I created this cake to share with a dear friend for her birthday in memory of her dad, who loved a black walnut-orange cake, as she is selling the family home during her birthday week. Today, Veterans Day, we enjoyed a still-warm slice with mid-morning chai on her eclectic artsy patio near the beach.
Streusel: 1/4 cup flour 1/4 cup brown sugar 3/4 cup coarsely chopped black walnuts (or nut of your choice) 1/4 cup softened vegan butter
1 cup non-dairy milk 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar 3/4 cup vegetable oil 1 cup natural sugar 1/2 cup brown sugar 2 teaspoons vanilla extract Zest of 2 medium oranges 1 cup fresh squeezed orange juice Oprional: 1 tablespoon orange liqueur 3 cups flour (I use white whole wheat) 2 teaspoons baking soda 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 1 teaspoon sea salt
Grease and flour 10-cup bundt pan. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Place all streusel ingredients in small bowl and crumble together with fingers. Set aside.
Whisk together non-dairy milk and vinegar in a small bowl and set aside to curdle. In a large bowl of electric mixer beat together oil and sugars for a couple of minutes at medium speed, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary, adding vanilla and orange zest at the end. Add both liquids (curdled nondairy milk and orange juice) and flour, alternating, about 3/4 cup at a time, beginning and ending with flour. Beat in baking soda, powder, and salt. Crumble streusel evenly into bottom of bundt panel. Pour batter over and gently smooth top. Bake 45 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pan; invert onto wire rack to finish cooling or enjoy while still warm.
I made this beautiful bundt for Bob’s dad’s socially-distanced outdoor 89th birthday gathering for 9 and 2 on FaceTime. The surprise ingredient of a can of apple pie filling insures extra moistness and fall flavors.
3/4 cup vegetable oil 1 1/2 cup sugar 3 cups flour 2 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1/4 teaspoon sea salt 2 to 4 tablespoons non-dairy milk
1 tablespoon molasses 1 teaspoon vanilla 1/2 teaspoon almond extract 20 ounces apple pie filling (I leave the slices whole, but you could chop or mash) Optional: Maple-Cinnamon “Cream Cheese” Glaze (recipe follows)
Garnish: 1/2 cup chopped pecans and, optionally, 8 apple chips or dried apple slices
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 10-inch Bundt pan. Combine oil and sugar in large bowl of electric mixer. Beat at medium speed about a minute to dissolve sugar. Add remaining ingredients and beat a couple more minutes or just until completely combined, stopping to scrape down sides of bowl as necessary. Spoon batter evenly into pan and gently smooth top. Bake approximately 45-50 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes, invert onto wire rack, and cool completely. Spoon Glaze around top and let cascade down inside and outside. Garnish with chopped or whole pecans and optional apple chips.
Maple-Cinnamon Cream Cheese Glaze 2 ounces firm tofu (I use regular for body) 1/4 cup vegan butter 1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 teaspoon pure lemon extract or zest of 1 small lemon
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Approximately 4 cups powdered sugar
In bowl of large food processor, process all ingredients except powdered sugar for a few minutes or until completely smooth. Add half of powdered sugar and process until smooth. Repeat with remaining powdered sugar. Add additional powdered sugar if necessary to reach desired consistency.
Who am I kidding? This luscious bread is really a cake!
Gifted to yet another helpful colleague, my latest creation with the apples leftover from lunches at my new school–which surely owns an orchard–is simply insane in the flavor and texture departments.
If you are thinking that oatmeal=dry and crumbly, think again…and try not to do a header into the batter!
3 apples, stemmed, cored, and cut into chunks 1/2 cup vegetable oil 1 cup sugar 2 cups flour 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon vanilla 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 5 x 9″ loaf pan. In food processor, process apples until finely chopped. Add remaining ingredients and process just until well combined. Stir in oatmeal. Transfer into prepared pan. Bake 50 minutes or until wooden pick inserted on center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Invert onto wire rack to cool completely.
This delicious and moist cake is a riff on those vintage chocolate cake recipes that use mayonnaise to replace oil and eggs. And it was my response to a growing mound of oranges from a week of Covid-necessitated bag lunches at the private school where I now teach. With the bountiful apples and oranges, wr joke that they must have an orchard.
