakes)
1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees c and line three 6 inch cake tins with grease-proof paper.

2. In a bowl, combine the dairy-free milk with the apple cider vinegar and whisk until fully combined.
Set aside for 10 minutes to curdle. This creates a vegan 'buttermilk'.

3. In a large mixing bowl, sift the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda.
Mix well to combine.

4. Add the oil into the 'buttermilk' and whisk to combine.

5. Add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix.

6. Pour equal amounts of batter into the lined cake tins.
Make sure to tap the tins on the worktop to remove any air bubbles.

7. Pop the cakes into the center of the preheated oven and bake for around 30 minutes.
You will know they are done when you put a knife or skewer in and it comes out clean and they are springy to the touch.

8. Place the cakes on a cooling rack and allow to cool fully. 
Once cool, pop them into a sealed container to keep them fresh before frosting.


Method (buttercream)
1. In a bowl/stand mixer, cream the dairy-free butter until light and fluffy, then add in the vanilla extract, pink food gel and icing sugar in stages until fully combined.
Add a splash of dairy-free milk if the buttercream is too thick. If its too runny, add more icing sugar until it's a nice and creamy consistency. 

2. Stack and fill the cakes with the buttercream, then crumb coat the whole cake and pop into the fridge to set. This will take 20-25 minutes.
Optional: With a spoon or offset spatula, create a little well in the center of the buttercream on each layer by scooping some of it out and add in approximately 2 tablespoons of either strawberry/raspberry jam.

3. When the crumb coat feels firm to the touch, add a thick layer of the pink buttercream all over the cake and using a smooth or textured cake scraper or large spatula, smooth out the buttercream.

4. Add any left over buttercream into a piping bag fitted with an open star tip nozle and pipe swirls around the top edge of the cake.

5. Stick the cookies onto the sides of the cake with buttercream (as seen in the photos).
Decorate with edible glitter and sprinkles.

Serve fresh and store in a sealed container in the fridge. 

Best eaten within a few days!

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