This festive and delicious cake is the perfect addition to any holiday party!
It’s the holiday season, and we all know what that means….. eating until our comfy pants no longer fit. I can’t tell you the number of requests I get for a vegan version of the traditional Christmas fruit cake. Unfortunately, if there is one thing I hate more than coriander and brussel sprouts, it’s a dense fruit cake. So I came up with an alternative that satisfies the needs of those of us who still want a warm hug in the flavor of a cake.
This Vegan Chocolate Christmas Cake with Spiced Ganache has all the beautiful things we love about the holidays — chocolate, warming spices, chocolate again, and pure decadence. It’s rich, moist and melts in your mouth with pockets of dates and melted chocolate, followed by the gentle kick of mixed spices and a hint of chilli. It’s one you won’t be able to stop eating, and it’s insanely simple to make.
You only need a whisk, a blender and a large bowl. This cake pairs well with mulled wine, hot tea or vegan egg nog.
Let’s start with your shopping list….
Vegan Chocolate Christmas Cake With Spiced Ganache
Vegan Egg Replacer
- 1 1/2 tbsp ground golden flax seeds
- 3 3/4 tbsp boiling water
- 140 g all-purpose plain flour
- 30 g cornstarch or cornflour
- 60 g unsweetened dutch cocoa powder + extra
- 85 g brown sugar
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp allspice
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- 100 g vegan semi-sweet chocolate coarsely chopped
- 60 g pitted dates chopped (I use Medjool)
- 185 ml hot black espresso coffee
- 100 g dates pitted (I use Medjool)
- 250 ml water
- 120 ml vegetable oil
- 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste or 1 tablespoon vanilla bean extract
Spiced Ganache Topping
- 200 g high-quality vegan dark chocolate
- 100 ml coconut milk
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp allspice
- 1/4 tsp chilli powder more if you like it hot!
- Walnuts to decorate
- Preheat your oven to 320F/160C and if your oven bakes unevenly, add a heatproof bowl of water to the bottom of your oven.
- Grease a shallow 10-inch bundt cake tin (this is a pretty standard size) with vegetable oil. Make sure you completely cover all the grooves. Dust lightly with cocoa powder and set aside. You can also use a large ring cake tin if you don’t have a bundt tin. I use a silicone version as it releases easier.
- In a small bowl, mix your ground flaxseed with boiling water and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl sieve flours, cocoa, sugar, baking soda, salt and spices. Stir together with a whisk.
- Add chopped dates and chocolate pieces and stir through and set aside.
- In a small bowl pour hot coffee over dates and allow to soak for 5 minutes.
- Add dates, coffee and remaining wet ingredients to a blender and blend until completely smooth. Check your oven has reached the correct temperature. If it has, move onto the next step otherwise wait until it’s at the right temperature.
- Make a well in your dry ingredients and pour your wet ingredients over the top. Using your whisk, gently fold through the ingredients until just combined. Don’t over mix. It’s going to be lumpy from the dates and chocolate pieces.
- Pour evenly into your cake tin and gently tap on the bench to release any air bubbles.
- Place in the centre of your oven and bake for 35 to 40 minutes. You will know it’s ready when the top bounces back when pressed. If you poke a skewer to test it will still be slightly moist.
- Remove from the oven and allow to sit for 10 mins. Gently tap on the bench to help release the cake and turn onto a cooling rack and allow to completely cool.
TO MAKE GANACHE
- Heat coconut milk in a large, heavy-bottom pot on low heat until small bubbles appear around the edge right before it’s about to start simmering, don’t boil. You can also heat in the microwave.
- Remove from stove/microwave and add chocolate, making sure it is covered by the milk, cover and let sit for 10 mins.
- Stir through chocolate using a whisk. Add spices and taste. If you want to make it extra spicy add more. Just remember it will get spicier the more you eat as it develops in the mouth.
- If there are any lumps, put pot back onto stove on very low heat and stir until lumps have melted and the ganache is shiny.
- Transfer to a microwave-friendly bowl and let the ganache thicken enough so it can be used to ice your cake.
- If it sets too hard, you can put into the microwave on a low heat until soft enough to use.
- Gently pour over the top of your cake. You can save any leftover to serve with the cake by re-melting it.
- Decorate with walnuts while the icing is still soft. Your cake will keep for around ten days in the fridge. Best served slightly warmed with vegan icecream and fresh raspberries.