Recipe: How to make the Ultimate Vegan Victoria Sponge

Ultimate Vegan Victoria Sponge

Veganuary-heartThis is now the third year that I’ve taken part in Veganuary, and each year I’ve found new and different ways to recreate vegan versions of all the dairy-laden foods I’ve been missing.  Cakes and biscuits are, unfortunately, one of the things I find hardest to give up, and last weekend after a long, chilly and very muddy walk, I needed a cup of tea and a slice of cake.

I searched t’internet for some failsafe vegan cake recipes, but found that a very large proportion of them were both vegan and gluten-free.  I know there’s a lot of people now following a vegan-gluten-free diet, (the Deliciously Ella effect!), but gluten-free baking is a whole different challenge.  For people like me who are vegan but perfectly happy to eat some gluten now and again, here’s a classic British Victoria Sponge recipe that tastes almost identical to any egg- and butter-laden sponge I’ve tried.

The dairy replacements here are simply:

  • Dairy-free margarine in place of butter, (my all-time favourite is Tomor, which tastes just like butter, or else Stork’s block margarine is also vegan), and
  • Soya yoghurt and soya milk in place of the eggs.

Ultimate Vegan Victoria Sponge

Here are my top tips for making the Ultimate Vegan Victoria Sponge Cake:

  1. Get as much air into the margarine and sugar mixture as you can – eggs act as a raising agent as well as their binding properties, so by substituting them with soya yoghurt we just need to work a little harder to get plenty of air into the mixture for a really light sponge.  Do this by beating the margarine and sugar in a food mixer for much much longer than you think you need to – 4 minutes seems like an absolute age, but it will make such a difference to the cake, I promise!
  2. But don’t beat once you’ve added in the flour The flour will knock all the air out of the mixture, so just fold it in very slowly and gently by hand.
  3. Get the cakes into the oven as quickly as you can once you’ve added the flour and baking powder Raising agents start to work as soon as they come into contact with liquid. so have your tins prepared in advance, oven at the right temperature, and work quickly to get the cakes baking as soon as you can.
  4. Use good quality dairy-free margarine – if its all you have to hand, this cake will work perfectly well with any old dairy-free spread, but if you can get hold of Tomor or Stork block margarine it will really make a difference to that buttery taste.
  5. Be generous with the fillings – you’ll see from my pictures that I don’t like skimping on the jam and buttercream! This is partly because when you serve someone a ‘vegan cake’ they are fully expecting it to be dry, tasteless and heavy.  So if you serve them a light, moist and airy sponge slathered with lots of creamy buttercream and jam, they really won’t believe it’s vegan!
  6. Get lots of air into the buttercream – similarly to no. 1 above – just beat, beat and beat again. I sometimes use a whisk attachment on my food mixer for this (rather than the beater).  A really light buttercream filling is just so creamy, and adds to the lovely airy texture of the cake.
  7. A controversial one…. don’t call it a Vegan cake!  Just serve it up calling it a Victoria Sponge and I bet no one will guess it is ‘free-from’ anything at all.  Tell them afterwards whilst basking in compliments!

Ultimate Vegan Victoria Sponge

Don’t forget to send me pictures of your very own vegan Victoria Sponge cakes on FacebookTwitter or Instagram to show me how you got on!

Ultimate Vegan Victoria Sponge

4.13 from 8 votes
Ultimate Vegan Victoria Sponge
The Ultimate Vegan Victoria Sponge
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
40 mins
 
Course: Cake
Cuisine: British
Servings: 8 slices
Author: Kate Ford | The Veg Space
Ingredients
For the sponge:
  • 200 g dairy-free margarine (Stork block margarine or Tomor are excellent)
  • 300 g caster sugar
  • 200 g dairy-free yoghurt (I used Alpro soya yoghurt)
  • 200 g soya milk
  • 3 tsp vanilla extract
  • 400 g self-raising flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
For the filling:
  • 150 g dairy-free margarine
  • 200 g icing sugar
  • zest of half a lemon
  • strawberry or raspberry jam
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F / Gas Mark 4. Grease and line two 20cm or 22cm cake tins.
  2. In a food mixer, beat the margarine and sugar together for 3-4 minutes, (yes, really!), until pale and fluffy.
  3. Add the yoghurt, soya milk, and the vanilla extract, then add them to the mixer and beat. (If the mixture looks 'curdled' just add a few tablespoons of the flour to the mix and beat again).
  4. Add the flour and baking powder, (the remainder if you have added some already), and slowly fold it into the mixture, until fully combined.
  5. Divide the mixture between the two tins, and bake for 20-22 minutes until an inserted skewer or knife comes out clean. Then remove from the oven and turn out onto a cooling rack.
  6. To make the buttercream, just beat the margarine, icing sugar and lemon zest in a food mixer for 3-4 minutes until very light and fluffy.
  7. When the cakes are completely cool, (a few hours at least), smother the top of one with plenty of jam, then smother the buttercream over the bottom of the other cake. Carefully sandwich them together, then sprinkle the top of the cake liberally with icing sugar.

