Vegan Victoria Sponge Cake using Barley Flour

Vegan Sponge Cake

Course 3 of Wilton’s Cake Decorating Series covers some more designing with buttercream icing, royal icing and fondant. I was eagerly waiting for this course thinking that dealing with fondant would be easier than decorating with the other icings. I couldn’t have been any wronger. Fondant is very high maintenance and at least it was very difficult for me to handle. It’s going to take a lot of practice for me before I can decorate something decent. Taste wise too, I prefer buttercream icing to fondant.

The place where I attended the courses is not offering the 4th part of the course, Fondant and Gum Paste. So I think this is it for me right now. I think I will have to wait until next summer to take the 4th course.

The following were covered in Course 3:

Buttercream Icing
Royal Icing

For everything about how to decorate with Fondant check here for exhaustive details.

Vegan Sponge Cake

Coming to the cake recipe which I used for the class, I found it on the box of Ener-G Egg Replacer. It’s a recipe for an egg free Victoria Sponge Cake. I made 2 changes to the original recipe. Used barley flour instead of all purpose flour and canola oil instead of vegetable shortening.

Vegan Sponge Cake Recipe

Prep TimeCook TimeMakes
15 Mins30 MinsOne 8-inch cake
Vegan Victoria Sponge Cake using Barley Flour Vegan sponge cake using barley flour and Ener G egg replacer.
  • 2 cups Whole Barley Flour
  • 1 cup Light Brown Sugar
  • 3 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1 teaspoon EnerG Egg Replacer
  • 1/4 cup Canola Oil
  • 1 and 1/3 cups Warm Water
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  1. Preheat the oven to 375F for 15 minutes. Line the bottom and sides of an 8 inch square/round pan with parchment paper and grease it with non stick cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl sift the barley flour and mix together the remaining dry ingredients.
  3. Add the oil and mix well. Add the water and flavor and mix for another 2 minutes.
  4. Pour into the prepared baking pan and bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  5. Remove the pan from the oven and let it cool for 15 minutes on a wire rack. Then remove the parchment paper from the sides of the pan and slowly invert the pan to remove the cake. Transfer the cake to the wire rack and let it cool completely before frosting.
My Notes & Taste:
  1. The original recipe had used 2 cups of all purpose flour which I substituted with whole barley flour. So the cake was not spongy as the name implies. It was quite dense. Maybe I should I have added another teaspoon of baking powder. Vinegar would do the trick too but I’m not for it in this particular recipe. Since I needed a layer cake, for the second layer I tried another similar recipe but added 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and felt that the flavor of vinegar was over powering. You can see in the 2nd picture that the first layer is reddish in color than the bottom layer, it’s because of the apple cider vinegar. It was airy but I prefer the dense cake minus the vinegar smell/taste. Maybe just 1/2 tablespoon of vinegar should be fine or adding some almond extract might reduce the after taste. This is again a guess only.
  2. The sweetness was right. If you are going to frost the cake, the quantity of sugar in the recipe is okay otherwise I think adding another 2-3 tablespoons of sugar should be fine for those with sweet tooth.
  3. Do I recommend baking this cake? Well it depends on the individual taste. In our family we are trying to include more whole grains and in general to eat more healthy. So we don’t mind the denseness. Especially me baking quite often I cannot be using all purpose flour so frequently. I’m not lying when I tell that everybody in my family liked this cake. I think our taste buds have accustomed to the texture and flavor of whole grains.
  4. It’s not all times that whole grain flours give perfect results while baking. So if you want to use whole barley flour and also want a cake to suit everyone’s taste buds I would suggest you to bake the vegan barley chocolate cake instead of this sponge cake.
  5. If you are looking for a vegan sponge cake recipe to bake for some occasion like a birthday, anniversary etc I would suggest you to try the exact same recipe but with all purpose flour as mentioned in the original recipe. I too am going to try it and will post my findings here when I’m done.
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Vegan Sponge Cake

This vegan barley sponge cake recipe goes to my Whole Grain (Eggless) Baking Event – Barley.

