Tips for baking your Plant Based Cake like a pro

Whether you’re new to baking or not, there’s always plenty to learn! Check out Amelia from Melie’s Kitchen‘s tips and video run throughs to make your cake look 100% Insta-worthy. Keen to add this stunning cake to your delivery? Find out more here, it’s only available for October though!

Top cake making tips:

  • If you don’t have two 20cm cake tins, you can either cook one first then let cool slightly, then cook the other. Or you can use two different sized tins and trim the larger one.
  • Coffee is for richness and enhances chocolate flavour, oil creates a moist cake and helps to bind the cake with no eggs.
  • Be sure to put the cakes on the same level in the oven, ideally the lower-middle section. Not the top section as that area is hotter and can cause the cake to dome. 
  • If your oven runs hot, adjust the temperature by 5-10 degrees accordingly and keep a keen eye on your cakes. If you think your oven temperature isn’t correct and you do lots of baking it can be worth buying a thermometer that sits inside your oven. 
  • When you think your cake is done, stick a skewer inside. A few moist crumbs are fine, but if any sticky batter comes out on the skewer they need to cook for longer.
  • Ganache needs to be cooled until it is the texture of Nutella – spreadable, but firm enough to remain stable. If your ganache is too firm, let it sit at room temperature for 10-20 minutes, until softened enough that it has a spreadable consistency.
  • Olivani is our preferred plant based butter for baking, since it’s stable and won’t split like some others. 
  • Cutting the cakes into even layers can be tricky, but with Amelia’s tip it is much easier. Slice the doomed top off each cake, to create a flat surface, reserving the offcuts for decoration. Use a sharp knife to score the entire outside edge of the cake, halfway up the side. Go slowly and get down at eye-level. This is serving as a marker. Using a serrated knife, slice through the cake horizontally along the scoring markers, to create two even layers. Go slowly to maintain accuracy. Watch the video to see exactly how Amelia does this. 
  • The trick to perfect icing is to first do a crumb coat. This will ensure the second layer goes on smooth and flawless. Spend time perfecting your icing with a palette knife dipped in hot water.
  • Placing the plate your cake is on, onto an upside-down plate or flat bowl, is a great way to create a makeshift turntable which will make icing easier. 
  • Putting the cakes in the fridge or freezer between steps while decorating is ideal to help keep the cake stable, especially between the crumb coat and the main icing. 
  • Save the cake you cut off the dome and crumble to make a crumb layer around the bottom of the cake. Gently press a small handful of crumb into the cake and then use the palette knife to press in firmly. Repeat around the base of the cake, and flick off any excess with the palette knife. 
  • The chocolate drips aren’t necessary but they look cool! The trick is to be very gentle, and go slowly a small section at a time. 
  • Dip your freeze dried raspberries and peanuts in the leftover melted chocolate to stick them down.

Meet the Chef

Amelia ‘Amaretti’

Amelia, or better known by her foodie fam as Melie, manages the development of our Plant Based and Veggie bags, so has the interesting job of creating new and delicious meals with alternative proteins. She is a vegetarian who hates eggs but has a big love for pumpkin due to its versatility. Her favourite cuisine has to be Middle Eastern, which makes a whole lot of sense considering her ultimate plant based proteins are chickpeas and falafel (of course!).

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