Spiced Caramel Cake with Italian Meringue Buttercream (vegan)

I recently attended a Survivor themed birthday weekend, where we competed in challenges inspired by the show until there was one person standing. Unfortunately (devastatingly) I did not win, but I did make this cake!

My Spiced Caramel Cake is made with a combination of beautiful spices and is oh so moist, and is filled with a combination of Lotus flavoured Italian meringue buttercream and thick vegan caramel condensed milk. Finally, it's finished with vegan caramel sauce, caramel popcorn and isomalt decorations. I ordered a custom cake-topper to finish the look, and added fighting figurines to represent the impending bloodshed of the weekend.

You can decorate this cake anyway you like, or use the recipe to make muffins for your next event. Once baked, the cake freezes really well so if you're making it in advance, trim it to shape, wrap it well and freeze it until required. 

I used Nature's Charm Coconut Caramel Sauce and Olvebra Soy Caramel Condensed Milk, but you could also make this recipe sugar free with Natvia Salted Caramel Topping and baking sweetener. 

Ingredients for the cake

  • 475g self-raising flour
  • 275g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground cardamom 
  • 1/2 tsp all spice
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tbs ground cinnamon
  • 200ml soy milk
  • 100ml vegetable oil
  • 1 tbs golden syrup
  • 2 earl grey teabags soaked in 150ml boiling water

Ingredients for the icing

  • 170ml aquafaba (tinned chickpea brine)
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 80ml water
  • 440g vegan butter 
  • 4 tbs Lotus spread or essence of choice (optional)
  • 150g vegan caramel condensed milk or vegan dulce de leche (I used Olvebra Soy Caramel Condensed Milk)
  • Caramel sauce (I used Nature's Charm), caramel popcorn, isomalt and other decorations. Note: if you want to make a lower sugar cake, substitute sugar for sweetener like Natvia (check conversion) and use a sugar free caramel sauce like Natvia Salted Caramel Topping.

 

Vegan cake

Chai cake

Vegan dessert

Birthday cake

Caramel cake

Vegan cake

Chai cake

 

 

Instructions for the cake

  • Preheat oven to approximately 180 degrees Celsius and grease and line a 7 x 4 inch cake tin with vegan butter and baking paper.
  • Combine dry ingredients into a large bowl and mix until well combined.
  • In a large jug, combine remaining ingredients.
  • Slowly pour wet ingredients onto dry ingredients, folding mixture carefully. Mix until just combined. 
  • Pour into prepared tin and bake for approximately 1 hour, or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.
  • Set aside to cool completely. 
  • Once cool, trim the top to make it even. Then, slice into four equal sections.

Instructions for the icing

  • Place aquafaba into a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment or in a large bowl with a handheld mixer ready.
  • Beat on medium until thick and foamy to soft peaks.
  • Meanwhile, heat sugar and water, mixing only to ensure the sugar is fully incorporated.
  • Once it reaches 115 degrees (use a kitchen thermometer to keep track), pour onto aquafaba and continue to whisk for five minutes. The mixture should become thick, glossy and stiff.
  • Place the bowl into the fridge until it's cool to the touch.
  • Place the bowl back and change to the paddle attachment. Beat on a medium speed.
  • Slowly add butter, waiting until each section is incorporated before adding more. The mixture may look like it has curdled but keep beating; eventually it will come together.
  • Once the mixture looks like buttercream, add Lotus spread or flavouring and combine for 30 seconds.
  • Place into an icing bag if desired or leave in the bowl ready to use. You can also place into the fridge if you're not using it straight away.
  • To assemble, place one part of the cake on a cake board and pipe or spoon icing just around the outer edge. Repeat just inside that.
  • Fill the remaining base (the middle section) with caramel mixture or vegan dulce de leche and repeat until you have one piece of cake left to put on top.
  • Cover with icing as desired, drizzle with caramel and decorate. 

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