It’s my birthday! Yes, today I am officially one year older.
Short anecdote that no one asked for? Sure! Last week I went to a bar with some friends and everyone was asked to show their college ID card (that was so weird. College ID? Seriously?). Well, that is, everyone else but me. That’s right, amongst a group of four people, I was the only one overlooked. Naturally, what did I, and another beloved friend, conclude? That I looked old and that’s why I wasn’t asked, not only to show regular ID but not even a university ID card.
And yes, I am in uni. I graduate next year. But I digress. It was just a funny thought that maybe I wasn’t asked because I looked older than everyone else (violin music and a single tear). A week later, it makes me laugh writing this. However, before anyone starts thinking that I’m insane, I would like to clarify that I don’t actually think I look particularly old. As another friend that night told me, it just means that I am “mature” looking while everyone else looks pre pubescent. I’m literally laughing writing this.
Anyway, back to the topic at hand. Today is my birthday and what does that mean? CAKE!! Well, in my case it involves homemade pizza (vegan), margaritas and cake. It’s a family tradition, I don’t question it.
But yeah! Cake! Before becoming an ovo vegetarian, I only ever ate two types of cake: Betty Crocker Devil’s Food chocolate cake and boxed white angel cake. I don’t like vanilla and have never bothered with red velvet. However, the bottom line is that I’ve never liked cake that wasn’t out of a box. I didn’t like the homemade stuff and never even liked cake from bakeries.
As a child, whenever birthday season came around, my parents would almost always get my brother and I store bought cake. As children we had Barbie shaped cakes, Bob The Builder cakes and even a joint Teletubbies cake. The usual kid stuff. When it wasn’t birthday season, however, my mom, who doesn’t particularly like cooking or baking, would make the easy and efficient out-of-a-box cake. Let me tell you, it’s the best thing ever. Anyone who criticises boxed cakes is clearly fooling themselves (no offence intended). So, eventually, we told our parents that we didn’t require overly expensive cakes that we didn’t even enjoy. We demanded Betty Crocker on the days commemorating our arrival on this planet.
Naturally, then, after going dairy free, I figured that cakes would be out of the question for me. I went dairy free last year, a little after my birthday, which means that I was expecting this to be my first ever birthday without a cake. I should have known that that wasn’t going to happen. We live in a world where you don’t have to sacrifice much just because you care for animals, for crying out loud! I was clearly not thinking straight when I had that blasphemous thought a year ago.
As if sent from the heavens, though, in December of last year, my cousin sent me a recipe she had found for a vegan chocolate cake that she absolutely swore by. I didn’t really feel like baking a cake during the Christmas season as I was already loaded up on cookies and general holiday treats. I decided I would make it on the 1st of January to try it out.
It just so happens that I was invited to spend the 1st at my best friends house, where they would be having a barbecue with the whole family. So, as my little contribution, I decided to make the cake and take it with me. Just fyi, no, they are not vegan. Also, I know that I had never tried the cake before and for all I knew it could have been horrible but I trusted my cousin’s taste and figured it would be delicious.
HO-LY CRAP! IT’S THE BEST CAKE I’VE EVER TASTED. Not only is it homemade, but it is completely vegan and can give Betty Crocker a run for her money. It actually tastes exactly like the Devil’s Food! I kid you not. It’s soft and fluffy, rich and savoury. I would not play with your emotions like this. If you like cake and if you like chocolate cake in particular, this recipe is a definite must.
Like I mentioned before, this recipe is not mine. My cousin sent it to me and can be found here. I just love it so much that I had to share it. I made this cake today and will be devouring it tonight after blowing out my candles. I cannot express how grateful I am to Namely Marly for this. It also includes a recipe for a vegan chocolate frosting. I mean, clearly I’m spoiled.
But hey, you should be spoiled too. So go ahead, read the recipe, recreate it at home and let me know what you think!
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup cold water
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 tablespoons vegan butter
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- Vanilla-flavored soy milk
- Heat your oven to 350º Fahrenheit then butter up a cake pan and lightly flour the sides.
- Combine all the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and set aside.
- Combine all the wet ingredients in another bowl, mixing until fully combined.
- Pour the liquid ingredients into the flour mix and using a hand mixer (if you don’t have one a fork works just as well) stir until all the ingredients are completely combined and the little flour lumps have all disappeared.
- Pour the batter into the baking pan and bake for 30-35 minutes, after which a toothpick placed into the cake should come out completely clean.
- Set the cake aside to cool down for about 20 minutes. (Do not take it out of the pan while it is still hot)
- Prepare the frosting: Combine all the ingredients together, initially adding one teaspoon soy milk, then continue adding one teaspoon at a time until the desired frosting consistency is achieved.
- After the cake is cooled down, spread some of that gooey and delicious chocolate frosting and you are good to go!