Friday, April 3, 2015

Vegan blueberry cinnamon swirl layer cake

vegan blueberry cinnamon swirl layer cake

I don’t know what it is about me and holidays, but for some peculiar reason I can never get my seasonal goodies in on time. Take my pathetically late king cake for Mardi Gras. Or the strangely winter-ish peppermint mocha cake I posted a couple days ago. In fact, one of the first recipes I posted was for pumpkin spice latte muffins—delicious, but a bit incongruous considering that it was spring at the time.

This time around, I tried my hardest to get ass in gear and post some Easter-friendly recipes. I broke out my copy of the Bouchon Bakery Cookbook and (attempted) to whip up Thomas Keller’s recipe for hot cross buns, the British favorite often eaten this time of year. The result? Meh. They were delicious, I’ll admit, but they did not look or feel the way they should have. Kind of disappointing considering all the work that went into them. Of course, the workload was to be expected—Mr. Keller doesn’t skimp on extra steps like folding dough or kneading it in an electric mixer for half an hour.

Long story short, I do not have a hot cross bun recipe for you today. What I do have is a nice little layer cake. 

Which may or may not be appropriate for the season.

Being limited by time and ingredients, I figured that I would try out a blueberry swirl layer cake from Decorated by April Carter, a cookbook I recently acquired. It’s really a terrific-looking cookbook, with lots of beautiful photographs and helpful cake-decorating tips and inspiring recipes. This happens to be the first recipe I’ve actually tried (the rest I’ve just gawked at).

How is it, you say? Quite excellent. Blueberries and cinnamon are a sublime combination, and they work wonderfully in this cake. My only error was to plop all the blueberry filing in the center of each cake, which lead to a little bit of sinkage during baking. I would recommend sticking the filling at the bottom of the cakes and then swirling the batter around with a knife. You might get a better-looking result.

But whatever you do, you’ll have a delicious cake on your hands, and that’s all that matters. I’ll have you know that I brought this cake to school, given that our Easter / Passover long weekend was imminent, and everyone loved it. Maybe they were just biting their tongues, but no one mentioned any kind of “off” taste due to the vegan ingredients I use, like coconut oil and flaxseed. (Looking at you, Mom. *cough*)

Anyway. Here’s the recipe.


Vegan blueberry cinnamon swirl layer cake

Adapted from Decorated


Blueberry puree

175 grams • blueberries • 6 ounces

2 grams • cinnamon • 1 teaspoon

24 grams • granulated sugar • 2 tablespoons

15 grams • water • 1 tablespoon

Cake batter

250 grams • coconut oil, softened • 9 ounces

400 grams • granulated sugar • 2 cups

16 grams • Ener-g egg replacer • 2 tablespoons

13 grams • flaxseed meal • 2 tablespoons

180 grams • water • ¾ cup

375 grams • all-purpose flour • 3 cups

8 grams • baking powder • 2 teaspoons

Pinch salt

195 grams • nondairy milk • ¾ cup plus 1 tablespoon

4 grams • vanilla extract • 1 teaspoon

Vanilla buttercream

40 grams • cashews • ¼ cup

112 grams • coconut oil, softened • ½ cup

50 grams • non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening • ¼ cup

22 grams • corn syrup • 1 tablespoon

12 grams • vanilla extract • 1 tablespoon

2 grams • kosher salt • ½ teaspoon

200 grams • powdered sugar • 1 2/3 cups


Preheat oven to 335 degrees F. Grease two 8-inch round cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment.

To make blueberry puree, start by combining blueberries, cinnamon, sugar, and water in a small saucepan. Cook, stirring consistently, over medium heat until blueberries are soft. Remove from heat and let cool while you make cake.

Combine coconut oil and sugar in the bowl of an electric stand mixer and cream until fluffy. In a separate bowl, combine Ener-g egg replacer, flaxseed, and water; let stand until thickened. With mixer on medium-low speed, slowly stream in flax mixture. Beat until well-combined.

Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl. In a measuring cup, combine milk and vanilla extract. Add half of the flour mixture to the stand mixer and mix until just combined; add milk, mix to combine, followed by the rest of the flour. Mix until thoroughly combined—do not over-mix.

Divide the blueberry mixture between pans; top with cake batter. Using a knife, swirl the blueberries and cake batter together a little bit. Bake for about 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
To make frosting, soak cashews in water for at least 4 hours. Drain soaked cashews and place in a blender; blend until as smooth as possible. Set aside.

Place coconut oil and shortening in the bowl of an electric stand mixer; beat until smooth. Add cashews and beat once more. Add corn syrup, vanilla, and salt and mix. With mixer on low speed, spoon in powdered sugar. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy.

To complete cake, simply fill the cake with vanilla frosting and frost the top and sides. Slice and munch.


Admittedly not my prettiest cake.

Oh, and I almost forgot—the frosting recipe is actually from the Momofuku Milk Bar cookbook. I could have made the basic buttercream in Decorated, but I really wanted to show you the amazingness that is Christina Tosi’s shortening and cream cheese (here I used cashews) filled frosting. It’s probably the closest thing to meringue buttercream I’ve made without using animal products: fluffy, sweet, easily spread. I highly recommend making it in the near future.

And yesterday’s post, I’ll admit, was a super lame April Fool’s joke. Please forgive my penchant for stupid jokes.

Aaaand here are some other blueberry-infused recipes for you, Easter-friendly or not.

Finnish baked pancake with blueberry chia jam. You need to try this pancake. It’s a real treat.

Blueberry muffins with cinnamon pecan streusel. Nothing like a classic muffin.

Baked French toast with blueberry crisp topping. A deliciously easy breakfast.

Finnish blueberry-filled buns. Sweet and light bread filled with fresh blueberries—what’s not to love?


  1. You are not the only one who is off-season as there was another recipe in my blog feed that featured blueberries and cinnamon as well. Plus, y'know, blueberries and cinnamon never go wrong anyway, always hit the spot :D This cake looks fantasmic, as always, you wee star! x

    1. Aw, thank you! I always wanted to be a wee star :3