Ooh, she cute!! (Sheet cute?!) I’ve been really enjoying the advent of sheet cake-type cakes in the last few years. Simple, one layer moist and delicious cakes, with a layer of frosting – pretty great, right? This one is a vegan chocolate cake with raspberry buttercream! I’m pretty excited about vegan Swiss Meringue buttercream. Like regular SMBC, it can be a bit scary at first. I avoided SMBC for soooo long because I was all worried about curdling texure or making buttercream soup. Haha. I’m excited to share a detailed how-to for vegan SMBC – stay tuned for my next post!
Put It In Your Bag and Pipe It
If you’re a regular Coco Cake Land reader, you may be aware of my fave saying – Put It In Your Bag and Pipe It! Piping tips can add the decorative flair you might be looking for, taking a simple one layer cake into fancy zone. For this vegan chocolate cake with raspberry buttercream, I used one of my favourite baking tips, Wilton #4B – it’s a multi-pronged open star tip which makes the cutest ridges. I piped the whole cake with this tip, then I added fresh berries, dark chocolate discs and torn pieces of edible flowers for even more pops of colour!
Freeze Dried Raspberries
Freeze-dried fruit is the secret to infusing frostings and cakes with intense blasts of real fruit flavour – and thank goodness freeze dried fruit has become much more readily available! You can find freeze dried raspberries at specialty shops such as The Gourmet Warehouse (Canada) or Trader Joe’s (USA) and at all the usual mega online stores. Freeze-dried fruit also adds flavour without affecting the texture of your buttercream – as sometimes adding too much liquid can mess with the fine balance holding together one’s Swiss Meringue buttercream, hehe.
Decorating Your Vegan Chocolate Cake with Raspberry Buttercream
Torn edible flowers, colourful fresh berries in their uniform adorable shapes and sizes, chocolate discs – it’s like making a painting! If you’re feeling overwhelmed by decorating, try dotting each drop star with some sort of berry, petal or chocolate! You can also just place one single raspberry in the center of the cake, for a minimalist Wayne Thiebaud-ish masterpiece! I decorated the cake further with hand-made cake toppers made from colourful leftover craft paper, taped onto wooden skewers! The cake turned out moist and chocolatey, with light creamy raspberry infused buttercream and perfect bites of tangy berries!
Vegan Chocolate Cake with Raspberry Buttercream
- 1 stand mixer for whipping the meringue for buttercream
- 1 8 x 8 inch square cake pan
For The Chocolate Cake
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
- 1 cup granulated white sugar
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 tsp fine sea salt
- 1 1/2 cups full fat coconut milk
- 1/4 cup plus 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
For The Raspberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream
- 125 ml aqua faba, the liquid from a can of chickpeas
- 1/2 cup granulated white sugar
- 1/2 cup icing sugar, sifted
- 1/8 tsp cream of tartar
- 1 cup plant based butter, unsalted, block-style butter
- 1/4 cup freeze dried raspberries, powdered
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- pinch fine sea salt
Make The Cake
- Preheat the oven to 350°f / 175°c. Prepare cake pan by spritzing with vegetable oil and lining with parchment paper cut to size.
- In a large bowl, whisk to combine the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
- Add the coconut milk, vegetable oil, apple cider vinegar and vanilla extract and whisk to combine.
- Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan.
- Bake for 22-24 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out with only moist crumbs.
- Let cool completely on wire rack before frosting!
Make The Raspberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the aqua faba on low speed until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and turn up to high speed, whipping until medium peaks begin to form, about 8-10 minutes.
- Add the granulated sugar, one teaspoon at a time, continuing to whip until stiff peaks form. Add the icing sugar, one teaspoon at a time, for another minute.
- Once the meringue has reached stiff peaks (note this can take up to 15 minutes), turn the mixer down to medium speed and begin adding the butter, one tablespoon at a time, until incorporated.
- Turn the mixer off and swap out the whisk attachment for the paddle attachment. Add the powdered, freeze-dried raspberries and the pure vanilla extract. Beat the buttercream on medium speed until a thick, luscious buttercream forms.
Decorate The Cake
- Remove the completely cooled cake from the cake pan and use a small dollop of buttercream to adhere the cake to a cake board or plate.
- Working from the center outward, frost the cake with a thin layer of buttercream, frosting towards one inch of the edge of the cake.
- Fill a piping bag fitted with an open star tip (such as Wilton 4B) with buttercream and pipe the entire cake with drop stars.
- Dot the entire cake with fresh raspberries, blueberries and blackberries, alternating with chocolate discs and artfully torn pieces of edible flowers!
- Troubleshooting SMBC – if your meringue won’t hold super stiff peaks, that’s okay! I’ve made lots of buttercreams without completely stiff peaks.
- If your SMBC curdles, it means your butter was too cold going in. Try heating the entire mixer bowl on top of the stove for 5-10 seconds to warm it up a bit, then whipping again.
- If your SMBC becomes soupy, something was too warm. Refrigerate the whole bowl for 5 minutes and try again.
Edible flowers can be found in the herbs section along with basil, mint, etc at specialty grocery stores such as Whole Foods, or at farmer’s markets! Hope you love this simple recipe – perfect for a birthday celebration or modern tea party! Have you ever made vegan Swiss Meringue buttercream? How did it go for you? xo Lyndsay