Are you looking for a delicious and healthy alternative to traditional cake? A vegan strawberry cake might be just what you need. Not only is this cake made using only plant-based ingredients, but it’s also infused with the sweet and tangy flavor of fresh strawberries. In this article, we will show you how to make a vegan strawberry cake from scratch and offer tips for perfecting your baking skills.
Why choose a vegan cake?
There are many reasons why someone might choose to make a vegan cake. Perhaps you have a dietary restriction, or maybe you are trying to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle. Whatever your reason, vegan cakes are a great way to enjoy the sweetness and satisfaction of cake without any of the guilt. Vegan cakes are also better for the environment. Animal agriculture is a major contributor to climate change, and by choosing plant-based ingredients, you are reducing your carbon footprint.
In addition to being better for the environment, vegan cakes can also be healthier for you. Many traditional cake recipes call for ingredients like butter, eggs, and milk, which can be high in saturated fat and cholesterol. Vegan cakes, on the other hand, often use healthier alternatives like coconut oil, applesauce, and almond milk. These ingredients can provide the same rich and moist texture as traditional cakes, but without the negative health effects.
The nutritional benefits of strawberries
Not only are strawberries delicious, but they are also packed with essential vitamins and nutrients. Strawberries are high in vitamin C, which boosts the immune system, helps heal wounds, and promotes healthy skin. They are also a good source of fiber, which aids digestion and keeps you feeling full for longer. Strawberries are also low in calories, so you can enjoy them guilt-free!
In addition to their high vitamin C and fiber content, strawberries are also rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants help protect the body from damage caused by free radicals, which can contribute to the development of chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease. Eating strawberries regularly can help reduce the risk of these diseases.
Furthermore, strawberries contain a compound called ellagic acid, which has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties. Inflammation is a natural response of the body to injury or infection, but chronic inflammation can contribute to the development of many diseases. By including strawberries in your diet, you can help reduce inflammation and promote overall health.
Ingredients you will need for a vegan strawberry cake
Before you can start baking, you will need to gather your ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need:
- 2 cups of all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups of granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons of baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 1/2 cup of vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup of unsweetened plant-based milk (such as almond or soy milk)
- 1/2 cup of strawberry puree
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
Make sure to have all your ingredients measured out and ready to go before you start mixing your cake batter.
The difference between vegan and non-vegan cakes
You might be wondering what the difference is between a vegan cake and a non-vegan cake. The main difference is that vegan cakes do not contain any animal products, such as eggs, butter, or milk. Instead, vegan cakes use plant-based substitutes, such as applesauce or flaxseed, to create the structure and texture of the cake.
Another difference between vegan and non-vegan cakes is the nutritional value. Vegan cakes tend to be lower in saturated fat and cholesterol, making them a healthier option. Additionally, vegan cakes often contain more fiber and nutrients from the plant-based ingredients used. However, it’s important to note that not all vegan cakes are necessarily healthier than non-vegan cakes, as they can still contain high amounts of sugar and refined flour.
How to make vegan substitutes for common cake ingredients
Here are some common ingredients in non-vegan cakes, along with vegan substitutes:
- Eggs – applesauce, banana, tofu, flaxseed, chia seeds
- Butter – vegan margarine, coconut oil, avocado
- Milk – plant-based milk, such as almond, soy, or oat milk
Experimenting with these substitutes is a great way to make your baking more eco-friendly while still enjoying your favorite desserts.
Another great substitute for eggs in vegan baking is aquafaba, which is the liquid from a can of chickpeas. It can be whipped into a foam and used as a replacement for egg whites in recipes like meringues and macarons.
For a healthier alternative to white sugar, try using maple syrup, agave nectar, or coconut sugar. These natural sweeteners are lower on the glycemic index and provide additional nutrients.
Tips for baking a perfect vegan cake
Baking a vegan cake can be tricky, but with these tips, you’ll be well on your way to success:
- Make sure all your ingredients are room temperature before mixing
- Sift your flour to prevent clumps
- Don’t overmix your batter, as this can make your cake tough
- Use acidic ingredients, such as vinegar or lemon juice, to help the cake rise
- Grease your cake pan well to prevent sticking
Another important tip for baking a perfect vegan cake is to use a plant-based milk, such as almond milk or soy milk, instead of dairy milk. This not only makes the cake vegan-friendly, but also adds a unique flavor to the cake. Additionally, you can experiment with different types of sweeteners, such as maple syrup or agave nectar, to add a natural sweetness to your cake.
