A fluffy, vegan sponge cake recipe with coconut whipped cream is an absolute must-have-which is why I am so excited to share this one with you! It’s free from white sugar, contains a special ingredient that makes it extra airy, is perfectly moist and pairs perfectly with whipped coconut cream.
We tried out this recipe time and again, to create an easy, vegan vanilla sponge that would be the backbone of every birthday cake henceforth. It has only taken me about 18 months to share it- oops. But hey, here we are! I may have forgotten to actually post the recipe but that is totally ok because now I have an excuse to make it again tomorrow!
White, organic bakers flour was used in this recipe as I find it easiest to bake with because it lends a light and fluffy texture to the cake- so while you may substitute for a more wholesome flour, you do so at your own risk. Mostly I prefer to bake with refined flours over wholemeal ones because, without leavening the dough, I believe it is a healthier option anyway.
A note on ingredients
Choose the best vanilla you can buy (or even better- make your own perpetual vanilla by following this recipe) as this will ultimately create that delicious flavour we all know and love when we eat a good vanilla cake-plus, artificial vanilla essence is just that- artificial. Yep, the good stuff is on the pricey side, but you watch out for when the large bottle are on discounted or like I said, make your own! Honestly, using REAL vanilla is always worth it, especially when its the hero flavour!
I always prefer to use darker sugar when baking, mostly brown or coconut sugar (for the extra minerals) but of course this isn’t a traditional choice with sponge cake. It does lend a slightly caramel flavour to the end result (which I like), but if you avoid white sugar like I do, you won’t mind. You could, potentially, swap brown sugar for white sugar- but you’ll need to also exchange the baking soda for baking powder, and I can’t speak for how sweet the end result will be- I would love to hear from you in the comments if you tried this!
Using aqua faba to perfect your vegan sponges
Finally, this fluffy, vegan sponge cake uses aqua faba (if you’re not well acquainted with that term, it basically means bean water, and refers to the water from a can of chickpeas) to really develop that light and fluffy texture that is a must with sponge cakes. Aqua faba is a bit trendy in 2019, and can easily be confused with being being a health food trend- let me be clear, it is NOT a healthy ingredient (you can read why, here) but it does has some pretty miraculous qualities that mean, when used occasionally, you can have your vegan sponge cake and eat it, too (and pavlova, and merengue etc etc).
Basically, aqua faba makes a pretty perfect replacement for egg wines and can do all the same things (albeit not quite as well)- and obviously, when we are wanting to add air into a recipe, this is a very handy thing.
Not all aqua faba is created equally. You can absolutely use the cooking water from a pot of home-cooked chickpeas, but most often people will save the usually discarded ‘water’ from a can of chickpeas and use that. Finding the best can is totally trial and error, but my personal preference is that from a can of organic, un-salted chickpeas- and it is a must for creating the perfect fluffy, vegan sponge cake with coconut whipped cream
Without further ado, the recipe!
A delightfully light, fluffy, moist and sweet vanilla cake that pairs so perfectly with a decent, rich coconut whipped cream (or coconut yoghurt works wonderfully, too) and tart raspberries (either fresh or as a jam). It’s a trio of flavours that is a classic for good reason, and a personal favourite of mine. I look forward to hearing your reviews on my fluffy, vegan sponge cake with coconut whipped cream.
Fluffy, vegan sponge cake with coconut whipped cream
400g white bakers flour
1 tsp baking soda/bicarb soda
250 grams brown sugar
200g vegan butter
150mL aquafaba (water from a can of chickpeas)
50grams rice malt syrup
3 tsp pure vanilla extract
200mL soy milk
For the coconut whipped cream
1 can full-fat coconut cream, chilled in the fridge overnight
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp rice malt syrup
Fresh berries- to serve
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees C, or 160 decrees C fan forced. Grease 2 x 7 1/2 inch can pans, and line with baking paper. Set aside.
- Sift flour and baking soda into a medium sized bowl, and salt and mix well. Set aside.
- In a second bowl, add the aqua faba and beat until light and fluffy (using electric beaters this will take around 4 minutes). Set aside.
- Finally, grab a large mixing bowl, and add vegan butter, vanilla and sugar, and use electric beaters to whip until creamed. Add milk, and beat to combine. Next, add the whipped aquafaba to the butter mixture and beat for an extra 1-2 minutes, or until well combined.
- Finally, add the dry ingredients and very gently fold through the wet ingredients, only until just combined. Pour batter evenly between the two greased cake tins, then bake for 25-30mins (I did 28mins), or until the cake is cooked through when tested with a skewer. Allow cakes to cool for 5 minutes before turning onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Make the coconut whipped cream
- take the can out of the fridge, and flip it upside down. Open the top of the can, and carefully discard the coconut water that you see sitting there. Next, scoop the coconut cream into a small mixing bowl, and add the vanilla and rice malt syrup. Whip with electric beaters for 2-4 minutes, or until light and creamy. Allow to set in the fridge while the cake cools completely.
- ensure the cake is completely cool before layering with the whipped coconut cream and fresh berries. This cake is best enjoyed on the day of making it, but can be stored in an air-tight container in the fridge- however, since you are using vegan butter in the recipe, it is best to remove a slice from the fridge at least 1/2 an hour before eating it, to allow the fats to warm up and return to the cake to its desired light and fluffy texture.
Vegan butter can be substituted for vegan margarine, but the end result will not be quite as delightful. Still, its an easy swap!
Aquafaba is an essential part of this recipe, so if you don’t have it, probably wait until you do.
Rice malt syrup can be substituted for pure maple syrup or coconut nectar, while brown sugar could be exchanged for coconut sugar or muscovado quite easily.
Soy milk can be swapped for coconut milk (the light, non-canned version), almond milk or rice milk- but preferably choose a plant-based milk with a higher fat content.
Keywords: Vanilla, vegan, dessert, sponge cake