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Cake recipes

Vegan chai cake with whipped coconut frosting

Prep time 30 minutes | Cook time 1 hour
serves 8 people

Photography by Tracey Creed
Assisted by Amandine Paniagua
Recipe by Amandine Paniagua and Tracey Creed
Words by Tracey Creed

Published February 25 2020
Updated October 11 2021


Vegan chai cake
2 12 cups whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
3 tsp chai spice blend
14 tsp sea salt
12 cup dairy-free butter
1 12 cups coconut sugar
1 12 cups plant-based milk of preference
12 cup applesauce, no sugar added
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
2 tsp vanilla paste
Whipped coconut cream frosting
1 can (14 oz) coconut cream chilled
1 tbsp rice malt syrup
3 tbsp chai spice mix


Preheat oven to 175°C and line a 20 cm cake tin with baking paper. These cake tins are my favourite.

In a large bowl combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, chai spice blend and sea salt, fold through being careful not to over mix.

In another bowl cream the butter and sugar then add the milk, applesauce, vinegar, and vanilla and fold to combine.

Add the wet ingredients to your dry ingredients and stir to combine being careful not to over mix.

Transfer cake batter to your prepared tin and bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a knife inserted comes out clean.

To prepare the coconut frosting, first chill the can of coconut cream overnight, longer if possible. Depending on the brand you use, either you’ll reserve the full fat cream or extra fatty coconut cream, like what we used will remain thick throughout so you can use the entire contents of the can.

Before preparing your whipped coconut frosting chill a bowl and the beaters of your mixer in the freezer for an hour.

Using a hand mixer, whip the coconut cream with rice malt syrup and chai spice until fluffy and thick. The whipped coconut cream should be stable enough to ice cake or cupcakes with. You can even fill it into a (chilled) pastry bag with piping tip, to frost cupcakes with fancy swirl patterns.

To assemble the cake, apply a generous portion of whipped coconut to the top of the cake, spreading out evenly with a frosting spreader or similar.

A vegan chai cake for all your celebrations

This perfect vegan chai cake recipe is a house favourite and one that we will be sharing this new year. Over the years, our holiday gatherings evolved to fully plant-based, accommodating at first my dietary restrictions — and now this is how my friends prefer to indulge. So this vegan chai cake is something simple to make, to share with all of those that you love these holidays.

While I have had a vegan diet for now just over twenty years, only more recently has eating in public, or rather with company become more inclusive. For the most part, attending a house dinner meant you would need to eat beforehand or starve. And unless you have been in that situation of awkwardly watching others eat for the better part of an hour, you could not understand how alienating that is. Food brings people together; it also separates. So what follows is a list of a few things that I've learned from my last few years of hosting dinner gatherings that were not always to those interested in wellness. We focus on preparing a variety of nourishing dishes from whole foods and avoid the vegan versions of foods that aren't. No vegan pot roasts.

Stick to a reliable set of recipes When hosting others for dinner, it is not always ideal to try our new recipes — stick with what you know, with what makes you feel confident in the kitchen. Regulars at our table include gazpacho and a batch of garlic bread, roasted potatoes and big green salads. Up the ante by serving a great dip, our favourites include tapenade and hummus. Find some inspiration here. And of course to end, a perfectly frosted chocolate cake or raw slice. The more recipes you prepare consistently, that are delicious, you add to your repertoire — mixed and matched year after year.

Check-in for dietary restrictions for a truly inclusive dinner Ensure everyone is catered for, hosting is about treating your guests. As such, I'd recommend inquiring beforehand with guests if there are any food allergies I would need to consider when preparing a menu. Oddly enough, pasta is an easy meal to alter for your gluten-free friends. Plus, there are gluten-free grains that will work for all your favourite salads. Even preparing a special gluten-free cake for guests is no hard ask. And if baking is not your thing, opt for a raw caramel slice or serve an assortment of vegan ice creams. No one will be disappointed. And of course, nothing guarantees a great party like a good bottle of champagne, but make sure to have something special for your friends who don't drink. Even if it's just a few bottles of ice-cold sparkling water and kombucha or if you were so inclined, virgin mocktails.

It doesn't matter what time dinner starts We tend to eat late, around 8:30 pm or even 9:30 and so when we invite others, we'll say dinner for 7:30 pm, but it rarely is, and that's completely okay. Often we're accommodating other schedules or shared meal preparation. Whatever works for you works for your guests. I leave the playlist up to my partner — we dim the lights, burn incense and mingle while we continue prepping, keeping the vibe relaxed. Feeding, nourishing others is a form of love. Whether it is the holidays or not, surrounding myself with the people I deeply care for around the dinner table feels like a celebration of excess, and I have found the act of hosting dinners nourishes my soul.

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