I’m pulling out all the stops for this love-filled Vegan Raspberry Zinger Coconut Cake. Maybe it’s because in my pre-vegan and pre-vegetarian days I used to love Raspberry Zingers. It’s odd the things you give up when becoming a vegetarian. Most people think a little snack cake would be vegetarian, but these Hostess Zingers are made with animal shortening. That’s what you call a nice way of saying “lard.” I’ve decided I’m a better person for giving those up and now an even happier person for creating a vegan (and gluten-free) way of making the cake myself. I may be vegan, but that doesn’t mean my sweet tooth will be denied!
I didn’t set out to make a vegan dessert to rival my favorite childhood comfort food. What I wanted was to create an elegant cake for this month of romance and love.
One of the first recipes I posted was Coconut Cake, and it seemed a perfect choice to revisit. Once that decision was made, it really was only a matter of time before Raspberry Filling came to mind. I’m only human, you know!
In my book there are actually Eight Wonders of the World. The seven others, and Coconut Cake. That’s how much I love it! Of course, I don’t know if it can be technically considered a “wonder” when it disappears so quickly.
I made this version not only vegan, but gluten-free as well. That’s because I like my desserts with only the ingredients I really love. You can always substitute wheat flour if you’d like, but I can’t imagine you’d miss it if you didn’t.
Introducing, Vegan Raspberry Zinger Coconut Cake. It’s a lot like my favorite shampoo, best when repeated.
- 1 cup Earth Balance Coconut Spread or margarine if the coconut spread is not available
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 cups coconut milk 1 can
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon coconut flavoring
- 3 cups flour * I used 1 cup brown rice flour, 1 cup white rice flour, 1/2 cup coconut flour, and 1/2 cup tapioca starch
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup raw cashews pre-soaked in water for 1 - 2 hours, and then rinsed and drained
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup agave nectar
- 1 tablespoon earth balance margarine
- 1 cup frozen (or fresh) raspberries
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- ⅓ cup Earth Balance Coconut Spread
- 1 teaspoon coconut flavoring
- ¼ cup soymilk
- Topping: ½ cup flaked coconut
- Coloring. I used the tiniest bit of beet juice to give the icing a pink color. You could also add the juice from one or two raspberries to give it a pink hue.
Heat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two (or three) 9-inch cake pans.
Using an electric mixer, cream together coconut spread (or margarine), sugar, coconut milk, vinegar, vanilla, and coconut. Beat until light and fluffy, approximately 5 minutes. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour (or flours if you're using the gluten-free directions), baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add flour to creamed mixture, beating until just mixed.
Divide batter equally among prepared pans. Level batter in each pan by holding pan 3 or 4 inches above counter, then dropping it flat onto counter. Do this several times to release air bubbles and assure a more level cake.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until done. Cool in pans for 5 to 10 minutes. Invert cakes onto cooling racks.
Once the cakes have cooled, place the bottom cake layer on a plate and top with Raspberry filling (recipe below). If you have prepared 3 cakes, then place the second cake on top of the raspberry filling and top it with additional raspberry filling. Top that with the final cake.
You should have before you two (or threstacked cakes with raspberry filling in the middle layer(s). Ice the entire cake with Fluffy Coconut Frosting (recipe below), being careful not to tear the cake when spreading the frosting over it. I use a butter knife dipped in warm water to help the frosting spread more easily.
Top with flaked coconut.
Place soaked cashews and 1/4 cup water in a a food processor. Pulse for several seconds and then add the agave nectar. Pulse until the cashews are relatively smooth. If you need to add a little more liquid, that's fine.
Next add the earth balance margarine and raspberries and pulse for a few more seconds, until the raspberry cream is relatively smooth. You can even add a little beet juice if you'd like the mixture to be a little more pink in color. Just be sure to add very small amounts at a time so the flavor doesn't become too strong.
In a medium bowl, stir together the coconut spread and powdered sugar. Once the two are well incorporated you should have a powdery mixture in front of you.
Add the coconut flavoring and stir to combine.
Next add the soymilk, one tablespoon at a time until you reach a desired consistency. I like to be able to easily spread the frosting over the top of my cake so I usually use 3 tablespoons (1/4 cup) soymilk.
Add either beet juice or raspberry juice for color and give it one last stir.
Set aside until your cakes have completely cooled.
* Feel free to substitute corn starch for tapioca starch and some other gluten-free flour for the coconut flour if that's not available to you...or too pricey!)
Have you ever had a day where you’ve indulged yourself in one of your favorite childhood treats and then felt disappointed that it wasn’t as good as you remembered? This is that process in reverse. You’ll take the time to prepare this cake, decorate it, put a slice on your plate and realize it tastes even better than any snack cake sold in a cardboard container. At least that’s the way it was for me. Although I had to have a piece or two (or three) to make sure I got it just right. That’s the kind of sacrifices I’m prepared to make for ya!
If you’re into coconut recipes, then you might want to consider these:
Marly’s Vegan Coconut Cake. Hey, that’s me!