White chocolate vegan sponge with strawberries

White chocolate vegan sponge with strawberries

white chocolate vegan sponge strawberries backlit

Hope you guys are having a lovely weekend? We are receiving a generous amount of sunshine and if not for the fact that we still have a serious amount of DIY to do, I would ideally spend the entire weekend in my hammock, with a book and a Greek-style iced coffee in hand.

Despite predictions of the second peak in the UK, the country is poised for some serious lockdown easing and so that sofa of ours, which we’ve been looking forward to getting for over a year, might be arriving soon. Before it arrives, we need to install new skirting boards in the room and that’s a big job as all we have right now are 3 meter (10 feet) long planks that need to be cut to size and painted before installation. We bought a serious chop saw as we intend to do all our custom cabinetry ourselves including a cat shelf (Tina is going to love it) extending from an unusually shallow sill in our living room’s bay window.

I’ll be honest, this is not the recipe I was planning to share with you today, but after 2 days of non-stop testing I still was not 100% happy with the result (even though it felt like I was ‘this’ close) and so I’ve had to abort the mission with a view to testing it some more, but not under so much pressure and bring the recipe to you at another time, hopefully.

It happens sometimes, especially when I try to veganise something that isn’t even remotely vegan. It’s wasteful (that’s the part I dislike the most) and exhausting and I always end up eating way more than just mere taste testing as I tend to be a ‘frustrational snacker’ – I made this one up, but I’m sure you get the gist. The worst is when at the end of it you end up with nothing worthy of publishing. I guess that is a food blogger’s version of a ‘bad day at the office’…It used to really crush me when I first started blogging. I am much better at dealing with it now, but it still sucks.

It’s sunny and since I bought 6 punnets of strawberries for testing purposes I decided to make a simple sponge, flavoured with white chocolate and cardamom and topped with luscious coconut yoghurt and juicy stawberries instead. It is a simple summer dessert that anyone, vegan or not, can get behind. It would make a great addition to a BBQ or lunch al fresco so I hope you’ll make it and share the joy with someone whose company you like.

white chocolate vegan sponge strawberries cream

white chocolate vegan sponge strawberries top down

white chocolate vegan sponge strawberries side

white chocolate vegan sponge strawberries slice

makes
20 cm / 8"
PREP
20 min
COOKING
30 min
makes
20 cm / 8"
PREPARATION
20 min
COOKING
30 min
INGREDIENTS
WET INGREDIENTS

  • 50 g / 1.75 oz cacao butter (¼ cup once melted)*
  • 150 g / ¾ cup caster / superfine sugar or coconut sugar for refined sugar-free version
  • 240 ml / 1 cup soy milk (or other plant milk) at room temperature
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

DRY INGREDIENTS

TOPPING

  • 2 tsp cornflour / cornstarch(optional)
  • 3 tsp icing sugar (optional)
  • 350 g / 12 oz thick vegan coconut yogurt (I like The Coconut Collaborative)
  • 400 g / 14 oz fresh strawberries
  • chopped pistachios or almonds, to decorate (optional)
METHOD
  1. Heat up the oven to 180° C / 355° F. Line the bottom of your baking tin (I used a 20 cm / 8″ round pan) with a circle of baking paper. Grease the sides and dust them with flour.
  2. Melt the cacao butter in a large mixing bowl over a water bath. Once melted, allow it to cool down.
  3. Add sugar and whisk with an electric whisk adding a splash of soy milk to loosen the mixture a little. If you don’t have an electric whisk, that’s okay too, combine the two with a manual wire whisk instead.
  4. Add the rest of the soy milk, lemon and vanilla extract.
  5. Next, place a sieve over the wet ingredients and sift in flour, cornstarch, both baking agents, salt and cardamom.
  6. Fold them really gently and slowly into the wet ingredients starting by making small circles in the centre of the bowl to ensure that there are no lumps in the batter.
  7. Finally fold almond flour very gently, just enough to combine – don’t overmix.
  8. Transfer the batter (it will be runny) to the baking tin.
  9. Bake for about 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean and the top is nicely browned.
  10. Allow the cake to cool down completely (that’s very important).