As crazy as it sounds, this delicious and moist bundt cake can be completely oil-free if you use an oil-free mayo (and glaze it with something other than ganache). I use Walton Farms no-calorie accidentally vegan (yes, its true!) that I purchase at Harris Teeter.
But that is not the reason to make this recipe. No, its rich flavor and beautiful texture are the reasons why.
Chocolate-Orange Bundt Cake
3 cups flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/4 cups fresh squeezed orange juice
Optional: zest of 1 orange
1/4 cup concentrated coffee or more orange juice
2 teaspoons vanilla
3/4 cup mayonnaise (I used Walton Farms no calorie mayo)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 10-cup bundt pan. In a large mixing bowl, beat or whisk together all ingredients for about 2 minutes or until smooth and completely combined. Spoon into prepared pan, gently smooth top, and bake 45 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes. Invert onto wire rack, cover with a dish towel, and cool completely. Glaze as desired.
I resigned my former art teaching position with our big public school district after 16 years to accept one at a private school chartered in 1728. The faculty and staff are so lovely and helpful that I am baking a cake to thank someone a couple times a week.
Not wanting to invent them from scratch and risk fails–or look up a recipe–every time. I decided I need an easy to remember formula that can be adapted. After some research and experimentation, I am excited to share my approach.
My “formula” for delicious, moist, never fail cakes is, essentially, a 1:2 ratio of oil to sugar and sugar to flour. For 3/4 cup oil, 1 1/2 cup sugar, and 3 cups flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder and vanilla extract and 1/2 teaspoon baking soda and sea salt plus 1/4 to 1l2 cup nondairy milk is the perfect base for whatever else you want to stir in. If the latter is especially moist, like applesauce, you might use the smaller amount of non-dairy milk; if dry, like cocoa powder or maybe oatmeal, the greater amount.
1 1/2 cup sugar (or 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup brown sugar) 3 cups flour 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, apple pie spice, or pumpkin pie spice 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 3/4 teaspoon baking soda 3/4 teaspoon sea salt 3/4 cup oil 1/4 cup non-dairy milk 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla 3 pureed bananas 1 finely chopped/processed apple, stemmed and seeded
Optional: Brown Sugar Maple Glaze (recipe follows) + chopped pecans or halves for garnish
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 10-inch Bundt pan. Combine dry ingredients in large mixing bowl. Make a well in center and pour in wet ingredients plus banana and apple. Whisk well to combine. Spoon batter evenly into pan. Bake approximately 45-55 minutes (or 20-25 for mini Bundts) or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes, invert onto wire rack, and cool completely. Spoon Glaze over and allow to drip down sides. Garnish, if desired, with pecans.
Brown Sugar Maple Glaze
1cup powdered sugar 1/4 cup brown sugar 2 tablespoons maple syrup 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Whisk together until no lumps remain, adding more powdered sugar or maple syrup to reach desired consistency, if necessary.
I still wonder how a cake this moist and delicious can only include 2 tablespoons oil. And if you choose Trivia Blend or Swerve brown sugar over regular, no one will ever know. But let’s talk about this frosting: after trying one bite of this version with no butter, shortening, or powdered sugar, I doubt I will ever go back. It is creamy, tangy, sweet, and can even be piped. What’s not to love?
1 and 3/4 cups all purpose flour 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (basically, cinnamon and ginger) 1 teaspoon sea salt 1 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1/3 cup brown sugar (I used Truvia Blend Brown Sugar; Swerve would also work well) 1/3 cup agave nectar 1/2 cup apple butter 2 tablespoons vegetable oil 1 cup shredded or fairly finely processed carrots 2/3 cup fairly finely chopped pecans Optional but recommended: 1 tablespoon bourbon 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1/2 teaspoon almond extract Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe follows)
Grease and flour a 6- or 8″ round cake pan. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In large bowl, stir together all ingredients just until completely combined. Transfer into prepared pan, and gently smooth tip. Bake approximately 25 minutes for 8″ cake and 35 for 6″ cake or just until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes on wire rack, run knife around edge of pan, and invert onto wire rack to cool completely. If making the 6″ two-layer cake, halve horizontally with a serrated knife. Frost between layers if making the layer cake, as well as top, and sides of cake. Decorate as desired with pecans. Serve immediately or cover and store in refrigerator. Best served at room temperature.
