This is some good, good cake. It’s definitely a special occasion piece; I made it to celebrate Zakk being vegan for over a full week (he is doing so well, way better than I did when I started out, I’m super proud of him!) but it’d be a great birthday cake or a dessert for a holiday. It took a lot of prep work, but the recipe is simpler than you would think, and the payoff is incredible. When Zakk and I bit into our first piece, we were practically speechless. I was afraid all the different flavors involved might be overwhelming but they turned out just right.
Raspberry Chocolate Dream Cake
For the batter, you need:
2 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 cup turbinado sugar
1 1/2 tsps baking powder
1 cup plain almond milk
1/2 cup cold water
3/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup dried raspberries (I bet you could use fresh raspberries instead though if you wanted to, I just think dried packs more of a flavor punch)
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
3 tsps vanilla extract
For the cream cheese filling you need:
1 cup blanched raw almonds soaked overnight
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup plain almond milk
a dash of sea salt
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
3 tbsps agave nectar
2 tbsps coconut oil (or other vegan shortening is fine)
1 tsp vanilla extract
For the chocolate topping, you need:
About 1 cup vegan chocolate chips or broken down chunks of chocolate
1/2 cup coconut oil
a wide dash of vanilla (about a teaspoon)
How to do it:
First, preheat your oven to 350 (F) and grease two 9 inch cake pans with canola or coconut oil. Then, mix together in a bowl all of your dry ingredients for the cake batter—flour, sugar, baking powder, and raspberries. Then add your water, oil, almond milk, and vanilla, and stir until combined. Lastly, add your apple cider vinegar—but make sure your oven is done preheating because your cake pans will need to go directly into the oven after you add it into the batter!
Pour an equal amount into both cake pans and insert immediately into the oven on the bottom rack for 30 minutes. When your cakes are done you should be able to insert a toothpick in the middle and have it come out clean.
In the mean time, throw all your ingredients for the cream cheese filling into a blender or food processor and blend until thoroughly combined. The cream cheese icing may have a slightly grainy texture, but this is fine, so long as there aren’t any big chunks of almond left. Scoop into a container and store in the fridge until you are ready to dress your cake. Then, use a small saucepan on low to melt your ingredients for the chocolate topping. Once melted and combined, remove saucepan from heat and allow to cool slightly. You can store this in the fridge as well if your cakes aren’t close to being cool yet, and reheat it slightly if it gets too hard to spread (mine did.)
When your cakes are done, allow them to cool in the pan for about ten minutes, then use a method I call the tap method to remove them from their pans and allow them to cool on a cooling rack; turn the pan upside down and gently tap on the bottom of the pan until the cake gently comes out on to the rack. Allow these to cool for another fifteen minutes before you ice them. Then it’s just a matter of stacking ingredients—cake, cream cheese icing, cake, chocolate frosting topping! Decorate the top however you like—more chocolate chips, raspberries, slivered almond, crushed walnuts—whatever your belly desires.
If you store this cake in the fridge (and you probably should) then the icing may get a little hard on the top, which tastes delicious (like a chocolate shell) but makes it a little hard to cut, so allow to come to room temp before serving. This cake is a decadent treat that would make any special occasion even more special—or maybe it’ll just make an ordinary day a little bit more fancy.
This looks AMAZING.