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    • Here’s a recipe for marshmallow fondant that’s egg-free:
      1 16oz bag of marshmallows (mini or regular both work)
      2lbs powdered sugar
      2TBSP water
      Corn starch (as needed)

      1. Melt marshmallows and water in a double-boiler.
      Scrape the sides frequently to make sure your marshmallows
      melt evenly and don’t burn.
      2. Put the melted marshmallow in a large bowl or on parchment paper.
      3. Coat your hands in corn starch.
      4. While the marshmallow is still melted, pour all of the powdered sugar into the bowl. Knead until no longer sticky. It should be dough-like.
      5. Refrigerate overnight, covered.
      6. Take out 2 hours before you need to use it. Make sure you knead it before you start using it.

  1. Hi,
    your recipes t awesome especially your eggless cakes cookies cup cakes r really good
    at my home we dont eat egg ur recipesite is helping me lo.
    you r using energizer-G but i cant fing it any where in the stores
    can u tell me what else can i use in place of ene-g if i cant find it.

    Thank You

  2. Hi.. What did you use to make the fondant? I know, fondant has gelatin in its original recipe. What did you use to replace gelatin in the fondant recipe? Could you please let me know?

    Thanks much!!

    Hi Sunitha, if I remember right, the fondant which I bought didn’t have eggs or gelatin. That’s what I usually look for. But it might have had monoglycerides derived from animal sources because unless and otherwise mentioned vegetable derived monoglycerides all others are animal derived only. Since I didn’t want to throw it I used it anyways.

    • Hi Madhuram..

      First of all, want to thank you for the eggless baking website.. I always browse through your site daily to check for updates..

      I just came to know that Satin Ice Rolled fondant does not have any animal derived ingredients in it and they are saying that it tastes better too… Did you try using this fondant or have you been preparing your own fondant? Pls check the link


      • You’re welcome Sunitha. I too have heard about Satin Fondant but couldn’t get it while I took the cake decorating class, so I had to use the one which was available in the store. It didn’t have eggs but had mono-glycerides, which I understand is animal derived unless and otherwise it is specifically mentioned vegetable derived glycerides. Thanks for the link.

  3. Hi,

    First of all, great recipes and wonderful blog!!

    Second, are you aware that Royal icing has eggs in it?
    I too am taking Wilton Cake Decorating 1. and plan to take 2 next month. Since I’ve been hearing our teacher mention that we’ll be working with royal icing in course 2, and I wasn’t sure what exactly it was made out of, I googled it and turns out one of the ingredients is eggs.
    I am also a vegetarian and don’t eat eggs, so now I guess I’ll have to work with something else, while the rest of the class works with royal icing.

    Thanks Puja. Yes I’m aware that royal icing has eggs in it and that’s why I used the egg free royal icing powder. It was so easy to make that too. Simply add water and beat it and I got wonderful flowers.

  4. hey…wonderful website…i have been a silent follower till now..i tried the eggless chocolate cake and few more recipes from your site…wanted to know where can i get EnerG egg replacer.

    Thanks Shweta. If you live in US you can find it in almost all (American) grocery stores in the natural/organic products aisle with specialty flours etc. Or else try Whole Foods or other health food stores.

  5. Looks very delicious. Regarding your question on grinding the barley, we are better off using barley flour, because it was little too difficult to grind the whole barley. I grinded it as i wasn’t get hold of whole barley flour but later ordered it online.

    Thanks for the info Sadhana.

  6. hi,

    congratulations on the nominations and good luck… i did try the black forest cake from without egg… i replaced egg with flax seed powder. it came out really well… i have uploaded the picture of the cake.. i wan t you to see it and tell me your opinions and suggestions also. can u please email me.. so that i can send u an email with my pictures.. hope u do not mind..

    next in my list is i am going to bake the vegan white cake….finally thanks to you… i did find the store where they cell the ener-g egg replacer… so will go buy it and try it out and tell you… i am so happy to tell you that i found your site…. as my family is eggless too…. also wanted to ask whether can u pls post the recipe for eggless fruit cake and eggless plum cake… pls let me know

    thanks in advance and congrats again:)

    Hi Vani, thanks. I would love to see the pictures of the cake you have baked. You can even update the recipe with the alterations you have made and the picture in Eggless Cooking Forums once you become a member, which is free of course.