Cream Cheese Frosting: 8 ounces vegan cream cheese 1/3 cup agave nectar (or a little more to reach desired consistency) 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon Optional but recommended: 1 teaspoon Bourbon 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Decoration: toasted or plain finely chopped pecans and pecan halves
With an electric mixer, cream together all ingredients, except pecans, until fluffy. (Too little agave nectar may allow frosting to crack.)
Note: to make an 8″ two-layer cake, double recipe; to make an 8″ three-layer cake, triple recipe
You will want to wrap yourself in this cooling, lusciousness whose cake layers are tender, moist, and perfectly complimented by the silky curd and creamy frosting, all of it boldly kissed with citrus.
My first two attempts at the perfect lemon cake layers resulted in gummy dense disks. But the third time’s the charm. The secret? Mostly, leaving out egg replacer and adding soda and more baking powder.
Luscious Lemon Layer Cake with Blood Orange-Lemon Curd and Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting (vegan & plant-based)
1/4 cup vegan butter, softened 1/4 cup vegetable oil 3/4 cup granulated sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla 1/2 to 1 teaspoon almond extract 1 cup + 2 tablespoons all purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1/4 teaspoon sea salt 2/3 cup non-dairy milk Zest and juice 1 large lemon (about 2 tablespoons juice) Blood Orange-Lemon Curd (recipe follows) Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe follows) Garnish: thin lemon slices
Grease and flour a 6″ round cake pan. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream together butter, oil, sugar, vanilla, and almond extract. Add half of flour; all of baking powder, soda, and salt; and half of milk. Combine well with mixer on medium-low speed, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary. Repeat with remaining flour and milk, continuing to scrape down sides of bowl as needed. Add zest and juice and, with mixer on medium-low speed, incorporate completely into batter. Transfer into prepared pan. Bake for 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in very center comes out clean. Cool 20 minutes in pan, run knife around edge, invert onto wire rack, and cool completely (or it will soften/melt frosting/curd). Slice cake in half horizontally using a serrated knife. Spread bottom half with frosting. Pipe a border or dam around edges to contain curd if desired, and spread about 1/4 curd inside. Top with second half and repeat. Frost sides and decorate with lemon slices.
Blood Orange-Lemon Curd (Note: this makes twice as much as you need for 6″ two-layer cake and exactly enough for 8″ two-layer cake. Double only if making 8″ three-layer cake.)
1/2 cup sugar 1 tablespoon cornstarch Pinch sea salt Juice and zest 1/2 blood orange Juice and zest 1/2 large lemon 1/2 cup non-dairy milk
Whisk together in small saucepan over medium heat. Simmer, continuing to whisk until very thick. Cool and then chill thoroughly. (Will thicken more as it cools.)
Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting
1/4 cup vegan butter 1/4 cup vegetable shortening 1/4 cup vegan cream cheese Zest and juice 1 large lemon 1 teaspoon vanilla 1/2 to 1 teaspoon almond extract 3 cups powdered sugar (or more to reach desired consistency, as vegan butters and cream cheeses have varying moisture content)
Cream together all ingredients except powdered sugar. Add 1 cup powdered sugar, blend in on low speed, increase speed, and continue beating until fluffy. Repeat with remaining 2 cups powdered sugar, adding more if necessary to reach desired consistency for spreading/piping. Chill until ready to use.
Yield: 1 6-inch layer cake (double recipe for an 8-in layer cake)
I finally created a plant-based Black Forest Cake with which I am completely delighted!
Unless you are a recipe developer–professional or amateur counts–you cannot imagine the research, the brainstorming, and the trial and error–mental and actual–to arrive here. I spent many wee hours on Pinterest obsessing.
There were certain things that I wanted from this special cake and certain things I didn’t. For instance, I didn’t want a buttercream frosting, but I also didn’t want pure whipped cream. A favorite dessert from childhood that combined cream cheese, powdered sugar, and whipped cream topped with a layer of cherry pie filling proved to be the inspiration. My recent discovery of Silk brand whipping cream made this luscious filling and frosting possible.
