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Vegan Chocolate Cake with Vegan Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

It was my husbands birthday yesterday and I always make him a cake.
(This was last years)

However there were a lot of dietary issues that came up within the past year. My son is no eggs and I am no dairy, and unfortunately my hubby LOVES sweets...especially cake. I've always made him a cake or something like that on his birthday and I wasn't going to stop this year.
Oddly enough, my aunt texted me a recipe my mother gave her over 35 years ago for a chocolate cake that has no eggs or dairy (WEIRD I KNOW). And, for all of you Gluten Free people, you can easily substitute the flour.

The cake is actually very good, as you can see it is much thicker than normal cake, but its really moist and rich. For this particular cake I actually doubled the recipe to get 4 - 9"layers instead of the 2 layers. Remember, I am not a professional baker but I have learned a few tricks along the way!

Ingredients for the cake (we will talk icing later)

  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 6 tbs cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2/3 tsp salt
  • 2 tbs vinegar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups cold water
  • 2/3 cup oil
Sift flour and combine all dry ingredients. In a separate mixing bowl mix together all liquid ingredients. Using electric mixer slowly add dry ingredients to liquid. Mix for about 5 minutes or until well blended. Pour into cake pans, only pouring about half full (I used 2 9 " pans twice) and bake for 30 minutes. Let cool in cake pan for about 20 minutes then using knife release cake from pan and let cool on parchment paper covered cooling racks.

And now the Vegan Icing......
  • 2 sticks vegan butter, at room temperature
  • 1 package confectioners sugar (powdered sugar)
  • 2 tbs vanilla
  • 1/4 c almond milk
(You will need at least 3 or 4 batches of this, don't make them all at once. Only make in between while your icing is setting)

The key to icing is starting at room temperature, whether you are using regular or vegan butter. You must use an electric mixer it will be your BFF for this recipe. Place both sticks of vegan butter in your mixing bowl and mix the butter only for about 5 minutes. You butter will become lighter and much fluffier. 

Next, SLOWLY add in the powdered sugar. Add a little, mix until well blended. Add a little, mix until well blended and so on, until all is mixed. You might not even need to use the entire package of powdered sugar depending on which brand you purchase. Your butter mixture should will increase in volume and the icing will become much harder. 

Add the vanilla and almond milk and mix. At this point this is all your preference. Add more milk to make icing softer and add more powdered sugar to thicken.

(NOTE: To make chocolate Icing you will just add a few scoops of cocoa powder and add milk and powdered sugar based on icing thickness preference)

Once the vanilla and milk is mixed well. Mix on medium speed for an additional 5 minutes to make your icing a little more fluffy for spreading or piping. Adding milk or powdered sugar as needed. You will know when its finished when your spatula can easily scoop the icing and the icing stays attached to the spatula while upside down without dropping or falling. 

To Frost Your Cake:

The easiest way is to use a rotating cake plate and a cardboard cake bottom. Place some parchment paper on top of the cardboard for easy transfer. You don't necessarily need pastry tools, you can use a dull knife however....I used these guys.

(This entire first section I actually do a day ahead of time.)
Start with your bottom layer and add icing as thick as you would like in between each layer. once complete then cover the entire cake in frosting. The goal of this first later is to even out any un-level areas and make sure the layers are set. Smooth out as much as possible, and place in refrigerator over night. 

And on to the second layer...notice how the icing just sticks without falling. The goal is to get everything as smooth as possible. I added this and one other layer of frosting. For each layer, I put the cake back into the fridge for 30 minutes each. 

3rd and Final Layer. Place in the refrigerator for an additional 30 minutes and add any additional piping when set. 

I added some cocoa powder and a little bit of black food coloring to give the piped icing the grey color.

I used a piping back and small circle tip for my writing, but you can just use a sandwich baggie and cut the corner. 

Once again using my rotating cake wheel, I started at the bottom and just wrote "Happy Birthday Kyle" and adding more writing as I go. Luckily it worked out that none of my words ended unfinished.

2nd Layer


For the top I just wrote my same note but covering as much of the top as possible. 

Here are the completed photos:

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