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Vegan Spring Strawberry Cake

By Fragrant Vanilla Cake
(4.67/5 - 3 votes)





 I have been thinking about strawberries a lot lately, probably because at the beginning of last week it was beautiful outdoors, 70 degrees and the perfect spring berry growing weather.  It has since gotten colder and even snowed on Saturday, but that didn't diminish the thoughts of berries!  I am hungry for strawberries.  Simple as that.  I have been deprived of them all winter since I refuse to buy ones that are not locally grown. I will have to wait to enjoy fresh berries, but luckilly I have a nice supply of Minnesota grown frozen strawberries in my freezer!  Last week when I was out on a run, and had a bit of time to think I dreamed up a beautiful strawberry cake I could make on the weekend.  It sure didn't help that I was hungry at the time! 





On Friday I decided to make some home made vanilla scented strawberry jam with some of them, and figured it would be perfect for in between the layers of my cake! (I have included the recipe link)





http://fragrantvanillacake.blogspot.com/2011/04/vanilla-scented-strawberry-agave-jam.html
I wanted this cake to be filled with the essence of strawberry, so it was even included pureed strawberries baked into the cake itself!  It smelled so good while it was baking, like a heavenly strawberry shortcake! 




The cake was moist and delicious, just sweet enough filled with the flavors of strawberry and vanilla.  It deserved to be sandwiched together and covered with something delicious so I decided on a vanilla (vegan) cream cheese frosting to go along with my home made vanilla scented strawberry jam.




I decided to tint the frosting pink with natural food coloring to make it even more beautiful.  Might as well be pretty and delicious!  It was like a giant strawberry shortcake!  The type of thing where you take a bite and close your eyes just to savor the deliciousness as you taste it.  I have a feeling I will be making another one of these at the height of Minnesota berry season when I have access to the fresh ones, but until now I am very happy to be enjoying this one!  have I gotten my strawberry fix?  Yes, for now.  But I will never get sick of them, and could eat them everyday!  Here is the recipe for my cake if you would wish to experience it for yourself!




Vegan Spring Strawberry Cake
Makes 1 6 inch 4 layer cake


Cake:
1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup maple sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp sea salt

1 cup pureed strawberries
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract

1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp lite coconut milk
a few drops beet based food coloring
2 Tbsp lemon juice



Frosting:
3 8 oz pkgs vegan cream cheese (such as Tofutti)
1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp agave nectar
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp sea salt
beet based red food coloring


about 1/2 cup strawberry jam, preferrably home made*


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and position rack in center of oven. Line two six-inch-diameter cake pans with 2-inch-high sides with parchment paper. Coat parchment paper and pan sides with nonstick spray. Whisk flour, baking soda, salt, and sugar in a large bowl to blend well. Whisk strawberries, oil, vanilla extract, and coconut milk together in small bowl to blend well, then whisk into the flour mixture until well blended. Whisk in lemon juice and stir quickly. Transfer cake batter to prepared pan and bake cakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 25-30 minutes. Cool cake completely in pan on rack, about 1 hour. Cut around sides of pan to loosen. Turn cake out onto platter; peel off parchment paper. Let cool completely, then place in the fridge to chill until very cold to make slicing easier. When chilled, slice cakes horizontally in half so that you have 4 layers.
To make frosting, beat cream cheese in a large bowl until very fluffy and smooth, Then beat in remaining ingredients until well blended. Add enough red food coloring to tint the frosting pink. 

To assemble cake, place a layer of cake on a plate, and spoon a heaping 1/2 cup frosting over, almost to the sides, then top with 2 Tbsp jam, and another cake layer and repeat. Top with another cake layer, another frosting layer, jam layer then the top cake layer. Spread the frosting over the top and the sides of the cake, then spoon about 2-3 Tbsp jam onto the top of the cake and spread to about 1 inch from the sides.  Place remaining frosting in a pastry bag, and pipe some of it decoratively on top of the cake and at the base.  Chill the cake at least a few hours to set filling before serving.
*My jam recipe: http://fragrantvanillacake.blogspot.com/2011/04/vanilla-scented-strawberry-agave-jam.html





*if you would like a 4 layer 9 inch cake, double this entire recipe and bake in two 9 inch cake pans.










By Fragrant Vanilla Cake





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