    I’m glad you were able to locate EnerG. I already have posted 2 egg free fruitcake recipes.

  7. Hi,
    First my hearty congrats for the Nomination. The cake looks soo moist, delicious & Nice texture. Thanks for the another eggless recipe.

    Thanks Jahnu.

  8. it looks cute…is fondant will be hard like royal icing?

    Thanks Sree. It’s more like chapathi dough. It’s quite hard to the bite unlike buttercream icing.

  9. Wow, the cake lookes wonderful and moist of course. Thanks for such a beautiful and eggless cake recipe. I couldn’t even think that cakes can be so healthy.

    You’re welcome Sucharitha.

  10. Madhu: did you use store bought fondant? I have heard (and going to try making my own this weekend) homemade marshmallow fondant tastes way better than wilton’s. I am making it to decorate my son’s b-day favor cookies. Your cake looks awesome. Nice colors. I bet it tasted just as great.

    Hetal, yes I too heard that Wilton’s fondant doesn’t taste good. I have to try the marshmallow fondant recipe once I find gelatin free marshmallow.

  11. Oh my the cake looks gorgeous madhu, I am yet to experiment with barley flour in baking but its definitely on my to do list 🙂

    Do try it Parita. It’s almost versatile, especially good in cookies.strong>

  12. Hey Madhu, I have bought that Whole Grain Baking (King Arthur) book just 3 days ago, of course inspired from you! 🙂 It’s awesome and very very informative book. I am so enthusiastic to make different recipes from it. 🙂
    Many thanks for pointing out.
    Well, even I prefer butter-cream icing cake to fondant one. I am not fan of fondant cake.
    btw, I already have VOTE for you! Good luck!!! 🙂

    Sonia, I too have to get that book just for myself. I keep renewing it in the library. Thanks for voting for me.

  13. Yes fondant is was a real pain for me too. Just few minutes and the rolling was a pain in the backside. It makes beautiful looking cakes though but its simply too sweet for me and K! I was an exceptionally generous neighbor the day I made it 😉 I made almost similar cake too! well just like the book suggested…lol

    My hands literally fell off after kneading and rolling the fondant a couple of times.

  14. Lovely Cake.. The fondant decoration looks awesome.. Is your fondant icing a vegan one ..If so please post it.. would be of gud help for me to join my course 3..

    Sumathi I had bought the fondant 4-5 months back when I was planning to take a cake decorating course then. That time I was not aware that it was not vegetarian. I just checked for eggs in the list before buying. So I decided to use it anyhow because I did not want to throw it away. I’ll definitely post a vegan recipe when I find and try it.

  15. Hi MAdhu, the Fondant cake looks wonderful….I have also enrolled myself for the this and am in hunt for the vegan fondant recipe….if u find one, pls do post it. I shall go ahead and learn to make and then try a vegan version.

    I too have to look for one Soumya.

  16. Looks beautiful Madhuram.I am doing my Wilton course,yet to start with my third level.I jes cant believe its made with Barley flour…awesome!

    Thanks Nithya.

  17. Nice colors. What recipe did you use for fondant. Because fondant is not vegetarian except for I think the brand satin ice. Fondant is high maintenance, yes, and it doesn’t taste great, but you can do wonders with that. There are lot of cake decorators who exclusively do fondant. There are lot of people who can’t pipe, but can make beautiful fondant decorations.

    I forgot to mention about the fondant ingredients in the post. Thanks for the reminder, Champa. I’m guessing mine is not vegetarian too. I used a brand which is available here in Canada. It has mono glycerides and it’s not mentioned if it is vegetable based. Just like royal icing fondant is also for visual appeal only. Earlier I used to watch Ace of Cakes and other cake decorating competitions in Food TV and have been awestruck by the versatility of fondant.

  18. Madhu, You are outdoing yourself with each new post. Loved the colors on the cake. Looks very beautiful and professional.

    Thanks Laksh. It could be way better though.


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