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Vegan spiced apple cake with cream cheese frosting


This cake is perfect for an autumn day and a great way to use the season's apples.

Ingredients

for the sponge:

375g self raising flour

255g light brown sugar

3 tsp ground cinnamon

1 ½ tsp baking powder

large pinch of salt

zest of a lemon

120ml vegetable oil

300 ml water

3 tsp lemon juice

2 tsp vanilla extract

150g cooking apple, peeled and chopped

75g hazelnuts or pecans, chopped

for the frosting:

75g dairy free margarine

75g Trex shortening

about 3 tbps hot water

150g dairy-free “cream cheese”

1kg icing sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

decoration:

25g hazelnuts or pecans, chopped

Method

Sponge

Preheat the oven to 175 degrees C. Grease and line three 6 inch tins.

Sieve the flour into a bowl and add all the other dry ingredients, including the zest.

In another bowl add all the wet ingredients, then pour these into the dry ingredients and mix as quickly as possible, then stir in the chopped apple and nuts. Pour the batter into the prepared tins.

Bake for 30 minutes until a skewer comes out clean from the centre; allow to cool in the tins for 10 minutes then transfer the sponges to a wire rack.

Frosting

Beat the margarine and shortening with the hot water and vanilla extract for 30 seconds, then add the “cream cheese” and beat for a minute. Add the icing sugar gradually and continue to beat. It should be a firm but spreadable consistency. If it is too dry, add a little more water and if it is too wet add more icing sugar. Take care not to overbeat the frosting.

To assemble the cake, cut the top off the sponges and sandwich the three layers together with the frosting, then spread a thin layer of frosting over the sides and top of the cake. This is a crumb coating and will stop any crumbs showing. Apply the rest of the frosting in a thick layer on the top and sides and smooth this with a palette knife or scraper.

If you’d like a rippled effect, sit the cake on a turntable and press the back of a teaspoon or the tip of a palette knife against the side of the cake, allowing it to drag through the icing as the cake turns. Do the same on the top of the cake. Finally, decorate the top with some chopped nuts.

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