Taylor’s Birthday Cake

February 18, 2010

So, this is a bit late, but I wanted to post it anyways.  For his birthday, my boyfriend requested a chocolate cake with raspberries and hazelnuts.  After throwing a few different recipes together, I came up with something pretty good.  The cake recipe originally came from the Joy of Vegan Baking book.

This was the second time I’ve used that recipe (the first time in cupcake form) and it’s been great both times.  The frosting recipe was tweaked from the Unsweetened Ghiraradelli Cocoa Container.  Anyways, the cake turned out great.  Very chocolaty, did not taste vegan, but was still light – not too heavy or dense.

The Finished Product

Chocolate Cake:

I wanted a tw0-layer cake, so I double the recipe.  I also made it low-fat. Here’s what I came up with:


  • 3 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 t. salt
  • 2 t. baking soda
  • 1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 t. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 c. canola oil
  • 1/3 c. unsweetened apple sauce
  • 2 T. white distilled vinegar
  • 2 c. cold water
  • hazelnuts for decorating

Preheat the oven to 350° F.  Lightly oil 2 round 9-inch cake pans.

Combine the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, and cocoa powder in a bowl until thoroughly combined.

A whisk helps to break up any clumps.

Create a well in the center of your dry ingredients, and add the vanilla, oil, vinegar, and water.

Mix until just combined. Pour into your prepared pan, and bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Cool on a wire rack. To remove the cake from the pan, run a sharp knife around the inside of the pan to loosen the cake (mine had to cool for a few minutes before they would come out of the pan.  Turning it upside-down on the wire rack helped get the cake out too). Cool completely before frosting.

Yield: 2 9-inch cakes.

Now it’s time to make the raspberry filling!


  • 12 oz. package frozen (or fresh! Even better) raspberries
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. cornstarch
  • 3 tsp. cold water

The recipe said to strain the raspberries to get rid of the seeds, but I didn’t bother, and the cake was fine.

Add sugar to raspberries and heat in saucepan to almost boiling. Mix cornstarch with cold water. Add cornstarch mixture little bit at a time to raspberries, stirring constantly, until mixture starts to thicken. Cool in refrigerator until ready to use (probably the longer it can be in there, the better.  I didn’t wait very long, and mine was still too runny when I tried to put it on the cake).

When you think the cake is cool enough, and the raspberry sauce is thick enough, you can start putting the cake together.

Place one layer of the cake on your serving platter, and spread it with as much raspberry sauce as you’d like (I tried to use all of it, but like I said, I had issues with it being too runny, so this was hard to do.  Hopefully you’ll have better luck).

Here's what mine looked like before it started dripping down the sides. If only it had stayed like this!

Now you can start putting on the frosting.  :)

Here’s my frosting recipe, adapted from the ‘Ghirardelli Buttercream Frosting’ recipe on the Unsweetened Cocoa container:


  • 6 T. Earthbalance vegan butter
  • 2/3 c. powdered sugar
  • 1/2 c. Unsweetened Cocoa powder
  • 1/3 c. soy milk
  • 1/2 t. vanilla extract

In a bowl, beat vegan butter until light and fluffy.  In a separate bowl, mix powdered sugar with cocoa.  Blend sugar mixture with the vegan butter alternately with the soy milk, beating well after each addition.  Beat until smooth.  Blend in vanilla, and put in the fridge to let it harden for a bit.

This will be enough frosting to frost the top and sides of the entire two-layer, 9-inch cake.

Again, mine was too runny when I tried to frost the cake.  It dripped all over the place, and was a huge mess.  Don’t let this happen to you!  I was not patient enough.  In the end though, it did work out, and it hardened up a bit once it was on the cake and stopped dripping.

Top with hazelnuts when you’re done with the frosting.

That’s it!  :)


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