Vegan Chocolate Layer Cake

One of the items on my summer bucket list was to make a vegan cake, and I surprisingly did it. I’ve had this recipe on a word doc for a while so I don’t have the website where it originated. I also may have adjusted a family recipe to make it vegan, I really can’t remember. Anyway, the cake was delicious, and even my sister, who isn’t vegan, really enjoyed it. Note I didn’t make the frosting (we used store bought) but I have made the frosting for cupcakes I once made and the frosting is delicious as well.

As a kid, I always loved chocolate cake, and I’ve always been a sucker at parties for cake. However, since going vegan, cake has been something I haven’t been able to enjoy. For my birthday I didn’t get a cake (because my family doesn’t really know anything about vegan baking) and just ended up eating grapes after my grandma put candles in a few of them.

With this recipe, I was quite surprised it turned out as good as it did. With a few of my other vegan baking experiences, I’ve ended up with underdone banana bread, dry chocolate chip cookies, and the most disgusting oily frosting I’ve ever eaten (not this recipe’s). So naturally, I was a little bit nervous about making this recipe. Not only did I have to please myself, but my sister was also going to enjoy this cake as well, and I don’t think I would live it down if this recipe turned out less than perfect. However, it did, and after she added some flower sprinkles, the cake was to her liking.

How I made this delicious vegan cake:

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After preheating my oven to 350F, I gathered all of my ingredients (listed at the end of this post)

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Next, in a large bowl (as large as you have) put all of the dry ingredients in that bowl ,and whisk together.

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Now, in a medium sized bowl, add all of the wet ingredients and whisk those together as well.
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Using a mixer, gradually mix the wet ingredients with the dry, making sure not to over mix.
Next, grease two 8″ round pans and divide the batter into the two pans.
Note: When baking my cakes, there was some cake hat stuck to the pan, not too much and the cakes were not difficult to remove, however, to make the residue as minimal as possible and removing the cakes simple, you can place parchment in the pans before pouring the batter.
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Bake  until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. (40 minutes) Let the cakes cool completely before frosting.

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Once the cakes are cooled, run a knife around the edge of both cake pans, and flip the pans over to remove each cake.
Once the first cake is set on the plate, cover the entire top of that cake with frosting. Then place the second cake on top of that. Frost the entire top of that cake and around the sides of the entire cake. Decorate if needed desired. Serve.
Ingredients
Dry Ingredients:
  • 2½ Cups  Flour
  • 2½ Cups  Sugar
  • 1 Cup Cocoa Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • ½ teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1 teaspoon Salt

Wet Ingredients:

  • 2⅔ Cups Non-Dairy Milk of Choice (I used almond)
  • ⅔ Cups Vegetable Oil (Canola can be used as well)
  • 2 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract
Instructions
  1.  Preheat your oven to 350F (180C).
  2. Prepare two 8″ round baking pans by lightly greasing them.
  3. In a large bowl whisk together all of the dry ingredients, then put aside.
  4. In a medium bowl whisk together all of the wet ingredients.
  5. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Don’t over mix.
  6. Divide the batter into the prepared pans, then bake for about 40 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the cakes cool completely before frosting.
  7. To Assemble the Cake: Run a knife around the edges of the cake pans, and flip the pans over to remove the cakes.
  8. Set the first cake on your cake plate, and frost the top. Place the second cake on top of the frosted cake, and spread the remaining frosting on top of that cake.
I hope all of my vegans (and non-vegans) try this recipe and let me know how it goes. Also, if anyone has any other fool proof vegan recipes I should try, let me know.
Alicia
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CUPCAKES

Alright, friends. Living in California and being vegan is one thing. There are vegan shops, cafes, restaurants, and Whole Foods on every other block. In Chicago, on the other hand, vegan food is a bit more hard to come by. Yes, I can get my fresh fruit, veg, and yes my ever so needed protein at Target, Trader Joe’s, and our sole Whole Foods. However, when it comes to sweets, and meals at restaurants that are vegan that’s another story.

For my birthday, I mentioned I was going to make a vegan cake. Yet, on the day of my birthday our gas went out and I was unable to use my stove. Wanting some sort of cake or cupcake because what kind of birthday is it without cake? My mom and I ventured to Whole Foods to see if we could find some vegan cake. They only had gluten-free cakes 😦 BUT they had vegan cupcakes. Naturally, I bought 3 to have one then and then save some for later. It was not only one of the best vegan desserts I have ever eaten but any dessert I have ever eaten. Also, it turns out that the cupcakes are made right here in Chicago.

This morning, my mom and I made the drive there, got there right as they opened and got 6 cupcakes. 3 vegan and gluten-free and 3 regulars (I’m the only vegan in the house).

