06 Dec Dairy-free Spiced Rooibos Cake
Celebration of warm festive spices and rooibos for a South African flare.
Just to be clear it doesn’t have to be Christmas to whip up this cake because it’s good all year round. And frankly, we don’t need an excuse to eat cake, am I right?
This deliciously fluffy and moist cake sponge recipe is derived from a classic milk sponge recipe. However, this version of the recipe I aimed to make dairy-free and refined sugar-free by replacing the milk with a dairy-free alternative, cane sugar with coconut blossom sugar and the butter with ghee or coconut oil.
The rooibos is infused in the milk and then you add it to the batter before baking. Then lightly drizzled a rooibos syrup on the baked cake layers and allowed it to soak in and as a bonus, this adds a little extra moisture to the sponge. If you prefer a stronger rooibos taste just add more tea bags to either the milk mixture, the rooibos syrup or both.
For the frosting, I used cocoa butter to help it set. This prevent it not turning into a sloppy mess when it’s at room temperature. But you can also use coconut butter. If it is a particularly hot day when you are assembling the cake just pop the cake in the fridge for 10-20 minutes in between frosting each layer to allow it to set.
For the decorations, I used crushed cashews, cinnamon sticks, black currents, fresh rosemary, and cloves. Just make sure to not eat the cloves as they do have a strong flavour.
This Spiced Rooibos cake is ;
- light and delicious.
Take Note: This sponge recipe makes two thin layers, but enough rooibos syrup and frosting to cover 3-4 layers. I recommend you follow the instruction below and repeat the sponge recipe a second time to achieve 4 thin, moist and fluffy layers.
Spiced Rooibos Cake with Cinnamon Cashew Frosting
- 1 ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup coconut sugar
- 2 tsps baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- 2 tbsp cinnamon
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp cloves
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp cardamom
- 6 rooibos tea bags
- 4 tbsps ghee/ coconut oil
- 3 large eggs room temperature
- ½ cup almond milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 rooibos tea bags
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 cup hot water
Cinnamon Cashew Frosting
- 2 cups raw cashews soaked
- 2 cans full cream coconut milk refrigerated overnight
- Pinch of salt
- 1/3 cup honey
- 100 g cacoa/coconut butter
- 3 Tbsps almond butter
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- Refrigerate the coconut milk cans overnight and soak the cashews in water overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 180 ℃ and grease the bottom and sides of two 20 cm round cake pans; line the bottom and side with parchment paper.
- Combine the milk, rooibos tea bags and ghee/coconut oil in a small sauce pan. Heat over a low heat until the ghee just melted and then set the pan aside. Remove the tea bags when it steeped for 3-5 minutes.
- Sift the flour, baking powder and spices together onto a piece of parchment paper.
- Whisk eggs in a mixing bowl either by hand or with an electric mixer then add in the salt. Whisk until light and foamy for 1-2 minutes. Then slowly start adding the sugar and whisk continuously on high speed for 3-5 minutes until lighter in colour and fluffy texture. Lastly add mix in the vanilla extract.
- Gently mix the warm milk mixture into the egg mixture by hand. Add the dry flour mixture in 4 additions, lifting both sides of the parchment paper to help guide it into the bowl while gently folding in the flour mixture into the wet ingredients.
- Divide the batter between the prepared pans and smooth the tops. Using a kitchen scale to ensure that it yields equally thick layers.
- Bake in the centre of the oven until golden and firm when touched in the centre, about 20 minutes. Let cool in the pans on a wire racks for 10 minutes.
- Run a sharp paring knife around the layers to loosen, and then invert the pans onto the racks.
- Immediately turn the layers over so they cool with the paper on the bottom. Let it cool completely. If you’re making the cake ahead, wrap the cooled cake airtight and refrigerate for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost at room temperature before frosting.
- Add the rooibos tea bags, honey and hot water to a jar and let it steep for 3-5 minutes.
- Make small holes over the entire surface of each layer of cake using a fork. Then use a spoon to drizzle the rooibos syrup mixture evenly and allow it to soak in, use abut 4-5 tablespoon on each layer of cake.
- Rinse of the soaked cashews and add to a blender with the rest of the frosting ingredients. Blend until smooth and transfer to as a jar and close the lit before letting it set in the freezer for 30-40 minutes or overnight in the fridge if you plan on only decorating the next day.
*If you like a spicier and more intense rooibos flavour; increase the ginger and nutmeg you add in the batter and use more rooibos tea bags in the milk mixture.