Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Cake of the Week: Chocolate Coconut Cake

We’re having a freakishly mild winter here in DC. Though I like wearing my medium-weight coat, running outside, and avoiding the misery of frozen toes and nose, I miss the snow! 

I love how it looks in the city, and how it feels falling out of the sky, and the way OPM freaks out and gives us snow days (flashback to 2010 –Snowmageddon + Snoverkill = best week ever.). Plus I really really really want to go skiing. And mountains sans snow are just not as much fun. 

So consider this my snow-dance cake (much like rain dancing, but drier).  I made it two weekends ago, in a fit of boredom and wanting-cake-dom. It’s a Vegan Chocolate Cake with Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting, and toasted coconut on top to give it a snowball look and tropical crunch. Yummmm. 

Followers may notice that I've made this vegan chocolate cake a few times before (why vary perfection?). This time around I halved the recipe to make a smaller cake.  

Vegan Chocolate Cake
Makes one to two three 8 or 9-inch round cakes
  • 1 1/8 cups organic all-purpose flour
  • 1 cups sugar
  • 11/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 teaspoons white vinegar
  • 1 cups cold water

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Line two 9” round pans with parchment paper. (Warning: This recipe tends to stick, so I strongly suggest you go for the parchment paper.)
  3. In a large bowl, sift the dry ingredients together. Set aside.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the oil, water, vanilla extract and vinegar.
  5. Slowly whisk the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients being careful not to over-mix. The mixture will be quite wet, but that's ok.
  6. Pour the batter into the pans evenly. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick or knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
  7. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes then remove from pan and cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes. I recommend putting cakes in the freezer for an additional 30 minutes before frosting the cake, it will make them easier to handle.

Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 8 oz (one block) cream cheese
  • ¼ cup (1/2 stick) butter
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 2-4 tablespoons milk, as needed 

  1. With an electric mixer, cream the cream cheese and butter for 5 minutes.
  2. Blend in  powdered sugar.
  3. Blend in rest of ingredients. Add more milk or powdered sugar as necessary to reach desired consistency.

Coconut Topping
  • 1 cup sweetened shredded or flaked coconut

  1. Preheat broiler. Spread coconut on cookie sheet and broil until slightly brown. (Warning: watch the coconut, it burns very quickly!)
  2. Cool completely.

Frost cake, then cover in toasted coconut, then THINK SNOW!