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Stupendously good, spiced, chocolate vegan cake

Preheat oven to 180C


A super easy, one bowl cake that does not even need a mixer and will win you friends and accolades.

The recipe is inspired by one on @smittenkitchen the spicing and ganache mine.


Serves 8 – 10


1 x 20 cm round cake tin

baking parchment



195g plain flour

60g Dutch cocoa

1 ½ tsp baking powder

½ tsp fine sea salt

Seeds from 4 – 5 cardamom pods, crushed

150g caster sugar

140g soft brown sugar

120 ml olive oil, organic and fruity if possible

355 ml warm water

1 tbs cider vinegar

A few drops Tabasco, or tiny pinch chilli powder



135g 70% dark chocolate

3 tbs olive oil

2tbs maple syrup

A pinch sea salt flakes, optional



For the cake

Line the base and sides of the tin with baking parchment, dabbing a little butter on the tin first, to prevent the paper from slipping.


In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cacao, baking powder, ground cardamom, chilli, salt and caster sugar.


Add the brown sugar and olive oil and whisk to combine.


Add the water and vinegar and stir till smooth.

The batter will be a lot thinner than you might expect but don’t panic.


Pour it into the prepared cake tin and bake for 30 – 35 minutes, or until the top has a little bounce to it and a skewer inserted in it comes out pretty much clean with only a crumb or two sticking to it.


Allow the cake to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, after which it is already good enough to eat but you can then also turn it out onto a wire rack and allow it to cool completely.


For the Ganache


In a frying pan or bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, place the broken up chocolate, the olive oil, maple syrup and the pinch of salt, making sure the bottom of the frying pan or bowl do not touch the water.


Stir till completely smooth.


Pour over the cooled cake and use a hot, offset spatula to evenly spread all over the cake, top and sides.

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