This cake is great for a birthday or celebration and is a huge hit with everyone who eats it
“You can also use this mixture to make 12 large cupcakes or 24 little ones, but remember to reduce the cooking time to 15–20 minutes. You can easily freeze these complete with icing and defrost an hour or so before they are needed. ”
Preheat the oven to 220°C/200°C fan/425°F/Gas mark 7. Line the base of two 20cm cake tins with baking paper and lightly grease the paper and tins with oil.
Mix the rice milk and cider vinegar together and set aside. Don’t worry if it separates – you are effectively making a buttermilk that will give the cake a light texture and help to activate the raising agents.
Mix the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, bicarb of soda, xantham gum and salt together in a bowl. Make sure they are really well mixed together.
Pour the oil, vanilla and the rice milk and vinegar mixture into the dry ingredients. Mix them together really well either by hand or gently using a handheld blender.
Divide the mixture between the two prepared tins.Tap the tins on your work surface to remove any large air bubbles and place on the middle shelf in the oven. Bake for about 30–35 minutes (test with a skewer or sharp knife – if it comes out clean it is cooked).
Leave the cakes to cool in their tins for 5 minutes before turning out onto wire racks to cool completely.
To make the icing, whisk the sunflower spread, icing sugar and cocoa powder in a bowl. Break the chocolate up into pieces in a microwave-safe bowl and cook on high in 10-second bursts until it has just melted. Add the melted chocolate to the icing and mix.
Spread an even layer of icing on one of the cooled cakes and then place the other cake on top. Top the cake with the rest of the icing. Decorate with dairy-free chocolate buttons (or fresh berries if preferred).