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side view of chocolate orange sheet cake with a slice on its side showing the zesty sponge and swirly chocolate frosting

Vegan Chocolate Orange Sheet Cake


This cake is sure to put a spring in your step, with moist orange sponge and a delicious, whipping chocolate buttercream.


Units Scale

Ingredients for the cake

  • 250ml of dairy-free milk
  • 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar
  • 250g of self raising flour
  • 140g of caster sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
  • 70ml of sunflower oil
  • 1 teaspoon of orange flavouring / orange extract
  • 1 large orange

Ingredients for the buttercream

  • 150g of dairy-free dark chocolate
  • 150g of dairy-free block butter*
  • 20ml of aquafaba (chickpea brine)*
  • 200g of icing sugar


Method (cake)

  1. Preheat your oven to 180ºC fan and line an 8 x 10 inch rectangular cake tin with grease-proof paper. Allow the paper to hang over the tin slightly, this makes it easier to remove the cake when baked.
  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. Add the oil, orange flavouring / extract and orange zest into the ‘buttermilk’ and whisk to combine.
  4. Add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix just to combine.
  5. Pour the batter into the lined tin and tap on the worktop to remove any air-bubbles.
  6. Pop the cake into the middle of the preheated oven and bake for around 25-30 minutes. You will know it is done when you put a knife or skewer down the middle of the cake and it comes out clean and it’s springy to the touch. If batter comes off on the skewer, it needs more time to bake. To prevent burning, top the cake with some grease proof paper then return back into the oven.
  7. Allow the cake to cool in the tin for 10 minutes then carefully transfer onto a cooling rack. Allow to cool fully before frosting. You can even place the cake in a sealed container once cool then frost the day after. It’s a very light sponge so be careful with it when removing from the tin.

Method (buttercream)

  1. Fill a small saucepan 3/4 full with water, creating a bain-marie, place onto the hob over low/ medium heat.
  2. Finely chop the chocolate and place it into a heatproof bowl along with 50g of butter. Place the bowl over the simmering water and allow to melt. Once melted, allow to cool for 10 minutes until it’s not too hot.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, add in the remaining 100g of dairy-free butter and whip until creamy. I use a stand mixer with a balloon whisk attachment, a hand mixer will work great too.
  4. Sift in the icing sugar and whip on high speed for a couple of minutes to incorporate it.
  5. 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.
  6. Pour the melted chocolate into the buttercream and whip to incorporate. The buttercream should be very light and airy. Add more chunks more butter to get it to the right consistency.
  7. Dollop the buttercream on the sheet cake and use a cranked pallet knife / off set spatula to swirl it around.
  8. Why not decorate the cake with some dairy-free easter chocolates.


To store: Store the cake in a sealed container in the fridge. Best eaten within 3 days of making. Un-iced cake can be stored in a sealed container at room temperature for 2 days. Leave at room temperature for 15 minutes before tucking in!

My favourite vegan block butter to use is Flora Plant Based Block and Naturli Block.

What is aquafaba? Aquafaba is the water from a can/tin of chickpeas. The chickpea water or brine as it’s called, acts as an amazing egg substitute for cakes, cupcakes and delicious meringue buttercream. You can also get aquafaba in a carton for easy use.

  • Cook Time: 25-30 minutes
  • Category: Cakes and layer cakes
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: chocolate orange, easter sheet cake, easter cake, chocolate orange sheet cake