This Gluten-Free Vegan Chocolate Sponge Layer Cake is absolutely perfect for birthdays! It’s coated in lashings of chocolate buttercream and tastes as indulgent as the cake of childhood parties, but is secretly much healthier.
I used my favourite vegan, gluten-free and refined sugar free sponge as a base for this layer cake – I love its taste and texture, and what’s more, it requires just one bowl and uses easily accessible ingredients. The coconut oil gives the sponge a rich, buttery flavour whilst ground almonds add a nutty sweetness and fluffiness.
The recipe is also easily customisable, as you can use any liquid sweetener you like, and substitute the coconut oil with olive or vegetable oil if you wish.
And if you’re making a chocolate sponge layer cake, it would be crazy not to make a chocolate buttercream to sandwich between the layers.
I used my favourite frosting, which is this Sweet Potato Chocolate Buttercream. I came up with the recipe as I wanted to make a rich and creamy cake frosting that wasn’t coconut-based, nut-based, or avocado-based, and so turned to sweet potatoes instead – and I’m so glad I did!
Using vegetables to make buttercream may sound crazy, but the creamy texture and sweetness of sweet potatoes is magical. It’s deeply chocolatey, perfectly sweet, rich and velvety – everything a cake frosting should be right?
It’s also budget-friendly and easy to make – just cook some sweet potatoes then add cocoa powder, maple syrup, vanilla, salt, coconut oil and blend until completely smooth.
I absolutely love the combination of the moist and fluffy sponge paired with the luxuriously smooth buttercream – it’s a chocolate lover’s dream!
You can finish off the cake with a flourish of fresh fruit, dried fruit, chopped nuts or whatever else you fancy.
I really hope you’ll love this Gluten-Free Vegan Chocolate Sponge Layer Cake as much as I do!
Looking for more chocolate treats? Check out my:
- Mississippi Mud Pie
- Chocolate Truffle Cake
- Chocolate Hazelnut Cake
- Chocolate Baked Donuts
- Chocolate Truffles
If you try out this recipe or anything else from my blog, I’d really love to hear any feedback! Please give it a rating, leave a comment, or tag a photo #rhiansrecipes on Instagram! Thank you.
Helpful tools to make this Gluten-Free Vegan Chocolate Sponge Layer Cake:
For the cake:
For the frosting:
- 60 g (1/4 cup) coconut oil (or sub olive or vegetable oil)
- 230 ml (1 cup) unsweetened almond milk (or any plant-based milk)
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar (ensure gluten-free if necessary)
- 8 tablespoons maple syrup (or sub any other sweetener)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- 150 g (1 1/4 cup) ground almonds* (almond meal)
- 150 g (1 1/4 cup) gluten-free flour blend (or sub plain flour if not gluten-free)
- 2 heaped teaspoons baking power (ensure gluten-free if necessary)
- 1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
- 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius (350 degrees Fahrenheit)
Place the coconut oil in a large bowl and melt over a saucepan of boiling water or in the microwave (skip this step if using any other oil)
- Once melted, add the milk to the same bowl along with the vinegar, maple syrup, vanilla, salt and ground almonds
- Sift in the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and cocoa powder
- Mix well, adding a tiny splash more milk if it’s looking too dry
- Divide mixture between two greased baking tins lined with baking paper (I used two 7inch/18cm baking tins)
- Bake in oven for around 15 minutes until risen slightly and an inserted skewer comes out clean
- Once out the oven, transfer cakes from baking tins onto a wired rack to leave them to cool completely before applying the frosting
- Cook sweet potatoes by boiling, steaming or roasting them until very soft and tender
Discard any skins, and add to a food processor or blender (or hand-held blender) along with all other ingredients
- Whizz until completely smooth
- Taste and adjust ingredients as necessary – add more maple syrup for sweetness, more salt for saltiness, more cocoa powder for chocolate flavour etc
- Leave to cool before using to frost the cake
- Place one half of the cake onto a plate and spread just less than half of the buttercream onto it
- Place the other half of the cake on top of that and use rest of the buttercream to spread on top and around sides of cake
- Decorate with fresh fruit, chopped nuts, dried fruit, or whatever else you fancy!
- Keeps covered in the fridge for up to a few days
*You can alternatively use almond flour
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