Preparing the strawberry puree for the cake batter
To make the strawberry puree, simply blend fresh strawberries in a blender or food processor until they reach a smooth consistency. Make sure to measure out 1/2 a cup of puree for the recipe. You can also add a pinch of sugar or a squeeze of lemon juice for extra flavor.
Once you have prepared the strawberry puree, you can store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. This makes it easy to prepare the puree in advance and use it when you are ready to bake the cake.
Another great way to use the strawberry puree is to make a delicious strawberry glaze for the cake. Simply mix the puree with powdered sugar and a little bit of milk until you reach the desired consistency. Drizzle the glaze over the cooled cake and enjoy!
Perfecting the texture of your vegan strawberry cake batter
To make the cake batter, start by mixing the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients until they are well combined. Slowly pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, stirring gently until everything is incorporated. Add the strawberry puree and mix well until the batter is smooth and pink.
One important factor in perfecting the texture of your vegan strawberry cake batter is to not overmix the batter. Overmixing can cause the cake to become tough and dense. Once the wet and dry ingredients are combined, mix just until everything is incorporated and then stop.
Another tip for achieving the perfect texture is to let the batter rest for a few minutes before baking. This allows the ingredients to fully hydrate and can result in a lighter, fluffier cake. After mixing the batter, let it sit for 5-10 minutes before pouring it into the cake pan and baking.
Baking your vegan strawberry cake to perfection
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and grease a 9-inch cake pan. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth out the top with a spatula. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the cake cool completely before removing it from the pan.
For an extra burst of flavor, consider adding a layer of sliced fresh strawberries between the cake layers or on top of the cake before serving. You can also make a simple glaze by mixing powdered sugar and strawberry puree and drizzling it over the cooled cake. This vegan strawberry cake is perfect for any occasion and is sure to impress your guests!
Making a vegan whipped cream frosting for your cake
For the frosting, you can use a store-bought vegan whipped cream or make your own using coconut cream. Simply refrigerate a can of full-fat coconut milk overnight, then scoop out the solid cream that has risen to the top. Whip the cream with a whisk or hand mixer until it forms stiff peaks. Add a few tablespoons of powdered sugar and a splash of vanilla extract for flavor.
If you want to add some color to your frosting, you can use natural food coloring made from fruits and vegetables. For example, you can blend some fresh strawberries or raspberries and strain the juice to use as a pink or red coloring. Alternatively, you can use matcha powder for a green tint or cocoa powder for a chocolate flavor.
Another option for a vegan frosting is to use aquafaba, which is the liquid from a can of chickpeas. Whip the aquafaba with cream of tartar and powdered sugar until it forms stiff peaks, then add vanilla extract or other flavorings. This method creates a light and fluffy frosting that is also low in fat and calories.
Decorating your vegan strawberry cake with fresh strawberries
To decorate your cake, slice fresh strawberries and arrange them on top of the frosting. You can also add extra strawberry puree or drizzle melted vegan chocolate on top for an extra treat.
Another option for decorating your vegan strawberry cake is to create a strawberry glaze. Simply blend fresh strawberries with powdered sugar and a splash of lemon juice until smooth. Drizzle the glaze over the top of the cake and let it set before serving. This will add a burst of fresh strawberry flavor to your cake and make it even more delicious.
Serving and storing your vegan strawberry cake
Serve your cake at room temperature with a dollop of whipped cream and a few fresh strawberries. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
If you want to freeze your vegan strawberry cake, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and store it in the freezer for up to 2 months. When you’re ready to eat it, let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight before serving.
For an extra burst of flavor, try adding a layer of sliced strawberries in between the cake layers. You can also experiment with different types of frosting, such as a vegan cream cheese frosting or a coconut whipped cream frosting.
Variations on the classic vegan strawberry cake recipe
Feel free to experiment with different types of fruit or frosting flavors to suit your taste. You can also try adding nuts, spices, or extracts to the batter for extra complexity.
Another way to switch up the classic vegan strawberry cake recipe is to try using different types of flour. For example, you could use almond flour or coconut flour for a gluten-free option, or whole wheat flour for a heartier texture. Additionally, you can try substituting the sugar with honey or maple syrup for a different flavor profile.
Frequently asked questions about making a vegan strawberry cake
Here are some common questions people have about making a vegan strawberry cake:
- Can I use frozen strawberries?
- Can I use a different type of milk?
- Can I use a different type of oil?
Yes, just thaw them before pureeing.
Yes, any plant-based milk will work.
Yes, any liquid oil, such as canola or olive oil, will work.
With these tips and tricks, you’ll be well on your way to making a delicious and healthy vegan strawberry cake. Give it a try and let us know how it turns out!