Sometimes we all need the opportunity to show off our baking skills. This Vegan Leopard print cake / Brioche bread is sure to impress! Yes, it may take a bit of time and effort to pull off, but the results are fantastic; a moist chocolate orange cake that would be a fantastic Vegan celebration cake!
Below, I show the step-by-step process for making a beautiful vegan leopard print loaf. However, you can also use this technique for a variety of different designs and geometric bread patterns, for example:
or even a very simple checkerboard pattern, like this one:
The possibilities are endless, but the recipe is the same. I rarely make the same design twice, since it’s so fun to vary and I love cutting into the baked loaf to see the final design. After all, experimentation with these baked recipes is always fun.
This recipe has been a long time coming. Having posted my original leopard print brioche loaf a long while ago, I always said I’d come back with a Vegan brioche version (because as you know I like to make vegan recipes for lots of my vegetarian dishes too, if possible).
Unfortunately, it’s taken me a little bit longer than expected. But now, finally, here is the recipe for a beautiful vegan chocolate orange leopard print cake! Perfect to impress and bake as a Vegan celebration cake.
I call it a cake because of the textural differences in comparison to the non-vegan version. However, this recipe follows a vegan brioche bread method and is dairy and egg-free. Plus, no stand mixer or dough hook is required for this recipe.
In total this recipe takes between 4-5 hours to make. However, don’t start panicking just yet as the majority of this time is completely hands-off. In fact, I’d say the actual hands-on time is around half an hour only with the majority of the time being for the dough to rest. Plus, the recipe contains only 9 ingredients in total!
This cake can then be served alongside some vegan butter or, personally, I love to slather on my homemade Vegan Nutella because who doesn’t love sweet treats, after all.
How to make the Chocolate Orange Vegan Leopard Print Cake Recipe
- all-purpose flour, cornstarch, dry yeast, cane sugar
- vegan butter, oat milk (or your favourite plant-based milk such as almond milk)
For the dark brown
- cocoa powder, black cocoa powder
- oat milk (or your favourite plant-based milk)
For the lighter brown
- cocoa powder
- oat milk (or your favourite plant-based milk)
Here are the steps
In a saucepan, combine the cornstarch and oat milk with a whisk. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly and the mixture will thicken quickly. Remove from the heat, once thickened.
Add the butter and mix well, until thoroughly melted and combined.
Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and allow it to cool down. The temperature must fall below 50°C so as not to “kill” the yeast.
Pro tip: If you don’t have a thermometer, gently dip your clean pinky in the mix – if it doesn’t hurt, it’s cool enough.
Add the flour, sugar and yeast. Mix and set aside for 10 minutes.
Knead the dough for about ten minutes, until it is soft and elastic. Then cut the dough into 2.
In one of the halves, add the zest of the orange, picked with a fine grater. Set aside, under a tea towel/ cheesecloth. This will be the light-colored dough.
Cut the other half into 2 pieces as it’s now time to make the chocolate dough varieties.
In one, add 2.5 tablespoon cocoa powder and 2.5 tablespoon black cocoa powder mixed with milk. Incorporate by kneading to obtain the dark brown dough.
In the other, add only 1 tablespoon cocoa powder mixed with the milk. And incorporate it in order to obtain the lighter brown dough.
You now have 3 different shades of dough – light-colored, light brown, and dark brown.
Divide each piece of dough into 7-8 balls. Flour lightly and arrange in a tightly closed container. Leave to rise for 1 hour 30 minutes at room temperature.
Now it’s time to assemble the leopard print cake! The cake may look really hard to put together but is actually very simple and is made up of between 7-8 individual ‘leopard print’ spots that are popped into the cake mould to make one cake.
To make the leopard print cake pieces:
First, Take a piece of light brown dough. Roll this into a thin rope, the length of your cake tin.
Next, you take a piece of dark brown dough and orange dough and flatten with a rolling pin, to the length of the cake tin.
It’s then time to assemble the leopard print spots. To do this first place your light brown roll on top of the darker dough and wrap the dark dough around it (Don’t worry if you can’t surround it completely).
Note* Don’t try to be too perfect when doing this; To be honest, differences in dough thickness and shape of the inner light chocolate roll will all contribute to different, interesting leopard print designs on the cake.
To finish off the leopard print spots, roll the above piece inside the light dough. It also needs to be as long as the light brown roll (a bit longer is OK, too). Make sure the piece is thoroughly closed and ‘welded’ together.
Repeat these steps with remaining pieces of dough.
Place the dough rolls in a baking tin lined with baking paper, or buttered if necessary. Cover with a clean cloth and leave to stand for about 2 hours at room temperature. It must double in volume.
Bake at 170°C for 35-40 minutes.
