Essex Life - - ESSEX CHRISTMAS -


For the cake

200g of plain flour

200g of caster sugar

7 tbsp of coco pow­der

1tsp of bi­car­bon­ate of soda

2 tbsp of vanilla ex­tract

2 tbsp of white vine­gar

6 tbsp of oil (sun­flower or veg­etable) 250ml of wa­ter

For the frost­ing

100g of dairy free sun­flower spread 250g of caster sugar

A few drops of caramel flavour­ing ¼ tsp of sea salt

For the caramel drip (op­tional)

100g of brown sugar co­conut oil

2 tbsp of dairy free milk (soya or full fat co­conut milk works best)

4 tbsp of dairy free but­ter

1tsp of vanilla ex­tract

Op­tional pinch of sea salt


Heat the oven to 160˚C/Gas Mark 3. Line and grease ei­ther three, 6 inch sand­wich tins (if you want a tall cake) or two, 8 inch sand­wich tins.

Sieve the flour and coco into a bowl, then add the sugar and bi­carb, and give all the dry in­gre­di­ents a good mix.

Add the vanilla, vine­gar and oil and fi­nally add the wa­ter a lit­tle at a time and keep mix­ing. Once all the in­gre­di­ents are mixed thor­oughly the bat­ter is ready.

Di­vide be­tween the tins and bake for 30/35 min­utes or un­til fully risen and a skewer in­serted into the mid­dle of the cakes comes out clean.

Cool in tins for 5-10 min­utes, then turn the cakes onto a rack to cool com­pletely.

While you are wait­ing for the cakes to cool, pre­pare the frost­ing. Beat the dairy free sun­flower spread in a mixer un­til creamy and smooth. Add the ic­ing sugar a lit­tle at a time and beat for at least 5 min­utes, un­til the frost­ing be­gins to change to a lighter colour. To this add a few drops of caramel flavour­ing and the salt. Taste and ad­just ac­cord­ingly.

If you have lit­tle domes on the cakes, cut them off to make the cake flat­ter. Spread the frost­ing be­tween the lay­ers, the sides and on top. You can then dec­o­rate the cake as you wish.

For the caramel drip, mix all the in­gre­di­ents (ex­cept the vanilla) in a saucepan on a medium boil. After the mix­ture has thick­ened and is bub­bling slightly (after about 5 min­utes) re­move from the heat, add the vanilla and once it has cooled enough to touch but still pour, use a small spoon to cre­ate drips down the side of the cake. You will have ex­tra sauce, which can be re­frig­er­ated, re­heated and used again.

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