How to make a vegan Christmas tree cake, with peppermint sponge cakes, chocolate ganache and a Swiss meringue peppermint buttercream. Great for kids to decorate! Watch me decorate the cake here.
Ingredients for the cake
- 480ml of dairy-free milk
- 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar
- 420g of self raising flour
- 350g of caster sugar
- 1 teaspoon of baking powder
- 1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
- 120ml of sunflower oil
- 1/2 tablespoon of peppermint extract / flavouring
Ingredients for the ganache
- 60g of dairy-free dark chocolate
- 60ml of dairy-free cream
Ingredients for the buttercream
- 380g of Flora Plant B+tter Unsalted Block
- 1/2 tablespoon of peppermint extract / flavouring
- 300g of icing sugar
- 40ml of chickpea brine (aquafaba)
- Green food gel
- Vegan sprinkles
- Red and white fondant
- Preheat your oven to 180 degrees c fan and line three, 6 inch cake tins with grease-proof paper. If you only have 1 or 2 tins, you’ll have to bake the cakes separately. Cover the batter with a tea towel until ready to use. Give it a gentle stir before pouring into the tins.
- 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’.
- In a large mixing bowl, sift the flour, sugar, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda. Mix well to combine.
- Add the peppermint extract / flavouring and oil and into the ‘buttermilk’ and whisk to combine.
- Add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix.
- Pour equal amounts of batter into the lined cake tins. Make sure to tap the tins on the worktop to remove any air bubbles.
- 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 the centre and it comes out clean and they are springy to the touch.
- 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.
- Place the dairy-free cream into a saucepan. Gently heat until it comes to a light simmer, then turn off the heat.
- Place the chocolate into a heatproof bowl and pour over the hot cream, stir to combine. Set aside to cool slightly while you make the buttercream.
- In a large mixing bowl, add in the Flora Plant B+tter Unsalted Block, whip until creamy. I use a stand mixer with a balloon whisk attachment, a hand mixer will work great too.
- Sift in the icing sugar and add in the peppermint extract / flavouring. Whip on high speed for a couple of minutes to incorporate it.
- Pour in the aquafaba (chickpea brine) and whip for 5 minutes until it turns thick and creamy. Don’t over whip it or it can become too soft. If it goes too soft add more icing sugar, or too thick, add chunks of Flora Plant B+tter Unsalted Block to get it to a smooth and creamy consistency. The buttercream should be sufficient enough for the filling and decoration.
- 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.
- In between each layer add a tablespoon or two of the chocolate ganache and spread out. Don’t spread it to close the edge of the cake, you don’t want any chocolate showing in your final coat.
- Place the second cake layer on top. Press it down gently so it sticks, repeat with the ganache. Do the same with the 3rd cake layer.
- Coat the whole cake with a thin layer of buttercream using an off set spatula. This creates a crumb coat. Place the cake into the fridge to set. This will take around 10-15 minutes. Chilling the cake makes it easier when adding the final coat of buttercream.
- When the cake comes out of the fridge, coat with a final layer of buttercream. Leave enough buttercream for the Christmas tree decoration. Use an off set spatula or the back of a spoon to create a stippled effect in the buttercream all over the cake. Watch the tutorial here.
- With the left over buttercream, add in a drop of green food gel and whip to fully combine.
- Transfer the buttercream into a piping bag fitted with a star tip nozzle. I use a Wilton 2D tip.
- Use a tooth pick to mark each side of the tree in the buttercream so that you have a clear guide to help you pipe a neat shape.
- Pipe stars and swirls in the marked ‘tree’ area until its all covered in. Watch me pipe this cake here.
- With any left over green buttercream, use it to pipe low swirls around the top edge of the cake.
- Decorate the tree with vegan friendly sprinkles, fondant candy canes / real mini candy canes and a star / snowflake at the top of the tree.
To store: Serve fresh or store in a sealed container at room temperature in the fridge. Allow to come to room temperature for around 20 minutes before serving. Best eaten within a few days!
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 buttercream etc.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Baking time: 28 minutes
- Category: christmas recipes
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: Christmas recipes
Keywords: christmas cake, peppermint cake, christmas tree cake, christmas