We are hot and heavy into strawberry and rhubarb season here in southeastern Pennsylvania. You can be sure to find rhubarb from at least 4 vendors at Lancaster Central Market. You must buy it now, it will be gone soon! Stop dilly-dallying. If you can’t use it, freeze it.
I’ve been playing with a vegan vanilla cake recipe for some time and have been rather hard on myself. There is an easy, vegan chocolate cake recipe that’s been around but making a good, vegan vanilla cake hasn’t been easy. Recipes often lack flavor, taste pasty or are so dense they look like fresh bars of soap.
Here is a recipe I’ve had success with. I’m rather excited and want to share it with you.
IMPORTANT RECIPE NOTE (yes, I just yelled that at you in all caps)
- You have room to play with the flavor of this recipe. I used orange juice for this crumb recipe but you can substitute it with another liquid… think apple juice for fall.
- I also made this as a rather tall cake by using an 8″ springform pan. It works well in a 10-inch square pan too.
- If you use the 8-inch springform pan be sure the cake has set, the center is firm and baked through. It’s deep and dense, in a pound cake-ish way.
For the 10-inch pan version, I layered the cake with roasted rhubarb and slathered it with a vegan coconut icing but not before painting Rhubarb Citrus Syrup between the layers.
First you’ll need to prepare the roasted rhubarb
- 1½ cups chopped rhubarb, ½” pieces
- 1 cup strawberries, stems removed and quartered
- 2 tablespoons organic sugar or sugar in the raw
- pinch of crushed, dried lavender buds
- pinch orange zest
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Toss all the ingredients in a bowl and spread onto baking sheet.
- Roast for 10-15 minutes, until tender and softened. Check every 5 minutes to prevent burning.
- Allow to cool.
- 2½ cups organic spelt or whole wheat white flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- ⅔ cup organic sugar
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- ½ cup raw, unrefined coconut oil, melted
- ½ cup applesauce
- ¾ non-dairy, unsweetened milk
- ¼ cup orange juice
- 1½ teaspoons rosewater (vanilla extract, optional substitution)
- 1 recipe roasted rhubarb
- 1 cup crumb topping, optional
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Grease an 8-inch springform pan with coconut oil or prepare a 10-inch square baking pan with oil and drape with parchment paper.
- Whisk the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar and orange zest. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl whisk the coconut oil, applesauce, milk and rosewater. NOTE: If everything is cold the coconut oil may clump. Work with room temp. wet ingredients. Whisk until everything is evenly combined.
- Pour the liquid mixture into the flour mixture, stirring until just combined. Do not over-mix.
- Pour into the baking pan. Top with roasted rhubarb, followed by crump topping.
- Bake on the center rack for 45 minutes to one hour, until golden brown and the center has set when a tooth pick is inserted and comes out clean. If baking in a 10-inch square pan bake for 30-35 minutes.