As a present to myself for my 27th birthday, I baked myself a cake.
But this wasn’t any old run-of-the-mill cake. Oh heck no. The ideas for it were born much earlier – and came together in a magical way that can only be explained…in a blog.
Let us begin.
It was early March, when I happened to be online, doing my regular internet-y things…checking twitter, reading my emails and catching up on my Facebook feed…when lo and behold, I saw an announcement asking for food bloggers to test out a new vegan food product.
“Why,” I thought to myself, “I am an aspiring food blogger! And I like trying new vegan stuff…”
The wheels were turning in my head, and so I replied to the posting – followed by a few email exchanges to the original poster, Sharon, and FAST FORWARD a few weeks later and I had two 8 OZ tubs of Galaxy Nutritional Foods Vegan Cream Cheese!
Now that I had the cream cheese, I began scheming about how I would use it. Sharon herself had made some amazing looking cupcakes – which gave me the idea of creating a dessert…and I started thinking about it more…what yummy cake would taste divine with cream cheese frosting?
So, on the eve OF the eve of my birthday, I hatched the plan – I would bake a vegan carrot cake with vegan cream cheese frosting – and if I felt even more ambitious, I would make it a fancier cake. Sounded good to me. And even better? I already had a huge supply of carrots, as I had *told* myself I would try and eat more veggies at work for snacks – but I still am not a big fan of raw carrots…so win-win – used those carrots up for sure!
Yup, I hand grated baby carrots.
The next evening, I busted out my selected recipe and got to work.
I followed the recipe for the most part, besides subbing the oil for the pumpkin puree I had (it’s actually what’s inside that cottage cheese container) and doubled it all because I decided I wanted a BIG cake!
The ingredients looked vibrant together! I loved the fact that this cake was to contain a gaggle of my favorite things – pineapple, shredded coconut and pumpkin pie spice – mmmm, happy cakes!
Three 8-inch round cakes filled 3/4…serious cake action! Once those were evened out and popped into the oven, it was time start up the icing!
For the icing, I just used the regular recipe (not doubled) because I had purchased the ingredients to make a marshmallow fondant (unfortunately, that was not vegan, but easily removed if anyone wasn’t able to partake.) This icing was easy to make and tasted great! Basically, just this yummy cream cheese + Earth Balance + powdered sugar = you cannot go wrong! I am excited that I have another tub of this cream cheese (this one a savory flavor) so I am stoked for another fun recipe soon…
So once the cakes were baked (30 min) and cooled (about an hour) I did my psuedo version of a crumb coat with the icing and cake and prepped the fondant.
Now, I don’t have pics of making the fondant (the camera would be unusable if I did! That stuff is STICKY) but believe you me, that stuff was not as intimidating as I thought it would be. I used this recipe. And I don’t have fancy-schmancy cooking tools (at least not yet) so after I mixed it all up, I kneaded it on a greased counter before wrapping it in saran wrap until I was ready to use it – and then, I rolled it out with a regular rolling pin coated in cornstarch.
Since I didn’t have gel food coloring, I decided to go with a white cake, with pink accents – I achieved the pink by kneading in some pink sugar sprinkles. The effect was subtle, which I liked! Also, I festooned the bottom with some lime marshmallows for a color contrast.
Ta da! My finished FIRST fancy cake! The whole thing took about 5.5 hours but I felt so accomplished!
The next morning, hubs helped me transport the cake to my office, where it sat proudly on my desk ledge until after lunch, when a few co-workers gathered up with me to celebrate and we officially cut into it. I am doubly happy to say this cake tasted as good as it looked!
As you can see, due to the thinner nature of the icing, it kinda blended into the layers, but the effect was an amazing moist texture and one skinny slice was all you needed to savor the essence of the cake! And! Shockingly, the fondant was actually quite good…never thought I would say that!
I received lots of compliments on my cake and many were surprised to hear that it was my first fancy cake. I was happy to have a few people even ask if I could help them with a cake in the future, wow! This cake success solidified my idea to take some decorating classes in the future, as to develop my hobby more 😀 It also gave me another reason to thank the Internet for all its resourcefulness to accomplish my goal!
What’s your favorite cake? Who makes it?