Growing up, our close family friends imported decadent cakes from Germany, unlike the flavorless cardboard cakes that were purchased at the local grocery store bakery. On my birthday they always let me have the cake of my choice. As an adult I often craved these cakes and set out to make my own. I didn’t know much about cake baking so I started out making basic cakes like chocolate or vanilla and really enjoyed it. Then I began creating more adventurous cakes like Caramel Apple Cake or Pumpkin Pecan Praline Cake. My cakes were being requested for all the family events and I was creating a new cake a month much to my roommates delight. The goal then became a cake cookbook.
Back then my husband and I were vegetarian and these cakes were packed full of dairy and eggs. When my daughter was born with a dairy and egg allergy I decided that I didn’t want to make a cookbook full of cakes she could never try. I had no idea how to bake vegan so I stopped. On her first birthday I attempted to bake her cake assuming that I knew how to make cakes so it couldn’t be that hard. My husband saved the day by running to the local Jewish bakery for a parve cake thirty minutes before the guest arrived.
Last year I took another run at vegan baking and made a carrot cake for my husbands birthday. He said it was the best carrot cake he has ever had. Two things you need to know about my husband: he is brutally honest (he would have told me who my competition was) and that he has eaten lots of carrot cake over the years. This was the boost of confidence I needed and my daughter had a homemade cake a month later for her 6th birthday. Since then I have been unstoppable!
No worries I will stop rambling in just a minute and get you that cake recipe. So the name Don’t Fear A Vegan came to be because of this cake. The picture above was of a cake that I brought to work for a coworkers last day before maternity leave. This cake and a plain looking cardboard sheet cake were sitting in the break room when a coworker came up not knowing I had made the cake and with all sincerity pointed to the sheet cake and said while rolling her eyes, “This must be the vegan cake. I’ll eat the real cake.” From that day on I decided that if nothing else I wanted to change the negative perception of vegan food. With that said, I hope you enjoy!
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda
4 tsp baking powder
3 tbsp Ener-G Egg Replacer
2 cups brown sugar
1 cup oil (I use olive or sunflower)
1 cup applesauce
1 cup almond milk (soy milk may also be used)
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips melted (I melt mine with the milk)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease three 9″ round cake pans.
In a large bowl mix flour, salt baking soda & powder, and egg replacer. In a separate bowl mix sugar, oil, applesauce, milk and melted chocolate. Slowly mix sugar mixture into flour mixture and stir until well blended. Pour batter evenly into the three pans. Tap bottom of pans to get air bubbles to the top. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes. Cake will pull away from side when done. When done let sit for approximately 5 minutes or until cool enough to touch pans with bare hands. Flip onto cooling rack.
Do not start the filling for the layers until you are ready to decorate the cake because it will harden. The icing can be made ahead of time.
1 Cup chocolate chips
1/4 cup almond milk (or soy)
3 Tbsp maple syrup
A dash cinnamon
1 lb strawberries sliced (save 10 whole uniform sized strawberries to decorate the top)
Melt chocolate chips over low heat. Mix in almond milk, syrup and cinnamon. Place first layer of cake on serving platter/plate. Use half of filling covering first layer of cake. Keep filling 1/4″ away from cakes edge. Arrange 1/2 of the sliced strawberries over chocolate. Place second layer of cake on top and do the same thing. Put the last layer on top and ice (icing recipe below.) As for decorating…I apologize because I didn’t write down how much chocolate I used to dip the strawberries in. I cut the strawberries in half, dipped them half way into melted chocolate and place on the cake. The possibilities are endless. Have fun!
8oz Vegan Cream Cheese
1 Stick vegan butter or 1/2 cup (room temperature)
1 cup melted chocolate chips (if it is too thick add a tbsp almond milk)
2 tbsp powdered sugar
Mix cream cheese and butter in a mixer together first. Mix in chocolate. Add powdered sugar slowly until well blended. Ice cake. Lick the spoon and or bowl!
I have never shared or had to write out a cake recipe so if anything is unclear please ask and I will attempt to explain better.