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Deliciously Ella’s Almond Victoria Cake Recipe

We’ve made this cake to celebrate team birthdays at our office more times than I can remember and everyone loves it. It used to be called a MaE cake in the deli, so if you’re looking for that recipe this is it! I know lots of people get worried about baking cakes, and think they’re not natural ‘bakers’ but the brilliant thing about vegan cake mixes is that they are so simple to make: the ingredients all just get stirred together and there’s no need for complicated beating or whisking.

There is quite a lot of maple syrup in this cake but that’s because it’s really for a special occasion, rather than an everyday bake. If you do want to make a version with less syrup, you can change the quantity of buckwheat flour to 250g, the maple syrup to 300ml and the almond milk to 240ml – it’s still delicious, but less sweet and indulgent.

SERVES 12

for the cake
300g ground almonds
240g buckwheat flour
(or plain flour)
1 tablespoon bicarbonate
of soda
pinch of sea salt flakes
440ml maple syrup
100ml almond milk
the water from 1 x 400g tin
of chickpeas (not the
chickpeas themselves)

for the icing
400g pure coconut yoghurt
(see tip on page 211)
50ml maple syrup
the scraped seeds of 1 vanilla
pod or 1 teaspoon
vanilla powder

for the middle
100g strawberry jam
to decorate (optional)
handful of fresh strawberries,
chopped
handful of edible flowers

Preheat the oven to 200.C (fan 180.C). Line two 23cm cake tins with baking parchment.

In a large bowl, mix the ground almonds, buckwheat flour, bicarb and salt, stirring well to remove any lumps. Add the maple syrup, almond milk and chickpea water and mix again until it comes together to form a smooth batter.

Pour equal amounts of the batter into the lined tins and bake for 20 minutes, until well risen and a knife inserted in the centre comes out clean – if it doesn’t, place the tins back in the oven for 5 more minutes. Once ready, remove and leave the cakes to cool in their tins until room temperature, around 30 minutes.

While the cakes cool, make the icing. Whisk the coconut yoghurt using an electric whisk – either a stand mixer or a hand whisk – until it becomes really thick, around 5–10 minutes. It’s really important to whisk the yoghurt on its own first, before adding the maple syrup.
Once it feels very thick and holds its shape, add the syrup and vanilla and continue whisking for a further minute. If you don’t have an electric whisk you can use a balloon whisk – just make sure you whisk long enough to get a good amount of air and thickness into the mix.

Once the cakes are cool, spread the jam over one and sandwich it with the other. Spoon the icing over the top of the cake and smooth it over evenly. We like adding berries and edible flowers as decoration.

Recipe extracted from Deliciously Ella The Plant-Based Cookbook, published by Yellow Kite, £25
Photography by Nassima Rothacker