As you probably already know, veganism and making desserts go well together. In the small Benelux alone, there are a lot of people who make the craziest and 100% plant-based sweet delicacies. And we, of course, have also made a contribution with No Milky Way (our cookbook with vegan desserts, in Dutch).
The moral of the story: everything can be vegan! Also the slightly less healthy things 😉
Yet there is one culinary department that requires a little more thinking (and headaches) beforehand. Of course, I am talking about patisserie/pastry. Or actually all kinds of dishes where eggs play an important – especially practical – role. As far as the making of pies, cakes and the like are concerned, an egg suddenly turns out to have a lot of useful properties.
At least: if you want your vegan cake or pie to be slightly edible 😉
But okay, it has been proven that it is no problem at all to fry egg-free. And just as airy, smooth and tasty as their traditional, non-vegan counterparts.
Vegan chocolate cakes, carrot cakes or even wedding cakes with 4 levels … it is all ‘piece of cake’ 😉
Simple is the hardest.
However, what I have noticed in my own vegan cooking experiments is that the simplest dishes are often the hardest. That sounds crazy – and it can also be a coincidence – but it is something that I have experienced regularly.
To give you an example: in our ebook Plant-based Ice Pleasure (in Dutch) there are a lot of ice cream recipes in all kinds of flavors. Each and every one of them is super easy to make. However, there was 1 taste of ice cream that cost me at least 10 attempts before I was really satisfied. And that was … vanilla ice cream.
Vanilla icecream !!!
So well … then I would have just mega-delicious chocolate/rum/raisins / whatever-ice from my ice cream machine conjured … it seems exactly this ‘classic of classics’ to be a problem case. Did not see that coming !!!
To get mad: – /
For making vegan pastries, the same applies; cakes in all kinds of flavors and with all kinds of toppings? A tiramisu or bavarois or even vegan Advocaat (how to replace eggs?!) … it turned out to be no problem at all. So I did not worry at all when I started a ‘normal’ vanilla cake.
Wrong, so wrong !!!
Here you would think that an ordinary cake – usually nothing more than equal parts of flour, eggs, sugar, and fat – is super easy to ‘veganise’. Well, that was disappointing. If I didn’t remove a potential murder weapon (read: mega-hard cake) from the oven, it was too crumbly, too small or simply failed in its entirety.
And standard inedible … that also: – /
So yes … on a nice day it was time … a successful vegan vanilla cake! So even when I baked it for the 2, 3 and 4 times.
What a relief 🙂
After all that effort would it be a crime if I did not share the recipe with you?
Before that …
Experiment with white sugar
For this recipe, I have used finely refined (white) sugar instead of the usual unrefined cane sugar. Actually, a try because I thought that the cake with cane sugar still somewhat coarser / grainy structure remained. Even if I grind that cane sugar with a coffee grinder beforehand.
To my surprise, white sugar indeed yielded a finer and more creamy cake. Which does not mean that we are now suddenly big fans but okay … it is useful to know. If it is a further concern that the end result is slightly less ‘perfect’, you can therefore safely use unrefined cane sugar. It is certainly not the case that your cake will be less tasty.
In addition, there are other options, of course. With the most ideal alternative: xylitol. That is a natural sweetener that, just like refined sugar, is fine (and white) and with which you can bake well. You can replace the amount of sugar one by one by a quantity of xylitol.
There are 2 disadvantages: first, xylitol is toxic to dogs. Pay attention if you ever dare to give your dog a slice of cake! Second, xylitol is quite pricey. Especially if you need 200 grams – as with this recipe :-/
Liquid sweeteners such as agave syrup or maple syrup, I don’t recommend for this recipe. Purely because they are liquid and thus will disrupt the ratio between the ingredients. It will probably be possible to bake a good vegan cake with it, but as you probably understand … I have enough of experimenting haha.
Finally, keep the quantities of the ingredients in the recipe and weigh/measure them carefully. That certainly applies to the amount of sugar. You can try with less but again … no guarantee for a successful result :).
So, enough blabla. Here it comes!
Extra tip: if you don’t eat the cake straight away, you can also keep it in the freezer. Possibly already in pre-cut slices.
It is recommended that you wrap it in foil for a while.
Tested a recipe? Be sure to leave your reaction/opinion behind this article! Or share all vegan cake facts you can think of.