If you’re a vegan with a sweet tooth, you might find it difficult to indulge in your favorite desserts, like cakes. But what if I told you there’s a way to enjoy the luscious and creamy taste of caramel cake without sacrificing your principles? In this article, we’ll show you how to create a delicious and cruelty-free vegan caramel cake that will satisfy your cravings and impress your friends and family.
Why choose a vegan caramel cake?
Choosing a vegan cake means that you’re not only avoiding dairy and eggs, but also contributing to a more sustainable and ethical food system. Traditional animal-based agriculture contributes to greenhouse gas emissions, water pollution, and deforestation. Additionally, vegan cakes can be just as delicious and indulgent as their non-vegan counterparts, while also being healthier and lower in saturated fat and cholesterol.
Another benefit of choosing a vegan caramel cake is that it can accommodate a variety of dietary restrictions. For example, those who are lactose intolerant or have a milk allergy can enjoy this dessert without any issues. It’s also a great option for those who follow a kosher or halal diet, as it doesn’t contain any animal products.
Finally, by choosing a vegan caramel cake, you’re supporting small businesses and independent bakers who specialize in vegan desserts. These businesses often use high-quality, organic ingredients and prioritize sustainability in their production methods. By supporting them, you’re contributing to a more diverse and ethical food industry.
What ingredients do you need to make a vegan caramel cake?
For the cake:
- 2 cups of all-purpose flour
- 1 cup of granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons of baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 1 cup of unsweetened non-dairy milk (e.g. almond, soy, or oat milk)
- 1/2 cup of vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
For the caramel sauce:
- 1 cup of granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup of water
- 1/2 cup of unsweetened non-dairy cream (e.g. coconut cream or soy cream)
- 2 tablespoons of vegan butter or margarine
- 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
To make the cake, preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and grease a 9-inch cake pan. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, mix together the non-dairy milk, vegetable oil, apple cider vinegar, and vanilla extract. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until well combined. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Step-by-step instructions for making the cake batter
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Grease two 9-inch (23-cm) round cake pans with non-stick cooking spray or vegan butter and dust with flour to prevent sticking.
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Mix well.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the non-dairy milk, vegetable oil, apple cider vinegar, and vanilla extract until smooth.
4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Do not overmix, or your cake may become tough.
5. Divide the batter evenly among the two prepared pans and smooth the surface with a spatula.
6. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
7. Let the cakes cool in the pans for 10 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
8. Once the cakes have cooled, you can begin to decorate them with your favorite frosting or toppings. You can use a classic buttercream frosting, a vegan cream cheese frosting, or even a whipped coconut cream frosting for a dairy-free option.
9. If you want to add some extra flavor to your cake, you can also try adding in some spices like cinnamon or nutmeg to the batter. You can also mix in some chopped nuts, chocolate chips, or dried fruit for added texture and flavor.
Tips for creating the perfect vegan caramel sauce
1. Use a heavy-bottomed pot to prevent burning.
2. Stir the sugar and water together before heating to dissolve the sugar and prevent crystallization.
3. Cook the sugar over medium heat, swirling the pot occasionally, until it turns a deep amber color.
4. Remove the pot from the heat and carefully add the non-dairy cream, vegan butter, and sea salt. The mixture will bubble vigorously, so be cautious.
5. Whisk everything together until well incorporated.
6. Let the caramel sauce cool before using it to frost your cake.
7. If you want to add a unique flavor to your vegan caramel sauce, try adding a teaspoon of vanilla extract or a tablespoon of bourbon. These additions will give your caramel sauce a delicious twist that will impress your guests.
How to assemble and frost your cake
1. Level the cake layers using a serrated knife.
2. Place one layer on a cake stand or plate and spread a thin layer of caramel sauce on top using a spatula.
3. Place the second layer on top of the first and spread more caramel sauce on top.
4. Use the remaining caramel sauce to frost the sides of the cake, smoothing it out with a spatula.
5. To add some extra flavor and texture, you can sprinkle some chopped nuts or chocolate chips on top of the caramel sauce before adding the second layer of cake.
6. If you want to make your cake even more decadent, you can add a layer of whipped cream or cream cheese frosting between the cake layers. Simply spread a thin layer of the frosting on top of the caramel sauce before adding the second layer of cake.
