Chocolate & Coconut Oil Mini Heart Cakes
Once the warmer weather comes around, most of us are suddenly motivated to exercise more and eat better. Cravings for delicious comfort foods don’t just disappear though and they can be hard to manage even when we really do want to be virtuous. For this, we need a good go-to vegan cake recipe.
To help with this, I baked these tasty Chocolate & Coconut Oil Mini Heart Cakes for times when I want a sweet indulgence with less guilt. I often use coconut oil as a hair conditioner, makeup remover and moisturiser, but am trying to incorporate it more in to baking. Coconut oil can replace butter and other oils in many dishes, and these little cakes contain coconut oil both in the sponge and in the icing. You get a strong chocolate hit with a hint of coconut, topped with creamy pure white frosting. I even used wholewheat flour and raw cacao powder to ensure these contain more fibre and vitamins than a regular chocolate cake.
These cakes are, of course, 100% vegan.
The cake mix is baked in one cake tin. You can leave the cake whole or take your cutters to it. I chose heart shaped cutters because, well, I heart coconut oil, and I thought they looked pretty this way!
To make one generous-sized cake in one tin, you will need:
For the cake
300g wholewheat flour
250g dark brown sugar
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 & 1/2 tbsp raw cacao powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp applesauce
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
250ml almond milk (or you could use soy milk)
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla essence
100ml coconut oil
For the icing
125ml coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla essence
Pinch of salt
A splash of almond/soy milk
How To Make
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and line a cake tin (I used an 8″ round tin).
In a large bowl, add all the dry ingredients and mix well.
In a jug, add the almond milk and lemon juice, stir and leave for a few minutes as it thickens. This makes vegan buttermilk, which will add an extra dimension of creaminess to the cake.
Add the buttermilk to the bowl, and then add all the remaining ingredients. Coconut oil is often solid unless you live somewhere particularly warm. I took the lid off my jar and microwaved the coconut oil for 30 – 40 seconds so it became liquid enough to pour.
Mix well. I did this by hand but you can also use a mixer.
Pour the mix into the cake tin and bake it for 30 – 40 minutes. It should have risen nicely.
Mix The Icing
Once the cake has completely cooled, you can make the icing. As we’re using coconut oil in the icing as well, the cake needs to be cool so the coconut oil doesn’t liquify and slide right off! If you live in a warmer climate and your coconut oil is already liquid, you can set it a little by placing it in the fridge for a few minutes.
In a bowl, add liquid coconut oil and sieve in icing sugar, mixing well as you go. It was a cold day when I made these so the coconut oil started to solidify after a while. I just popped the bowl in the microwave for 5 – 10 seconds if this happened to thin it out again. Once you have a decent amount of icing, add the vanilla essence and salt. If the icing is too thick, add a splash of almond or soy milk and this will bring it back to life.
Cut out your hearts and any other shape you wish (or leave the cake whole). I cut the hearts in half and piped the icing in between the two layers. I then piped it on to the top, dusted some icing sugar on to the sides, then topped with half a strawberry. Et voila! They’re ready to eat.
These were so tasty. The coconut oil gives a very subtle coconut flavour that complements the chocolate very well, and the coconut-tinged frosting is pure heaven. I love how using coconut oil instead of butter ensures the icing stays a bright white.
What do you think of this vegan cake recipe? Do you like to use coconut oil in baking?
These were so delicious and are the perfect summer party cake.