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Lucy Watson's Vegan Chocolate Cake

"I am delighted to be donating my vegan recipe to support International Animal Rescue’s Cakes for Apes! This charity is doing amazing work to help protect the orangutan and I encourage everyone to get baking and help save this amazing species!"


  • ​Sunflower oil spray, for greasing

  • 250g self-raising flour

  • 1 tsp baking powder

  • ½ tsp sea salt

  • 200g demerara sugar

  • 120g light muscovado sugar

  • 120g good-quality cocoa powder

  • 550ml soya milk

  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract

  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar

  • 90ml vegetable oil

  • Fresh strawberries and extra melted vegan chocolate, to decorate

For the chocolate fudge icing:

  • 300g good-quality vegan dark chocolate, chopped

  • 225g vegan butter

  • 300g icing sugar

  • A large pinch of fine sea salt


Preheat the oven to 200°C (180°C fan, gas 6), and grease and line two 20cm round loose-based cake tins with greaseproof paper. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a large mixing bowl. Stir in both the sugars and the cocoa. Heat the milk in a small saucepan over a medium heat until it just comes to a simmer. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla, vinegar and oil. Mix well.

Make a well in the dry ingredients and gradually whisk in the milk. Whisk until the mixture is smooth and lump free. Divide the cake batter between the prepared tins.

Put the tins on a baking sheet and bake in the centre of the oven for 25 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. If there is cake mix on the skewer, return the cakes to the oven for 5 minutes more. Allow to cool in the tins for 5 minutes, then remove from the tins and put on a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the fudge icing, melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of gently simmering water, making sure the base of the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Stir occasionally. Remove from the heat.

Put the butter in a bowl and add the icing sugar and salt. Cream them together using an electric whisk. Pour in the chocolate while it is still warm so that it combines well into the icing.

Flip one cake over onto a serving plate so that you have a flat surface. Working quickly, spread one-third of the icing onto the cake. Top with the second cake and cover the top and sides with the remaining icing. If you leave it too long the chocolate will set and it will be harder for you to spread the icing. Decorate with some fresh strawberries and a drizzling of melted vegan chocolate.

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