I made a vegan birthday cake for my husband two years ago and it fell apart into too many pieces to count! I was trying to make several layers, and basically the cake said “Oh no, you’re not!” and flopped before my eyes. I was expecting a home full of guests within the hour and had to think quick, so I did what any good hostess would do, and scooped all the pieces into one giant mound and covered it with frosting. It was one ridiculously looking vegan cake mess, but the candles flickered just as bright and we all enjoyed our tasty scoops o’ cake nonetheless.
This year, there would be NO such disaster. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not much of a recipe person and haven’t used one more than a dozen times. However, I DO love cookbooks and have a nice collection of them. So I gave a stack to my husband to thumb through and asked him to pick out one to give me some idea of what to bake! It was a tough decision, but he finally selected the Lemon Poppy Seed Poundcake in Alicia Silverstone’s “The Kind Diet” – so although I’ve adapted the recipe to what I had on hand, and what I thought would be tasty, I owe a BIG thank you to her for providing the “groundwork” and inspiration!
1 cup organic whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup organic all-purpose flour
1/3rd cup organic sugar
2 teaspoons Ener-G (egg replacer)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup vanilla almond milk
1/4 cup fresh squeezed organic lemon juice
1/2 cup organic coconut oil
1/2 cup organic agave/maple syrup
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
(1/2 lemon for the end!)
1 cup frozen strawberries
1 cup frozen raspberries
1/4 cup agave/maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat Oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and oil the pan and/or pans. A bundt pan will work – or a few mini-loaf tins. I used an 8 x 8 casserole dish, but keep in mind, I eat a lot of batter while I’m cooking!
Take your frozen fruit out of the freezer so it can start to thaw.
Combine flours, sugar, egg replacer, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In separate bowl, combine the almond milk with the lemon juice and set aside for a few minutes – it will curdle. Stir in the oil and syrup (maple/agave). Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until combined. Gently mix in poppy seeds.
Pour batter into the pan/pans and bake for 15-25 minutes – the larger the pan, the longer it will take, i.e. if you’re using several small pans it will take less time to cook. Check with a toothpick to see when it’s done. The toothpick should come out clean. Ovens really vary, so please adjust according to how fast your oven cooks. I checked on my cake several times because my oven is so unpredictable.
Now, on to making the topping! Place 1 cup of strawberries and 1 cup of raspberries into a blender. They should still be slightly frozen, but loose enough so you can get them out of the bag. Add 1/4 cup of lemon juice, 1/4 cup of syrup and a little bit of vanilla extract to the blender & blend until it’s a nice purée. (Make sure the frozen fruit is soft enough so that it doesn’t break your blender – I broke mine once with frozen artichoke hearts, so I always feel a need to say that now lol!)
Once cooked, let it cool & place your cake on a platter. (I also went around the edge of the casserole dish with a butter knife first, just to make sure it would come out nicely)
Then, take the end of a chopstick, or something similar, and poke a dozen or so 1 inch deep holes into the cake.
Squeeze lemon juice into the holes – you can mix the lemon juice up with a little bit of sugar first if you prefer. My mother always did this with English lemon tea cakes and they were always SO moist! Then gently scoop the cool and refreshing topping onto the cake… SO perfect in this hot weather! It’s like a frozen fruit smoothie topping! I love it!
And voila! Feel free to adjust as needed! You can use whatever frozen fruits you like, and you can substitute a different nut milk too if you prefer. As for sweeteners, I found an organic agave/maple syrup blend at Trader Joe’s that I used, but you can use whatever liquid sweetener you’d like. There are lots of variations you can try!
Happy Birthday to my loving husband! Full fledged “meat” eater when I met him a few years ago… 99% vegan today! He’s wonderful and he LOVED his birthday cake! Whoohooo! Now if only I had remembered to buy more candles… ha!