Ultimate Vegan Victoria Sponge

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Vegan in 15 Cover | Kate FordThere are plenty of similarly quick and easy recipes in my new book, ‘Vegan in 15‘*. Hop over to Amazon for a look.  Thanks for your support!

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For more vegan baking inspiration check out these recipes from blogger friends:


Don’t forget to follow my progress through Veganuary via my Instagram 2016-01-08 18.16.17feed 

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46 comments

  1. Amaazing! Saving this for my vegan friend’s birthday cake xx

  2. What a fabulous looking Victoria Sponge and such clever substitutions:-) Thanks for featuring my Banana Cake:-)
    Camilla @FabFood4All recently posted…Comment on Win the Joseph Joseph Nest 100 Compact Food Preparation Set rrp £100 by George WilliamsonMy Profile

  3. this looks great – I’ve got friend who’s just gone vegan who’s big on cakes – will try this on her!
    Roz recently posted…Scallop & Chorizo PaellaMy Profile

  4. This looks great! Just as good as any other victoria sponge I’ve seen! My daughter can’t have dairy but also can’t have gluten or soya which is a real nightmare as gluten free being is HARD. We are using the new Flora dairy free spread here too which is quite good. I never knew stork was vegan. Thanks for adding my PB cake XX

    1. I meant baking above not being!
      Munchies and Munchkins recently posted…Healthy Sweet Potato PancakesMy Profile

  5. This looks fab Kate, and great tip on the Tomor which I’ve never heard of. I’ll need to try it.
    Helen @ Fuss Free Flavours recently posted…Comment on The story behind Prosciutto di San Daniele DOP by HelenMy Profile

  6. I would absolutely love to conduct a taste test with this to see if people can tell? I didn’t realise that Stork was vegan (I should have been able to work it out though but never thought) – I find Stork ok for simple sponges but anything heavier it seems to struggle with. Well done on another month of veganism. Thanks loads for joining in with #Bakeoftheweek
    Helen at Casa Costello recently posted…January Reads 2016My Profile

  7. Great cake! You’d never guess it is vegan…pinning! Eb x
    Eb Gargano recently posted…Tomato and Red Lentil Soup (Vegan)My Profile

    1. Thanks Eb! I know – I totally fooled my father in law…. haha!

  8. Excellent job! Turns out really similar to a victoria sponge cake my mom made. Can see it on my site ^^

  9. Great recipe! I’m just wondering if I am able to substitute the butter for oil?

    1. Hi Hannah, to be honest I’ve never tried it with oil so couldn’t tell you how it would turn out – sorry! Definitely worth a try though and let me know how it goes. Kate

  10. Hiya – I tried your recipe and whilst it tastes absolutely great, the texture is a little bit stodgy and it really didn’t rise much. I forgot to ‘fold’ the flour in slowly and just added it into the food processor and whizzed it up. Could this have been the problem?

    Any advice you can offer would be great. I am trying to find the ultimate recipe so that I can make an eggless, dairy free wedding cake!! : )

    Many thanks , Steph

    1. Hi Stephanie, yes its really important to be super-careful folding in the flour, or else all the hard work you did beating the marg & sugar for AGES to get lots of air in is completely wasted, as the air will be knocked straight out by whisking in the flour. I often don’t even use a mixer for the flour, just do it by hand with a spatula really slowly, and stop stirring the minute it is all combined. If it isn’t rising much there’s a chance your raising agent isn’t working properly – self-raising flour has a surprisingly short shelf-life as the baking powder in it loses its active power quite quickly, so if it has been lurking in the cupboard for a while try a brand new bag, or add an extra half teaaspoon of baking powder in there too. Hope that helps and good luck with the cake! Kate

      1. Thank you very much! I will give it another go. Steph

  11. Just wondering how much xantham gum would be substituted for as there’s no amount specified for that. I’m not a big fan of chia seed grit and i’d liek to try a seed free cake. Thanks.x

    1. Hi Rachel, sorry about that – the xantham gum replacement PER EGG is a quarter of a teaspoon xantham mixed into 60ml water. I haven’t tried it in this recipe as I use flax or chia so sorry I can’t comment from first hand experience, but do let me know how you get on! Kate

  12. I made this cake today had to do a vegan and gluten free one so I replaced the flour with gluten free self raising and 1/2 tsp of xanthum gum. It worked really well one of the best free from everything cakes I’ve made. thanks for the great recipe.

    1. Oh that’s great to hear Jo, what a good idea re the xantham gum. I’ve never tried a gluten-free version before so its good to know that can be done!

  13. Hi! First of, that looks amazing, I was looking for a vegan victoria sponge for Xmas and I was just wondering if the cake (just the sponge) could be made the day before maybe, if they could keep quite fresh? And then just have to do the sandwiching filling bit just before serving it? If anyone has any experience making that recipe in advance, I’d appreciate any advice 🙂

    Thanks,

    Mel

    1. Hi Mel, Yes absolutely, as long as it is kept in an airtight tin it would be absolutely fine the next day. If you’re sandwiching it just before serving you could add some sliced fresh strawberries in the middle too – totally delicious but you can’t do it if you’re making the cake in advance as the juice runs into the sponge! Enjoy!

