Vegan, quick & easy.
I think this is one of the most beautiful cakes I have ever made! I have been loving all things tropical and cacts recently and what better way to show my appreciation that creating a cactus garden cake!?
This cheerful and beautiful cake has layers of chocolate cake, vegan Nutella and vanilla buttercream, with piped buttercream cacti.
The cacti are really impressive and are very easy to create!
This ‘blooming’ cake is perfect for tea parties, birthdays and weddings etc. They’re also a great way to showcase your decorating skills. You can mix & match your succulent styles and colours to create the edible garden of your dreams!
Preparation- 30 minutes
Baking time- 28-30 minutes
Ingredients for the cake
-480ml of almond milk (I use unsweetened)
-2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar
-425g of self-raising flour
-2 tablespoons of cocoa powder
-480g of golden caster sugar
-1 teaspoon of baking powder
-1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
-120g of coconut oil (melted)
Ingredients for the frosting
-400g of dairy-free butter
-650g of icing sugar
-1 teaspoons of vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)
-Pink food gel (optional)
-Dairy-free-free milk (if needed)
-Vegan food gels
To make the cakes
Step 1- Preheat your oven to 180 degrees c and line three 6inch cake tins with grease-proof paper.
Step 2- In a bowl, combine the almond milk with the apple cider vinegar and whisk until fully combined.
Set aside for 10 minutes to curdle. This creates a vegan ‘buttermilk’.
Step 3- In a large mixing bowl, sift the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda.
Mix well to combine.
Step 4- Add the coconut oil into the ‘buttermilk’ and whisk to combine.
Step 5- Add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix.
Step 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.
Step 7- Pop the cakes into the centre of the preheated oven and bake for around 28-30 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.
Step 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.
To make the buttercream
Step 1- In a bowl/stand mixer, cream the butter on high then add in the icing sugar and vanilla.
Add in a splash of dairy-free milk if too thick.
You want the buttercream light and fluffy.
Step 2- Divide the buttercream into three bowls and colour one bowl of buttercream light pink.
Step 2- Stack and fill the cakes with vegan nutella, plain white buttercream, then crumb coat the whole cake and pop into the fridge to set.
This will take around an hour.
Step 3- Once the crumb coat is set, apply a coat of pink buttercream and level until smooth. I use a cake scraper and large pallet knife.
Watch this amazing video on how to perfectly crumb coat a cake.
Step 4- Decorate the cake with buttercream cacti.
Watch this video on how to pipe cacti.
I also used edible gold and white sprinkles to add on some finishing touches.
Serve fresh or store in a sealed container, the buttercream will firm up at room temperature.
Best eaten within a few days of making!
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