Vegan Chocolate Orange Loaf Cake

       Super light, fluffy and deliciously moist, no one will believe you that this cake is vegan!

This is the first vegan cake I have made and probably first vegan dish I have ever made. I, like a lot of people I know, was a little skeptical about vegan baking. I thought it would use weird and wonderful ingredients as substitutes for the more usual baking ingredients which I would need to go to some specialist or heath food shop to buy. I also thought that vegan cakes wouldn’t taste as nice as the cake I was used to because they were lacking something that I thought was integral to all cakes. I was wrong. 

I didn’t decide to make a vegan cake because I am vegan or thinking about becoming vegan – obviously you can tell that from my comments above and other recipes on my blog. But I did have a few reasons for making a vegan cake. The initial reason was that my friend has decided to be vegan for a month to see if it makes a difference to her health. Another reason was because November is World Vegan month so what better time to try out a vegan recipe? My last reason was that I love baking and am quite partial to eating cake too and I didn’t like the idea that I didn’t have a recipe to cater for everyone. And hey presto, the idea for this recipe was born. 

Obviously I needed some help and that came in the form of Kate from Veggie Desserts. If anyone refers to a cake as The Best Vegan Chocolate Cake, you know it has to be great. So I took this as my base recipe and gave it a few tweaks to make it into my version which is Vegan Chocolate Orange Loaf Cake. I went through my list of flavours that I like to pair with chocolate and I wasn’t confident that they would be vegan so I decided on orange. Plus orange is one of my favourite flavours to pair with chocolate and is obviously vegan! 

I needn’t have worried about having to buy weird ingredients because the only things I needed to buy specifically different was soy milk and non dairy margarine. These items are widely found in the vast majority of supermarkets so this wasn’t an issue at all.

I was dubious about the texture of the cake and whether it would be different with it being vegan, but I was pleasantly surprised. I really don’t think anyone would be able to tell this cake is vegan unless you tell them. It is so light, fluffy and moist with a delicious chocolate flavour which is enhanced by the coffee that’s added. Don’t panic, your cake will not taste like coffee but instead it helps to bring out the flavour of the chocolate and make it more chocolatey. 

One of my least favourite baking tasks is sifting ingredients. I don’t really know why because it isn’t hard and doesn’t take very long, but for some reason it really isn’t for me. Because of this, I do try to avoid sieving as much as possible but please do make sure you sieve the flour and cocoa powder for this cake. If you don’t you do run the risk of little lumps of the ingredients finding their way into your finished cake. While this isn’t a disaster, it doesn’t look the best in the finished cake. So bite the bullet and get your sieve out! 

Initially I was planning to frost the cake, but after tasting it and realising how moist it was, the cake really didn’t need any frosting. I quite liked the crack in the top of the cake because it made it look homemade which is quite nice so it seemed like a shame to cover it up. Obviously please feel free to add your own frosting if you want to! 

280ml soy milk (or any non-dairy milk such as almond)
4 tbsp orange juice
150g non-dairy margarine
3 tbsp golden syrup 
1 tsp instant coffee granules
275g self raising flour
175g caster sugar
4 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda 

  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC / 160ºC and line a 2lb loaf tin
  2. Zest the orange before juicing it . Whisk the orange juice and soy milk together and set aside 

  1. In a pan over a medium heat, gently melt the margarine, coffee and golden syrup. Once melted take off the heat and allow to cool slightly

  1. Sift the flour, cocoa powder, sugar and bicarbonate of soda together in a bowl before adding the milk and margarine mixtures. Stir well until the batter is smooth 

  1. Add the mixture to the loaf tin and level it out. Bake in the oven for 50 minutes or until a cocktail stick comes out clean when poked into the cake

  1. Allow to cool for a few minutes in the tin before turning out onto a wire rack and leaving to cool completely 

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