Autumn’s Colors on a Chocolate Birthday Cake

Sifting the dry ingredients

One of my classmates at Boston University had a birthday on Friday so to celebrate our program and the year above us had a potluck. My contribution was an adorably cheesy looking cake that I made from scratch, which, it being a chocolate cake, was a pain to make. Though now I’m happy I made it, at the time, I probably would have opted for a store bought recipe.

That said, this recipe is not that hard. The only problem I face when making a chocolate cake is baking one that doesn’t turn dry and hard two minutes after baking. So once again, I looked to the When it all Vegan book that I tend to rely on for most of my baking. While the cake recipe I chose was not my favorite for chocolate cakes (I want cakes richer than Rockefeller), it tends to be a fail-safe one for making moist desserts. Below is the recipe of both the cake and the icing I decided to use.

Ingredients and Recipe

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 4 Tbsp cocoa
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup dry sweetener
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp vinegar
  • 5 Tbsp oil
  • 1 cup cold water

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. While that’s preheating, sift the dry ingredients (especially the cocoa

Beating the butter and cream cheese togetherFrosting the cake!

powder or you’ll end up with lovely bitter bits in your cupcakes) into a bowl, and mix the wet ingredients (which includes the sugar) in another bowl. Once mixed, add the wet into the dry and stir UNTIL JUST BARELY MIXED (too much mixing makes cakes dense). Pour the batter into a well-oiled pan and pop in the oven for about 45-50 minutes. Test with toothpick or fork (cake will not stick to fork/toothpick when pulled out), and, if done, take out and let cool. Once cooled, the cake is ready for frosting!

Ingredients and Recipe

I used a cream cheese frosting. Yeah, I know, the vegan gods will probably strike me down with cruelty-free lightning, but cream cheese frosting kind of rocks. Plus I had the ingredients on hand. Here’s the recipe for the frosting:

  • 1 8 oz package of cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened (but not melted)
  • 2 cups confectioner sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla

Beat the cream cheese and butter (wow, I am evil for putting this on top of that cake, so much dairy

The finished product!

right here!) until fluffy. Then slowly add the sugar, about 1/2 cup at a time, mixing thoroughly. Then add the vanilla. From here, you can just frost the cupcakes, and you’re good to go. I added an extra step by separating a little of the icing into a smaller bowl and adding green dye to that as well as adding a LOT of red dye and a little yellow dye to the remaining bit of icing to make it orange. After getting the colors I wanted, I spread the orange icing onto the cake and then poured the green icing into a Ziploc bag with a little corner cut off. I used the bag as a piper and wrote the happy birthday letters on the cake. 

That little trick is MUCH easier than it sounds, and while my cake looked like a 3rd grader did it, you can get pretty creative with just a Ziploc stuffed with icing. I’ll leave that one for another day, though. In the meantime, enjoy this recipe!



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