sara kidd’s classic vegan sponge cake
Learn how to make the vegan version of this iconic dessert.
The vegan sponge cake has come a long way since the discovery of aquafaba, which is our replacement for egg whites. This is the softest, spongiest cake I have to offer. It’s just delightful in every way. I especially love serving this with a thick vegan yoghurt as the topping and fresh juicy strawberries. Classic.
1 x 20 cm (8 in) single-layer cake
60 ml (1/4 cup) aquafaba (canned chickpeas/garbanzo bean liquid)
40 g (1/3 cup) tapioca flour
350 g (21/3 cups) plain (all-purpose) flour
230 g (1 cup) caster (superfine) sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
1 teaspoon sea salt
100 ml (31/2 fl oz) vegetable oil
250 ml (1 cup) plain soy milk
1 tablespoon white vinegar
125 ml (1/2 cup) water, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
1. Preheat the oven to 175°C (350°F) conventional. Lightly grease and line a 20 cm (8 in) round cake tin with baking paper, then grease again and dust very lightly with flour, tipping out the excess.
2. Place the aquafaba and tapioca flour in the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attached, then whisk on high speed for 5–10 minutes, until stiff peaks form. Set aside.
3. Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, bicarb soda and salt into another stand mixer bowl, this time with the paddle attached. Beat on low speed for a few seconds to combine. Slowly pour the vegetable oil into the bowl to coat the dry ingredients. Mix until it’s a sandy texture (it will look a little greasy).
4. Combine the soy milk and vinegar in a jug and stir until slightly thickened. Add the water and vanilla bean paste and stir to combine.
5. Mixing on low speed, slowly trickle the milk mixture down the side of the bowl and mix until just combined. Pause and scrape down the side of the bowl to incorporate any oil or flour that has stuck to the side, and mix for a few seconds.
6. Using a firm spatula, gently fold in the meringue until just combined. Make sure that it’s completely homogeneous, with no white streaks remaining in your batter. Don't overmix.
7. Pour the batter into the prepared tin, then firmly tap the tin a few times on your work surface to release air bubbles (there will be big bubbles sitting just underneath the surface).
8. Bake on the middle rack of your oven for 57–60 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.
9. Let the cake cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a cake rack and allow to cool completely. Decorate with your desired frosting and inclusions.
Use cake flour instead of plain flour for an even softer cake crumb.
This rad recipe is an edited extract from Sara Kidd’s new book, ‘The Vegan Cake Bible’.‘The Vegan Cake Bible’ by Sara Kidd, published by Smith Street Books, distributed by Thames & Hudson Australia, AUD$55.00, available 29 March 2022.
To accompany you while you embark on your next culinary quest, we’ve cooked up some lovely kitchen merch, including three colourful tea towels and a flower-power apron. The designs are pulled straight from the pages of the frankie 2022 diary, which is full of vintage kitchen-inspired artwork by Pilgrim Hodgson. Find the lot over at the frankie shop.