When I think of a birthday cake…this is it. Moist vanilla spong-y cake, chocolate filling with some sort of twist on flavor, a crunch, and rich…thick vanilla frosting that melts in your mouth. I had been waiting for a reason to bake a good ole’ cake and when my friend Henry had his birthday recently, I couldn’t think of anyone else that would appreciate it more than he. Plus, it’s vegan! Feel free to mix in your own flavors, and decorative tastes. The recipes below are great bases to build off of.
Vegan Vanilla Layer Cake. Chocolate Hazelnut Crunch. Vanilla Frosting.
Vegan Vanilla Cake
1 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp fine sea salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup canola oil
1 cup + 3 Tbsp pure maple syrup
1 cup + 2 Tbsp vanilla rice milk (or other non-dairy milk of your choice)
1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 Tbsp vinegar
6 cups powdered sugar
4-10 Tbsp non-dairy milk (I used rice)
Chocolate Hazelnut Crunch Frosting
1/2 cup earth balance, room temperature
2/3 cup hazelnut spread (I used Justin’s Hazelnut Butter )
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup vanilla non-dairy milk (I used soy)
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 dark chocolate bar with hazelnuts, chopped
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Oil three 8-inch round cake pans and line bottoms with parchment paper cut to fit.
Stir together pastry flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a large bowl with a whisk to distrubute ingredients evenly. In a separate bowl, whisk together the oil, maple syrup, milk, vanilla, and vinegar until well blended. Pour wet mixture into the dry mixture and stir until batter is smooth.
Divide batter evenly between the three pans, and smooth tops with a spatula.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the tops of the cakes are golden, the sides have started to pull away from the pans and a toothpick inserted into the centers comes out clean.
Cool the pans on wire racks for at least 10 minutes. Run a knife between the case and inside of the pan. Invert each layer onto the rack. Remove pans and carefully peel off the parchment paper. Invert the layers topside up on a rack and cool completely.
In the meantime, make the vanilla frosting by beating the shortening with a hand or stand mixer until smooth. With the mixer on low, add the powdered sugar, vanilla, and 1 Tbsp milk at a time, as needed, until frosting reaches a spreadable consistency. Beat on high for a couple of minutes until light and fluffy.
Repeat the above steps to make the chocolate hazelnut frosting with all listed ingredients, except for the chocolate bar. Fold in the chocolate bar chunks after beating.
To assemble the cake, place on of the layers on a flat plate or cardboard circle. Spread chocolate hazelnut frosting over the top. Place another layer on top and repeat with second layer. Spread the top with the vanilla frosting and ice the sides. Decorate as you see fit.
And if you have any extra batter or frosting…make a good lookin’ cupcake.