In the new Food Network Canada Facebook series The Substitute Baker, celebrated Toronto-born holistic nutritionist Sarah Britton shows us just how easy it can be to adapt your favourite recipes to suit any occasion or special dietary needs.
Related: Homemade Bread Recipes You’ll Want to Make Again and Again
This time around, she’s given us a reason to celebrate at home — birthday or not — with a vegan citrus and chocolate birthday cake that you’ll crave all year round.
Dark Chocolate Date Frosting
Blood Orange Cake
Allow cake 20 minutes to cool before icing.
Start the frosting. If the dates are really dry, soak them in warm water for an hour or so, until softened. Then drain the dates.
Combine the dates, cacao powder, salt and orange zest in a food processor, and pulse to break up the dates. Then slowly add the milk with the processor running until you have a thick, silky frosting that is easy to spread. You may need to stop periodically and use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the food processor. If you have any leftovers, store them, covered, in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly oil two 7–inch springform cake pans.
Make the chocolate cake batter: In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl combine the maple syrup, milk, coconut oil and vanilla; whisk to combine. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk to remove any lumps. Quickly whisk in the vinegar.
Make the blood orange cake batter: In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl combine the maple syrup, orange juice, orange zest, coconut oil and vanilla; whisk to combine. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk to remove any lumps. Quickly whisk in the vinegar.
Pour each bowl of batter into its own prepared cake pan. Bake the cakes until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean, approximately 50 minutes. Set the cakes on a wire rack and let them cool for about 20 minutes, then remove them from the pans. Let the cakes cool completely. You may even want to bake them the night before.
Use a long knife to carefully slice each cake in half horizontally, creating four thin layers, total.
Put the 7” blood orange cake layer on a platter. Spread the top with about a quarter of the frosting. Put the 7” chocolate cake layer on top, and spread it with frosting. Repeat with the remaining blood orange and chocolate layers.
Use the melted chocolate to decorate the dehydrated citrus slices by dipping some into the chocolate half way, and drizzling chocolate over others. Decorate the top of the cake with the decorated dehydrated citrus and crumbled dried raspberries. Serve. (The cake keeps rather well at room temperature, covered, for 5 days.)