A couple of weeks ago, we went to Las Vegas for Aaron’s birthday. I won’t say which birthday, but it was a big one. Something to do with hills and all that. I wanted to bake him a birthday cake before we left, but he had already had a day of indulgence with his coworkers followed by a pizza dinner with me, and we were about to leave for a gluttonous weekend, so I didn’t know when we were going to squeeze in the time or belly space for a cake. That’s when I decided to whip up the teeniest tiniest cake ever. It was just big enough to satisfy our sweet tooth before we headed off on our trip.
I made the entire batter for the cake in a measuring cup, and both the cake and the frosting without a mixer. I baked this is my trusty little 4-inch cake pan, which I have gotten way more use of out of than I ever expected when I bought it. I used cake strips to prevent the cake from doming up, since I didn’t want to lose any of this already tiny cake.
I’ve always used an electric mixer or my Kitchen-Aid to make buttercream, but since this was such a small amount of frosting, I used the wooden spoon method. It takes a little bit longer without a mixer, but there’s less clean up involved. I recommend taking your butter out and cutting it into pieces before you even start making the cake. That way it will already be softened by the time the cake has cooled and you won’t have to wait to make the frosting.
This cake can easily made vegan. I’ve made it several times and just used whatever milk I have on hand- whole, 2 percent, soy, almond, etc. The butter in the frosting can be replaced with vegan butter, shortening, or a combo of the two. I used a chocolate frosting on this cake, but I’ve listed several flavor variations below.
For Vanilla Frosting- omit the cocoa powder
For Chocolate Peanut Butter Frosting- add 1/2 tablespoon of peanut butter
For Chocolate Almond Frosting- add 1/4 teaspoon of pure almond extract
For Mint Chocolate Frosting- add a drop or two of mint extract
For Mocha Frosting- add 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder dissolved in 1 teaspoon of water and omit the milk
Confession: I’ve never made cheesecake that actually has any cheese in it. Does this mean I have to call it “cheezecake?”
My fear of water baths is about as intense as my fear of pie crust, so I’m glad that this raw vegan cheesecake is one of the simplest desserts I’ve ever made. No rolling, no baking, no water baths. If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you know that I’ve been obsessed with raw pies an cheesecakes ever since my trip to Portland last summer, where I had the best pies and cheesecakes ever. They were raw, vegan, gluten free, and didn’t leave me feeling like I had lead in my stomach the rest of the day. I’ve spent many many hours trying to recreate them.
I’m not going to call it healthy, since nuts and coconut oil are full of fat. Let’s just say it’s easier to digest than regular cheesecake and fairly allergy friendly. I shared this dessert with a friend who is allergic to pretty much everything except tree nuts. The cashews in this are necessary though, since they give it the cheese-cakey texture, so substitutions won’t work. Even so, I feel like it’s a good option to bring to a dinner party where you have to navigate a lot of dietary restrictions. So turn off your oven, grab your blender, and let’s make some chees(z)ecake!
Behold, I made a cake! It’s been a while folks, and I’ve missed it. I took a break. A much needed break from all things blog and internet and social media. I stopped checking my instagram likes every five minutes. I did waaay less dishes. I cooked more savory food. I baked stuff that I actually wanted to eat! And most importantly, I stopped comparing myself to other bloggers and their beautiful photos and perfect lives. Comparing yourself is never a good thing in any aspect of your your life. It can make you feel really discouraged and kill your motivation, which is exactly what happened. But, I missed baking and I missed blogging and I’m going to try really hard to keep doing it without it taking over my life and my mental health.
So let’s talk about cake. This tiny tall cake that re-inspired me to blog after a long hiatus, and was based entirely on my own cravings. It’s chocolaty and crunchy and full of raspberries, and it’s made in 5-inch cake pans. I know what you’re thinking, who has 5-inch cake pans and why don’t you just post recipes for normal sized cakes? Here’s my logic- there are a gazillion recipes on the internet for normal sized cakes. There must be some weirdos out there who love their 5-inch cake pans as much as I do, and are looking for ways to use them. But just in case I’m the lone weirdo, I’ve listed some options for alternate pan sizes below.
This cake is a recipe that I’ve been dying to try from the Baked Elements cookbook. It’s made with mayo rather than butter or oil, and I can’t say that I’ve ever had a bad experience with chocolate mayo cake. The frosting is made with milk chocolate, because I’ve recently discovered that I really love the stuff. I think milk chocolate gets a bad rap because a lot of people associate it with some of the lower quality stuff that you find in the impulse section of the grocery store, but high end milk chocolate is not something to turn your nose up at. My favorite brand of milk chocolate is Scharffen Berger, but it’s on the pricy side and somewhat hard to find. For frostings, I usually use Guittard milk chocolate chips. It’s still a big step up from most and melts really well.
You can bake this cake in two 6-inch cake pans, and it also makes 12 cupcakes. The baking times for these will vary.