Happy birthday to my husband! He requested that I make a vanilla cake with vanilla coconut icing. His mom used to serve his family a frozen Pepperidge Farm layer cake for their birthdays and this was my husband’s favorite. When I cut into the cake, my husband’s sister totally got the reference right away. Great family memories now homemade, healthy and vegan!
Vanilla Layer Cake
3 cups flour (all purpose or whole wheat)
2 cups vegan cane sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups cold water
1 cup sunflower oil
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (about the juice of 1 lemon)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 375. Prepare two 9″ round pans.
Sift the dry ingredients together in a big bowl. Add the wet ingredients and mix with a hand mixer until a smooth batter forms.
Pour into the round pans. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until the cakes test done.
As they start to cool, use a serrated knife to level off one of the cakes. Cool the cakes completely.
Vanilla Coconut Buttercream Frosting*
2 sticks (1/2 cup) Earth Balance shortening
2 sticks (1/2 cup) Earth Balance butter
5 cups vegan powdered sugar
5 tablespoons water
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup shredded coconut
* The key to making perfect frosting is to make sure all of the ingredients are room temperature. Take the shortening and the butter out of the refrigerator and let them sit on the counter. Pour some water into a cup and let that sit out as well. Don’t start the process until everything is the same temperature. If making ahead of time, store in the refrigerator in an airtight container. Bring back to room temperature when ready to decorate.
Using a hand mixer, cream together the shortening and butter. Sift in one cup of powdered sugar at a time plus one tablespoon of water with each cup of sugar. Mix each addition well. Then, when it is all incorporated, add the vanilla and mix until incorporated.
Fold in the coconut using a wooden spoon,
Cut up a few pieces of parchment paper and put them on the bottom of a nice pie plate or whatever serving dish you are using. These will act as a boundary for the frosting so any extra does not end up on the plate.
Place the cake with the cut off top onto the parchment. Spread a fat layer of frosting onto the top of the bottom layer. Cover with the top layer and frost until you cover the entire cake. Pull out the little parchment tickets and display the cake prominently!
Sing happy birthday, cut the cake, make sure the birthday boy has his first bite, then everyone else can have theirs. Enjoy!