Pro tip: if you are using a normal open-top baking tin, it’s best to brush the dough with a little milk before baking it. Also, to make the cake moister, bake with a container of water at the bottom of the oven (I put water in an oven pan). Check the centre is cooked by inserting a toothpick, this should come out clean.
Leave the cake to cool on a rack.
Finally, enjoy with some homemade vegan Nutella!
Other Vegan Dessert Recipes You May Like
For other Vegan dessert recipe inspiration, check out my Two-layer Raspberry Peach & Lemonade Tart (Or many others available on the blog), Salted Caramel & Raspberry Vegan Magnum Ice Creams, Healthy Vegan Twix Bars, Vegan Avocado Chocolate Mousse truffles among plenty of other options on the blog!
If you give this vegan leopard bread/cake recipe a try, let me know your thoughts in the comments below! Also, I’d love to see how they turn out so feel free to tag me in your creations @AlphaFoodie.
Chocolate Orange Vegan Leopard Print Cake
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup cane sugar
- 1.5 tablespoon dry yeast
- 1 cup oat milk or your favorite plant-based milk + a bit more to brush
- 2.5 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1/4 cup vegan butter
- 1 orange
For the dark brown:
- 2.5 tablespoon cocoa powder unsweetened
- 2.5 tablespoon black cocoa powder
- 3 tablespoon oat milk or your favorite plant-based milk
For the lighter brown:
- 1 tablespoon cocoa powder unsweetened
- 1.5 tablespoon oat milk or your favorite plant-based milk
Prepare the base dough
- In a saucepan, combine the cornstarch and oats milk with a whisk. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. The mixture will thicken suddenly. Remove from the heat.
- Add the butter and mix well.
- Transfer the mixture to a bowl and allow it to cool down. The temperature must fall below 50°C so as not to "kill" the yeast. *
- Add the flour, sugar and yeast. Mix and set aside for 10 minutes.
- Knead the dough for about ten minutes, until it is soft and elastic. Then cut the dough into 2 parts.
Prepare the different colored dough
- In one of the halves, add the zest of the orange, picked with a fine grater. Set aside, under a cloth. This will be the light-colored dough.
- Cut the other half into 2 pieces.
- In one, add 2.5 tablespoon cocoa powder and 2.5 tablespoon black cocoa powder mixed with milk. Incorporate by kneading to obtain the dark brown dough.
- In the other, add only 1 tablespoon cocoa powder mixed with the milk. And incorporate it in order to obtain the lighter brown dough.
- Divide each piece of dough into 7-8 balls. Flour lightly and arrange in a tightly closed container. Leave for 1 hour 30 minutes at room temperature.
Make the different layers
- Take a piece of light brown dough. Roll this into a thin rope, the length of your cake tin.
- Take a piece of dark brown dough and orange dough and flatten with a rolling pin, to the length of the cake tin.
- Place the light brown roll on top of the darker dough and wrap the dark dough around it. Don't worry if you can't surround it completely!
- Roll the above piece inside the light dough.It also needs to be as long as the light brown roll (a bit longer is OK, too). Make sure the piece is thoroughly closed and 'welded' together.
- Repeat these steps of rolling and wrapping for the remaining pieces of dough.
- Place the dough rolls in a baking tin lined with baking paper, or buttered if necessary. Cover with a clean cloth and leave to stand for about 2 hours at room temperature. It must double in volume.
- Bake at 170°C for 35-40 minutes. **
- Leave the cake to cool on a rack. Then, finally, enjoy with some homemade vegan nutella!
What baking tin do you use? Do you have a link please. This looks brilliant! Looking forward to making it.
Unfortunately, I don’t have a link as I bought it while in China. However, you should be able to find them online searching ‘cylinder loaf tin’.
This looks so cool! I love your ideas! I would like to make this into a 2-layer round (or square) birthday cake. What sort of adjustments should I make to the measurements for the ingredients? Any assistance would be greatly appreciated!
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It depends on how big the cake needs to be – if you just need to make 2 layers, maybe you don’t even have to adjust the measurements. Please note that this recipe yields a harder texture, not the fluffier texture birthday cakes usually have.
This is absolutely the most original cake recipe I have seen lately. You managed to make such original and mouth-watering photos! I will definitely put this recipe in the treasury of my best ones. Probably, the cooking process requires extreme accuracy and concentration, but the spectacular appearance is worth it as a result 🙂 I like pastries with zest, and often add lemon zest. Thank you for the idea. I hope I can cook this chocolate orange leopard print cake the same way!
Thank you so much! When you give this recipe a go, I’d love to know how it works out for you! It’s actually a lot less fiddly than it seems but is definitely trial and error. I love the surprise of cutting it open after baking and seeing the final pattern.