Wholemeal Spelt Sponge Cake: You’d Never Guess it’s Dairy Free!
dairy free || cane sugar-free || wheat free || soy free || nut free (cake only)
I made this Wholemeal Spelt Sponge Cake for my husband’s birthday this week.
The key criteria I had to meet were:
- No refined/bleached flour – wholemeal spelt flour sorted this out ~ it’s much more nutritious than wheat
- Dairy free; our son has a dairy intolerance ~ it causes him eczema
- Limited sweetener – sugar is inflammatory and mood altering ~ not really great for anybody
- Nut free – just in case leftovers ended up in the school lunch box. The cake is nut free, but not the icing
The result was a light, fluffy, sweet and chocolatey Wholemeal Spelt Sponge Cake. The chocolate flavour came thanks to a couple of spoonfuls of raw cacao powder. I sweetened the cake with pure maple syrup and some vanilla bean powder and fluffed it up with organic free range eggs.
By using these highly nutritious ingredients, the cake tasted so much better than anything you could make with refined white flour and sugar. I didn’t add butter or a substitute – with plenty of moisture from the eggs and maple syrup, there was no need for added fat or oil. Of course the freerange and organic eggs are far superior than cage eggs which are high in all of the wrong omega fats too.
I was so delighted with the end result, the Wholemeal Spelt Sponge Cake rose perfectly and when I cut it in half it was absolutely perfect again. The texture was so fluffy and even. I just wish I snapped a photo to show you.
Meanwhile, the icing, which does contain nuts, comprises a low sugar, but still so sweet, thick and dairy-free blend of raw cashews, coconut sugar, vanilla and cacao powder. A decadent combination which could also be used as a tart filling elsewhere, makes just the right amount to fill and top this 18cm-diameter round cake.
This cake made the most special birthday cake, but of course it would be ideal for any celebration,. plain or decorated further.
Cake prep time: 20 minutes
Cake cooking time: 40-45 minutes; plus cooling and assembly
- Kitchenaid/mix-master, or electric hand beater with large mixing bowl
- 18cm round springform cake tin and spatula
- measuring cup and spoons
- bread knife or other long serrated knife (for slicing in half)
- Vitamix or other powerful blender/food processor
- 4 large organic freerange eggs
- 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla powder (or extract)
- 2 tbsp raw cacao powder
- 1 tsp gluten free baking powder
- 1 cup wholemeal spelt flour
Icing & Filling Ingredients
- 1 cup raw cashew nuts, soaked in filtered water, then drained*
- 1/3 cup pure coconut cream
- 3 tbsp coconut sugar
- 1 heaped tsp raw cacao powder
- 1 tsp vanilla powder
- Optional: fresh berries to decorate
**If you have time, soak your 1 cup of raw cashew nuts in cold filtered water for 4 hours. Alternatively, soak the nuts in a bowl of boiling water, covered with foil, for the duration of the cake prep and cooking time. Drain when the cake has cooled and you’re ready to make the icing.
- Preheat a fan-forced oven to 160 degrees Celsius.
- Grease the 18cm round springform cake tin with coconut oil, then line with baking paper and set aside.
- In a mixmaster set on high, beat the eggs until they are very pale and creamy – approximately 10 minutes.
- In a gentle stream, while still beating at a slower pace, add the maple syrup.
- Reduce the speed to low and add the balance of the ingredients, one at a time and in the order set out above. Continue beating until combined and the batter is smooth.
- Using a spatula to scrape the sides of the bowl, transfer the batter to the lined cake tin.
- Transfer the cake tin to the oven and bake for 40-45 minutes or until the cakes springs back with touched, is lightly golden and a skewer comes out clean after inserting into the centre.
- Once cooked, allow the cake to cool on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes before releasing from the cake tin. You might need to use a knife to skim around the perimeter of the cake to ensure. that the cake hasn’t stuck to the tin.
- Allow the cake to fully cool before slicing in half horizontally – a bread knife, or other large long serrated knife is great for this job.
- Meanwhile, to make the icing – add all ingredients to a powerful blender or food processor and whiz until smooth.
- Distribute half of the icing onto the bottom layer.
- Place the top layer on top of the iced bottom layer and use the rest of the icing to decorate the top of the cake.
- Serve as is or decorate further with:
- fresh berries
- toasted or raw shredded coconut
- toasted or raw flaked almonds
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.