Vegan Chocolate Cake
A dark crumb, defiantly rich chocolate cake together with its white frosting is made with a list of plant based ingredients, a vegan cake. If a cake can be a political statement, this might be: a tasty political statement smothered with white frosting.
The whole non-dairy issue aside, the main ingredients are pomegranate juice, coffee, finely ground whole wheat flour, and sugar in the raw… there’s cocoa powder too, so what’s not to love?
A chocolate indulgence that reminds me of my childhood favorite, a store bought Pepperidge Farm German chocolate cake. A cake fondly requested for almost every birthday throughout my youth. While there were the homemade cakes, the rare and wonderful Baskin-Robbins ice cream cakes, the deli isle grocery cake with more sickly sweet icing than is good for a child — usually a blinding bright blue contrasting a stark white frosting — my favorite was that German chocolate particular. When my parents bought one of those cakes, whether it was for my birthday or for that of one of my siblings, after the celebration I would sneak more than my share, carefully slicing one small slice after another, hoping no one would notice.
This cake is similar to the ‘German chocolate cake’ by the combination of chocolate sponge and frosting. The frosting has a hint of coconut taste through the addition of coconut oil. Perhaps there is an extra teaspoon of vanilla extract, just to make sure you know you’re having frosting, similar to buttercream. Whole wheat pastry flour works well in this cake. It’s whole wheat flour finely ground, milled with the added health benefits of the whole wheat berry, which is perfect for baked goods. Now, that cake– a distant memory as I make this one better at home.
This recipe was adapted from Moosewood’s cookbook and recipe, six minute Vegan Chocolate Cake. While you could put it together quickly I found that in order to do the cake justice it takes longer, perhaps a half hour to assemble. This is a rather forgiving cake recipe since you can interchange the liquid in the recipe for water, coffee, or pomegranate juice as I do here. I chose pomegranate juice with coffee because I wanted to impart a rich flavor and though it tastes entirely of chocolate it reminds me of a black forest variant.
- 3 cups whole wheat pastry flour
- 2/3 cup quality dutch-processed cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
- 1 1/2 cup sugar in the raw (I’ll explain why this is a wet ingredient)
- 1/2 cup maple syrup (perfectly fine to skip this and add raw sugar)
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 cup coffee or water
- 1/2 cup pomegranate juice or water
- 4 teaspoons vanilla
- 4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
Using canola oil or an equivalent vegetable oil, grease an 11 inch Bundt pan, or two 10 inch round cake pans, then coat with flour, and shake off the excess.
Sift all dry ingredients together: flours, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. I usually do this at least two times to ensure that the cocoa powder is distributed with the flour and other dry ingredients. * Make sure to use whole wheat pastry flour, so not to weigh cake down.
Start with the sugar in the raw in the bowl and add the hot coffee, the hot liquid will melt the sugar. Whisk all wet ingredients together: pomegranate juice, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, vanilla, vegetable oil, along with the hot coffee and/or water.
Combining dry and wet ingredients together, gently fold until the batter just comes together, just enough that there are no large pockets of flour. To ensure a moist and fluffy, high rising cake, make sure to not over work the batter.
Pour into the prepared 11 inch Bundt pan or two 10 inch cake rounds.
Bake in an oven preheated at 375 degrees for about 45-50 minutes.
White frosting (all plant-based ingredients)
- 1/2 cup butter version Earth Balance
- 2 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 4 teaspoons vanilla extract
With your paddle attachment on a Kitchen Aid or other mixer, cream the Earth Balance smooth. Next add vanilla extract, coconut oil, and powdered sugar. Mix ingredients until incorporated and has a light, whipped consistency, approximately 5minutes.