Thursday, April 26, 2012

Birthday Cake!

This week was my husband's birthday- so you know what that means- birthday cake! I made a double-layer vanilla cake with strawberry and chocolate ganache filling and strawberry frosting. Yep, that's right. Total mmmm.

I used a large springform pan for the cake, and baked each layer separately. (You may be able to just double the recipe and bake it all at once; originally I thought I'd just slice through the cake but 1 batch didn't make a big enough cake for 2 layers, so I went ahead and made another.  I can't vouch for whether doubling the recipe will produce the same light, spongy consistency though!)

Recipe for vanilla cake from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World's Golden Vanilla Cupcakes
Ingredients for 1 layer: (ie, yes, you will need 2x for full double layer cake)
  • 1 cup vanilla soy or almond milk
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 and 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup Earth Balance or other non-hydrogenated margarine
  •  3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp almond extract
Ingredients for chocolate ganache filling:
  • 2 Tbsp vanilla almond (or soy) milk 
  • 1/3 cup semisweet chocolate, chopped into small pieces
  • 1 Tbsp agave syrup
Ingredients for strawberry jam filling:
  • 1 cup fresh strawberries, chopped into small pieces
  • 1 Tbsp agave syrup or 1-2 packets stevia
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Ingredients for strawberry frosting:
  • 1/4 cup non-hydrogenated shortening
  • 1/4 cup Earth Balance or other non-hydrogenated margarine
  • 1 Tbsp vegan cream cheese (optional)
  • 1 and 3/4 cup confectioner's sugar
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp almond or soy milk
  • 1-2 Tbsp blended fresh strawberries
Plus extra strawberries for decorating!

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Create 1 layer of the cake: mix together the soy/almond milk and apple cider vinegar and set aside for a few minutes. In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, salt, baking power and soda, and cornstarch. In a separate large bowl, beat the margarine & sugar until creamy with a mixer on medium/high. Add in the extract, and then alternate adding in the milk/vinegar mix and the flour mix (about half of each at a time). Beat until well mixed, and then pour into a lightly greased springform pan. Cook for about 25-30 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick comes about clean. 
  3. Let cake cool and remove from pan. Repeat step 2 for second layer. 
  4. Prepare the strawberry jam: in a small saucepan, heat the strawberries until they begin to lose shape and release juices. Add in the other ingredients and whisk until mixed. Continue heating, stirring every now and then, until desired consistency is obtained- about 5 more minutes or so.
  5. Prepare the ganache: Place the milk in a small saucepan and heat until just boiling. Remove from heat and add in the chocolate, quickly stirring. Whisk in the agave and set aside at room temp.
  6. To make the frosting, beat the margarine and shortening until creamy. Then add the sugar until clumpy, followed by the other ingredients. Beat until well mixed, adding more powdered sugar or strawberries if desired.
  7. Once the layers have cooled, assemble the cake! You can release the springform sides for easier access to the bottom layer. Spread on the ganache first (I had about half left over), followed by some of the strawberry jam. Place the top layer on, and coat with frosting. Decorate with strawberries and a little melted ganache. 

This cake was dangerously delicious - melt-in-your-mouth vanilla cake, chocolatey, strawberry-y, sweet deliciousness. Some friends and I surprised my husband after work for his birthday at a (poorly lit) bar, and I of course brought this! While the cake made it out to the bar fine, (the springform pan makes for easy traveling!) it was completely demolished by a pack of hungry birthday-party goers ;-)

Layer cake... going...going...


  1. Strawberries, Vanilla cake, chocolate - what's not to love!

  2. You can't go wrong with that combination for a birthday cake! I definitely prefer vanilla over chocolate cake, and I love the sounds of that frosting! Hope your husband loved it too!


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