Earlier this month, the beautiful Bubba Belle ‘came of age’ and turned the big 18. She’s going to hate me for it, but here’s a pic of the little darlin’… Well, this was her 8 years ago, anyway!

Happy birthday, Belle!

So Belle is not only a gorgeous young lady, but also a passionate one. See, she’s a strict vegan staunch defender of every animal on the planet. Which is very admirable, but makes it very difficult to bake her a speccy 18th birthday cake… And so to my friend Google for some advice!

One of my most favourite cakes is the red velvet cake. It has a moist texture, a slight chocolate flavour and the bestest frosting in the world – cream cheese! The problem is, red velvet cake has many animal-derived ingredients – butter, eggs, milk, cream cheese and red food dye (which apparently is made from beetles…). Always up for a challenge, I decided to find a suitably animal-free version of the cake (of which there were many). Unfortunately, none were to my liking (read: none involved creaming a butter-substitute and sugar as a first step), so I decided to adapt a few recipes to form my own.  And might I say, very successfully!

Vegan Red Velvet with De-Animalised Cream Cheese Frosting
2/3 cup vegan margarine (I used Nuttelex)
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2tsp vanilla
440g white flour
10g bicarb soda
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp cocoa
Just under 2 cups unflavoured almond milk (you could use soy or rice milk too)
2Tbsp vegan red or pink food colouring (alternatively, fresh beetroot juice can be used, but not from canned beets!)
30mL of red wine or white balsamic vinegar

1. Grease 2 x 20cm cake tins and line the bottoms with baking paper. Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
2. Cream Nuttelex and sugar, then add vanilla. Mix until sugar has dissolved as much as possible.
3. Sift all dry ingredients. Fold all dry and wet ingredients into the butter mixture.
4. Divide mixture between the 2 tins and bake until cooked through – should take about 40min.
5. Cool on racks. While cooling, make frosting:

Frosting (this stuff is so tasty we made ourselves sick on the leftovers – tastes 100% non-vegan, but promise it is!)
1 tub Tofutti soy cream cheese (or other vegan cream cheese)
1/2 cup Nuttelex
2 cups pure icing sugar, sifted (plus extra if the icing doesn’t thicken)
A squeeze of lemon juice

1. Beat Tofutti and Nuttelex until well combined.
2. Add icing sugar, a third at a time, beating well in between each addition.
3. Add lemon juice and beat well.
4. Put a layer of frosting between the 2 cakes, then use the rest to ice the cake.

I topped the cake with vegan-friendly chopped pecans (although I was tempted to use 100’s and 1000’s – good job I didn’t! Apparently there are animal products in them…). The end result?

Belle’s Vegan Cake

Red Velvety Goodness!

Happy baking!
Lyn x