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Sunday, June 30, 2013

Vegan Chocolate Cinnamon Cake

I have a couple of "vegan" friends.  I use air quotes because it's the best way to define how they choose to eat even though it isn't entirely accurate.  Plant-based nutrition puts it best.  But I digress.  One of these friends of mine turned forty.  So vegan cake needed to be made.  I never thought I'd be making vegan cake, but I am certainly glad I found myself in the position to be doing so because these were amazing!  I got the recipe from my other vegan friend.  If you read my last cupcake post, you may remember that I had a chocolate cake recipe disaster a few weeks ago, so I went to a reliable source for a vegan cake recipe.  I was taking no chances on having bad cakes at my friend's surprise 40th birthday party.  Well my friend delivered.  I will make these again when I want chocolate cake for any reason whatsover.  The cake was so moist and the frosting was crazy good!!  If you like cinnamon, you will adore these.  I almost thought about toning the cinnamon down the next time I make these (because of course there will be a next time,) but then I decided that it was actually the perfect amount - I would call it a bold amount of cinnamon, but it was in fact perfect.  These cupcakes are a happy surprise.  Also, the original recipe is actually for Mexican Chocolate Cake, so there is some cayenne to give it a spicy kick.  I omitted this completely although I would be into trying it that way another time.  I included those measurements in case anyone is interested in doing the same.

Chocolate Cinnamon Cake
 by Colleen Patrick Goudreau
makes 24 cupcakes

2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon (omit if you want a regular chocolate cake)
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
¾ cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups nondairy milk (I used coconut)
2 tablespoons apple cider or white vinegar (not balsamic!)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Lightly oil two 8-inch (round or square) cake pans, or prepare cupcake/muffin tins with paper liners or silicon cups.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, salt, and sugar.  In a separate bowl, beat together the applesauce, oil, vanilla extract, milk, and vinegar. Add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients, and mix until everything is thoroughly combined. It will be a bit of a thick batter.  Pour the batter into the baking pans or cupcake/muffin tins, and bake for 20 to 30 minutes (less time for cupcakes – between 15 and 17 minutes), or until the cake comes away from the sides of the pans and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Chocolate Cinnamon Frosting

1/2 cup Earth Balance, somewhat softened
2 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 to 4 tablespoons nondairy milk

Cream together all the ingredients using a mixer on low speed until smooth. Increase the speed once all the ingredients are combined, and you don’t risk powdered sugar flying everywhere. Increase the speed even more until the frosting is light and fluffy (about 3 minutes). Add an additional l or 2 tablespoons of milk, if necessary. Lick the spoon, and frost your cake!

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