Sunday, January 31, 2010

Banana-Raspberry Cake with Lemon Frosting

This cake provided the perfect opportunity to try out the stand-mixer my sister and brother-in-law gave me for Christmas. In fact, I've never used a stand-mixer before in my life, and often wondered at the usefulness of them, since it seemed to me either a good old-fashioned wooden spoon or a hand beater could do the job just as well. Well, let me say I am officially a convert, and I hope to use my stand-mixer again very soon!

You'll want 2, 8-inch round cake pans for this recipe, since it is a double-layer cake. I made mine in the 9-inch cake pans I already own, however, which worked fine, but it meant my cake was broader around and not quite as tall as the original. For that reason of aesthetics alone, I do recommend using the 8-inch size, but 9-inches will do if that's what you have!

So coat your 2 cake pans with cooking spray, and line the bottoms with wax paper. Coat the wax paper with cooking spray, and dust each pan with 1 and 1/2 teaspoons flour. Set aside.

Combine 1 and 1/3 cups vegan sugar with 1/4 cup vegan butter (such as Earth Balance) in a large bowl, and beat with a mixer (or stand-mixer!) for about 3 minutes, until well blended. Add the equivalent of 3 eggs using egg replacer (such as Ener-G), one "egg" at a time, mixing after each addition.

Lightly spoon 1 and 3/4 cups all-purpose flour into measuring cups, and level with a knife. Combine the flour with 2 teaspoons baking powder and 1/2 tsp. salt in a bowl.

In another bowl, combine 1 cup vegan buttermilk, 1 cup mashed ripe banana and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. (To make the 'buttermilk', pour 1 tablespoon lemon juice into a measuring cup. Fill with plain soy milk - such as Silk - to equal 1 cup, and let stand 5 minutes to clabber (sour) the mixture).

Add the flour mixture and the 'buttermilk' mixture alternately to the sugar mixture, both starting and ending with the flour mixture, and mixing after each addition. Pour the batter evenly into your two prepared cake pans.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes, until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (mine took the full 30 minutes). Let cool in the pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then carefully remove from the pans. Peel off the wax paper from each cake layer, and let the layers cool completely on a wire rack.

Once cool, prepare the frosting: combine 3/4 cup vegan cream cheese (such as Tofutti's Better Than Cream Cheese), 2 tablespoons vegan butter, 2 teaspoons grated lemon rind, 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract, and just a dash of salt in a large bowl; beat until fluffy. Gradually add 2 and 1/2 cups organic powdered sugar, beating just until blended.

(Note: for both the granulated sugar and powdered sugar in this recipe - and indeed, all my recipes! - I love the Wholly Wholesome company. Their sugar products state right on the package that it is suitable for vegans, i.e. not filtered through bone-char).

Place 1 cake layer on a serving plate, and spread with 1/3 cup of the frosting. Arrange 1 and 1/2 cups fresh raspberries over the layer. Top with the second cake layer, and spread the remaining frosting over the top and sides of the cake. You'll have 14 slices of 290 calories each. If you make the cake ahead, store it loosely covered in the fridge. You can also garnish it with a few extra raspberries if you like, for a pretty presentation!

all-purpose flour $3.99
vegan sugar $3.39
bananas $0.92
vegan cream cheese $2.00
lemon $0.79
vanilla extract $13.99
powdered sugar $5.99

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The Vegan Pantry

  • Vegan yogurt - Whole Soy
  • Vegan milk - Silk
  • Vegan Feta - Sunergia
  • Vegan Cheese - Galaxy Foods
  • Vegan Eggs - Ener-G
  • Vegan Butter - Earth Balance