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Spiced Caramel Cake with Italian Meringue Buttercream (vegan)

I recently attended a Survivor themed birthday weekend, where we competed in challenges inspired by the show until there was one person standing. Unfortunately (devastatingly) I did not win, but I did make this cake!

Ingredients for the cake

  • 475g self-raising flour
  • 275g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground cardamom 
  • 1/2 tsp all spice
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tbs ground cinnamon
  • 200ml soy milk
  • 100ml vegetable oil
  • 1 tbs golden syrup
  • 2 earl grey teabags soaked in 150ml boiling water

Ingredients for the icing

  • 170ml aquafaba (tinned chickpea brine)
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 80ml water
  • 440g vegan butter 
  • 4 tbs Lotus spread or essence of choice (optional)
  • 150g vegan caramel condensed milk or vegan dulce de leche (I used Olvebra Soy Caramel Condensed Milk)
  • Caramel sauce (I used Nature's Charm), caramel popcorn, isomalt and other decorations. Note: if you want to make a lower sugar cake, substitute sugar for sweetener like Natvia (check conversion) and use a sugar free caramel sauce like Natvia Salted Caramel Topping.


Vegan cake
Chai cake
Vegan dessert
Birthday cake
Caramel cake
Vegan cake
Chai cake



Instructions for the cake

  • Preheat oven to approximately 180 degrees Celsius and grease and line a 7 x 4 inch cake tin with vegan butter and baking paper.
  • Combine dry ingredients into a large bowl and mix until well combined.
  • In a large jug, combine remaining ingredients.
  • Slowly pour wet ingredients onto dry ingredients, folding mixture carefully. Mix until just combined. 
  • Pour into prepared tin and bake for approximately 1 hour, or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.
  • Set aside to cool completely. 
  • Once cool, trim the top to make it even. Then, slice into four equal sections.

Instructions for the icing

  • Place aquafaba into a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment or in a large bowl with a handheld mixer ready.
  • Beat on medium until thick and foamy to soft peaks.
  • Meanwhile, heat sugar and water, mixing only to ensure the sugar is fully incorporated.
  • Once it reaches 115 degrees (use a kitchen thermometer to keep track), pour onto aquafaba and continue to whisk for five minutes. The mixture should become thick, glossy and stiff.
  • Place the bowl into the fridge until it's cool to the touch.
  • Place the bowl back and change to the paddle attachment. Beat on a medium speed.
  • Slowly add butter, waiting until each section is incorporated before adding more. The mixture may look like it has curdled but keep beating; eventually it will come together.
  • Once the mixture looks like buttercream, add Lotus spread or flavouring and combine for 30 seconds.
  • Place into an icing bag if desired or leave in the bowl ready to use. You can also place into the fridge if you're not using it straight away.
  • To assemble, place one part of the cake on a cake board and pipe or spoon icing just around the outer edge. Repeat just inside that.
  • Fill the remaining base (the middle section) with caramel mixture or vegan dulce de leche and repeat until you have one piece of cake left to put on top.
  • Cover with icing as desired, drizzle with caramel and decorate. 

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