Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Recipe : Non-Dairy, Egg-Free Birthday Cake

We're fighting with a bit of a dairy intolerance around here... we've mostly sorted it out but we do run into a few problems with things like birthdays.  Obviously a store-bought cake is out, as is an ice cream cake... and some cake recipes are fussy about being doctored.  So.... Divvies to the rescue!!  The Divvies Bakery Cookbook - "No Nuts, No Eggs, No Dairy, Just Delicious!"    Do check it out - the treats are many and varied and if today's birthday cake was any indication, they are also very, very good!  Besides plenty of desserts for your family, there are ideas for parties and holidays, plus loads of goodies in here that would be great for taking to class parties, bake sales and pot lucks.

This cake turned out to be not overly sweet, with a great texture that held together well and frosted easily without crumbling all over the place.  It's going in the 'keeper' file!!

Divvies Famous Chocolate Cupcakes

1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
5 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp white vinegar
1 1/4 cups water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a 12-well cupcake pan with paper liners.

In a mixing bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt together until well combined; do not sift.  Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl combine the vegetable oil, vinegar and water and blend with an electric mixer on medium speed.

Add the dry ingredients to the liquid ingredients and mix until very smooth, scraping batter from the sides and bottom of bowl with a spatula.  Continue to mix until all the ingredients are well incorporated.  This batter will be more watery than typical cake batters.

Pour the batter into the lined cupcake pan, filling each well about three-quarters full.

Bake the cupcakes for 25 minutes on the center rack of the preheated oven.  After 12 minutes, rotate the pan to ensure even baking.  Remove the cupcake pan from the oven and immediately transfer the cupcakes to a wire cooling rack - this is very important as it allows excess moisture to evaporate from the bottom of the paper baking cups.

As is obvious from the picture, I made this as a cake instead of cupcakes.  It baked up fine in the same amount of time with two 8" cake pans about half-filled with batter.  Grease the pans well, and remove from the pans before too long otherwise it will stick a bit.   And oh - the green?  That was the whim of a six year old who wanted mint frosting in her cake.  ;)

Chocolate Frosting  (makes 2 1/4 cups)

2 cups icing sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/8 tsp salt
1 cup dairy-free margarine
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup soy or rice milk

Whisk together the icing sugar, cocoa and salt.  Set aside.

Cream the margarine and vanilla in a mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed.

Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl with a spatula, then add the sugar mixture 1/2 cup at a time, and at the same time, the milk 1 tbsp at a time.  Continue beating on medium speed until all the ingredients are well incorporated and the frosting is smooth and creamy.  If you prefer a thinner consistency, add more milk, a teaspoon at a time.

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