This Gluten-Free Vegan Strawberry Cake is:
- fresh and fruity
- full of strawberry flavour
- naturally coloured!
I’ve posted so many fruity cake recipes on the blog so far, such as:
- Lemon Blueberry Cake
- Banana Cake
- Cherry Bakewell Cake
- Pineapple Upside Down Cake
- Fig Upside Down Cake
And so I thought it was time for a Gluten-Free Vegan Strawberry Cake – and unlike this Strawberry Sponge Layer Cake, I wanted to make a proper Strawberry Cake. Think moist, fluffy, strawberry-infused sponge slathered in lashings of creamy, strawberry-infused frosting.
But, the question is, how can you bake a cake with a strong strawberry flavour without using an artificial flavouring or strawberry jam? I decided to blend up fresh strawberries to create a gorgeous strawberry purée – it’s fresh, packed full of natural strawberry flavour, and has the most incredible colour!
My go-to vegan, gluten-free and refined sugar free sponge cake recipe requires a lot of milk, and this strawberry purée works as a good substitute for the milk, which means you can pack in a ton of fresh strawberries without worrying about adding too much liquid.
The other ingredients in this one-bowl sponge mixture include ground almonds for fluffiness and your favourite gluten-free flour blend. Baking strawberry purée into the sponge is the best decision as it makes the sponge smell amazing and gives it such a pretty pastel-pink hue.
I also decided to add a little beetroot powder to give the sponge a natural colour boost. You may be able to find beetroot powder at a local health store, or if not you can get this beetroot powder online.
Another important component of this Gluten-Free Vegan Strawberry Cake is the frosting – it’s thick, rich and creamy, and packed full of strawberry flavour. I did think adding fresh strawberry purée to the frosting would create too much excess liquid, so I decided to use strawberry jam.
The base of the frosting is made using coconut whipped cream, which when mixed with strawberry jam turns a beautiful pink colour, and becomes perfectly sweet and saturated with an amazing strawberry fragrance.
If you’d like to keep this refined sugar free, make sure to look out for a naturally sweetened strawberry jam.
A little dash of beetroot powder in the frosting also takes the colour to the next level – it turns a beautiful baby pink colour that looks perfect next to the adorable pink sponge.
There are lots of decoration options for this strawberry cake – I decided to use freeze-dried raspberries and fresh mint, but fresh strawberries or other fresh berries would also be great!
This cake obviously tastes best fresh, but also keeps well covered in the fridge for up to a few days. It’s perfect for birthdays, Valentine’s Day, Easter, Mother’s Day, baby showers, and everything else in between!
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 Strawberry Cake:
For the cake:
For the frosting:
Gluten-Free Vegan Strawberry Cake
For the cake:
- 300 g (10.5oz) fresh strawberries, hulled
- 60 g (1/4 cup) coconut oil (or sub olive or vegetable oil)
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 8 tablespoons maple syrup (or sub any other sweetener)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- 150 g (1 1/4 cups) ground almonds* (almond meal)
- 150 g (1 1/4 cups) 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)
- 1/2 teaspoon beetroot powder (optional - to add red colour)
For the cake:
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius (350 degrees Fahrenheit)
- Use a food processor, blender or hand-held stick blender to whizz the strawberries until completely smooth - you should end up with around 250ml (1 cup) strawberry purée
- 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 strawberry purée to the same bowl along with the lemon juice, maple syrup, vanilla, salt and ground almonds
- Sift in the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda (and beetroot powder if using)
- Mix well, adding a tiny splash of plant-based milk if it's looking too dry
- Transfer mixture between two small greased baking tins lined with baking paper (I used two 7inch/18cm baking tins)
- Bake in oven for around 15 minutes until golden brown and an inserted skewer comes out clean
- Once out the oven, immediately remove cakes from baking tins and transfer onto a wire rack to cool
For the frosting:
- You'll need to keep your tin of coconut milk in the fridge overnight for the rich creamy bit to separate from the watery bit at the bottom. Make sure it is full fat coconut milk, otherwise this separation won't happen and you won't be able to make this cream!
- Open the tin upside down - the coconut cream will be at the bottom and you can just pour off the watery liquid (save this for adding to soups or smoothies)
- Place the thick, creamy part into a bowl
- Add the vanilla extract (and beetroot powder if using)
- Use an electric whisk (or a manual one and a lot of elbow grease) to whip up the coconut cream until light and fluffy
- Add the strawberry jam and carefully mix it in
- Once the sponges have cooled completely, place one sponge on a large plate or cake stand, and cover with half of the frosting
- Place other sponge on top and use the remaining frosting to cover the top
- Best when fresh, but keeps well covered in the fridge for up to a few days
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