Vegan is a whole new thing to me. I always thought it was difficult and I would miss the taste of milk, butter and eggs. How can you make a delicious, smooth cake with no butter or eggs in it? But an old friend asked me if I could make a cake for her little boy. He is cow’s milk protein and egg intolerant. First I thought it was very difficult to make such a cake, since cow’s milk protein is in so many things and I’ve almost never baked a cake with no eggs, but after some research I was very optimistic. You can find so much about vegan cakes! I even made vegan buttercream with chickenpeas! How weird is that?! 

bought chickpeas, vegan butter, shortening and almond milk and I tried some recipes out. There is so many online, but so little in books. Some recipes were a disaster and other turned out surprisingly good! The biggest surprise was the aquafaba buttercream.  Aqua means water and Faba means Bean, Bean Water! Nothing more and nothing less. How can liquid from chickpeas become meringue? I still don’t understand it. And I’m wondering who got this idea? It’s amazing and weird at the same time. But you should give it a try! The taste is a little bit different, but the structure is basically the same.

Sometimes baking is magic.

I think I do some more research on vegan stuff. Do you have any tips?

Vegan blueberry cake
8-10 pieces

Ingredients

Cake

  • 320 g all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 300 g granulated sugar 
  • 120 g vegan butter
  • 350 ml almond milk
  • 100 g unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Aquafaba swiss vegan buttercream
recipe from Gretchens Bakery

  • 900 g unsalted canned chick peas (you need 1 3/4 cups bean water), or you can use dried beans (see note below)
  • 200 g granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp + 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp + 1 1/4 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 340 g vegan butter
  • 225 g vegetable shortening
  • 150 g blueberries

*If you prefer to use dried beans you will soak 280 g beans in 2 cups (480 ml) water over night. The next day, transfer the beans in a large pot and add another 2 cups water. Cook over medium-high heat for about 45 minutes or until the beans are tender. Drain the chickpea water into a smaller pot and use the chickpeas as you wish for another recipe (like hummus).

*If you refrigerate the reduced bean warer overnight it will make the meringue much sturdier and gelatinous, more resemblance to real egg whites. And the key to a perfect swiss buttercream is the strength of the meringue! 

*Vegan buttercream is softer than regular buttercream, so store it and any cakes and pastries made with it, in the refrigerator. You can store it for up to 2 weeks. Bring the leftovers to room temperature and whip it back to workable consistency. 

Instructions

Cake

  1. Preheat oven to 175℃ (350F). Grease and flour three 15 cm cake pans and set aside.
  2. Mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a bowl and set aside. Mix the almond milk, applesauce, vinegar and vanilla in a can and set aside. Cream butter and sugar with a electric hand or stand mixer. The vegan butter has another structure and will need more time to cream than normal butter. Add the flour mixture in three times and the milk mixture in two times, start and end with the flour mixture. Be careful not to over mix.
  3. Divide the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean.
  4. Let the cakes cool for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack. Let cool completely 

Aquafaba buttercream

  1. Combine the sugar with the chick pea water in a pot and bring to a full boil. Let boil for 15 minutes. Check if the chickpea water is reduced to 1 cup (240 ml). Add the sugar and whisk until the sugar is dissolved. Let cool.
  2. With a  electric hand or stand mixer, whip the aquafaba on high speed until it is thick, glossy and has firm peaks. This can take a long time (10 minutes). Combine the cream of tartar with 2 tbsp confectioners sugar and add to the meringue. Continue whipping and add the remaining confectioners sugar.
  3. Put the blueberries in a blender and mix until mixture is as smooth as possible. Pour through a sieve to remove the peel.
  4. Add the shortening and softened vegan butter a bit at a time and continue whipping on high speeds to a smooth cream.
  5. Add vanilla and blueberry puree. Whip until combined.

Assembly

  1. Place the first cake layer onto a serving plate or cake stand. Use an offset spatula to spread a layer buttercream over the cake. Place the second layer on the first layer and do the same.
  2. Place the third cake layer on top with the top down (so you have the flat side above) and cover the top and sides of the cake with a thin layer of the remaining buttercream. This is to hold all the crumbs in place. Set for 30 minutes in the fridge.
  3. Once set, remove the cake from the refrigerator and spread a thin or thick layer (if you want to see the cake layers through the buttercream you add a thin layer) of buttercream and decorate however you desire. I piped roses with a 2D piping tip. Set the cake back in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to firm buttercream, before slicing and serving.