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Soft, light and packed with warm, tangy orange and fresh blueberries. This easy to make twist on vegan blueberry cake is perfect for sharing.
I’ve been experimenting with corn oil cakes for a while. Trying out all kinds of ratios and flavour combinations. Well, the moment I tried this cake I knew I’d be posting it!
Normally I make cakes with olive oil, in fact I keep going on about how good they are! So, why suddenly make cakes with corn oil? Well, they can have properties olive oil cakes can’t.
Why make corn oil cakes?
This cake base is sweeter, and it has a tighter crumb than my previous vegan cakes. It’s not the corn oil making it sweeter, it sweeter because I found I can add more sugar when using corn oil.
Sugar makes cakes rise higher because it inhibits protein bonding during baking. The thing with olive oil is that it’s also excellent at helping cakes rise (check out my ultra-light lemon cupcakes), so my olive oil recipes have always had limits on their sugar content to avoid the cakes over-rising.
I still love olive oil cakes, but corn oil cakes can work better in some situations.
Being sweeter, this cake base is perfect for recipes with sharp ingredients – like citrus zest. The tighter crumb is also good for multi-layered or cut and assembled cakes (eg. battenburg) which need more structure – so I hope to explore some new cake recipes soon!
Making the perfect vegan blueberry cake is easy when you know how
I’m impressed with how consistently – and well – this cake rises and sets. For best results mix the batter lightly until just smooth, then immediately put it into a tin and bake in a well-heated oven.
Personally, I love the orange and blueberry combination, but if you want a lemon blueberry cake switch the orange for lemon. Just reduce the zest in the sponge to 1/2 a lemon since it’s a stronger flavour.
Vegan Orange & Blueberry Cakes
- 200 g soy milk
- ½ tablespoon orange juice
- 200 g plain flour (aka all-purpose flour)
- 150 g soft light brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 100 g corn oil
- 1 orange (grated zest only)
- 50 g fresh blueberries
- 75 g icing sugar (aka confectioners’ sugar)
- 2-3 teaspoons orange juice
- 25 g fresh blueberries
- 1 orange (shredded zest only)
- Preheat oven (180 °C, Fan 160 °C, 350 °F, Gas 4).
- Combine and stir together the orange juice and soy milk in a small bowl and set aside.
- Grease and line a 20x20cm (8×8”) square cake tin with baking paper.
- In a large bowl, combine all dry cake ingredients: flour, sugar, baking powder, orange zest, baking soda and salt - then rub them together between your hands until well mixed and free of any lumps. Pour in the soy milk and orange juice mixture and the corn oil, then whisk until a smooth batter forms. Fold in the blueberries.
- Pour the batter into the lined pan, then place it into the preheated oven. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the cake looks well risen and golden brown. A toothpick inserted into the centre should come out clean.
- Set the cake aside to fully cool on a rack.
- Trim off the edges and cut the cake into 9 squares.
- Make the icing by adding the orange juice one teaspoon at a time to the icing sugar and stirring thoroughly after each addition until a smooth, thick icing forms. Pipe (or pour) lines of it across each cake. To finish, top each cake with one or two fresh blueberries and a pinch of shredded orange zest.
Storage: These cakes are best served within 24 hours of baking, but they will keep well for up to three days in an airtight container in a cool place.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 288Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 1.5gUnsaturated Fat: 9.5gSodium: 73mgCarbohydrates: 43.8gNet Carbohydrates: 44gFiber: 1.2gSugar: 26gProtein: 3.0g
Have you tried this cake or got a question? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!
I first became vegan in the 1980’s and back then the cake recipes were always a bit disappointing. Either they were heavy and dry or light and crumbly. After a 15 year break, I have recently returned to veganism and wanted to update my recipes. After several attempts (and trawling the internet!) I stumbled across the Vegan Recipe Bowl. I was impressed with Ben’s use of science to create his recipes and decided to give this blueberry cake a go. I can honestly say the results are amazing! You would never guess it was vegan. Unlike the 80’s versions, not only is it delicious but it’s light and spongy too. My son loved it so much he nearly ate all of it in one go and asked me to make three for his birthday (and he is definitely not a fan of veganism or anything healthy)! I did change one thing though as I try to avoid refined sugar, I used 3/4 cup of coconut sugar instead (150g seemed too much as it is lighter than brown sugar) and to my surprise it didn’t seem to affect the results. I can’t wait to try out more recipes. Thank you Ben and keep up the good work!
Hi Haley, thank you for your lovely comment. It’s great to hear you’re enjoying this cake. Your comments about 1980s recipes are interesting. I have some vintage vegan cookery books, which I still use and enjoy, but I can see from them just how much vegan cooking has progressed. I think in the case of cakes, the shift around – at least the one I’ve had – is realising we don’t necessarily need to replace eggs in such a direct way as people think. I’ve been getting my best results from designing new cake bases that rely on the protein in the flour to set them.
Thank you for the tip about coconut sugar too, I’ll have to see if I can find some. New ingredients can lead to a lot of new discoveries.