My birthday was last week and I didn’t eat any cake.
Sure, I ate pre-birthday tiramisu, red swedish fish and a gooey brownie buuuuuuuuuut no cake. To remedy that situation and to start my 27th year off on the right foot, I made myself a belated birthday cake the other day. Oh, yes I did!
This vegan chocolate cake recipe is the same recipe I used to use a million years ago when I worked at the bakery in Florida. My boss couldn’t believe it when I created a completely vegan, fluffy chocolate cupcake that rivaled his butter-laden one. At the bakery, I topped my vegan chocolate cupcakes with a vegan buttercream frosting and a vegan chocolate sandwich cookie (like Newman’s Own).
NOT THIS TIME! Friends, let me introduce you to 7-minute frosting (<—-not vegan. for vegan frosting for this cake, try this one). Warning: your life is about to change.
7-minute frosting is the first frosting I ever made on my own. I vividly remember standing over the stove with my mom’s old white handmixer, whirling egg whites together with boiling sugar syrup until clouds of billowy frosting magically appeared before my eyes. True story.
This brown sugar version is a little more old fashioned than the traditional “boiled frosting”, and I love how the mellow flavor of the sugar goes perfectly with chocolate cake. It’s a match made in heaven, I tell ya!
To make brown sugar 7-minute frosting you need brown sugar, egg whites, water and vinegar. Yes, vinegar. Trust me on this one. And don’t worry about the uncooked egg whites, either—-you’ll cook the egg whites just fine while you drizzle in the boiling sugar syrup. No fear!
The end result is a frosting that is half meringue and half buttercream. For a little more of a vanilla flavor, you could add some vanilla extract to the mix, but I love it just as it is. It’s the fluffiest frosting I know and perfect for sandwiching together thick slices of double chocolate cake, wouldn’t ya say?
I want to bury my face in the above photo. Right.this.second.
I’m a firm believer that you can never go wrong adding extra chocolate chips, so this cake is made extra chocolately that way. I’ve made this cake dozens of times over the years, but this go around I tried using coconut oil in it. Hmmmm….it tasted the same but since coconut oil is a solid at room temperature, I found that the melted oil seized up into tiny clumps after adding cold ingredients (milk). The tiny clumps of coconut oil then formed teeny tiny holes in the cake. Drats.
Moral of the story is that you can certainly use whatever oil you like here, but if you don’t want to see small holes in your beautiful cake, I recommend NOT following my lead and using canola oil instead.
Vegan Double Chocolate Cake with Brown Sugar 7-Minute Frosting
makes two 8″ cake layers
cake recipe slightly adapted from The Moosewood Cookbook
3 cups flour
2/3 cup cocoa, preferably dutch-process or Hershey’s “extra dark”
1 tsp baking soda
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup oil (I used melted coconut oil but would recommend using canola instead)
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
2 cups soy milk or almond milk
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 1/2 cups brown sugar, lightly packed
1 tsp vinegar
2 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
2/3 cup water
2 egg whites, unbeaten
Preheat oven to 375.
Thoroughly grease and flour two 8″ cake pans, shaking off the excess flour. Set prepared pans aside.
Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt in a large bowl.
Combine the soy milk and the vinegar in a glass measuring cup and let stand for two minutes to curdle. Then, pour into another bowl and add the oil, sugar and vanilla extract. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and fold in chocolate chips. Divide batter evenly into prepared pans and bake for about 30 minutes, until cakes start to separate from the sides of pan. Remove from oven and let cool completely before icing.
To make the icing, bring the brown sugar, vinegar and water to a boil on the stove. Boil for three minutes then remove. With either a hand mixer or a Kitchen Aid mixer running, slowly drizzle the boiling syrup over the egg whites, beating continually. Do not stop beating. Add vanilla extract if using. Continue for about 7 minutes, until frosting has a meringue-type consistency and can hold peaks.
To finish cake, place one cake round on a plate and spread the top with frosting. Gently set other cake round on top and spread more frosting on top and down sides if you like.
This cake is best the day it’s made.