Happy Plant- Based Birthday!

Dear all,

My husband’s birthday is coming up and we can’t wait to celebrate with him.  We are all excited and busy preparing for his big day tomorrow. We love to celebrate and take every opportunity to blow up balloons, light candles and think of creative gifts. Our kids love scavenger hunts to find their presents on their respective birthdays (even the Easter bunny hid clues this year!).

Last week, preparations have been slow though and with my husband being away overseas for a week, things have not been too good! The negative list includes a car crash (- luckily, no one got injured), heavy rainfall with severe flooding and failure of getting Apple TV started (which was a major disadvantage on the rainy weekend)- actually, failure of getting quite a few electronic devices started… And if I wasn’t working, I was driving the kids around to bring them to one of their gazillion extracurricular activities. Anyway, this explains why we are craving for an extra sweet treat and have been discussing cake options for the past few days.

If you adhere to a plant- based diet, does that mean you’re missing out on all the sweet treats? Absolutely not!

Does it mean that you give in for one day, put your food preferences aside and eat refined sugary cakes? No, no, no.

I want to share with you today a great recipe for a plant based chocolate cake with superfoods instead of refined products.
In our house, homemade birthday cakes are definitely culinary highlights. For the kids, I really try my best to impress them with beautiful decorated cakes, but we all agree that the inside is what counts more than the outside. My cakes might look less impressive than store bought versions, but everyone loves their taste. Naturally, they are egg and dairy free, have raw cacao instead of chocolate and dates instead of sugar. And applesauce instead of oil. Still, even our omnivore friends love them and have no clue what ingredients I used- they taste just like any other delicious cake (and my opinion even better!)

My baking marvels over the years were definitely the treasure chest cake for Ben’s pirate party,

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all sorts of princess castle cakes for Viv

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and a Minecraft cake for Ben , which actually made my swear NEVER to decorate a cake by myself again and I just survived the long ordeal of making 100+ small colored frosting squares because a friend of mine helped me).

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Therefore, I was extremely relieved, when our daughter announced this year that she only wanted a simple, strawberry filled vanilla cake… it turned out beautiful and was extremely delicious- or rather berry-licious.

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For my husband, the kids and I finally agreed on coffee infused mini chocolate cakes with  cacao frosting and a ton of fresh strawberries.

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Adding coffee to a chocolate cake is great way to enhance the flavor of cocoa powder, resulting in a more chocolaty cake – not a coffee-flavored one. To avoid having our kids bouncing off the walls, I use decaf coffee.

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For the frosting, I wanted to combine date paste with raw cacao powder. Unfortunately, I had already spent the last bit of cacao powder on the chocolate cake. I therefore decided to blend raw cacao nibs with hot water.

The idea was great, but instead of adding raw whole dates I used date paste, which made the frosting too runny. I would recommend using either a combination of date paste plus raw cacao powder OR raw cacao nibs, hot water and pitted dates. I saved the frosting by adding a little bit of guar cum, a natural thickener and the end result worked great.

Here is the link for the entire cake recipe http://plantbasedhappy.com/?page_id=4093 and the frosting http://plantbasedhappy.com/?page_id=4091

Happy birthday!

Ursula

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