vegan chocolate layer cake w/ orange curd

vegan chocolate layer cake w/ orange curd

It feels like ages since a chocolate cake has shown up here, uh? Now we have chocolate layer cake. And it’s completely vegan. And kind of healthy.

chocolate layer cake

I won’t say this is the ultimate chocolate layer cake a vegan (or an omnivore, for that matter) can dream of, but I’m pretty darn proud of the outcome.

Sure, I tested it in a 16cm pan, and four people can easily scarf down the whole thing if you slice it into big ol’ satisfying pieces. But when your grandma cheers up eating your avocado frosted piece of art, you know you’ve done good.

chocolate layer cake ingredient spread

Jokes aside, my last attempt at vegan baking have been very warmly welcomed by my non-vegan family. They are usually skeptical, to say the least, but my last bakes were quite succesful.

To be completely honest, I never baked a chocolate layer cake, unless you consider a single cake splitted in half and filled a layer cake.

First and foremost, I own a variety of cake pans, in a variety of sizes – but none of them matches. They’re all different. So no chance to bake two equal sized cakes at once. I guess it’s because layer cakes aren’t really a thing in my household, and cake stands aren’t either. But I feel pretty adventurous, and I want to experiment.

cutting into chocolate layer cake

For some reason, I always thought a chocolate layer cake (or any layer cake) demands a dramatic cake stand, and because I don’t have any, I never baked one.

I’ll share with you a short, sad story about cake stands and craft. I once attempted making my own cake stand. I poured a concrete base and stuck in three reclaimed wood legs. Well, things didn’t turn out well, quite literally. When I tried to flip my mould over, I ended up staring at my clumsy hands holding just the wooden legs. No concrete base on top. I had accidentally broken the whole thing.

textures of chocolate

It took me about two years and countless hours on Pinterest to start thinking about my own chocolate layer cake. This one is an adaptation of this recipe, where chocolate cake is layered with bright orange curd and toasted cake crumbs. There’s no need to moisten the layers, as the curd will make the whole thing almost fudge-like – not wet, beware, but sinfully moist. And yes you have to use that word for a delicious chocolate layer cake.

layers of chocolate cake

Adding toasted cake crumb to the cake makes for less waste and more flavor, too. Why trashing a whole disc of delicious cake? Once you’ve levelled the top off you’ll be left with the wonky upper portion of the cake, which is still perfectly edible – but ugly. Crumbling it up and toasting makes for an interesting surprise and decoration!

toasted cake crumbs on top of the cake

Speaking of less waste, the curd actually comes from a similar necessity. I had made mulled wine for an upcoming project using the peel of the citrus, which was sitting in my fridge half-naked. Came the time to finish and frost the cake, and boom!, filling is sorted. The whole orange was turned into pastry cream.

orange curd and chocolate frosting texture

Almond milk gives the curd a texture that’s so luscious and silky you won’t believe there aren’t any eggs in there. To maximise the creaminess you can add a tbsp coconut oil, although it’s not essential. However, you don’t want to skip on orange peel. 

assembling the chocolate layer cake

Last but not least, the infamous avocado frosting wraps the chocolate layer cake up. Or you can say you put avocado pudding on top – depending on how you plan to eat it. I won’t judge.

avocado chocolate frosting texture

Let’s dig in!

You can also find me on instagrampinterestbloglovin’food52, and YouTube. See you there!

Until the next time,

x chiara

chocolate layer cake ready to be served
vegan chocolate layer cake w/ orange curd
prep time
40 mins
cook time
50 mins
total time
1 hr 30 mins

A vegan chocolate layer cake filled with orange curd, toasted cake crumbs and frosted with rich and chocolatey avocado frosting.

course: dessert / treats
Keyword: chocolate, chocolate cake, layer cake, vegan
servings: 6 slices
ingredient list
cake batter:
  • 80 g all-purpose flour
  • 100 g spelt flour
  • 40 g cornstarch
  • 30 g cocoa powder
  • 130 g raw sugar
  • 50 ml cold pressed sunflower seed oil
  • 125 g coconut yogurt, plain (one tub)
  • 125 ml almond milk
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp espresso powder
  • a pinch of salt
orange curd:
  • 250 + 50 ml almond milk
  • 1 organic orange, zested and segmented
  • 40 g agave syrup
  • 40 g flour
chocolate frosting:
  • 1 big avocado
  • 30 g cocoa powder
  • 50 g agave syrup
  • 2-3 tbsp almond milk
For the cake batter:
  1. Preheat oven to 170 C. Grease a 16cm cake tin with coconut oil, line the bottom with parchment paper and set aside. You can also prepare two even sized pans and split the batter in half later.

  2. Combine flour, cornstarch, cocoa powder, a pinch of coffee, baking powder and salt in a mixing bowl.

    To a bigger mixing bowl add wet ingredients and sugar and whisk to combine. Add in flour splitting the amount into three batches, whisking until just combined.

    Pour the cake batter into prepared pan and bake 40′-50′, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool completely before slicing into three even layers.

    If you split the batter between two pans, bake for 20′-25′ and divide each cake in half once fully cooled.

    Either way, trim off the uneven top section of the cake(s).

For the orange curd:
  1. Zest the orange and supreme the flesh. 

    Add orange flesh to a blender together with 250ml almond milk, agave syrup and orange zest. Blend until smooth.

    Dissolve flour into remaining 50ml milk, add to the blender and blitz a few times. Transfer to a pot and simmer until thick, about 5′-8′.

For the avocado chocolate frosting:
  1. Add all the ingredients to a food processor or high speed blender and blend until smooth. Adjust sweetness as you like.

Assemble the cake.
  1. Crumble and toast the cake tops discarded.

    Place the first cake layer on a plate and spread 1/2 of the orange curd. Sprinkle toasted crumbs on top. Repeat until you reach the last layer.

    With an offset spatula, smother chocolate avocado frosting all over the cake and refrigerare at least 30′ before serving.

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