 

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The outside of Swirlz. Very quaint but super adorable

 

Swirlz (the name of the cupcake place) has flavors of the day. They mainly are nonvegan and filled with gluten but they also make gluten-free ones, and vegan and gluten-free ones. Today’s selection in the vegan and gluten-free department were cookie dough and vanilla. I’m typically not too keen on cookie dough or vanilla. I’m more of a chocolate kind of gal. However, upon returning home, and opening the super cute box the cupcakes were housed in, I have fallen in love with cookie dough cupcakes and the Swirlz cupcake shop in general. The cupcake was sort of like a chocolate chip cupcake with a dollop of cookie dough in it and then topped with vanilla frosting and a cookie dough piece.

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The box
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The cupcakes: Mine are the bottom 3

The shop was super adorable and I am definitely feeling a second trip on a different day for another cupcake type. 😉

PS, I highly recommend this shop to any of my followers who are ever in my neck of the woods. Vegan or not, their cupcakes are to die for.

They are located at:  705 w. Belden, Chicago, IL 60614

Their website can be found here

If any of you have been there or are planning on making a trip, let me know.

Alicia

 

 

Dear Body…

Dear body,
You know this already, but I have rekindled my love for exercise and eating healthy and taking care of myself. Due to this, I have also recently realized that all of my years of hating you has taken its toll.

I have spent the past 10 years hating you. I have spent the last 10 years pinching and poking at you, as if my fingers possessed some sort of magic power, granting me the ability to make you smaller and fit society’s ideals. I have spent 10 years hating what I saw in the mirror looking back at me. I have spent the last 10 years telling my mom, dad, friends etc that I did put sunscreen on when in fact I didn’t but I wanted to change the eggshell coating I was given to obtain that longed after sun kissed glow. I have spent 10 years paging through magazines, looking in awe of actresses, singers, Victoria Secret models, and other celebrities near and far, asking myself why don’t you look like them. It has come to my attention that all of this negative energy, and poking, prodding, hating, it has harmed you.

At age 14, I started counting calories. After everyone had told me you were too big, too unhealthy. After my doctor had told me your size had skyrocketed. After people had told me than you needed to be sucked in, hid under clothes, changed, tampered with, etc. Because of all of this, I only allowed 1200 calories for you every day.I did this, hoping to make you smaller, more appealing, more loved, more accepted. When in reality I was harming you, depriving you of all you needed. All you needed to keep me functioning. What I would fill you with was 1200 calories of horrible, processed garbage. I was harming you. I was eating so little and not giving you the proper nutrients for a little girl to grow, flourish, thrive. I was trying to make you smaller, prettier, tanner. I was trying to make you the complete opposite of what you were. I would always leave you wanting more, my stomach grumbling with starvation, and for a while I would not give in.

Alas, these 1200 calorie days were not feasible. So I started bingeing. I would eat a carrot for breakfast. 30 calories for the most important meal of the day. Skipping lunch and then working out trying to burn as many calories as possible. When 3pm hit, and you were sick of being empty, I would fill you with any processed foods I could get my hands on from cookies, cakes, crackers, ice cream… anything to fill up my sad and grumbling stomach. I would do this constantly and then hate myself and you for letting this happen to me.

Everything I would do to you was out of hatred. Every blade to slice open my skin, every suicidal thought, every time I would starve myself to make you more appealing, every time I would binge, was out of hatred to you. When all this time, after all of the years I hated you, you did nothing but love me. You, you were the only one to love me unconditionally after all I had been through. After everything I did to you, you continued to love me.

I never realized all you have done for me. Every day and night for 19 years you have struggles keeping me alive… Struggled keeping me healthy, sane, thriving. Trying so hard to manage on the food I was putting into you, and it was hard. It has been so hard. And I’m so sorry. Every time I put the razor to my skin because I hated  you so much, you would also try to fix yourself. Every part of my body adorned with scars show me this. Every time I would starve myself and not eat despite how many times your grumbles crying out for me to eat, you wouldn’t get mad at me. You still love me, despite everything I have done to you.

Every hateful word I have said and every harsh thing I have done to you, you have continued to love me unconditionally and keep me alive on this world. All I Have to say is that I am sorry. I am sorry for harming you. I am sorry for not loving you. I am sorry for not seeing all you have done and continue to do for me.

I am trying, body. I am trying to love you. I am trying to love you and myself. However, it’s been so hard. But I’m working on it. Nothing but good food has entered you since January 16th. My last binge was January 13th. The last time a razor touched you was September 3rd, 2015. I am working, and I am trying. Thank you for not giving up on me, despite all of the times I have given up on you. I love you.

Alicia

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