A few years back I started up a vegan baking venture. I, myself, do not currently eat vegan, although at one point my vegetarianism leaned very closely to veganism. Even though I do enjoy eggs and dairy, I tend to find alternatives when making cakes and cookies. Why waste two perfectly good eggs in a cake when you can get the same result by using flax meal? Almond or organic soy milk and apple cider vinegar work just as well as cow’s milk, and you can often cut the milk in half and top up with water. These alternative are, of course, used to satisfy my own preferences, but I do think that my baked goods could give any store bought goodies a run for their money.
In case you were wondering, here is how to make a flax egg:
Mix ‘em up and let it sit for a bit. Tada! This simple recipe came from Minimalist Baker, but there are many variations that will pretty much give you the same result.
After a decent run baking cupcakes and inventive cakes, I decided that it just wasn’t
something I wanted to do day in and day out. I traded in my apron for a crochet hook and I haven’t looked back since…well, except for three times a year. There are a few folks out there who just couldn’t live without the vegan baking, so I’ve continued to do a few orders here and there.
Most recently I made a Death Star cake. Oh so many moons ago I made one of these cakes and figured I could try my hand at another one. Many moons ago, however, I didn’t have a toddler clinging to me as I used coconut oil frosting to glue two halves of the Death Star together. Despite a few mini meltdowns (my own and his), it ended up working out pretty well. Note: there are no photos of the cake making process because of said clingy toddler, but here is a simple coconut oil frosting recipe!
1/2 cup coconut oil
1 1/2 cups icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2-4 tbsp of milk (vegan or otherwise)
Beat the coconut oil in a bowl until smooth. Sift in the icing sugar and add the vanilla and milk. Beat on low until combined. Add more milk until desired consistency is reached. Continue to beat on medium/high until there are no clumps and icing is fluffy (4-5 mins).
And that’s it! I used to use Earth Balance buttery spread in my icing, but I just don’t like the taste. It’s also not the healthiest vegan alternative out there. Coconut oil frosting will melt if left out in the heat for too long, so it’s best to refrigerate your cupcakes or cakes once they are iced.
Looking for a vegan fondant recipe to seal the deal? Live. Learn. Love. Eat. has a simple and delicious recipe for vegan fondant using Dandies vegan marshmallows that you can buy at Ingredients Health Food Store & Apple Café right here in Victoria.
Since it was so long ago that I had made the previous Death Star cake, I had forgotten that this particular cake pan would require a double recipe – two cakes instead of one. After whipping up one and pouring it into the pan, I realized I would only have half a Death Star if I stopped there. Luckily, all those years of cupcake making allowed me to develop a speedy cake making technique. Bam! Two cakes for what would ultimately become the Death Star we were looking for.
I did a crumb coating over the entire cake with the coconut oil frosting, rolled out the fondant and smoothed it onto the cake.
Admittedly, the bottom of the cake was a bit rough looking, but it was being covered in fondant panels anyway. Baby was down for a nap, the hardest part of the cake was done, and as I sat down for a crochet break I realized that I had forgotten to cut out the indentation in the side of the cake. I ended up cutting it out before putting on the panels and it worked out just fine since the outer circle is also covered in a panel. Not quite top notch, but not a “nailed it” either.
I pasted on the panels with icing and added some embellishments. I had intended to use coloured icing to put dots on the cake that would resemble lights, but I had had enough for this cake baking session. I have yet to see the latest Star Wars instalment, but it was still fun to make this Death Star Cake…once a year.