Strawberry and Chocoroom Cake

Chocolate cake, strawberry frosting, and candy mushrooms

I have a thing for Asian candy. We didn’t have a designated Indian grocery store where I grew up. It was all kind of lumped into one “ethnic/all things from the east” store, so when my mom went to buy ghee and mango pickle, I tagged along and got Pocky, Yan Yan, and these little koala cookies. I think my inner 6-year-old would have gone nuts for little chocolate mushrooms, though. I saw them recently at Daiso, a Japanese version of a dollar(ish) store that opened up near my house. I love browsing all of the miniature knick knacks and aisles of Japanese candy, so when I saw these little mushrooms, I knew I wanted to use them on a cake (except the first time I bought a package I ate the entire thing on the way home and was too embarrassed to go back and get more).

Chocolate Cake, Strawberry Frosting, and candy mushrooms

So on my second shopping attempt I bought an extra package for the inevitable snack attack, and this Strawberry Chocoroom Cake was born. It’s just in time for Valentine’s Day, because nothing says I love you like candy mushrooms.

The cake itself is my go to chocolate cake, which just so happens to be vegan. It’s almost exactly the same as what I used for my Marshmallow Madness Cake, but I used water rather than non-dairy milk. I’ve seen several recipes that do this, and I wanted to see how they compared. I’ve only tested it once so I can’t say for sure if it was because of the water, but this cake was super light and fluffy. I had to chill it for several hours before frosting because it was difficult to work with, but I did like the texture.

Chocolate cake, strawberry frosting, and candy mushrooms

Since fresh strawberries are out of season, I got a package of freeze dried strawberries from Trader Joe’s, ground them down into a powder, and then mixed them into the frosting. I liked the end result but it was missing some depth, so I mixed in a teaspoon of red wine vinegar. I do this often to balance out the sweetness of fruit crisps, and I was happy that it worked so well in the frosting.

Chocolate cake, strawberry frosting, and candy mushrooms

If you can’t find Chocorooms, this cake would be equally adorable covered in meringue mushrooms. If mushrooms are too weird for you, perhaps candy hearts would be a fun substitute.

Not a fan of tall cakes? You can also bake this cake in 2 6-inch cake pans.

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Small Batch Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

Small Batch Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

Happy New Year! Now that the first week of January is almost over, does that mean you’ve given up your resolutions yet? No? Good, me either. Believe it or not, this is one of the few recipes on my website that’s not a diet buster. At least, it’s not an “eating everything in moderation” buster, which I’m all about these days. This small batch cookie recipe makes only 5 cookies. Yay for built in portion control! But wait…it get’s even better! *cue Billy Mays*

They’re vegan, and it’s a super simple one bowl recipe. Excited yet? Click on over to Food Fanatic for the recipe.

One Bowl Gingerbread Layer Cake

Gingerbread Cake

I’ve been wanting to post a gingerbread cake on here for years, but never got around to it because every recipe I’ve found looked super complicated, and by this point in the year, I do not feel like doing things like folding egg whites or even washing more than one bowl. This time of year calls of dump, dump, dump, and stir. Dump and stir recipes leave more time for important things like spending time with family, or watching Master of None on Netflix.

Gingerbread Cake

My default cream cheese frosting is a not too sweet swiss meringue buttercream, but I thought that a simple cream cheese/powdered sugar frosting worked better here. Not only is it easy to make, but the sweetness compliments the spicy gingerbread cake.

The topping was supposed to be a snowy white glaze that dripped down the sides to look like icicles, but I think I added too much milk because it looks like the sun came out and the snow is melting. It’s been in the 70s all week here, so I suppose there was no chance of snow, not even on my cake.

Gingerbread Cake

The gingerbread house cake topper is totally optional. I had some leftover dough left from this recipe, which makes a ton. If you want to use it just for a mini gingerbread house, I’d recommend dividing it by 3, and even then you’ll have enough to make at least 8 mini houses. I got my cookie cutters from this store on Etsy. To decorate the house and glue it together, I used this pre-packaged¬†cookie icing

Gingerbread Cake

Gingerbread Cake

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