Dark chocolate cake with white chocolate mousse frosting + DIY Vegan’s 1st birthday!
I can’t believe it. Has it been a year already? One whole year since DIY Vegan hit store shelves and Lisa and I officially got to share our cookbook with the world. This time last year was super exciting—and still continues to be—since it was the culmination of 18 months of work creating 135 brand new recipes (with gluten-free versions of each one!), testing and retesting, writing, editing, and photographing, plus all the sweat, tears and joy that go into creating a book.
We’ve had quite a year and a lot of fun promoting DIY Vegan through articles, podcasts, cooking demos and TV shows. Did you catch our latest segment on Breakfast Television? That was officially my first time on live TV. A cool experience? Hell yes. Nerve-racking? You bet. I hadn’t been in front of a TV camera since journalism school.
So, we have a lot to celebrate. As I said to Lisa recently, I will be forever grateful for the friendship she and I formed after meeting at another local author’s cookbook launch in 2010. We connected instantly over our shared passion for veganism and outreach, and partnering with Lisa on all things food-related has literally changed my life. I’m so proud and amazed by all the awesome opportunities that have come our way since then, including this book.
You can’t celebrate a birthday without cake, right?
Enter this dark chocolate cake with white chocolate mousse frosting (I hope you like chocolate!). The base cake recipe is one you’ll want to bookmark, for sure. Everyone needs an easy, go-to chocolate cake recipe for special occasions, one that is reliable and you want to make again and again. For me, this is that recipe. And it is directly from the pages of DIY Vegan (both gluten-friendly and gluten-free versions are provided in the recipe below). In the book, it’s meant as a DIY cake mix—you mix up the dry ingredients to have on hand, just like a store-bought cake mix, and when you’re ready you just stir in the liquid ingredients and bake! It is a dark cake with a moist, tender crumb that provides the perfect backdrop for any frosting, ganache or buttercream your heart desires.
Here, rather than making one large cake or cupcakes as is suggested in the book’s recipe instructions, I made it into a smaller, two-layer cake, layering it with a mousse-like white chocolate frosting and topping it off with a pile of bright red strawberries and a dusting of cocoa powder. A match made in heaven. It is decadent, rich and over-the-top delicious.
A dear reader recently contacted me with a request for a refined sugar-free vanilla frosting recipe. After a few trials using cashews and coconut oil, I landed on this white chocolate frosting and loved it so much more. Here, I use silken tofu for a lovely, creamy, mousse-like texture, cacao butter for flavour and firmness, and maple syrup for sweetness. It is quite light on its own (and could be eaten with a spoon) but feel free to add the seeds of a vanilla bean or vanilla powder for a more vanilla-y frosting.
Happy birthday, DIY Vegan.
Dark chocolate cake with white chocolate mousse frosting
Yield: 1 (6-inch) two-layer cake
For the frosting:
- 1 cup shaved or finely chopped cacao butter
- 1 (12 ounces) package Mori-Nu extra-firm silken tofu
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
For the cake:
- 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (see notes for gluten-free option)
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 6 tablespoons coconut sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup coffee or water
- 1/2 cup almond or soy milk (vanilla flavour preferred)
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
For the frosting:
- Place the cacao butter in a double boiler, or in a heat-proof bowl resting over top of a saucepan filled partway with simmering water (making sure the water doesn't touch the bottom of the bowl). Heat over medium-low heat until cacao butter is melted, stirring occasionally. Once melted, remove from heat.
- In a blender, blend the silken tofu, maple syrup, and vanilla extract until smooth. Add the melted cacao butter and blend again until fully incorporated and very smooth. Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate until thickened, at least 2 hours.
For the cake:
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease two 6-inch cake pans with coconut oil.
- In a large bowl, sift the dry cake mix ingredients using a fine-mesh sieve.
- In a medium bowl, mix together the coffee, almond milk, oil, maple syrup, and vinegar.
- Add the liquid ingredients to the bowl with the cake mix and whisk gently until there are no large clumps remaining.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pans. Bake for 22 to 27 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes before removing from the pans. Allow to cool completely before frosting.
To make a gluten-free cake, replace the all-purpose flour with an equal amount of Gluten-Free Flour Mix (page 179 of DIY Vegan), add 1 cup fine almond flour, 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum, and an extra 1/2 cup cocoa powder to the dry ingredients, and an additional 1/2 cup almond milk to the wet ingredients. You'll have enough batter to fill two 8-inch cake pans.