Vegan Red Velvet Cake with Vegan Cream Cheese Icing

After unsuccessfully attempting to pawn off some unused CSA vegetables to my friend for his birthday dinner, I promised I would make a vegan red velvet cake. I don’t know where it came from and I had never baked any vegan desserts, so I was a little nervous. Luckily, I found a great recipe online from Mac & Cheese, a vegetarian Philadelphia based food blog. The direct link is below.

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Steps not pictured: Kate nervously peering through the oven window. Kate prematurely texting her friend with an update on the “great” vegan cake for his party. Kate almost crying when the first cake wouldn’t come out of the pan. Kate “fixing” the holes in the bottom layer with gobs of icing. Kate almost deciding to decorate the cake with funky cocoa powder designs, but realizing she shouldn’t push it.

Time: 1 1/2 hours

Cost: $25 (I had some ingredients already and I had some items leftover after this was made.)

Tips: I used too much cooking spray on the cake pans. The vegetable oil made the cake somewhat crumbly. I’d like to experiment with other ingredients next time. Read the labels before you purchase the red food dye. Cochineal / Carmine is made from beetles (sometimes labeled E120). Red #40 is made from coal. The recipe is for cupcakes, but a commenter leaves instructions for a cake.

Edit: Putting this cake in the refrigerator for a few hours prior to serving solved the crumbling problems. Plus, I think it tasted better cold. It was a hit!

Recipe: Mac & Cheese

Overall Rating: I made a test batch of 4 cupcakes to make sure the cake tasted OK. The cake is good, but the icing is great.

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