Whipped up in a flash, this raspberry and coconut sponge is an easy “bung it in a bowl and mix with whatever implement comes to hand” option for lazy weekends when you don’t want to spend forever baking but just fancy a slice of something with your afternoon cup of tea.
The basic sponge mix is a fairly flexible “Victoria Sponge” alternative based on one from Ms Cupcake’s fantastic cookbook The Naughtiest Vegan Cakes in Town (buy it – you won’t regret it) with the oil and vanilla slightly reduced and the addition of tart frozen raspberries and dessicated coconut to flavour.
Vegetable oil and soya milk replace the dairy and eggs without leaving the final cake dense, dry or stodgy as vegan cakes can often be – the crumb is light and fluffy enough to pass for a standard sponge and easily passed the ‘omnivore test’ when we shared with friends.
I usually gravitate towards delicate-looking cupcakes due to the lowered baking time and the fact that I always find them easier to decorate. Slathered with coconut buttercream between the layers and otherwise left bare, this sponge cake was far from dainty! It was, however, just about perfect with a brew after a long day.
The littlest chickpea took great delight in “cleaning” the bowl when we were finished – and that’s one of the benefits of vegan baking right there. Who doesn’t like licking the utensils clean without fear of salmonella from uncooked eggs?
Raw cake batter for everyone!
- 400 g self raising flour
- 240 g caster sugar
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 400 ml soya milk
- 150 ml vegetable oil or other light-tasting oil
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 100 g dessicated coconut
- 130 g frozen raspberries
Line two 20cm square cake tins and preheat the oven to 180C.
In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder and sugar and then pour in the oil and soya milk and stir until the mixture is just combined. If the batter starts to fizz from the interaction of the baking powder and liquids, give the bowl a sharp tap on the counter-top to pop the bubbles and continue working quickly.
Gently fold in the coconut and raspberries, ensuring good distribution of fruit - and pour the mixture into the lined cake tins.
Bake at 180C for 20-25 minutes or until golden on top and a knife inserted in the centre comes away clean
Leave in the tins for 10 minutes or so, until cool enough to handle easily - then transfer to a rack to finish. Fill with your favourite buttercream and layer, or just slice and go.