  14. So many vegan cake recipes don;t work out. I have just made this and it truly is a great recipe! Great rise and tastes just like any other cake – good work! I will definitely using it as a base for my vegan trifle recipe and will give you a mention on my site when I share it this week. Thanks!

  15. Hi there I was wondering if you could use plain flour instead? Im in Denmark and can’t seem to find Self raising flour, the danes don’t really use it. Any suggestions on getting a good rise without SRF?
    Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Nadia, absolutely – you can easily make self-raising flour from plain by adding 2tsp baking powder per 150g flour. Hope it turns out well! Kate x

  16. Hi,
    Can you use a sweetener such as Stevia instead of the caster sugar, or would that impact the cake?
    Thanks

    1. Hi Nasima, I’ve never tried using a sweetener so really don’t know how it would turn out – if you Google instructions for substituting sugar with stevia (to get the quantities right) I can’t see a reason not to, but having never tried I can’t guarantee how it would turn out!

  17. Hi

    My daughter cant have soya as well as dairy and eggs. Do you know how I could replace the yogurt in this? Would egg replacer be any good or Oatly cream/creme fraiche? Thanks

    1. Hi Leanne, yes I think oatly creme fraiche would be your best bet, or else coconut yoghurt would also work well, most supermarkets stock it these days. Hope it turns out well! Kate x

  18. Hi Kate,
    just found your wonderful site and not from US! where names of ingredients, measures and oven temps can be different to GB. With your Victoria sponge recipe, would it work do you think with replacing the yoghurt with vegan creme fraiche please?
    Thank you, Carol

    1. Good to hear from you Carol, yes that would work really well. Enjoy!

  19. Thank you for this recipe! It turned out amazing. I’ve been vegan for over 2 years and this is the best Victoria sponge recipe I’ve found. I did have to leave mine in the oven for 30 mins before it was cooked though. ????????????

  20. I made this but it turned out stodgy despite hand mixing the butter and sugar, very carefully folding in the flour and having the oven at the right temp 🙁

    1. Hi Michelle, sorry to hear this – I’m not really sure what to suggest as it always turns out well for me, and I’ve had lots of other comments from people who have really enjoyed it. Sorry – hope it turns out better next time x

  21. Is the temperature for an electric oven based on conventional or fan? I’ve got mine in at 160 fab, just done 20 mins and the top is still wobbly

    1. Hi Claire, the recipe is for a fan oven – ovens are all different and I go on how long it takes to cook in mine – just leave it in until it is cooked through. Hope it turns out well. Kx

  22. This was delicious! I’d like to make it again , does anyone know if the unfilled sponges freeze okay? I know you can freeze regular sponge cakes, I’m just not sure as this one contains soya yogurt.

    1. Hi Rebecca, glad you liked the recipe! Yes I freeze these all the time with no problem at all – the yoghurt is cooked into the sponge so not a problem. Kate x

  23. Thank you SO MUCH For this! I cannot wait to try it X

    1. Ooh lovely – let me know how it goes!! x

  24. Hi I’m looking to make a vegan wedding cake for my sister in law. Do you know if this cale would be suitable to ice with fondant icing? Also would the recipe work if I doubled the ingredients to make a larger cake?

    1. Hi Libby, yes its just like a ‘classic’ victoria sponge so would be fine covered in fondant, though it doesn’t keep for more than a few days so I would try to ice it as late as possible if you can. And certainly double the ingredients, the only thing that would be affected is the cooking time. Might be better to make three thinner layers than two really thick ones – a trial run might be a good idea! Hope that helps and do let me know how it goes, would love to see the finished cake! Kate x

  25. I notice you have the soya milk given in grams (recipe states 200 g). That isn’t a usual fluid measure so seems a bit odd to me, so thought I would check if that was right? Appreciate your response.

    1. Hi Sara, I use grams there because of how I tend to weigh things – I put my bowl on the scales and weigh the yoghurt then add the milk in and find it easier than getting a separate measuring jug out. But 100ml soya milk weighs about 102g so if you prefer to measure in a jug 200ml will work absolutely fine too. Hope that helps! Kate

  26. […] moist, exactly how I like my apple cake.  Its a world away from the light, airy sponge in the Ultimate Vegan Victoria Sponge I posted back in January, but just as good with a nice cup of […]

  27. Hey!
    I’m very eager to try the cake, as a vegan I usually get to eat only chocolate cake and I wanted something with real cream 🙂
    But since I don’t have 2 small cake forms, do you think I could do with muffin forms and just cut them afterwards for filling them?
    How would the cooking time change?
    Thanks very much in advance!

    1. Yes absolutely! I’ve done this before and they are so lovely. I would start checking from about 15 minutes – just stick a toothpick/cocktail stick into one of the cakes and if it comes out clean they are ready to come out the oven. Hope they turn out well!

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