I have started all of these interesting new "lifestyle changes" this summer... many of which are leading me to eat a lot less cake. I'm still not so sure how I feel about this, because... CAKE?, but when I do make something sweet to eat (or run down to the bakery to pick up a pain au chocolat), I really, really appreciate it.
My birthday was a few weeks ago, and I celebrated it my hometown of Montreal in a very subtle fashion. Since I didn't have any baking equipment with me, and because I was taking a plane back to Europe the next day, for the first time that I can ever remember in my life I didn't have a birthday cake. I know, I know... this is absolutely crazy ! But, now that I'm back home, and fully recovered from jetlag, I have the opportunity of extending my birthday an extra 2 weeks with this cake !
The original recipe for this cake makes one 9 inch (23cm) cake. I've adapted the recipe and baked the cakes in ramekins to make mini cakes instead of one larger cake. I adore the idea of mini cakes because they are the perfect amount for 2 or 3 people. Normally I would gasp at the idea of avoiding cake leftovers (who have I become!?), but if you're trying to eat a bit less sugar/refined flours, it's quite welcomed not to have a delicious cake sitting on your counter for the entire week staring at you with its shiny sprinkle eyes! ALSO: as this cake recipe makes 4 - 6 mini layer cakes (depending on the size of your ramekins), you can freeze a few of the layers to do the prep for a gorgeous and delicious fast dessert anytime of the week. In general I've been in love with the idea of mini and tiny desserts for this reason ! If you're like me and have a serious sweet tooth, but are trying to make some slight adjustments to your lifestyle, mini cakes, cupcakes, and bite-sized desserts are really the perfect way to satisfy any cravings ! ... especially birthday ones !!
MINI VEGAN COCONUT BIRTHDAY CAKE - WHAT YOU NEED:
(inspired by: Clean Green Eats, by Candice Kumai)
FOR THE CAKE:
- 1/3 cup liquified coconut oil
- 1/3 cup maple syrup (add more for a sweeter cake)
- 1 ripe banana, mashed
- 3/4 coconut milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup coconut flour*
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
* if you're not using coconut flour, sub in AP flour and add an extra tablespoon of AP flour (coconut flour tends to remove a lot of moisture)
FOR THE FROSTING TRY:
MINI VEGAN COCONUT BIRTHDAY CAKE - WHAT YOU DO:
FOR THE CAKE:
Preheat your over to 180C (350F), and grease 4 - 6 ramekins with coconut oil and dust with flour. Set aside. (I used 4 bigger ramekins.)
In a large bowl, whisk together all of the wet ingredients (oil, syrup, banana, coco milk, extract, and vinegar).
In a medium bowl, whisk together all of the dry ingredients (flours, baking powder and soda, and salt).
Whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and stir until combined.
Separate the batter equally into the ramekins. Bake at 180C for 22-24 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. If you're making 6 smaller cake layers, you may want to test for readiness at around 20 minutes.
Remove the cakes and let them cool completely.
MAKE A FROSTING FROM ABOVE.
TO FROST THE CAKE:
Place one mini cake on a stand.
Add a dollop of frosting to the top and add the second layer. Frost lightly around the cakes to make a crumb coat. Place the cakes in the fridge to harden up for around 15 minutes.
Frost one more layer around the cakes to finish.
Add sprinkles !!!
I've done quite a few mini cakes on bakecetera before (tahini ! carrot ! lemon ! beetroot !) and this one is an excellent addition to the tiny dessert repertoire. This cake is a bit less traditional than some of my other mini cakes (and big cakes, too) because it tastes a little bit like banana bread would taste like if it had a lot more banana flavour in it. (Does that make sense?... in any case, I love it!) You can really taste each individual flavour. There is clearly coconut, but it doesn't over power the subtle sweet flavours given by the banana and maple syrup mixture. It's one of my first times baking with coconut flour, and although this recipe only calls for a small amount, it helps lighten up the cake. (Coconut flour is much finer than all purpose flour.) It really is a wonderful addition.
Well, another year another birthday cake... and so far, no complaints on either of these situations !