Quarantine Birthday Cake

If you find yourself needing to bake your own birthday cake during quarantine I highly recommend making this one! It is the cake I made for my birthday and it really helped bring some delicious fun to the day.  It may take some advanced planning to ensure you have the ingredients (butterscotch and coconut) or you can get creative with what you have around the house, chocolate goes well with almost anything!

The chocolate cake base is vegan and does not require milk, eggs or butter. You could easily decorate with powdered sugar, melted chocolate, whip cream or fruit if you don’t have ingredients for the frosting.

I happened to have a bag of butterscotch chips and some coconut. My mom’s famous 7 Layer Bars have butterscotch, chocolate and coconut and are delicious, so I went for it. I thought the texture and flavor of the cake improved the second day, so if you can wait, I recommend assembling the night before you plan to eat it.

Flour Bakery Vegan Chocolate Cake
yield = 6 inch cake

1 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
2 teaspoons instant espresso powder or 1 tablespoon instant coffee powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup water
¼ cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons molasses

1 1/2 cups sweetened shredded coconut, toasted

Preheat oven to 350˚ and position the oven rack in the center of the oven. Oil  6 inch cake pan and line the bottom with a circle of parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, stir the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, espresso powder, baking soda, and the salt. In another bowl, whisk together the water, oil, vanilla and molasses.  Pour the liquid into the dry ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon until the batter is smooth. Pour into prepared cake pan.

Bake for 50-55 minutes or until the cake springs back when lightly pressed in the center.  Let cool in the pan for an hour on a wire rack, then remove the cake, and continue to cool on the wire rack , cake right side up until cooled completely.

Crispy Magic Butterscotch Frosting
adapted from Flour Bakery Cookbook

2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 egg whites
1 1/2 cups of butter (3 sticks) at room temperature, cut into pieces
2 cups confectioners sugar
pinch of salt
1/4 cup coconut milk
1 tbsp of vanilla extract
6 – 8 oz. butterscotch chips (melted)

In a clean heat proof bowl (I use the kitchen aid bowl) whisk the sugar and egg whites. Fill a saucepan half full with simmering water. Set the bowl over (but not touching) the water. Whisk for 3 to 5 minutes or until the mixture is hot to the touch. It will thin as the sugar melts, make sure the sugar has completely disposed and isn’t grainy.

Remove the bowl from the heat. Attach it to the electric mixer fitted with a whip. Beat at medium-high speed for 6 minutes or until the mixture becomes thick and white like a meringue and is cool to the touch.

Turn the mixer to medium and add the butter a few chunks at a time, beating for 3 to 4 minutes or until it is all incorporated. Add the confectioners’ sugar, salt, coconut milk, and vanilla. Continue to beat until the mixture is smooth and satiny. Gently fold in melted butterscotch with a rubber spatula.

ASSEMBLE: Slice cake into three layers and frost, sprinkling toasted coconut between the layers and on top. Enjoy! Can be kept on the counter for up to a day or in the refrigerator. The cake tastes best when it is at room temperature. 

 

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