Best Vegan Coconut Cake … EVER
For our manager Katie’s birthday, she requested a coconut cake … Sounds simple enough for anyone who does not follow a vegan lifestyle. Baking vegan has proven difficult in many instances when compared to non-vegan baked goods, but the key is RESEARCH people.
Sharyn, being the most excellent and resourceful mother that she is, searched high and low (pages 1-15) on Google to find the best-reviewed coconut cake around. And we are proud to report she found it – and we made it.
We now bring you “Vegan Coconut Almond Cake” (adapted from Gretchen’s Vegan Bakery)
The saving grace in this recipe is the aquafaba. If you are unfamiliar with aquafaba – let me ask you this: have you ever opened a can of chickpeas? Did you rinse them, or drain any liquid from the can of chickpeas? That my friend is aquafaba! Some brilliant vegan foodie recognized the liquid’s natural thickness and saw that it was bubbly or foaming in the can and put it to work.
When whipped, aquafaba lends it’s self to the same properties as egg whites – we’re talking meringue people!
This cake is very… involved. As one would say. It’s not a “one bowl, one utensil masterpiece” by any means, but it is worth it.
- For the Coconut Cake
- Flax meal 4 Tablespoons (32g)
- Warm Water ½ cup (120ml)
- Full Fat Coconut Milk 1 cup (237ml)
- Vanilla Extract 2 teaspoons (10ml)
- Cake Flour 2 cups (240g)
- Coconut Flour ½ cup *optional you can replace with more cake flour
- Baking Powder 1 Tablespoon
- Salt ½ teaspoon
- Granulated Sugar 1¼ cup (250g)
- Vegan Butter 12 Tablespoons (170g)
- Unsweetened Shredded Coconut 1 cup
- For the Coconut Buttercream
- 1 Recipe Aquafaba Swiss Meringue Buttercream OR the new Aquaflaxa Swiss Buttercream
- Coconut Flavor or Emulsion 1-3 teaspoons adjust to taste according to brand
- For the Homemade Raffaello Truffles
- Vegan White Chocolate 6 ounces (1 scant cup)
- Coconut Milk 5 Tablespoons (75ml)
- Roasted Whole Almonds 12
- Unsweetened Shredded Coconut ½ cup
- For the Almond Dacquoise
- Aquafaba ¾ cup from 1 can chickpeas
- Cream of tartar ¼ teaspoon
- Granulated Sugar ¼ cup + 2 Tbs (75g)
- Vanilla Extract 1 teaspoon
- Roasted Almonds heaping ½ cup
- For the Garnish on the cake: 2 cups coconut flakes and more almonds as needed
- For the cake batter, combine the flax meal with the warm water and let stand to thicken. Not going to lie … we used eggs from Grove Ladder Farm because we trust their farm/family and the way they harvest their chicken’s eggs. Flax eggs are 1:1 with real eggs!
- Combine the vanilla extract with the coconut milk and then sift the dry ingredients together
- Cream the vegan butter with the sugar until light and fluffy (about 5 minutes) then add the flax paste and beat smooth
- Add ⅓ of the sifted dry ingredients and mix just until combined, then add ½ of the coconut milk
- Repeat with another ⅓ of the dry and the other half of the coconut milk, and end with the last addition of dry.
- Add the coconut last and then divide batter evenly into 3 greased and parchment lined 7″ cake pans (we only had 2 9″ pans) and bake in a preheated 350°f oven for approximately 35 minutes or until they are springy to the touch when you gently press the centers.
- Prepare the buttercream (or the basic frosting) as per the instructions on that blog post then add the coconut flavor last.
- Make the truffle ganache by melting the vegan white chocolate and then add the warmed coconut milk and whisk smooth
- Refrigerate overnight until it is to a scoop-able consistency
- Scoop the truffles with a #100 scoop (or just use your hands … its messy though) and roll into perfect balls after inserting a roasted almond into the center of each one.
- Roll in the shredded coconut and keep refrigerated until needed
- Make the Dacquoise by whipping the aquafaba on high speed with a balloon whip attachment on a stand mixer.
- Combine the cream of tartar with about 1 Tbs of the sugar and add it slowly to the whipping meringue, then add the remaining sugar 1 Tbs at a time until you reach stiff glossy peaks.
- Add the vanilla extract and the finely ground almonds and pipe into a 7″ disc on a parchment or silicone lined sheet pan and then either dehydrate at 155°F or bake on your lowest oven setting (not more than 175°F) for 2- 3 hours or until crispy and thoroughly dried out
- Assemble the cake as shown in the video below!
Here is the link to the recipe on Gretchen’s Vegan Bakery site (without this lovely commentary).