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Extracted from The Little Book of Vegan Bakes by Holly Jade (Ebury Press, £20)
February 2022
Reading time 1 Minute

I’ve taken the classic English Victoria sponge cake and given it a zesty twist: layers of lemon-flavoured sponge filled with strawberry jam and vanilla cream frosting, and topped with fresh strawberries and a dusting of icing sugar

If you needed an excuse to throw a tea party, this is it.
  • For the cakes
  • 480ml dairy-free milk
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 470g self-raising flour
  • 350g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 120ml sunflower oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 medium lemon, zest only
  • For the frosting
  • 60g butter/margarine
  • 2 tbsp vegan cream cheese
  • 400g icing sugar, sifted
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Dash of dairy-free milk, if needed
  • 4 tbsp strawberry jam
  • Handful of strawberries
  • Dusting of icing sugar
  1. To make the cakes, preheat the oven to 180C fan/200C/400F/gas mark 6 and line 2 x 20cm round loose based cake tins with greaseproof paper. If you only have one, you will have to bake the cakes separately. Just remember to cover your batter with a tea towel and give it a quick stir before baking the second cake.
  2. In a bowl, whisk the milk with the apple cider vinegar until fully combined. Set aside for 10 minutes to curdle – this creates a vegan buttermilk.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, sift the flour, caster sugar, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda. Mix well to combine. Add the oil to the buttermilk and whisk to combine. 
  4. Add the buttermilk mixture, vanilla extract and lemon zest to the dry ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon. 
  5. Divide the cake batter equally between the lined cake tins. Tap the tins on the worktop a few times to remove any air bubbles. Pop the cakes into the centre of the oven and bake for around 35–40 minutes (checking at 35 minutes). You will know they are baked when they are springy to the touch and a knife or skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. 
  6. Place the cakes on a cooling rack and allow to cool slightly before removing them from the tins. Put the cakes on the rack to cool fully. Once cool, pop them into a sealed container to keep them fresh before frosting.
  7. To make the frosting, in a bowl or stand mixer, cream the butter or margarine and cream cheese together on high, then add the icing sugar and vanilla extract. Whip until smooth and well-combined, adding a dash of milk if needed. As this is a naked cake, the frosting needs to be quite thick to keep it stable. 
  8. Transfer the frosting to a piping bag fitted with a large round-tip nozzle. 
  9. Pipe a thin layer of frosting over one of the cakes leaving a 2.5cm border. Spread the strawberry jam over the top and then sprinkle over some chopped fresh strawberries.
  10. Pipe a decorative border around the edge, then sandwich the other cake on top. To make it more decorative, add some jam to a piping bag and pipe in between the frosting
  11. Pipe a frosting decoration on top of the cake and decorate with fresh strawberries (see Tip). Finish with a dusting of icing sugar, if using. 
  12. Store in the fridge in a sealed container. Best eaten within a few days. Leave at room temperature for 15 minutes before serving.

Holly’s Tip: The cakes can be stored in a sealed container and frosted the following day. 

Holly’s Tip: Add the fresh strawberries just before serving to prevent the cake from becoming too moist.

Extracted from The Little Book of Vegan Bakes by Holly Jade (Ebury Press, £20)

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