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Tuesday, 10 August 2021

Small Batch Strawberry Cake

This mini vegan strawberry cake is an absolute classic. A small batch, 2 tier cake with pink, strawberry Swiss meringue buttercream and a homemade strawberry compote. This is the perfect Birthday / baby shower cake!

Watch me make this cake here.

Let's welcome the latest small batch / mini cake to grace my website- THE MINI STRAWBERRY LAYER CAKE.
small-batchl-pink-strawberry-cake
I keep having ideas for these mini batch cakes, I think its becoming little bit of a problem - haha! On the good side, you guys have been absolute loving them on social media. Each one of these mini cakes is reaching over 100,000 views on Instagram and trends over on Pinterest, so they must be catching peoples attention!

Their sweet size and sweet flavour is probably / DEFINITELY what's selling it. 

This mini cake is JAM-PACKED full pun on the jam) of strawberry buttercream and a homemade, 3 ingredient strawberry compote. I baked the cakes in two, 6 inch cake tins and sandwiched them with a light strawberry flavoured Vegan Swiss Meringue Buttercream.

Why do I frost with Swiss meringue as opposed to American buttercream?
American buttercream is exceptionally sweet. When I combined the American style buttercream and strawberry flavouring during recipe testing it was an overload of sweetness. You also couldn't taste the strawberry very well as it was just too sweet to grasp the flavour.
Swiss meringue takes down the sweetness leaving you with a silky smooth, not too sweet buttercream which makes the strawberry flavour POP. I always tell people its like eating a buttercream cloud- haha! For this cake, its like strawberry cream, you need to try it out!

Why you need to make this cake:
  • Easy to make
  • Scrumptious
  • Fun to make
  • It is super pretty to look out
  • The berry flavours BURSTS due to the compote 
  • The perfect addition to any dinner table / celebration
  • Its light in texture and isn't too sweet
strawberry_cake
stacking-strawberry-cake
Check out my other small batch cakes here:
Vegan cake slice with berry compote
Looking for more berry recipes? Look no further:
vegan-strawberry-recipes

How to make a Vegan Strawberry Cake Cake?
  • To make this glorious cake, you want to make vegan buttermilk with dairy-free milk and apple cider vinegar. 
  • In a bowl, combine self-raising flour, sugar, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda.
  • Add oil, strawberry flavouring and pink food gel to the buttermilk, whisk to combine then pour into the dry mixture.
  • Add wet into the dry and combine.
  • Pour into lined cake tins and bake. Voila, the most perfect sponge cakes for your ultimate berry BLAST of a cake!!
  • You can store the cake un-iced in a sealed container at room temperature ready to ice the following day. I like to do this as it allows the flavours to infuse further.
  • You'll want to whip up a batch of buttercream. I opted for Swiss meringue buttercream as it resembles cream, and goes with a 'strawberries and cream' feel to the cake. Stack and coat the cake with this delicious and light cream.
  • This cake has a surprise core of strawberry compote too.
  • This cake looks stunning on a serving plate, but even more impressive on a high standing cake stand. It looks royal!
pink-strawberry-cake

Notes*
What food gel should I use? You'll want to pick up a food gel. I have tried liquid food colouring and for me, it never works. Liquid food gels don't give you the pigment so you end up adding more which changes the texture of the batter/ buttercream.
Food gels on the other hand are highly pigmented and you only need a little bit, so it won't change the texture of the bake. Pro Gel from Rainbow Dust Colours are my go-to's. Check out all of their colours here

What is aquafaba?
Aquafaba is the water from a can/tin of Chickpeas.The Chickpea water or brine as its called, acts as an amazing egg substitute for cakes, meringue buttercreams etc. You can also buy it in a carton. Check it out here

What vegan block butter to use?
As Swiss meringue uses liquid from the aquafaba, having a stiffer butter is key. I like the Naturli Vegan Block or Flora Plant Based Block Butter Alternative.

How is this small batch?
I bake these small batch cakes in two, 6 inch tins. These are the exact tins I use. 

Preparation: 2 hours (or overnight)
Baking time: 25-30 minutes
Serves: Approximately 6-8
Level: Easy

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Ingredients for the strawberry compote

  • 100g of fresh / frozen strawberries
  • 50g of caster sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon of lemon juice

Ingredients for the cake
  • 240ml of dairy-free milk 
  • 1 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar
  • 210g of self-raising flour
  • 200g of caster sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
  • 60g of vegetable oil / melted coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon of strawberry flavouring 
  • Pink food gel (see notes*)

Ingredients for the strawberry buttercream
  • 150g of dairy-free block butter ( see notes*)
  • 200g of icing sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of strawberry flavouring
  • 40ml of aquafaba (chickpea brine) see notes*
  • Pink food gel (see notes*)
+
  • Icing sugar (to dust)
  • Fresh strawberries (to serve)
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Method (strawberry compote)
1. Place the strawberries into a medium-sized saucepan and sprinkle over the sugar and lemon juice.

2. Place ontop onto the hob over a medium to high heat and bring to the boil. This will take around 5-8 minutes Keep stirring with a heatproof spatula or wooden spoon to prevent the mixture from sticking and burning. 
It will start to turn thick. Once thick, remove from the heat and allow to cool before using. As it cools, it will thicken up even more and turn into a jellified sauce.
Store in a sealed container in the fridge until you're ready to use it.

Method (cakes)
1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees c fan and line two, 6 inch loose base / push up 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, sugar, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda.
Mix well to combine. 

4. Add the oil, strawberry flavouring and a small drop of pink food gel 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 centre of the preheated oven and bake for around 25-30 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 (swiss meringue buttercream)
1. In a large mixing bowl, add in the dairy-free butter, whip until creamy. I use a stand mixer with a balloon whisk attachment, a hand mixer will work great too.

2. Sift in the icing sugar and strawberry flavouring and a drop of pink food gel, whip on high speed for a couple of minutes to incorporate it.

3. Pour in the aquafaba and whip for 5 minutes until it turns light and creamy. Don't over whip it or it can become too soft. If it does, just add in more icing sugar until it's thick and creamy. The buttercream should be airy and light. You might need to add in some more butter to get it to the right consistency. 
Tip: If the buttercream ever looks like its splitting, add chunks more butter at a time while its still whipping on medium / high speed. It'll come back together within a minute or two. 

4. Place one of the cakes on a serving plate or cake stand. Dollop some of the buttercream on top and spread out until even using an off set spatula or pallet knife.
Make a well in the middle of the buttercream and fill with 2 - 3 heaped tablespoons of strawberry curd. 
Optional- Sprinkle over some fresh chopped strawberries or freeze dried strawberries between the layer.

5. Place the second cake layer on top. Press it down gently so it sticks.
Coat the whole cake with the pink buttercream, swirling it around to create texture with the spatula.

6. Decorate with a few sliced strawberries (as seen in the photos).

To store:
Keep this cake stored in a sealed container in the fridge. Best eaten within 3 days of making.
Un-iced cakes can be stored in a sealed container at room temperature for 2 days.
The strawberry compote can be kept in a sealed jar in the fridge for up to a week. Just give it a stir before using.

Strawberry-Cake


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