Monday, October 15, 2012

Fit For a Princess: Vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate Zebra Cake with Peanut Butter Cream Frosting

We're halfway through Vegan MoFo, and still going strong! Have you found something deliciously new this month?

Before I forget, please, please, pretty please go to this link and VOTE for my blog in the Circle of Moms Top 25 Food Allergy Moms blog contest! No registration required -- just a click! Remember, you can vote once EVERY 24 hours. The contest is winding down, and as a late nomination, I could use some help getting into the Top 25. Thank you!

Princess came home for her birthday weekend. I couldn't be more proud of that young lady... She's anxiously waiting to hear back on her applications to vet school, working, finishing her senior year at university with a major in Wildlife Ecology. It's a marvel to me that I had a hand in producing this amazing human being!

Anyway, for her 22nd birthday, I asked her what kind of cake she wanted. "Chocolate!" she said, which wasn't a big surprise. That girl loves her chocolate. Who doesn't?! "And," she added, "could you make that peanut butter cream frosting you did that one time?"

Ah, yes... That one time. See, it was The Dude's birthday, and our family was spending the weekend at Birch Bay. Our hotel room had a kitchen, so I'd packed everything I'd need to make a fabulous cake and frosting -- with the exception of the vegan margarine, which I didn't want to hassle with chilling during the several-hours-long drive. I figured I'd just pick some up at the local grocery when we arrived.

Except... none of the local groceries HAD vegan margarine. How was I going to make a creamy vegan frosting, with no margarine? I scanned our grocery booty, and spotted the creamy peanut butter. Hey, I thought, margarine is basically just fat, and peanut butter is full of fat. I wonder... It didn't have the exact consistency I wanted, but it worked well enough to cover the cake.

This time, I solved the consistency problem by adding a bit of margarine to make it even creamier and "buttery."

I was all prepared to mix up two layers of chocolate cake when inspiration struck. What if... What if I put peanut butter IN the cake?!

The result was a zebra-striped peanut butter and chocolate cake, and it was divine. The technique to produce zebra stripes in the cake is easy-peasy, and you can find many, many tutorials online, if my photos and description leave anything to be desired.

Happy baking!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Zebra Cake with Peanut Butter Cream Frosting

Peanut Butter Cake Ingredients:

1 1/2 c. unbleached flour
1 c. cane juice crystals or natural sugar (I use Zulka)
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. fine sea salt
1 c. cold water
1/2 c. creamy peanut butter
1 T. vanilla
2 T. lemon juice

Chocolate Cake Ingredients:

1 2/3 c. unbleached flour
1 c. cane juice crystals or natural sugar (I use Zulka)
1/4 c. cocoa powder
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. fine sea salt
1 c. cold strong coffee or espresso or water
1/3 c. canola or olive oil
1 t. apple cider vinegar
1/2 t. vanilla extract

Peanut Butter Cream Frosting

1/2 c. vegan stick margarine
2/3 c. creamy peanut butter
1 lb. vegan powdered sugar
1/8 - 1/4 c. vanilla soy milk

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl or with your stand mixer, combine the following Peanut Butter Cake ingredients: flour, cane juice crystals, baking soda, and salt, stirring until well-combined.

Blend in cold water, peanut butter, vanilla and lemon juice. Beat until light, airy and creamy.

Set aside batter and begin Chocolate Cake:

In a large mixing bowl or with your stand mixer, combine the following Chocolate Cake Ingredients: flour, cane juice crystals, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt, stirring until well-combined.

Blend in coffee or water, oil, vinegar and vanilla. Beat until light, airy and creamy.

Grease and flour two 8-inch round cake pans.

Tip #1: Spray pans with non-stick cooking spray and use a paper towel to evenly disperse the spray over the pans' surfaces, then dust with flour.

Tip #2: Cut two waxed paper circles just smaller than the bottom of the pans, then insert into bottom of pans before pouring batter. Make sure to smooth out any air bubbles before filling. The waxed paper will ensure easy removal when the cakes are turned out.

Pour 1/4 cup Peanut Butter Cake batter into the center of the first pan, and 1/4 cup Chocolate Cake batter into the center of the second pan.

Pour 1/4 cup Chocolate Cake batter directly on top of Peanut Butter Cake batter in first pan, and 1/4 cup Peanut Butter Cake batter on top of Chocolate Cake batter in second pan.

Continue adding 1/4 cup of alternating batter into each pan until all batter is dispersed, and the batter has "smooshed" out to fill the edges of the pan.

On a flat surface, spin each cake pan to push the batter even farther out to the edges. The center of the cake tends to rise more than the edges, so this will help produce a more even cake top.

Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until cakes pull away from edges of pan and a toothpick inserted into the middle of each cake comes out clean.

Allow cakes to cool for 10-15 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack.

While cakes are cooling, make your frosting:

With a hand mixer or stand mixer, cream together margarine and peanut butter until smooth and creamy.

Add powdered sugar, turning mixer down to low speed, and blend in. The mixture will be a bit dry and crumbly -- don't freak.

Add 1/8 cup soy milk and blend in. If you want your frosting softer and lighter, blend in soy milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, until frosting reaches desired consistency.

Return to cooled cakes. Remove wax paper (if used) from bottoms of cakes and flip one onto a serving plate or covered cake circle. Using a serrated knife, carefully level the cake.

Fill a decorator's bag with frosting and pipe a thick border around the top of the leveled cake. I use a Wilton #21 star tip for this.

Spoon out a generous amount of frosting into center of cake and spread a thick layer to the piped border. This will be your cake "filling."

Flip the second cake and place directly on top of first cake. Using your serrated knife, level off the second cake.

Cover the entire cake with a crumb coat and chill for 30-45 minutes.

To cover the cake, I used my Wilton #21 star tip and a decorator's bag to pipe random scrolls onto the top and sides of the cake.

Note: I actually ended up using one-and-a-half batches of Peanut Butter Cream frosting.

Princess picked out her own candles. I must say, I agree with her selection, as she's certainly a STAR!

(Cross-posted to The Gonzo Mama)

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  1. That is one amazing looking cake. You had me at peanut butter.

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  3. I made this cake yesterday and it was great. Best Vegan cake i've ever made. Only cooked it for 25 or 30 minutes and it was perfect. Thanks for the recipe

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