TOPPING

  1. Stir sieved cornstarch (and icing sugar if you wish) through the yoghurt to make it more stable. Set aside in the fridge for 30 minutes. Also, some brands of icing sugar already contain cornstarch, in which case you don’t probably need extra starch as well.
  2. Top the cooled down cake with coconut yoghurt and strawberries. Decorate with chopped nuts (if using). Do not expose to excessive heat or direct sunline and store leftovers in an airtight box, in the fridge.

NOTES
*You can also use oil, like this one, but the sponge will not taste of white chocolate.

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NUTRITIONAL INFO
calories
244
12%
sugars
18 g
20%
fats
9 g
13%
saturates
4 g
18%
proteins
5 g
10%
carbs
37 g
14%
*per serving
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5.0
5 reviews, 7 comments
REVIEWS & QUESTIONS
Tania:
This one is absolutely delicious! This is the first time I've made something with cocoa butter and I (and my husband! :)) love the taste so much!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thanks so much, Tania! I'm so happy to hear that! Yes, cocoa butter is a great ingredient and I'm glad that my recipe has introduced you to its wonderful taste. Thank you for taking the time to leave this lovely review – I really appreciate it! Ania
kelsey:
Is there a substitute for the cacao butter?
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Kelsey,
    Sure, you could also use oil - I recommend this one or other brand of flavourless coconut oil. Hope this helps! Ania
Made this over the weekend and as with all your other recipes that I have tried it was amazing and is a keeper :-) I made 1/3 of the recipe and it was perfect for 2 x 5 inch mini cake tins, which I then used to make a mini 'faery' double layer cake, frosted and decorated with seasonal flower petals and freeze dried strawberries. I recon I will do this everytime there is a celebration now as its too dangerous to have a large cake around plus it was incredibly cute! I am wondering which of your frosting recipes might be the best for this sort of double layer cake, I try to not eat much fat/oil. Many thanks for your amazing blog - it is such a treat and I am sure you must put a lot of work into it for all our enjoyment :-)
    Ania
    Ania:
    Aw, thanks so much for your kind words, H! Yes, the blog is a labour of love and some recipes really take it out of me but I love it so once I have had a rest, I am ready to go again :) . I love the sounds of those cute fairy cakes. I'm totally with you, I prefer small dainty desserts too. They look cuter and they are a good portion control mechanism (I definitely need that!). In terms of the icing, I would go for my cashew icing or use thick coconut yoghurt like I did here, it works really well and adds a nice tangy note. Hope this helps. x Ania
Maria Pinto:
Fantastic recipe Ania. You are both an inspiration. I am super fan of this blog.
Thanks for giving us such wonderful ideas for a better and healthy life.
Cheers
Maria
    Ania
    Ania:
    Aw, thanks so much for you kind words, Maria! I'm so happy to hear that my blog is helpful to you. x Ania
Debbie Clarke:
Looks absolutely delicious. Is it possible to substitute the almond meal with extra flour due to allergy? Also is possible to use soya yoghurt?
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thanks Debbie, I am glad you like it. If you don't want to use almonds, I would go for an extra 1/2 cup flour + 1/4 cup cornstarch so that the sponge is delicate and soft. Yes to the yoghurt as long as it is thick enough to stay on top of the cake. Hope that helps! Ania
Megan:
This looks delicious. Could I use vegan white chocolate instead of cacao butter?
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Megan,
    Cacao butter is pure fat whereas white chocolate is fat + sugar + a few other ingredients (including plant milk) so I would advise to use 50 g of chocolate and perhaps an extra 25 g of coconut oil and you may want to reduce the amount of sugar a little too. Hope that helps! Ania
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