I have never liked chocolate cake, up until maybe five years ago. The first time I can ever remember eating a chocolate cake and liking it was when we made a flourless chocolate cake for my friend’s birthday in college and topped it with peanut butter frosting thicker than the cake. I think that recipe should be next.
Now, I’ve always been #teamcake but #teamchocolatecake? No way, Jose. I think because I associate chocolate cake with that sheet cake you get from the bakery that has 75% frosting that just kind of makes your teeth and stomach hurt simultaneously as soon as you put it in your mouth.
This cake, this cake my friends is definitely not the cake mentioned above. This cake is rich, and moist, and fluffy and my new go-to for chocolate cake. It’s sweetened a decent amount of sugar and uses olive oil instead of butter. What’s not to love? I also took this opportunity to practice decorating cakes since I offered to make my friend’s wedding cake for her and her soon to be husband in May. I’m definitely, totally, definitely not nervous at all about it. Definitely.
Also, you need to use dutch processed cocoa in this recipe. I spent a great deal of time on the interwebs trying to figure out what changes when you used unsweetened cocoa verses dutch process and to save you that time I am telling you that you need to use dutch processed cocoa. K? Okay.
Oh, and remember that mulled wine recipe from a few weeks ago? Well you can put it in the frosting. That is, if you even have any left. You can also use a (non-mulled) red wine with a little orange zest if you so wish to do so. Got some kiddos? I’m sorry. No, actually you can substitute for something berry-ish like raspberry or blueberry puree by mashing up berries and reducing them slightly over the stove with a little sugar. I did something very similar here, for this frosting. If you’re feeling really lazy you could add some coffee instead of wine which is basically the opposite of this recipe but sounds very delicious. Chocolate would also work. Although I’m very fond of wine, berries, chocolate, and coffee so this is becoming a real toss up for me.
VEGAN OLIVE OIL CHOCOLATE CAKE WITH RED WINE FROSTING
Author: Dana Zychowski
Active Time: 60 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours, give or take
Servings: 12-16 slices of cake
Recipe Type: Dessert
for the cake:
- 2 cup non dairy milk
- 2 TBSP apple cider vinegar
- 2 cup organic cane sugar
- 2/3 cup olive oil
- 1 TBSP vanilla extract
- 2 3/4 cups + 2 TBSP all purpose flour (basically 3 cups minus 2 TBSP)
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 6 TBSP dutch processed cocoa
- 1 tsp salt
for the frosting:
- 1/4 cup vegan butter substitute, like Earth Balance
- 1/4 cup organic vegetable shortening
- 1/4 cup mulled red wine
- 3 1/2 – 4 cups organic powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Prepare two 8″ round cake pans by greasing them with shortening and “flouring” with cocoa powder. You may also line the bottom with parchment paper. See method #3 here.
Combine the non dairy milk and apple cider vinegar together in a medium to large sized bowl. Whisk vigorously for about a minute and set aside for 5-10 minutes. Combine your dry ingredients (flour, cocoa, salt, and baking powder) in a medium bowl and whisk together.
Add the remaining ingredients (olive oil, sugar, and vanilla extract) to the milk and apple cider vinegar and whisk to combine. It should come together very easily, and there will be a little oil separation. Whisk the dry ingredients into this bowl next in 1/2 cup increments, being careful not to over mix.
Distribute the batter evenly between the two pans and tap them lightly on the counter before baking for 45-55 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. The sides of the cake will also start to pull away from the pan. Depending on the strength of your oven it may be done closer to 45 minutes so keep an eye on it.
VERY IMPORTANT: When you remove the cakes from the oven, allow them to cool for about fives minutes before flipping them onto a cooling rack to cool. The cakes MUST cool ENTIRELY before frosting them. You can make the cakes up to a week ahead of time and store them flat in the freezer wrapped in plastic wrap. If it is any longer, make sure you also cover them in tinfoil. I do not recommend storing them in the freezer longer than one month.
For the frosting, use a stand mixer or a hand mixer to cream the butter and shortening together for about five minutes on medium high speed. The mixture will be a little fluffy, but less so than if you were using dairy butter. Add the powdered sugar and mix on low speed until combined. Finally, add the wine and mix on low until well combined. Mix on medium high speed for 5-7 minutes until the frosting appears light and whipped. Depending on your desired consistency, you may add powdered sugar in 1-2 TBSP increments (I like mine a little thicker).
To assemble, place bottom layer on an even surface and apply layer of frosting. Place second layer on top and apply a second layer of frosting. I wanted a “naked” look so I applied a minimal amount of frosting to the outside, just enough to fill between the two layers and coat the sides of the cake. If you would like a thicker layer on the outside, use about 1/3 of the frosting for each layer. If you are going for a look similar to the one shown in this post, opt to use a little more in between layers as the recipe allows. Store in plastic wrap on the counter for up to two days or in the fridge for up to 5 days.