Oh, it's past Valentine's Day... like a lot past Valentine's Day... but that doesn't mean that the heart-shape fun must stop!
Ok, ok. This will be my last heart themed dessert for some time. Promise.
I had some massive technological problems (standard), so after some technological wizard help from the more tech-capable people in my life, we are back on track!
I had a Valentine’s dinner (bowchickawowwow), and needed something super pretty to bake.
I saw this cake here and I immediately wanted to veganize it. I used the filling and frosting recipe (with some small tweaks) from that recipe, but used my own version of a coffee cake.
I’ve made homemade Speculoos spread before, and it was absolutely delicious. This time I made another batch to put to some good use!
Teeccchhhnicallly, this cake isn’t vegan because I read on the package that Speculoos cookies are not vegan (containing egg and milk), however I am confident that this spread (and therefore the following recipes) could be made with a variety of cookies. For example, check out these cookies for some vegan spread options. I think ginger snaps or graham crackers would be great! So, for now: let’s pretend with the Speculoos spread, ok?
Step one - Speculoos spread:
Adapted from: Big Bake Theory
Speculoos Spread – What you need:
- 200 grams of speculoos cookies
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- ¾ cup coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted slightly
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
Speculoos Spread – What you do:
Start by pulsing the cookies and sugar together in a food processor. Scrape down the bowl of the food processor, and then add the coconut milk, oil, and cinnamon. Blend in a food processor until the mixture is creamy and smooth.
Spoon the spread into a jar and refrigerate.
Step two – Speculoos filling:
Speculoos filling – What you need:
- ½ cup of Speculoos spread
- 1 cups of confectioner’s sugar
- ¼ cup margarine (or butter for a non-vegan version), softened
- 1-2 tablespoons coconut milk
Speculoos filling – What you do:
Add all ingredients, except for the coconut milk, in a large bowl. Beat well with an electric beater until the mixture is incorporated. Add the coconut milk, one tablespoon at a time, until the mixture is smooth and creamy. The mixture should be thick, but still spreadable.
Step three – Speculoos frosting:
Speculoos frosting – What you need:
- 1 cup of margarine (or butter), softened
- 2 cups confectioner’s sugar
- ¼ cup Speculoos spread
- 2 packets of instant coffee (4 grams)
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
Speculoos frosting – What you do:
Beat together the butter, spread, and sugar in a large bowl until well combined. Add the coffee and cocoa powder. Again beat well, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula as you go along.
Separate the frosting into halves: one half for the side of the cake, the other half for piping on to the top of the cake.
Now for my one true Valentine's Love... Cake:
Chocolate-Coffee-Banana Cake - What you need:
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup cocoa
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 ripe bananas, mashed
- 1/3 cup apple sauce
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup hot brewed coffee
- 1 tablespoon flax meal
Banana-Coffee-Banana Cake - What you do:
Preheat your oven to 180c, and grease and flour two cake pans.
In a large bowl mix together the flour, cocoa, baking powder and soda, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.
^ It looks like cake tie-dye!
In another large bowl, beat together the mashed bananas, apple sauce, and oil. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, and then add the sugar. Beat well. Next, add the coffee and flax meal. Again, beat well.
In three additions, add the dry mix to the wet mix, stirring well after each addition. The batter will be really thick.
Spoon the batter into the prepared pans. Tap the pans onto the counter a few times to get all the air bubbles out.
Bake at 180c for 20 minutes at 180 celsius, or until an inserted tooth pick comes out clean.
Cool completely before frosting.
Use the speculoos filling in between the two cake layers. Frost all around with the speculoos frosting.
I melted chocolate and made chocolate hearts to put all over the cake. Put a few squares of chocolate in a sandwich or freezer bag, throw it in the microwave until melted, then cut a tiny slit at one end and make heart shapes. So easy and so pretty!
The cake was dense and fudge-y... almost like a brownie. It was full of chocolate and coffee flavours, with the perfect hint of cinnamon. The cake itself wasn't too sweet, so the speculoos accessories were a great complement. Ah, nom.
I can't say this enough... I REALLY love cake.
(Still a Valentine's) Baking soundtrack - Tunes to inspire your inner baker: