In the supposed words of Marie Antoinette “Let them eat cake” (actually, she never uttered the words even though they’re attributed to her), I say enjoy your meatless Monday by consuming vegan desserts – all day if possible. And since there’s no actual claims as to who made this statement, I declare:

“Let them eat Vegan Red Velvet Cake” ~Lita

Well, except the actual cake I made isn’t really red (because there’s something about red velvet cake being red that freaks me out).

Basically, there’s nothing completely factual so far about this post…except that it IS a meatless Monday post (though I’m actually beginning this Sunday evening – lies, lies, lies – please forgive me).

Anyways, I finally made this vegan red velvet cake that I saw posted on The Daily Green web site – and so far it has rave reviews. Though the only piece eaten has been consumed by Mimi who would rave about almost anything with sugar in it – especially as it’s Lent and today is a “free” day from her Lenten sacrifices. Nonetheless, I’m happy to report, she devoured a healthy size piece and licked the plate clean.

It was also simply to make – a bonus. And, yes, that statement IS true. Here’s the recipe:

For Cake Batter:
3 1/2 cups (440 g) unbleached all-purpose or whole-wheat pastry flour
1 1/2 cups (300 g) granulated sugar
2 teaspoons (9 g) baking soda
1 teaspoon (6 g) salt
2 teaspoons (9 g) cocoa powder
2 cups (470 ml) nondairy milk (soy, rice, almond, hazelnut, hemp, or oat)
2/3 cup (155 ml) canola oil
3 tablespoons (45 ml) red food coloring
2 tablespoons (30 ml) distilled white vinegar
2 teaspoons (10 ml) vanilla extract
Ground pecans, for topping (optional)

For Buttercream Frosting:
1/2 cup (112 g) nondairy, nonhydrogenated butter (such as Earth Balance), at room temperature
3 cups (300 g) confectioners’ sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons (8 ml) vanilla extract
2 tablespoons (30 ml) nondairy milk (soy, rice, almond, hazelnut, hemp, or oat) or water
Assorted food colors (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F; (180 degrees C, or gas mark 4). Lightly oil two 8-inch (20 cm) round cake pans.

To make the batter, in a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and cocoa powder. Create a well in the center, and add milk, oil, food coloring, vinegar and vanilla, and mix until thoroughly combined.

Divide cake batter evenly between prepared cake pans. Place pans in the oven spaced evenly apart. Bake for about 35 minutes, rotating 45 degrees halfway through. When the cakes pull away from the side of the pans and a toothpick inserted into the center of each comes out clean, they are ready.

Let cakes cool for 10 minutes in the pans, then run a knife around the edges to loosen them from the sides. One at a time, invert cakes onto a plate and then reinvert onto a cooling rack, rounded-sides up. Let cool completely.

To make the frosting, with an electric hand or stand mixer, cream butter until it is smooth and begins to fluff. With the mixer on low speed, add confectioners’ sugar and fluff for another few minutes. Add vanilla, milk and food coloring (if using).

Once all ingredients are well-combined, beat on high until frosting is light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Add 1 or 2 tablespoons more milk to achieve the right consistency. Cover the icing with plastic wrap to prevent it from drying out until ready to use. Rewhip before using.

To frost cake, place one layer, rounded-side down, on a plate or cake stand. Using a palette knife or offset spatula, spread some frosting over top of cake. Carefully set other layer on top, rounded-side down, and repeat. Cover entire cake with remaining frosting. If desired, sprinkle with pecans.

Excerpted from The Vegan Table by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau. © Fair Winds Press 2009