"The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you've got to have a what-the-hell attitude." Julia Child

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

vegan chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting

Last weekend when my parents were in town, we stopped by my favorite cupcake shop. My dad ordered the vegan cupcake. I love a vegan cupcake as much as the next girl, but because my parents are a little more meat and potatoes, I asked him why. My dad said he went for the vegan cupcake because the ingredients, chocolate and peanut butter, sounded delicious. For the record, he was surprised to know it didn't contain any dairy :) This cake is my take on last weekend's cupcake.

The frosting I made isn't vegan, as it contains butter.  You could easily make a fruit or paleo frosting to give the cake a vegan stamp of approval.

Yield: 1 layered cake of two 8-inch rounds
385 calories, if cut into 12 slices
Active time: 10 minutes
Total time: 50 minutes

the cake
3 cups all-purpose flour
6 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup coconut oil (vegetable is fine)
1 medium avocado
2 cups water
2 Tablespoons white vinegar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

the frosting
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
milk, as needed
the cake
1.Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  

2. Lightly oil or grease the 8 inch rounds and set aside.

3. Combine the avocado, coconut oil, vanilla extract, and vinegar in a large bowl. Using your hand mixer, blend until smooth, about 2 minutes.

4. Add the water, flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking soda, and baking powder to the bowl. Mix on a medium speed until smooth, about 3 minutes.  You may have to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl to ensure all the ingredients are incorporated.  The batter will be very thick.

5. Add the sugar about half a cup at a time, mixing on a high speed until well-blended, about 2 minutes.

6. Pour batter into your greased cake tins and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. (See step 7 of “lavender greek yogurt cupcakes” for additional resources on testing for doneness.) 

the frosting
7. Cream the butter and peanut butter until smooth. (See step 9 “oreo cupcakes” for more on creaming butter.)

8. Add the confectioners’ sugar a little bit at a time, and beat until smooth, about 3 minutes. You’ll need to add the milk, about 1 tablespoon at a time get it nice and fluffy. (I used water, instead of milk, because my fridge was full and I didn't have the space to refrigerate the cake. So, my frosting isn't nearly as fluffy as it should be. The frosting in "oreo cupcakes" is more what you're going for here.)

9. After they've cooled, frost cakes. 

Other modifications:
 Original recipes here and here.

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