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Vegan Chocolate Cake with Orange “Buttercream”


“They say it’s your birthday!”

Beatles’ “Birthday” song “worm” in my head: !

A few weeks ago Leslie asked about a recipe for gluten free vegan (birthday) cake for Sara. I usually make this batter for cupcakes – all the rage!  But it’s still citrus season and Sara is a striking redhead, so I’m excited about a layer cake with orange “butter”cream and orange decorations. Tender, moist, flavorful, this cake is guaranteed to satisfy all your guests, vegan or not!

Vegan Chocolate Cake with Orange “Buttercream”


1 3/4 cups sorghum flour

1/4 cup tapioca flour

1/4 cup cornstarch

1/2 cup good quality unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon xantham gum

1 teaspoon baking soda

optional – 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 1/2 cups canola or walnut oil

10 oz. agave syrup (can substitute honey or maple syrup)

1 cup unsweetened applesauce

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 cup hot coffee

optional: 1 cup vegan chocolate chips


1. Lightly grease and line two 9″ round pans with parchment paper; preheat the oven to 325 F.

2. In a large mixing bowl combine the dry ingredients – whisk to blend.

3. Combine the wet ingredients – whisk to blend and fold into the dry ingredients. Beat vigorously for 1-2 minutes, scraping down as necessary.

4.  Bake at 325 for about 25 minutes or until the cake just begins to pull from the sides and is slightly cracked at the top.  Cool on a rack before removing from the pans.  Ice with vegan vanilla, chocolate, or orange “buttercream.” Note: it’s helpful to start with a “crumb” coat, a thin layer icing that catches the cake crumbs. Chill for 20-30 minutes before applying the top coat of icing.  Once the cake is fully iced you’ll want to store it in the ‘fridge, taking it out an hour or so before serving.

Orange “Buttercream”


7/8 cup vegan shortening (Earth Balance) – make certain it’s not vegan “spread”.

2 tablespoons coconut oil at room temperature

3 1/2 – 4 cups confectioners’ sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract (if you like it, use almond extract, but only 1/2 teaspoon)

juice of one orange boiled down to 2 teaspoons

zest of aforementioned orange


1.  In the bowl of a stand mixer beat the shortening and coconut oil until well blended.

2.  Stir in the confectioners’ sugar. Mix to blend.

3.  Add the vanilla and orange juice concentrate and mix on medium high speed until light and fluffy.

4.  Fold in the orange zest.


8 thoughts on “Vegan Chocolate Cake with Orange “Buttercream”

  1. Wauw, fantastic recipe and thank you for sharing!!! That cake sings ‘Happy Birthday’ all by itslef already;0)
    Have a great weekend! Johanna
    ps those cottage cheese pancakes were so good, I think they will become a staple at the Sunday breakfast table.

  2. Pingback: Applesauce in the refrigerator: cake! |

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