Thursday, October 25, 2012

Baking Experiment! White Cake Recipe

Although I am not vegan, I do have a pretty serious milk allergy so I need to avoid milk at all costs.   Otherwise, it's crying in a corner for three days with intense gastrointestinal distress.   I don't want to do that, again.  It's basically like having food poisoning for three days.  Not fun. 

So, I've been learning about all sorts of milk and dairy substitutes from vegan websites.  It's been immensely helpful.  However, since I also have a corn allergy, sometimes I have to get very creative.   It means I've been baking a lot ever since back in March when I figured out that the reason for most of my problems was butter.  Grr....

Today, I wanted to try to bake a white cake.   Baking one from scratch isn't very hard and it makes sure that you know EXACTLY what is in it.   You wouldn't believe what is in a cake mix box....

I found this recipe on that looked really good:

  • 1 cup white sugar

  • 1/2 cup butter

  • 2 eggs

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1/2 cup milk
The problem is that I can't have butter, I need to make my own baking powder unless I buy the special stuff at the organic market and I can't have milk.  To add to the fun of this experiment, I decided to make it vegan which means no eggs either.

Here's what I used instead:

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup of Coconut Spread
  • 4 tablespoons of applesauce
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose organic King Arthur's flour (it's much better than the other generic stuff I get at the store)
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons of my baking powder (1/2 baking soda, 1/4 cream of tartar, 1/4 arrowroot powder)
  • 1/2 cup of Vanilla Almond milk

I followed the rest of the directions but with the subsitutes:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9x9 inch pan or line a muffin pan with paper liners.
  2. In a medium bowl, cream together the sugar and butter. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Combine flour and baking powder, add to the creamed mixture and mix well. Finally stir in the milk until batter is smooth. Pour or spoon batter into the prepared pan.
  3. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes in the preheated oven. For cupcakes, bake 20 to 25 minutes. Cake is done when it springs back to the touch.

Let me just say I'm baking it now but I tried the batter. YUM!!!  I really hope that the cake is fluffy and not flat.  The batter itself (no eggs so take that FDA!) was absolutely delicious.  I was worried because I've never used the coconut spread before however, based solely upon the taste of the batter, I think I need to buy stock in the stuff.   It didn't taste like coconut at all.  I did taste the apple sauce a bit - it was spiced apple sauce- but really, it's a fall cake.   It's fine.  Spicy cinnamon sorta white looking cake is still perfectly edible. 

I've used the almond milk many times before.  I got addicted to the stuff back in Feb and March when I was doing the Lenten Medieval diet thing to figure.   It's great to make hot chocolate with.  :-)   The baking powder is something I read up on online.   A lot of baking powder is just baking soda with cornstarch.  Since I have a corn intolerance (it's a borderline allergy really but I can have a small amount without my system going out of wack), I can't have the cornstarch.  There are some cornstarch free baking powders available but making my own is a lot cheaper.   It's easy to make; just shift together a mixture that is 1/2 baking soda, 1/4 arrowroot powder, and 1/4 cream of tartar.   I have a nice big plastic cup of the stuff right now that should last me through the New Year. 

I promise a follow up post on how the cake actually tastes.  I'm taking it to work tomorrow so we'll see how everyone at work reacts.  :-)

EDIT: I used this recipe for the vegan chocolate icing because what is white cake without chocolate icing?


  • 2 cups organic powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup (½ stick) dairy-free soy margarine, softened
  • ¼ cup plain unsweetened almond milk or soymilk
  • ¾ cup unsweetened pure cocoa powder
  • ½ t. vanilla


1. In a medium-large mixing bowl, using an electric hand mixer, cream the powdered sugar with the soy margarine until mixture is thick but well combined. Add the almond milk, cocoa powder and vanilla, and continue to mix until smooth.

I used the coconut spread rather than soy margarine party because it's what I had on hand but also because the soy margarine has corn in it.   The coconut spread doesn't which is why I decided to try it to begin with.

I've iced the cake now using this recipe for chocolate icing.  Oh my!  If you like dark chocolate fudge, then you will LOVE this.   It's ridiculously yummy.   Seriously, if my dairy allergy disappeared tomorrow, I don't think I could go back to normal icing after this.    It's very thick, creamy, and tastes like fudge.    I hope the guys at work like it too!