You know those days where you just need some chocolate cake? If so, then we should probably be friends.
The other day was one of those days. My nanny had been gone for two weeks and counting, it had been raining and cloudy for a week straight, my entire family had caught some sort of nasty stomach bug (I won’t go into details), and I had been up since five in the morning, comforting my crying and scared baby between her heaving, bathroom runs and onesie changes. I was waiting for the pediatrician while silently wishing that I could take away her pain. I hoped that I had done a good enough job as a mother and nurturer to have provided my daughter with a strong enough immune system to quickly beat this thing.
In the meantime, I had decided that the only thing that could brighten this otherwise incredibly dark day was a bit of chocolate. Chocolate cake, that is.
I have never been a baker, my husband can attest to that. I always believed that I wasn’t disciplined enough to bake…I was a pretty decent cook because I knew how to improvise…and because I didn’t need to follow recipes and measurements closely. Now, however, I have kind of figured out baking. Maybe it’s my passion for baking delicious and healthy options for me and my family that has provided me with the impetus to actually follow recipes…or maybe I am just better with plant-based ingredients. Either way, baking is sort of becoming my schtick– surprisingly.
Today I successfully baked my first double-layered cake. (For anyone, like myself, who is not a true baker…you will understand what a big deal this is.)
This cake is vegan and refined sugar free. It does, however, contain gluten. (I used whole wheat flour- so although it has gluten, it doesn’t have refined anything).
I normally bake and cook completely gluten-free…but being that I do not have any gluten sensitivities, and am never really sure how my gluten-free baked goods will come out until I try them, I went a little crazy today.
I will however, attempt a gluten free version of this cake one of these days….
Besides being totally pretty and incredibly scrumptious, it was exactly what I needed.
In case you were wondering, later in the day: the pediatrician came, he assured me that my daughter would be fine…she slept it off and actually ate some solid food, the sun came out and I had a whole double-layered double chocolate cake to myself. Um…yum!
Double Chocolate Double Layered Cake
- 1 ¾ cups almond milk (mine is homemade and unsweetened)
- 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup applesauce
- ¼ cup pureed pear (the original recipe called for 1 ¼ cup applesauce but I made my own and it reduced down to only 1 cup. So I stole some pureed pear from my daughter’s stash and threw it in there. It worked fine.)
- ¼ cup espresso
- 2/3 cup melted coconut oil
- Seeds from 2 vanilla beans
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 2 tbsp tapioca flour
- 1 1/3 cup coconut sugar
- 1 cup raw unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp baking soda
- Pinch of salt
(please note: I didn’t have an exact recipe for this frosting and kind of just winged it. I think I definitely made it more complicated than it needed to be but it turned out great.)
- ½ cup powdered coconut sugar (I just ground the regular coconut sugar in a coffee grinder)
- ¼ cup cocoa butter
- ½ tsp apple cider vinegar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla seeds
- Pinch of salt
- 200 g coconut cream
- 6 tbsp boiling water
- 2 tbsp homemade almond butter
- ¼ cup full fat coconut milk
Instructions for the cake:
- Preheat oven to 180C (350F)
- Combine 1 cup of the almond milk with the vinegar in a mixing bowl and wait a few minutes for it to curdle.
- Add the coconut oil, coffee, the rest of the almond milk, vanilla, applesauce and pear and beat. (I used my Kitchenaid stand mixer)
- Sift the wheat flour, tapioca flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt and add to the wet ingredients while mixing.
- Beat for another 2-3 minutes until the batter has no lumps and is pourable.
- Grease two circular cake pans with coconut oil and pour the batter dividing it between the pans. Bake for about 25-30 minutes (I baked for exactly 28 minutes) or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
- Let cool in the pans and make the frosting
Instructions for the frosting:
- Beat the cocoa butter together with the powdered coconut sugar until creamy.
- Add in the apple cider vinegar, vanilla and salt. Beat until it looks (and tastes!) like caramel and set aside.
- Mix the boiling water with the coconut cream and stir until it becomes a liquid.
- Blend the coconut cream mixture with the almond butter and coconut milk
- Finally, combine the two mixtures and add coconut milk little by little until desired consistency is reached.
- Once the cakes have cooled, take them out of the pans and spread a thick layer of frosting between the top and bottom.
- Place the cakes one on top of the other and frost the sides and the top. Let sit in the fridge for about a half an hour for the frosting to set. Decorate, serve and enjoy!
*The cake recipe has been adapted from a recipe on minimalistbaker.com and can be found here: http://minimalistbaker.com/one-bowl-vegan-chocolate-cake/
**I invented the frosting from what I had in my kitchen.
***I topped the cake with patriotic (red white and blue) dried coconut flakes, blueberries and goji berries but anything could work here. If I had edible flowers, I probably would have used them in this case! xx