In my research on the subject of vegan birthday cakes, the issue that stood out was their high sugar content in most of the recipes. So I started looking for recipes that contained a wider variety of ingredients to be able to cut down on powdered sugar. Our chef Marc Thomas got us too much used to, well-balanced delicious desserts and I thought that our vegan layer cakes had to stand the test of our refined clientele at La Joya.
The base of most vegan icing in the recipes out there is powdered sugar and vegan butter, in the proportion of approximately 1 to 4. To follow the line of La Joya´s healthy and organic culinary style, I decided that identifying alternative recipes was a priority. At the end of the day, we aspire for those cakes to be enjoyed by vegans as well as non-vegans alike.
Here are the basic conclusions for delicious and healthy vegan cake recipes that are not only flavoursome but also practical in transportation (indeed, most of our cakes travel far! ).
Vegan “Nutella” Birthday cake
Created by Erin from The Almond Eater, in this recipe, the icing is home-made vegan “Nutella” made out of two ingredients: vegan dark chocolate and hazelnuts in a proportion of 1 to 4 (it doesn’t sound quite as frightening in this case!). That seemed far enough from the alternative of powdered sugar and vegan butter, to simply give it a try. Pure cacao is naturally bitter so it was another clue, that the recipe would be a success. On the other hand, apple sauce would give it a slightly sour bite, promising an overall umami result.
Our chef Marc Thomas, encourages to make ones own unsweetened apple sauce. Here, in the South of Spain, it would be difficult to find one in the supermarket anyway.
Simply peel 6 apples, chop them finely and simmer on very low heat, gradually adding few tablespoons of water as you go, preventing the apples from carmelizing. Don’t worry, extra moisture will evaporate in the cooling process. Note that no oil should be used in the preparation of the apple sauce. Wait for the mixture to cool down, mix with a blender and it is easy to use it in your pastry part of the recipe.
Another recommendation is to use a fan mode whilst baking, to add volume and lightness to the 3 bases that are baked in separate tins. Coconut oil and vegan butter make the pastry heavier than what you would expect in ordinary cake recipes; using the fan will prevent that, as the cake will rise a little more.
The final advice is to reduce the sugar level by half, with the final quantity of ingredients as follows.
For the cake:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups cane sugar or granulated sugar
3/4 cup cocoa powder
3 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup coconut oil melted
2 cups almond milk
1 1/2 cups unsweetened applesauce
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract
For the icing:
3/4 cup homemade Nutella
1/2 cup dairy-free butter softened
1 cup powdered sugar
As a result, you get an attractive cake for literally every taste. It’s a stable cake, that you won’t have to worry about melting when you take it out of the fridge. It will stay firm and will be easy to slice… Success guaranteed!