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Recipe: Hemsley & Hemsley Cannellini Vanilla Sponge Cake

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The lovely Jasmine and Melissa Hemsley share a recipe from their new book, Good + Simple

Hemsley & Hemsley Good + Simple

Hemsley & Hemsley Good + Simple

The Hemsley sisters have been at the forefront of the healthy food scene for years now. The reason they are so successful, is because this way of eating really isn’t anything new to them. It’s the way the sisters were brought up, and thankfully, it’s delicious and simple.

Cannellini Vanilla Sponge Cake with Chocolate Avocado Frosting…

Cannellini Vanilla Sponge Cake

Cannellini Vanilla Sponge Cake


serves 25–30

For the cake

125g butter or coconut oil, melted, plus extra for greasing

3 x 400g tins of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

9 medium eggs

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

220ml maple syrup

5 teaspoons apple cider vinegar or lemon juice

90g coconut flour

2½ teaspoons bicarbonate of soda

¼ teaspoon sea salt

150g punnet of fresh raspberries, to decorate

For the chocolate avocado frosting

4 medium ripe avocados

5 tablespoons (about 75g) coconut oil, melted

8 tablespoons raw honey (to taste)

10 tablespoons cocoa powder

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons lemon juice

½ teaspoon orange extract (not essence)

A pinch of sea salt


1 Preheat the oven to fan 180°C/gasmark 6, then line the bases of two 25cm-diameter cake tins with baking parchment and grease the sides with butter or coconut oil.

2 Blend all the ingredients for the frosting together in a food processor until smooth, adding a dash of cold water if needed. Taste, adjusting the flavourings to taste, then transfer to a bowl and set aside in the fridge.

3 For the cake, add the cannellini beans to the cleaned food processor bowl with the eggs, vanilla extract and maple syrup and blend until smooth. Add the remaining cake ingredients, except the raspberries, and blend to combine.

4 Divide the cake batter between the prepared cake tins, spreading out evenly and smoothing the surface. Bake in the oven for 35 minutes until well risen and lightly golden on top (Check the cakes after 25 minutes and swap the tins between shelves, if necessary, as they will cook at different rates).

5 Remove from the oven, transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely in the tins before turning out.

6 While the cakes are cooling, gently wash the raspberries and dry them carefully using kitchen paper or leave to air dry (they must be thoroughly dry before adding to the cake).

7 Spread half the frosting on one of the cooled sponges, top with the other sponge and spread over the rest of the frosting. Store in the fridge and bring to room temperature to serve. Decorate with the fresh raspberries just before serving.

Good + Simple

Good + Simple

Extracted from Good + Simple by Jasmine and Melissa Hemsley (Ebury Press, £25) Photography by Nicholas Hopper. All recipes are nutrient-rich, gluten, grain and refined sugar free.

For more Hemsley & Hemsley recipes click here…