Let them eat cake!
That's what we said last week, when an office birthay party rolled around.
As a vegan, there's nothing worse than office birthdays when the cake isn't vegan. Everyone else is running around with delicious-looking slices of cake, and you're stuck at your desk with a soda or something. SAD. So when the awesome client services coordinator, Sierra, asked if I'd like to make the cake for February birthdays, I jumped at the chance! With our powers combined, we created the most lovely (and perhaps most pink) birthday cake I've seen in a long time. (ok, so maybe "lovely" is stretching it a bit, but BOY did it taste good.)
There's also another side story here that I feel inclined to note. My favorite pre-vegan restaurant is a place called the Alcove in Los Feliz. The food is nummy, the coffee is great, and the decor is precious. But above all else, the Alcove is home to the cake to end all cakes... See's chocolate candy cake with buttercream frosting. Just the name is giving me goosebumps. And as silly as it sounds, I often dream about the cake. It's one of the only non-vegan things I've craved. So, this also seemed like the perfect opportunity to re-ignite the love affair, and re-create my long lost love/cake.
The shape is perplexing, yes I know, but don't ask. It's not important.
Without further ado, my friends, a recipe for the vegan version of See's chocolate candy cake with buttercream frosting (pink food dye optional). Adapted from a few recipes in Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World.
Ingredients for cake:
2 cups soy milk
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 cups vegan granulated sugar
2/3 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
2/3 cups cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup vegan chocolate chips
Directions for cake:
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F, and prepare cake pans by greasing with butter or cooking spray and sprinkling with flour.
Whisk together the soy milk and the vinegar in a big bowl and set aside for a minute or two to curdle (sounds gross, I know, but just go with it). Add the sugar, oil, and vanilla, and beat until foamy. In a separate bowl, mix together the dry ingredients (flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt). Add in two or three batches to the wet ingredients and beat until no large clumps remain. TASTE THE BATTER! Duh, you can't skip that step. It's vegan, too, so you don't have to worry about getting sick from raw eggs or anything like that. It's probably a good idea for you to lick the beaters from the mixer, too.
Pour the batter into the prepared pans. Sprinkle the chocolate chips evenly throughout the pans, pushing them into the batter with a spatula so they gather in the middle. This way, you'll have ooey gooey yumminess in the middle of your slice.
Bake for about 25 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean... when it doesn't hit a melted chocolate chip, of course.
While it's baking, begin the exciting journey to frosting-ville:
Ingredients for frosting:
3/4 cup vegan shortening (get the white kind for a purer look)
3/4 cup Earth Balance margarine
1 1/2 pounds confectioner's sugar
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/3 cup soy creamer
Beat together the margarine and shortening on high until light & fluffy. Add the sugar and beat for at three minutes. Add the vanilla extract and soy creamer, and beat for 5 to 7 minutes. It's tempting to stop before, but the longer you let it whip, the floofier it becomes! And boy, do I like my frosting to be floofy. In case you're unaware, "floofy" is when something has trancended mere fluffiness and become absolutely, positively awesome. (Rebecca probably rolled her eyes, but yes I said it-- awesome!)
At this point, Sierra and I added food coloring to make the frosting pink (it was February, after all), but you could dye it another color, or leave it plain white, too. At the Alcove, their cake is a bundt covered in white frosting with melted chocolate and chocolate shavings all over it. If you're feeling industrious, go for it. Be creative!
Frost to your heart's content. And darling, eat your heart out!!
NOTE: Sometimes people think that just because it's vegan, it's good for you. Well, this cake ain't. And that's why it tastes so good. :)