I’m going to be honest, this was supposed to be a red velvet cake for my dad’s birthday, but after I started making this cake I discovered that I was clean out of red food coloring. I though maraschino cherry juice would be a proper substitute and it turns out it wasn’t quite right, whoops. So I ended up with a pink-ish hued cake that tastes faintly of cherries, but is still dang good. The real saving grace was using a cashew cream frosting that ended up so creamy/dreamy that my parents and ended up standing around the cake plate scraping the icing up that had pooled around the edges of the cake. I get my love for icing from my momma, that’s for sure!
If you want to go ahead and turn this into a red velvet cake, you can add a teaspoon or so of red food coloring to give it that distinct red hue. If not, the layers of cocoa cake ended up perfectly tender and sweet without the coloring and I would highly recommend not skipping the icing, no way, no how. I would recommend using a high powered blender to make the icing, if you have it, but a food processor should get everything pretty smooth too. (Still loving my Vitamix for this stuff!). Next time I’m out of food coloring maybe I’ll try beet juice? I haven’t tried this method so if you have, let me know!
Vegan Cocoa Layer Cake with Cashew Cream Frosting
- For the cake batter:
- 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
- 3 teaspoons cocoa powder
- 2 cups non-dairy milk
- 2 tablespoon melted coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- For the cashew cream frosting:
- 1 1/2 cups cashews soaked for at least 4 hours and drained
- 1/4 cup non-dairy milk
- 2-4 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease 2 8 inch round cake pans. Set aside.
To make the batter, in a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and cocoa powder. Add milk, oil, vinegar and vanilla, and whisk until thoroughly combined.
Divide cake batter evenly between cake pans. Bake for 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let cool before assembling and frosting.
To make the frosting: Combine all ingredients in a high powdered blender or food processor fitted with the blade, blend on high until smooth and creamy, adding a teaspoon of additional milk at a time until combined. Add more powdered sugar as necessary.