This vegan chocolate raspberry cake just might be your new favourite vegan dessert. It’s the perfect Valentine’s Day treat – but omit the heart sprinkles, and you’ve got yourself a vegan showstopper for any day of the year. It’s easy to make, requires no egg replacements and every bite will send you straight to chocolate + raspberry heaven.
Adjust the oven rack to the middle position, pre-heat the oven to 355 ºF (180 ºC) and line two 6 inch (15 cm) round baking tins with baking paper.
In a heat-proof bowl above a pot of simmering water, melt together the chocolate, Chocolate Fudge Sauce and oil.
In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the non-dairy milk, water and lemon juice.
Add the melted chocolate and wet ingredients to the dry, and whisk everything together until you get a smooth cake batter with no flour clumps.
Divide the batter evenly between the two lined cake tins, tap them gently on the counter to level off the batter and force any air bubbles to the top, and bake at 355 ºF (180 ºC) for about 45 minutes or until an inserted toothpick/skewer comes out clean.
Cool in the baking tins for 10 minutes, then turn the sponges out onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
Make sure the vegan butter is at room temperature for about 15 - 20 minutes before starting – it shouldn't be runny or melted, but it should be malleable. If you press down on it with your finger, it should leave an indentation.
Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment or a hand mixer with the double beaters attachment, beat the vegan butter for 3 – 5 minutes until smooth and fluffy.
Using a food processor or blender, process 1/2 cup (60 g) powdered/icing sugar with the freeze-dried raspberries until you get a fine pink powder. Pass the powder through a sieve to remove the seeds.
Add the raspberry sugar along with the remaining 3 1/4 cups of powdered/icing sugar to the vegan butter, and beat for a further 4 – 5 minutes until fluffy and an even pink colour. At this point, you can adjust the sweetness (by adding more powdered/icing sugar) or the colour (by adding red food colouring) if needed.
Set aside until needed. You don't have to keep it in the fridge, a cool place is sufficient (you don't want it to firm up too much, it needs to be easily spreadable).
Place the chocolate into a heat-proof bowl. In a small saucepan, combine the Chocolate Fudge Sauce and coconut cream, and heat them until melted and just about to boil.
Pour the hot mixture over the chocolate. Allow it to stand for 3 – 4 minutes, then mix it until you get a smooth, runny, glossy ganache.
Set aside until needed.
If the sponges are domed, level them with a sharp serrated knife. Then, cut each sponge horizontally in half.
Layer the sponges together with the frosting on a cake stand of choice. Use the bottom half of a sponge for the top layer, turned bottom side up – this will give your cake a nice flat top.
Cover the outside of the cake with the frosting (reserving some for piping on top) and smooth it out with a scraper or offset spatula. Chill the cake for 15 - 30 minutes in the fridge, or until the frosting feels firm to the touch.
If the chocolate ganache drip has cooled too much and is too firm, heat it up briefly in the microwave until runny. Transfer it to a squeeze bottle (you can also just use a spoon) and use it to create the chocolate ganache drip down the sides. Cover the top of the cake with the ganache and smooth it out.
Decorate the bottom third of the cake with heart sprinkles. Pipe the remaining frosting into pretty swirls on top of the cake and decorate with fresh raspberries.
The cake keeps well in a closed container or wrapped in cling film in the fridge for 3 – 4 days. Take the cake out of the fridge to come to room temperature about 10 – 15 before serving.