On the occasion of my birthday a few days ago I decided to make a chocolate layer cake, something I’d wanted to try for a long time but was always too lazy to. Plus, you must understand that I have a massive sweet tooth so I try not to make sweets/desserts too often or I will eat them really quickly. But I knew I had to make this sooner or later, and I wanted to take advantage of the fresh summer berries for extra prettiness.
I had a very relaxed and low key birthday – I spent it in Milan, my hometown, with my family (I think I’ve only ever spent one other birthday here!). We went to a good pizzeria for lunch and then to my favourite gelateria for awesome icecream. They have plenty of vegan flavors too. You can find their website here, please check them out if you’re ever in Milan! They have many locations. Divine gelato.
The recipe for this cake is the same as my chocolate pineapple ginger cake but I slightly changed the total amount of the batter. You can of course make it into 4, 3 or 2 layers, or just one single cake. I don’t trust myself with the careful task of slicing a cake in two horizontally, so I preferred to make 4 (!). Makes sense, right?
I hope you will get the chance to make it for a special occasion, or just for a mid-afternoon snack. Remember: everything always tastes better the next day! Okay, except pizza.
Chocolate layer cake with raspberry chia jam and coconut whipped cream // vegan
by Marta‘s Plants
yields four 11,5cm/4,5in cakes
about 1 + ½ cups raspberry jam
about 1 cup coconut whipped cream
prep time: 20 min, cook time: 25 min, total: 45 min
1 + ¾ cups / 320 gr spelt flour (or other flour of choice)
½ cup / 60 gr cacao powder
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
½ cup / 120 ml maple syrup
1 + ½ cups / 360 ml milk of choice
¼ cup / 60 ml coconut oil (melted) + more for greasing
2 tbsp cocoa nibs
seeds from 1 vanilla bean or 1 tsp vanilla extract
handful fresh or frozen thawed berries of choice for topping (optional)
1 tbsp lemon zest, grated (optional)
- Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F.
- In a large bowl sift and mix the dry ingredients; in another bowl mix the wet ingredients (including cocoa nibs) and then add to the dry ones.
- Stir well until you have a smooth batter (it will be quite liquid).
- Divide it into 4 equal parts and pour it into 4 small cake tins that have been lightly greased with coconut oil or, if you only have one, pour the first batch in the one tin and the other 3 parts in 3 small bowls which you will cover with plastic wrap and store in the fridge for the time being.
- Bake for about 15 minutes. Check with a toothpick in the center until it comes out clean.
- When ready, leave out to cool completely on a wire rack (about 10-15 mins).
- If you’re using just one tin, repeat for the other 3 cakes. Leave on an oven rack to cool.
Raspberry chia jam
1 + ½ cups raspberries
2 tbsp chia seeds
1 tbsp maple syrup (or other sweetener)
juice of ½ lemon
- Put everything except the chia seeds in a small saucepan on low heat. With a fork, mash raspberries.
- Add chia seeds, Mix. Taste for tartness. Add more sweetener if needed. Cook for another couple of minutes.
- Transfer to a glass jar and place in fridge to set for at least 1 hour.
Coconut whipped cream
1 can full fat coconut cream
1 tbsp maple syrup (or other sweetener)
- Place can in the fridge the night before without shaking it too much.
- Carefully turn the can upside down, open it, discard the coconut water (you can use it for a smoothie) and scoop out the solid cream.
- Whisk the cream in a large bowl until it starts forming peaks. Add sweetener to taste and continue whisking.
- Transfer to a container and refrigerate for a few minutes/hours to let it firm up.
- Assembling: if the 4 little cake tops are too round you can easily slightly slice them off to level them (you won’t need to slice much though). Spread a good amount of jam over 3 cakes, layer them on top of each other, then add the coconut whipped cream on top either with a knife/spoon or with a piping bag (you can make one by transferring the cream into a zip-lock bag and cutting off one corner). Add fresh berries and lemon zest.
- The cake keeps in the fridge, in a sealed container, for at least 4 days (that’s how long mine lasted!)