Cakes / Dessert

Well, it IS vegan!

Yeah, so today is my birthday and since the boys are away, I invited the girls over to play…or rather, I would play with my cool presents and they would bring sushi and seaweed salad and keep me company.   The presents?  Well, let’s just say I feel so accomplished, having finally joined the Kitchenaid Cult.  Oh and the bundt pan!  Funky fun design for the amazing cake I’m about to bake…Lemon Coconut Bundt Cake, vegan of course.

lemons

I chose to work from a Veganomicon recipe because I found about a zillion rave reviews for it by others who baked before me.  My adaptations were minor and tested by others.  What I’m really in search of is an excellent lemon bundt recipe…no coconut, just lemon, moist and not too sweet…like the lemon cake at our favorite Chicago coffee shop (Oh how we miss you, J. Bean!).  Alas, for my first bundt in forever, I decided to do a recipe with a following, despite the coconut.  I love coconut anyway and wanted this cake to be a success.  It is my birthday, and the birthday of Veganishy, after all.

IMG_20130325_201727

OMG, the mixer –  so cool!  Well it was after I realized why the sugar and oil weren’t moving [it helps to attach the mixing paddle].  The batter looked and smelled lovely – like the cakes I used to bake when I was young.  After an hour, the tester inserted in the middle of the cake came out clean – we were just 10 cooling minutes away from the big reveal!

cooling

The cake released perfectly from the pan – I was worried.  I don’t have shortening or spray so I used coconut oil to grease the pan – worked like a charm.  I drizzled on a simple glaze of confectioners sugar and lemon juice, sprinkled the leftover zest and viola!  Picture perfect Lemon Coconut Bundt Cake.

cake

I grabbed the knife and sliced through the perfectly crisp outer crust once, twice, transferred the first piece to the plate and WHAT?!  It was raw.  Not just in the very middle as in it needed a few more minutes in the oven – I’m talking raw from edge to edge despite that wonderful crust.  See?

raw

Then it happened.  You knew it would.  People can’t resist.  In her beautiful Italian accent, the master pizza and cupcake baker said it…”Well, it IS vegan“.   Ouch.  Betcha never heard that one before, right?   Being a good friend and fellow meat shunner made it a bit easier to take this time and I only transformed into Defensive Debby for a minute [or two, and thankfully my big sister grew out of her ‘lets see how long it takes to make Mary cry’ stage long ago and stayed silent while babying the cat].  Ugh!  Raw!

Established vegans know it is not the lack of dairy and eggs that caused this cake to be raw…many many have had success with this very recipe.  No, something else had to be wrong, but I still have no idea what.  Did I mis-measure something when I paused to let the dog out, answer the phone, let the dog in, or feed the cat to stop the meowing?   If my oven temperature was off, I wouldn’t expect the rawness to be so expansive…or maybe?

After my friends talked me down from the ledge, we put our heads together to figure out how to save the cake.  We were afraid putting it back in the pan would create a burnt crust by the time the center cooked, so the ever-reasonable Scientist suggested slicing it and baking it into cake toast…hmmm…it could work.

Except it didn’t.

toast

Now I’m wondering if all of the raves about how moist this cake was related to its rawness and maybe I didn’t do anything wrong at all?   If you try it, let me know how it works for you.  Please don’t let my fail deter you from baking this cake – seriously, I found many online who had great success with it.  Everyone liked the flavor and The Italian actually took a slice home, promising to keep my shameful result hidden from her chef husband.

I will not give up. I will succeed at this cake thing. I have a Kitchenaid and a bundt pan mocking me until I do.

                                                                                                                                                                                                             

Lemon Coconut Bundt Cake

1 1/3 c. sugar
2/3 c. oil
1 14 oz. can coconut milk
1/2 c. lemon juice
3 T. lemon zest
2 t. pure vanilla extract
3 c. all-purpose flour
2 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1 t. salt
1 1/2 c. shredded unsweetened coconut 
Preheat oven to 350.  Oil/grease and flour bundt pan.  In a large mixing bowl, stir together sugar, oil, coconut milk, lemon juice, zest and vanilla.  Sift dry ingredients together and add to the wet in batches, mixing well before each addition.  Fold in coconut.  Pour batter into prepared pan.  Using a silicone scrapper, push the batter up the sides slightly and then tap the pan on the counter to remove air bubbles.  Bake for 1  hour, until a tester (toothpick, knife, fork, your choice) comes out clean.  Remove from oven and let cool in the pan for 10 minutes.  Flip onto a plate and remove pan to cool completely.   Now you can fancy it up with a simple glaze, powdered sugar or fresh fruit.  Slice and enjoy!
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2 thoughts on “Well, it IS vegan!

  1. LOL!! Mary–you made me smile! This made for a highly entertaining read, albeit embarrassing for you. I have no idea what you may have done wrong, but I’ll have to try out that recipe. Huh. I have had trouble with bundt cake pans a few times in the past as well. Somehow, because they’re so big, it is difficult for the cake in the middle of it to bake evenly. Seems like I had this happen to me a few years ago with a vegan bundt cake as well. Take heart! You’re not the only one. 😉 Happy belated Birthday!!

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