Wanting a deeply chocolate, very moist, and somewhat subtly complex flavored cake, I experimented quite a bit. I wanted the rich fudgyness of a brownie, but more of a cake like consistency. And ultimately, though I love cherry liqueur, I didn’t want the cake to taste too boozy. You can certainly brush the layers with cherry liqueur if you choose But I put a small amount in the batter along with some concentrated coffee and “buttermilk” because cakes made only with coffee, water or other thin liquids, line soda, don’t quite have the structure that I desired. The cake is sturdy, yet moist.
For decoration, I love chocolate shavings and chocolate curls, which are traditional on Black Forest Cake, but I didn’t want this to be fussy, so I used simple chocolate-dipped fresh cherries and toasted slivered almonds.
What can I obsess about now In the wee hours of the morning?
Cake 1 cup all-purpose flour 3/4 cup granulated sugar 1/3 cup cocoa powder 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon baking powder 1/4 teaspoon baking soda 1/3 cup vegetable oil 1/2 cup non-dairy milk curdled with 1 to 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar 2 tablespoons concentrated coffee 2 tablespoons cherry liqueur or more concentrated coffee 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 1/2 teaspoon almond extract Whipped Cream & Cream Cheese Filling/ Frosting (recipe follows) Approximately 3/4 cup canned cherry pie filling 1/4 cup toasted slivered almonds 6 fresh cherries, pitted and halved 4 cherries with stems intact, dipped in about 2 tablespoons vegan chocolate chips melted for 1 minute in microwave
Preheat oven to 350°. Grease and flour a 6-inch cake pan or spray with baking spray. Place metal mixing bowl and whip attachment in freezer for preparing filling.
In large bowl, whisk together all dry ingredients. Make a well in center, add wet ingredients, and whisk together for about 50 strokes until smooth. Transfer batter to prepared pan and bake approximately 35 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pan on wire rack and then invert. Cool completely covered with a dish towel. Using a serrated knife, cut cake in half horizontally. Place bottom layer on serving platter, spread with half of filling, and top with half of cherry pie filling. Place second layer on top and repeat. Decorate with cherry halves, toasted slivered almonds, and chocolate dipped cherries. Store in refrigerator.
Whipped Cream & Cream Cheese Filling/Frosting 1/2 cup vegan cream cheese, softened at room temperature for an hour or so 1/2 cup powdered sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla 1 cup Silk brand whipping cream
Place cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla and well-chilled mixing bowl and cream together until smooth. With mixer on medium-high, slowly drizzle in whipping cream. Filling should be sick, but it will likely not be stiff enough to pipe through a pastry bag.
Tuesday was my “day of rebirth” as my dear friend, Iona Drozda, refers to birthdays.
My partner, Bob, said he would make my birthday cake BUT it had to come from a box. He thought that would be a deal-breaker, but nope!
A little research revealed that one can transform any box mix into a moist and delicious–and very tender–vegan cake by simply adding 1.5 cups of the chilled soda of your choice!
We chose Betty Crocker yellow with 1 teaspoon vanilla and sprite because it’s lemon+lime notes sounded delicious with the lemon curd filling and creamy white frosting I was craving. The layers rose beautifully with fairly flat tops!
I recommend oiling cooling racks, as this cake is quite tender. I also recommend wrapping and freezing the layers before frosting for the same reason. Plus, it is a well-known fact that freezing cake layers makes them even more moist.
The curd was spot-on and came from It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken. I only tweaked a tiny bit by adding a 1/2 teaspoon sea salt. Whisk and simmer together for about 5 minutes: 1/2 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon cornstarch, 1/2 cup non-dairy milk (I used unsweetened soymilk), zest of 1 large lemon, 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, and 1/8 teaspoon turmeric for color. (It will thicken even more as it cools.)
The creamy vanilla frosting was from a can (eek!), and Bob piped it on like a pro with very little instruction, saying it was like caulking!
The cake was perfection, though we guilded the lily with softened dairy-free vanilla ice cream.