Sometimes I get creative when I describe vegan baking and I start using “egg-free” and “dairy-free” phrases. I find that a lot of people react badly when they hear “vegan” and “cake” in the same sentence, however “egg-free” and “dairy-free” encourages people to try. But no matter what I call it, the reality is that it is vegan. And it’s good. And it’s tasty and delicious and chocolatey.
About a year ago I’ve discovered a wonderful vegan chocolate cake and since then I couldn’t help but try and come up with other vegan desserts. I am not vegan, but if I can reduce just a little bit of fat without comprising the taste, then why not?
I came up with this recipe while leafing through a cookbook where I noticed a Spiced-Prune Cake. I thought that prunes could add moisture and sweetness to a cake, so I could reduce the amount of sugar and oil. I didn’t really want any pronounced prune flavour (although I do really love prunes), so I finely chopped them to distribute in the batter. I added a little bit of my favourite Orange Oil which is a secret ingredient in a lot of my baking. It gives this je ne sais quoin to the glaze and leaves you asking for another bite. It’s not necessary, but I highly urge you to buy a bottle.
So, this was my morning. Measuring, writing, baking, photographing and eating this delicious and still warm slice of cake with a cup of perfect Americano and now I am patiently (or not so patiently) waiting for dinner when it’ll be appropriate to have another slice.
Prunes, pitted – 1 cup
Water, boiling – 1/2 cup
Chocolate chips, semi-sweet – 1/2 cup
Flour – 1 1/2 cups
Sugar – 2/3 cup *
Cocoa powder – 1 tablespoon
Baking soda – 3/4 teaspoon
Salt – 1/2 teaspoon
Vanilla extract – 1 teaspoon
Vegetable oil – 2/3 cup
White vinegar – 1 tablespoon
For the glaze
Chocolate chips, semi-sweet – 1/3 cup
Icing sugar – 1/2 cup *
Water – 2 tablespoons
Orange oil – 1/2 teaspoon
– Preheat oven to 375F.
– Line an 8-inch square pan with parchment paper and spray it with oil.
– In a food processor or by hand finely chop prunes, pour boiling water over them, mix and let stand to cool slightly.
– Melt chocolate chips either in microwave or on a water bath. Let cool slightly.
– In a large bowl mix together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.
– Add oil, melted chocolate, cooled prune and water mixture, vanilla and mix until flour disappears.
– Add vinegar and mix it in. Do not over mix! Batter will be pretty thick.
– Spread the batter into prepared pan and bake for 30-35 min. Edges will be cooked through but centre will still be a bit soft.
– Take the cake out and let cool. Meanwhile make the glaze.
– Melt chocolate in the microwave or on a water bath.
– In a separate bowl mix together icing sugar and water.
– Add melted chocolate into icing sugar mixture and mix until smooth.
– Add the orange oil and mix.
– Pour the glaze over cooled cake and spread.
* Prunes and chocolate are pretty sweet, so you could reduce the amount of sugar in both cake and glaze by a little bit.
– I have reduced the amount of oil in this cake and it is a little bit crumbly. For a less crumbly cake, you may want to add full cup of oil instead of 2/3 cup. Since I was making the cake just for myself and my husband, it didn’t matter if it held perfect slice, so I chose to add less oil. Flavour was still there and it was moist (because of the prunes), rich and chocolatey.
I love this cake! Thank you so much for your recipe. I’ve made it twice already and am contemplating making it again; it always disappears so fast. I don’t bother with the glaze because I think the cake itself has bags of flavour and I think the prunes bring an appealing sourness that pairs surprisingly well with chocolate.
Thank you so much for your comment! I love chocolate and prunes together – it’s such a delicious combination. I must make this cake again! I totally forgot about it 🙂
It’s good! Even my non-vegan coworkers like it!
I am really glad you liked it!
I am making this now..it’s in the oven …cant wait to see how it turns out. I didn’t think it was very chocolaty so added more cocoa powder. I used vegan chocolate so tho maybe that’s why. The cake is for my husbands birthday tea tonight, we have a lot of veggies and vegans in our family, so should be ok for us all. I made mine with self raising wholemeal flour and used agave nectar instead of sugar. (We try to be as organic as possible too)
Wonderful cake, tastes lovely, thank you for sharing this recipe.
Nicola – I am really glad you liked it. Thank you for letting me know.