Vegan and Texas are not words you often see side-by-side. Maybe unless you’re in Austin, which I will be next week. More about that in a minute. But first let me tell you about this cake. Shawn and I went to spend some time with friends over the holiday weekend. Oh, what fun we had. I like to share some of my favorite vegan meals when we show up at someone’s door so I brought my tasty Vegan Broccoli Salad and Vegan Texas Sheet Cake. Let’s just say there were more than a few ooh’s and ahhh’s which made me more than just a little happy. I didn’t break into my happy dance – I was trying to be a respectable dinner guest – but I thought about it! I’m going to Austin next week for the BlogHer Food Blog Forum. I’m so excited! Of course, it’s never fun leaving friends and family behind, but sometimes it’s a necessary part of a job. It’s my first time to go to this fair city which so far I’ve only experienced via Austin City Limits. If that’s any indication of what to expect, it’s a very cool place to be. Which is, of course, what I’m ALL about. Total 100% coolness. Except for when I’m being dorky and breaking into a happy dance over a cake. But when you make a cake that tastes this good, and it’s vegan, and the fact that it’s vegan causes your non-vegan friends to raise an eyebrow and say with complete and utter surprise, “This is really good. I mean really good” then getting all happy about it is completely understandable. Right? It’s just this time I decided to save that little jig until after we left. No reason to add fuel to their “vegans are weird” theory flames. That’s what I’m trying to debunk by acting so cool. Trying to be cool can be so exhausting! It’s like wearing my suit all day at a meeting when all I really want to be wearing is my yoga pants. See? Lounging around in yoga pants. That’s either really cool…or really vegan. I can’t decide. Maybe both? If what I’m saying makes no sense, please refer to a previous post where my thoughts are nice and organized and playing well with the others around it. Every now and then I have a day – like this one – where everything just comes out in pieces. I think it makes for interesting work putting it all together. If not, you can at least enjoy a little bit of cake. Everything’s better with cake. At least that’s what I like to think.
- For the Moist Chocolate Cake:
- 1 cup Earth Balance Coconut Spread (or 2 sticks of dairy free margarine)
- ¼ cup cocoa powder
- 1 cup hot water
- 2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
- 1½ cups sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ cup soy buttermilk (soy milk mixed with 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar)
- ½ cup whipped firm (or extra firm) tofu (place tofu in a blender or food processor and pulse until smooth)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- For the Chocolate Pecan Frosting:
- 1 stick dairy-free margarine (1/2 cup)
- ¼ cup cocoa powder
- 2 – 3 tablespoons soy milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 3 – 4 cups powdered sugar
- ½ cup chopped pecans (plus more if you’d like to put on top for a nice touch)
- Heat your oven to 350F. Prepare your sheet cake pan by giving it a quick spray of vegetable cooking spray.
- In a saucepan, melt the coconut spread over medium heat. Add the cocoa and stir until well combined. In a separate, small sauce pan, heat the water until it’s good and hot. Add the hot water, stir, and bring that mixture to a boil for 20-30 seconds. Then remove from heat.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda.
- In a separate, smaller bowl combine the soy buttermilk, whipped tofu, and vanilla and stir well. Set aside.
- Now comes the fun part. Pour the hot chocolate mixture over the flour mixture and stir well. Then fold in the soy buttermilk mixture and stir until everything is well-combined. Pour the batter into your prepared cake pan. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes.
- We will be icing the cake while it is still warm so go ahead and make the frosting while the cake is baking. Melt the margarine in a saucepan (I used the same one from the cake…didn’t even bother to rinse it out since the ingredients are so similar) over medium heat. Add the cocoa. Is this sounding familiar?
- Remove from heat and add the soy milk and vanilla. Stir until combined. Now add the powdered sugar. I add it one cup at a time, giving it a good stir between each cup to work out any lumps from the powdered sugar and to make sure I get the right consistency with the frosting. Add the chopped pecans, stir together, and then sit by the oven waiting for the cake to finally get done. It may add some drama if you act annoyed at how long it’s taking. The kiddos will laugh if you throw in a few exasperated facial expressions too.
- Once the cake is done, remove it from the oven and pour the prepared frosting evenly over the still warm cake. Let the heat help you spread that frosting out all the way through from the far corners of the cake. You want every bite to know there’s frosting involved. And pecans. Make sure those are evenly distributed as well. Or add some finely chopped pecans to the top to really wow your guests!
This is a perfect weekend cake so why not give it a try tonight! Enjoy!