Spiced Chai Cake with Pine Goodness
I don’t bake much - I always want to, in theory, but it never ends up happening because I never have all of the ingredients on hand, or I can’t find them in the smallish city I live in. A few weeks ago though, I saw this recipe for a Vegan Vanilla cake with Spiced Chai icing. Wow, it looked simplistic and amazing - just how I like my baked goods (I’m not a huge sweets person).
So I had decided for my birthday this year, I would bake my own cake from scratch by myself (something I’ve never done before). It wasn’t until later on that the question came to me, “What if I screw up and this cake sucks?”. I figured oh well, I would deal with it at the time.
Thankfully, the cake was even better than I had imagined it would be, and everyone who tried it over the course of the next few days said it was amazing (they weren’t just amusing me, either).
I originally found the recipe on The Almond Eater, a fantastic website, but I changed some parts of the recipe to work with things I ended up not having in my cupboards. I used a 9” cake pan, opposed to three 6” pans for a tiered cake, and I used eggs in this recipe, but feel free to follow the traditional one from The Almond Eater for a 100% vegan cake.
Now this recipe may seem daunting with the long list of ingredients, but it’s actually not that bad and most of the ingredients are ones that are pretty easy to find. So try it out and let me know how it went!
2½ cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
1½ cups raw cane sugar
½ cup dairy free butter (I used Earth Balance)
1½ cups almond milk
2 eggs (cage-free or organic are best)
1 tsp vanilla extract
(Substitute eggs for ½ cup unsweetened applesauce & 2 tsp apple cider vinegar to make vegan)
2½ cups powdered sugar
½ cup dairy free butter
2 tbsp almond milk
½ tsp vanilla extract
¼ tsp ginger
¼ tsp cinnamon
Pinch of cloves
Preheat oven to 350°.
Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl and set aside.
In a separate bowl, cream butter and sugar together (It may not turn out as smooth depending on the sugar and butter you use - do not fret, it will still taste delicious!) - add milk, eggs (or applesauce & ACV in place of eggs) and vanilla to that bowl and stir to combine.
Next, combine wet and dry ingredients and stir until everything is mixed together, being careful not to over-stir (if you have an electric mixer this process is much easier).
Grease one 9” cake pan with olive oil or a non-stick spray, then trace a cut out the same size of the pan with parchment paper, cut with scissors and put in the bottom of the pan to make it easier for your cake to release when you flip it over and take it out to cool.
Then pour batter evenly into the pan and bake cake for 30-40 minutes, and then amp up the oven to 375º for 10 extra minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean (I’ll be making this again soon to figure out a better timing/cooking temperature, and will update once I do).
Once the cake is done, take out of oven and set down for 10 minutes to cool before flipping it over and setting it elsewhere to cool completely before icing.
For the icing: cream powdered sugar and butter together - add milk, vanilla and spices to the bowl and mix with an electric mixer until everything is smooth.
To finish: ice the top and sides of the cake to your liking, add some earthy toppings such as bay leaves, pine tree snippets, pine cones, cinnamon sticks or whatever your wondrous self desires. (just make note to not consume anything foraged until you've done your research.)