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Amazingly Awesome (vegan, healthy) Yellow Cake

I wanted to share a recipe for cake.  I know this is under ‘Simple Eating’, but trust me… this sure isn’t hard.   Really I think it is a great shame that we have box cakes.  I think they taste yucky and, because of them, most people have never tried to make a cake from scratch or are afraid to try.

Trust me, it isn’t hard and it is sooo worth it.  Not only does it taste better it is healthier and there is no goofy, fake ingredients in it.  I will walk you through it, we will do it together 🙂

This recipe started from Better Homes and Gardens New Baking book… and I have adapted to make it vegan and healthier.

First assemble the ingredients and set oven to 375 degrees.

  • 1 cup unbleached white flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp flax seeds ground
  • 1/4 cup oil (I use canola)
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar (you can use brown or other natural sugars or use less than this if you want)
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 3/4 cups milk (soy, almond, rice, whatever your prefer)

Next put some oil on the pan and then dust flour over the oil (I used some butter… sorry to the die hard vegans, it works fine without it, it was just what I grabbed).  Put about 1 tbsp of white flour in the pan and then shake it around till it covers bottom and sides and then dump out the extra.

Not a very exciting picture… but you get the idea.

Next mix the dry ingredients.  This is the flours, baking powder, salt and ground flax seed (not the sugar…even though it is dry).

Next, in another bowl mix the sugar, oil and vanilla.

Measure out the milk and add about 1/2 cup to mixture to make it runny (as shown above).

Alternate adding about about 1/2 to 1 cup of dry ingredients and mixing and then adding some milk to thin it back out until all the dry and milk are mixed in.  Milk, mix, dry, mix, repeat.

Then divide into the two cake pans.  Let mixture sit for 15 minutes.  This lets the whole wheat flour soak up some moisture.

Bake at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes or until the toothpick inserted comes out clean or you tap it on the top and it is firm.

 

Let cool for 10 minutes and then pull out of pans.

There you have it.  Isn’t it beautiful!  And the house now smells awesome.  You have now done what an embarrassingly small percent of women ever try, you have successfully baked a cake from scratch.

Let it cool for an hour or more and then you are ready to frost.  This recipe can also be made into cupcakes, it only takes about 20 minutes (or less so watch them close) to bake them.

Ok, so I cheated here too.  I frosted it with whipped cream.  I really dislike the super sweet gritty frosting and really like the whipped cream taste with the yellow cake.  Maybe sometime I will make up my chocolate version, I have a good vegan chocolate frosting that is super good.  This cake was for Grandma’s birthday.  Happy Birthday Grandma!

26 Comments

  1. I have not had a lot of success making my own cakes. I mean, they taste good, but I can’t seem to get past the dry crumbly cake, and what I want is moist. I have tried pastry flour, barely mixing the wet and dry ingredients, under cooking. None of it seems to matter! This cake looks delicious! I might have to give it a try 🙂

    • Heather, the ‘made-from-scratch’ cakes have a different texture. Mine never come out the super fluffy or springy that a box cake does, but I like the… more breadish texture (maybe would describe it). It shouldn’t be too crumbly. The flax is in here to help hold it together. If you still have trouble and want to add wheat flour you can also add some straight gluten flour as part of the wheat flour. It also has a binding effect.

    • Chris Chris

      I wonder whether you’d have better luck with cake flours or plain flours rather than pastry flour.

  2. Yum! I once heard you should “beat the hell” out of the batter for a better result. I think it was for cakes. Hmmm…maybe I should go make a cake and test it out. 😉 Thanks for sharing.

    • hum, I know that beating sugar and butter needs to be really good, but I always believed that when the flour goes in it needs to be beaten as little as possible. Let me know how it turns out!

  3. Chloe Chloe

    The last ingredient is milk, milk is NOT vegan! I’m fine with substituting soy milk for cows milk but don’t list something as vegan if it clearly isn’t!

    • oops 🙂 Thanks! I use soy milk. I updated the recipe to be more clear. Thanks for coming by 🙂

  4. Carolyn Carolyn

    This looks like a good recipe, but without a picture of a slice, showing the “crumb,” I hesitate to try it. I’ve had to tweak vegan recipes too many times in an effort to overcome the gumminess of so many vegan cakes. BTW, no need to use butter. Earth Balance makes a great product which is vegan.

    • It is heavier and a bit more crummy. I have found it comes close to what it would do if I made the cake from scratch using dairy. They never come out tasting or feeling like the boxed cake mixes. I much prefer the homemade texture, but it is not what is common now. I will remember to get a picture of a slice next time. On the crumbs I find using flax seeds helps a lot. It holds stuff together.

  5. I haven’t tried your cake, but reading through the recipe, I have several suggestions. The flaxmeal (golden so there are no flecks) works wonderfully for replacing eggs, too much will make the cake dry and crumbly. Usually a Tbs. is sufficient. Whole-wheat pastry flour would be better than the regular whole-wheat when it comes to tenderness.

    A Tbls. of lemon juice will also help the raising. If all your ingredients are cold (I usually put them in the fridge for an hour or so before combining the dry and wet) your cake will be much lighter.

    It is best to not over-mix after combining the wet and dry, putting the pan immediately into a preheated oven. The warmth and beating diminish the raising power of the baking powder. So does age, so buy your baking powder in small containers and don’t use it if it gets old. When using eggs, people don’t notice the difference much, but for vegans it is important.

    Your cake looks very good and I plan on trying it this week with the tweaks I suggested. I’ve been vegan for 32 years and love everything that pertains to natural foods. Keep cooking and sharing.

    • Heather, Thanks so much for your suggestions! I will try it that way 🙂

  6. i made your cake this morning and it turned out beautiful!! I took your suggested option and cut the sugar to 1 cup as we will be eating it with fresh strawberries and ice cream. Thanks again.

    • yum 🙂 Do you have a good vegan ice cream recipe? We make it a few different ways but I am always looking for more ice cream 🙂

  7. Geraldo Rayas Geraldo Rayas

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  8. Jane Pray Jane Pray

    Thanks so much for sharing this recipe! After reading all the comments I made the following modifications:

    2 cups whole wheat pastry flour instead of above flours
    1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce instead of oil
    1 1/4 cup coconut palm sugar
    1 tbsp lemon juice
    I meant to decrease the flax to 1 tbsp but forgot as I was adding it so used 2 tbsp as you suggested

    It came out light & fluffy & delicious. We all loved it! Best part was my 7 year old daughter gave it thumbs up!
    So thanks for the inspiration & guidance!

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  11. Gail Gail

    I’ve tried baking this cake and it’s not coming out right. 2 1/2 tsp of baking powder seems a lot. Is that 2teaspoons plus 1/2 tsp of baking powder?

  12. Gail Gail

    Also can I use Rice flour instead of white and wheat flour?

    • Gail, you are right about the 2 tsp plus 1/2 tsp of baking powder. I don’t think you can substitute rice flour for the wheat because of the gluten content. When I have tried to use rice flour things don’t seem to hold together well. I know there are some tricks to using rice flour, but I am not sure what they are.

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  14. Christine Christine

    Made your cake this afternoon. Delicious! A little more dense than I had expected, especially since I was out of wheat flour and subbed all white flour. Might be my new favorite cake!

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