Happy (almost) Valentine's, my loves!
Valentine’s Day is one of those that means something a little different for everyone. It may mean spending the day with your one love, sending notes to family spread across the country or drinking wine with your closest friends. But there is one universally celebrated theme on Valentine’s. And that, my friends, is chocolate.
No matter what your Valentine’s plans include, I’m going to guess that chocolate has woven itself in there somewhere. Molten chocolate cakes, fudge-y truffles rolled in cocoa or even those “chocolate-ish” chocolates in the giant red heart. Chocolate will find its way into your day, I guarantee it.
So, in case you haven’t figured out quite what form this chocolate will take for you, I have a recipe to help you out: rich chocolate and raspberry cake with decadent buttercream. Bonus? It’s 100% vegan.
The cake on it’s own is deeply chocolate-y and sweet raspberry adds an insane fudginess that you just have to taste to believe. The buttercream is beaten until extremely fluffy so it’s light and easily spreadable (and eaten with a spoon…maybe?).
For extra cuteness, I used 6 inch cake pans and sliced each layer in half to make a small and tall cake. More layers also leave more room for raspberry jam and buttercream so, why not??
OK, enough talk though, let's get baking.
Chocolate Raspberry Layer Cake (adapted from here)
Makes 2 6-inch rounds
For the Cake
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1.5 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
0.75 cup + 2 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
0.33 cup strongly brewed coffee
0.5 cup coconut oil, melted
0.66 cup whole wheat flour
0.66 cup all purpose flour
0.75 cup sugar
0.66 cup cocoa powder
1.5 teaspoons baking soda
0.66 teaspoons baking powder
pinch of salt
For the Frosting:
1 cup Earth Balance, room temperature
2 - 2.5 cups powdered sugar
1.5 teaspoons real vanilla extract
1. To make cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease, line with parchment and dust two 6 inch cake pans with cocoa powder. Set aside.
2. Combine almond milk and vinegar in a large bowl, and let sit for 5 minutes. Add applesauce, coffee and oil. Mix well.
3. To a sifter, add flours, sugar cocoa, soda, powder and salt. Sift over wet mixture before mixing until just combined.
4. Divide batter between two pans and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick is clean with just a few moist crumbs. Let cool in pans for 5 minutes before inverting onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
5. To make frosting: Beat Earth Balance, in the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, until light and fluffy. Add sugar and vanilla extract, and food coloring if using, and continue beating until very well combined and fluffy.
6. To assemble: Once cakes are completely cooled, using a serrated knife, slice each layer in two, creating four layers. Place a small amount of frosting on a cake stand, topping with one of the cake rounds. On the cake, spread a thin layer of raspberry jam and then a generous amount of frosting. Continue with the rest of the layers, not adding jam to the very top layer. Make sure to refrigerate cake thoroughly between each addition of layers. To frost like I did, only frost cake with a thin crumb layer and let sit. Once firm, add the rest of the frosting to a piping bag with a medium round tip. Along the side, pipe a vertical line of 4 large beads. With a spoon or an off set spatula, smear one side of the dot, creating a tear dot shape. On top of the flatted part of the dot, pipe another line of dots, continuing around the entire cake. When you come full circle, end the cake with a "seam" of 4 more beads, as you will not have room to spread these. For the top, use the same technique, but move in a circular motion, moving inwards. End with one large bead in the center. Note: this frosting technique uses a lot of frosting so I would recommend having at least another half batch made before you start decorating.
7. Cake is best served at room temperature on its own or with a drizzle of cooked raspberries.
I hope you all have a lovely Valentine's and get to share this cake with someone you love. If you make, share a picture! You can find me on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest so share and tag away.
xoxo (an extra one for the occasion)