Happy Birthday to Us! Happy Birthday to us!! Come and celebrate The Vegan Larder's first Birthday with this deliciously green Vegan Spinach & Cardamom Celebration Cake.
Yes, that's right, it's ONE year since we started to send out our Vegan Larder Subscription boxes. We can't quite believe how quickly the time has flown and how much we have learnt on the way. The past year has been quite epic! We've tried and tested all kinds of recipes, created a vegan wedding menu for a lovely venue, held a talk at The Hospital Club, hung out at loads of vegan events and were even nominated as 'Best Food Subscription Box by the Independant. All in one short year!
But why on earth have we decided to make a cake with spinach to celebrate? Are we mad!? I mean, it's a GREEN cake!!
We're not mad. Stick with us.. The inspiration for this cake came from one of our best ever recipes, Super Delicious Carrot Cake with Aquafaba
The carrot cake blog post has had a recent little face lift (go take a look) and when I was making it to photograph I remembered just how delicious it is & thought, well if this recipe is great, how can I use it as a building block for other equally delicious cakes?
One of the key's to its success is the carrot element. It adds a delicious moistness (ya- I hate that word too, but that's the word to use) I initially had thought to maybe try beetroot, or maybe even sweet potato to replicate that element. But then I started to think about our lovely green logo, and thought it would be nice to have a green cake. Which then led me to wonder if carrot can taste delicious in a cake, maybe something green, like, I don't know spinach would work?
And you know, I think we have all been missing out all these years because it turns out, that spinach is the perfect thing to add to a cake. Yes it's green. Which is a bit strange, but it tastes AMAZING. So there.
Now, one of the joys of carrot cake is the spicing. But I didn't want to use the same spices, because then it would be just carrot cake, but green. So instead I added cardamom because I feel like it's quite a 'green' fresh flavour but it is also quite warm and comforting at the same time. Originally I thought it would work to infuse the pods in the spinach while cooking it, but that wasn't enough of a punch, so ended up grinding the pods in my mortar & pestle instead. By all means use pre-ground cardamom, I just didn't happen to have any!
You could easily make this cake without icing or frosting, but as it's our birthday, I decided to make a lemon buttercream. We usually tend to avoid buttercream, mostly because vegan 'butter' tends to be made with palm oil (which we avoid), but this time we went all out & used my favourite 'Naturali' vegan butter, which is a) delicious and b) palm oil free.
Final disclaimer: I used frozen spinach. I keep some on hand for adding to soups & stews as a quick added extra bit of green. 230 grams of frozen spinach gave me 200g weight once it was thawed, cooked & squeezed out. If you want to use fresh spinach, you will need roughly ½ kilo of fresh for 200g.
Now. Back to the Birthday bit. I took this cake along to a friends birthday after blowing out our celebratory candle and the verdict was that it is utterly delicious.
So. I hope to make spinach cake as much a part of the cake scene as carrot cake is. Help me out. Spread the word!
P.S.--We have two AWESOME offers to celebrate being ONE!!
Use code BDAYGIFT5 - for £5 off Deluxe gift box or our Gourmet Choc Box
Or treat yourself to our amazing Subscription boxes: Use code BDAYSUB10 for £10 off your first subscription box!
Vegan Spinach & Cardamom Celebration Cake
- Cake tin
For accuracy, I measure all ingredients in metric as standard, then convert and test the recipe for American cup measurements etc.
(Heads up Aussie and UK readers- your measurements in cups are sometimes different, so please use metric or check you have the correct cup and spoon type!!)
- 150 ml (⅔ cup) sunflower oil (or other neutral oil such as light olive oil)
- 15 tablespoon (1 cup) aquafaba (chickpea water) (this is the equivilant to the liquid from a 400g standard tin/can of chickpeas)
- 225 g (1 cup) caster sugar
- 230 g (1½ cups) frozen spinach (or half kilo of fresh. You want 200g total weight when finished)
- 300 g (1¾ cups) all-purpose flour
- 3 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
For the Lemon Buttercream
- 100 g (¼ cups + 3 tbsp) vegan margarine/butter
- 200 g (1½ cups) icing sugar / powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon lemon oil
- Grease two 20cm round sandwich tins and line the bases of the cake tin with baking parchment. Preheat the oven to 180°C / 350°F / Gas Mark 4.
- Steam the spinach on the stove until it is unfrozen (if using frozen) or wilted (if using fresh).
- Give the spinach a good squeeze to remove excess water, then whizz it up in your blended until smooth.
- Whisk the oil, aquafaba, and sugar until the mixture is well combined, lighter, and noticeably thickened.
- Fold the blended spinach into the aquafaba & sugar mixture until it is completely mixed.
- Gently fold in the flour & baking powder & mix until combined.
- Evenly divide the mixture into the two tins.
- Pop in the oven and bake for 35-40 mins. Test with a skewer to see if it is cooked through. If it comes out clean, it's ready to take out of the oven. If it comes out a little gooey, leave the cake in for another 5 mins.
- Cool the cake in it's tin for 10 mins, then turn out onto a cake rack.
For the Buttercream
- Using a whisk, whizz up the vegan butter/margarine, sugar and lemon oil until it is floofy (technical term)
- Sandwich the cake together with the buttercream. Add fresh berried if you would like! Top with more buttercream & extra berries.