It was Hunter's birthday yesterday. I asked him what sort of cake he wanted for his birthday, and he said "a sponge cake". Seriously, what sort of person, given an open choice of cakes, selects sponge cake? Where's the richness? Where's the decadence? Where's the adventure? Ok, scrap that last one, there's plenty of adventure to be had in baking my first ever sponge cake, using an untested vegan recipe, in a never-before-baked in oven, and along the way doing my first ever decorated cake. How have I got this far in life without ever decorating a cake?
After failing to find a recipe on any of my trusted vegan recipe sources, I did a lot of Googling, and settled on using this cake recipe, but went back to the trusted veganbaking.net for the buttercream frosting.
Based on the comments below the cake recipe, I reduced the sugar down to just over 150g, and it was plenty sweet enough, especially with the icing. The cake as a whole was good, but not excellent. It was light, but didn't have the airy softness of a truly good sponge, and I think next time I might need to try a slightly more complicated recipe, maybe this one, which I decided against because I didn't feel like also trying to make yoghurt on a cold winter's day.
For the buttercream frosting, I made a double batch (one for the middle and one for the top), but thought I'd only use the amount of sugar for one batch, and then slowly work up. In fact, I didn't need to add any more than that, it was already very sweet, and I could have comfortably used even less. The flavour blend in the icing was amazing, and I definitely recommend it, just adjust the sweetness to taste. The only problem was that as the cake was rather domed in shape, some of the strawberries exhibited an unwelcome tendency to be more interested in being friends with the plate rather than with the cake. This may have been at least partially due the the reduced sugar in the icing affecting its stiffness.
Overall, the cake was a success, and I have decided that sponge cakes, while never destined to be my first choice, need not actually be that boring after all. The birthday was also good. We had some friends over and played some games, though unfortunately we didn't have time for any Magic. Due to an organizational glitch I had to leave for a few hours to do some tutoring, and then we all went to see Guardians of the Galaxy. Happy Birthday for yesterday, Hunter.