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Here at Sensei Cooks I write about my adventures in the kitchen and sometimes in the dojo.

I have a love for cooking and want to explore all the possible facets of it. Leave no stone unturned so to speak.

I am Vegan and love all types of vegan cooking.

I love the process of cooking. Being in the moment. Sort of Zen and the Art of Cooking.

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Five-Spice Chocolate Layer Cake

I really wanted to make a vegan chocolate cake for Hayley (and myself) and found this one in my newest Favourite Cookbook. I was a little worried when I read it contained prunes. Lo and behold it is awesome, prunes and all.
I made the "frosting" as per the recipe but it turned out way too wet. I put it in the freezer, as opposed to the fridge, to firm it up but then it just froze solid. Hayley did say she dipped her cake pieces into the frosting and it was great but I never got a chance to frost the cake because Hayley, Belle and myself just kept cutting pieces and pieces and pieces. I did de-frost the frosting and it is great. It took a while to de-frost and I just never got around to frosting the tiny remaining piece of cake. This is a cake we will be making over and over again. Since I didn’t frost the cake, I didn’t layer it either. If you have better luck with the frosting let me know.

Five-Spice Chocolate Layer Cake
from the "Vegan Planet" by Robin Robertson

2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/3 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1 cup pitted prunes, soaked in 1 cup hot water
6 oz soft silken tofu, drained
1 cup molasses
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp unseasoned rice vinegar
1 1/2 cups water

16oz soft silken tofu, drained
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup soy milk
2 tsp pure vanilla extract

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Oil and lightly flour two 9" cake pans.
  2. Mix the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt together in a medium size bowl.
  3. In a blender combine the prunes, tofu, molasses, oil, vanilla and vinegar. Add the water and blend until smooth.
  4. Transfer the mixture into a large bowl.
  5. Whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and blend until smooth.
  6. Divide the mixture between the two prepared cake pans and bake about 30 minutes. Test with a toothpick (should come out clean).
  7. Let cool on wire rack 30 minutes.
  8. Remove from pans and let cool completely.
  9. To make the frosting, combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
  10. Transfer to a bowl, cover and refrigerate until chilled.
  11. Frost the cakes as desired.

I skipped the frosting stage and let them dip their cake into small bowls of frosting. I liked the cake better with no frosting at all.

Five-Spice Chocolate Layer Cake

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4 comments to Five-Spice Chocolate Layer Cake

  • […] Vegan Planet so far, and they have all been absolutely stunning in terms of taste. He even made a chocolate cake that was utterly […]

  • Hello, I tried your cake recipe some days ago but somehow couldn’t get the same result as you, my cake clearly wasn’t looking that good (atleast it tasted good). What sort of chocolate are you using? Maybe it’s coming from the flour I used, so I used chickpea flour instead of usual wheat flour.


  • Ward

    The only chocolate is the unsweetened cocoa powder. I used regular all-purpose unbleached flour. I imagine any flour would work but you might have to adjust the quantity for different flours, such increasing it if it is gluten-free all-purpose. I believe you need to increase the gluten-free by about a 1/4 cup and add something like Gour gum to get the binding. I will try it again, gluten-free and post it soon.


  • Ward

    Hi Tabitha,
    I just re-made the cake and made some muffins too. I used 2 3/4 cups Gluten Free All-purpose flour instead of the 2.5 cups of all-purpose. I added 2 tbsp Gluten Free Gour Gum. The dough was very thick and I was a little worried. It took about 8 minutes longer to bake but it turned out very well. The muffins went before they even cooled.
    Good luck with it.


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