Cake of the Month – January 2013


This Cake was made for Hackney Ark’s winter party, and I was delighted to make it, because we’re one of the families who’ve benefitted from services from the Ark.

Name of baker: Deborah McManamon

Name of cake: Free From Chocolate Cake [dairy and egg free: this recipe comes from Giorgio Locatelli, whose daughter has food allergies.]


450g plain flour
300g caster sugar
6 tablespoons cocoa powder (I use green & blacks)
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
125ml vegetable oil
300ml cold water
2 tablespoons vinegar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
(I sometimes add some chopped crystalised ginger or orange zest)

Sift the dry ingredients together.  Combine the wet ingredients in a jug.  Make a well in the dry ingredients and pout in the oil and water mixture and beat well.  It should give a thick glossy batter.  Pour into a 23cm cake tin and bake at 170 / 150 fan oven until a skewer comes out clean.
The texture is quite dense and ‘cakey’ rather than sponge like.
I iced this one using apricot jam and fondant icing, which is egg / dairy free too.

About the baker:

I’ve lived in London for 25 years, and Hackney for about 20 years so I’m probably here for good now.   I work for a disability charity in Kings Cross.  I usually make birthday cakes for my two boys and we have great fun coming up with designs.  Even when the cakes turn out a bit different it doesn’t matter.  There’s something special about something being made for you – even if it isn’t perfect.  That’s why I decided to volunteer when I came across a flyer for Free Cakes for Kids.  It’s still a bit nerve wracking baking for other people though!


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