Ideas for decorating your vegan caramel cake
You can decorate your cake with various toppings, such as:
- Nuts (e.g. almonds, pecans, or walnuts)
- Chocolate chips
- Fresh fruit (e.g. strawberries, raspberries, or blueberries)
Another great way to decorate your vegan caramel cake is by using vegan whipped cream. You can pipe the whipped cream on top of the cake and add some fresh fruit or nuts on top for an extra touch. Another option is to drizzle some vegan caramel sauce on top of the cake for a more decadent look. Whatever you choose, make sure to use vegan ingredients to keep your cake completely plant-based.
Variations on the classic vegan caramel cake recipe
You can adapt this recipe to your taste by:
- Adding spices, such as cinnamon or nutmeg, to the cake batter or caramel sauce.
- Using different extracts, such as almond or coconut, to flavor the cake or frosting.
- Replacing some of the flour with cocoa powder for a chocolate caramel cake.
- Adding coconut flakes or chopped dates to the cake batter.
Another way to customize this vegan caramel cake recipe is by adding a layer of fruit between the cake layers. Sliced bananas, strawberries, or even caramelized apples can add a delicious twist to the classic recipe. You can also experiment with different types of nuts, such as pecans or walnuts, to add a crunchy texture to the cake or frosting. Don’t be afraid to get creative and make this recipe your own!
How to store your vegan caramel cake
You can store your cake in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To prevent the caramel sauce from sticking to the container, cover the cake with a layer of wax paper or parchment paper before sealing the container. Alternatively, you can freeze the unfrosted cake layers for up to 1 month and thaw them before frosting and decorating.
It is important to note that if you choose to freeze the cake layers, you should wrap them tightly in plastic wrap before placing them in the freezer. This will help prevent freezer burn and keep the cake fresh. When you are ready to use the frozen cake layers, simply remove them from the freezer and let them thaw at room temperature for a few hours before frosting and decorating.
If you have leftover cake that you don’t plan on eating within 3 days, you can also consider donating it to a local food bank or shelter. Many organizations accept donations of baked goods, and it can be a great way to reduce food waste and help those in need.
Frequently asked questions about making a vegan caramel cake
Q: Can I use gluten-free flour instead of all-purpose flour?
A: Yes, you can use a gluten-free flour blend, but be aware that the texture of the cake may be different.
Q: Can I use a different non-dairy milk than the one recommended in the recipe?
A: Yes, you can use any non-dairy milk that you prefer, as long as it’s unsweetened.
Q: Can I halve the recipe if I only want to make one layer of cake?
A: Yes, you can divide the ingredients by half to make a single layer of cake. Adjust the baking time accordingly.
Vegan substitutes for traditional baking ingredients
Baking without eggs, butter, and milk may seem daunting, but there are many plant-based alternatives that can work just as well:
- Applesauce, mashed bananas, or pumpkin puree can replace eggs in cakes and muffins.
- Vegan butter or margarine can replace dairy butter in recipes.
- Coconut cream or soy cream can replace heavy cream in sauces and frostings.
- Non-dairy milk can replace traditional milk in almost any recipe.
The health benefits of choosing a plant-based diet
Aside from being kinder to animals and the environment, a plant-based diet can have numerous health benefits, such as:
- Reducing the risk of heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure.
- Lowering the risk of certain cancers, such as colon, breast, and prostate cancer.
- Improving digestion and preventing constipation.
- Providing essential vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin C, iron, and calcium.
- Helping with weight loss and weight management.
Vegan dessert recipes to try after making your caramel cake
If you’re craving more vegan sweets, try these recipes:
- Chocolate avocado mousse
- Vegan chocolate chip cookies
- Banana bread with walnuts
- Peanut butter blondies
- Strawberry shortcake cupcakes
How to make a gluten-free version of this recipe
To make a gluten-free vegan caramel cake, you can use a gluten-free flour blend instead of all-purpose flour. Make sure the blend contains xanthan gum or another binding agent to prevent the cake from being crumbly. Also, check the labels of your non-dairy milk and caramel sauce ingredients to make sure they’re gluten-free.
Creative ways to repurpose leftover caramel sauce
Don’t let leftover caramel sauce go to waste! Here are some ideas:
- Drizzle it over ice cream or pancakes.
- Mix it into your coffee or hot chocolate for a sweet and cozy treat.
- Spread it on toast or muffins instead of jam.
- Use it as a dip for fruit or pretzels.
There you have it, your ultimate guide to making a vegan caramel cake. We hope you enjoy this recipe and feel inspired to try more plant-based desserts. Don’t forget to share your creations with us!