Whenever I entertain, whether it's a birthday party, dinner party, or even a play date, one of the first questions I ask after making an invite is, "Does anyone in your family have food allergies or sensitivities?"
I'm particularly cognisant of allergies when it comes to children. In the presence of a towering chocolate cake or a sprinkle-filled cupcake allergies are easily forgotten. So my solution is simple, just make a delectable dessert catered to specific dietary needs. That way everyone can enjoy, and the EpiPen and Benadryl stay put in the medicine cabinet.
Not all chocolate cakes are created equally. I've probably made four or five dozen different chocolate cake recipes, and I know what I'm looking for when I eat or create a chocolate cake. It has to be a rich, deep chocolaty flavor with a moist and tender crumb. So, when setting out to make a dairy-free version, I was apprehensive.
In the end, I think it turned out amazing. Even without the diary, this cake and frosting pack such a serious chocolate punch that the butter and cream you would find in most recipes isn't even missed.This cake definitely earned a permanent place in my dessert repertoire.
The resident budding baker and taste tester in our house also weighed in with resounding approval. While rocking her beaded headband, she proclaimed her love for the cake as she scarfed down a substantial chunk.
The cake was such a hit in my house that before I could repurpose leftover cake the entire confection disappeared (mainly into my husbands tummy as breakfast and dessert over three consecutive days).
Dairy-Free Chocolate Cake
Adapated From Sweetapolita's Chocolate Cake
2 1/2 cups plus 1 tbs (330g) all-purpose flour
3 cups (600g) granulated sugar
1 cup plus 1 tbs (135g) cocoa powder
1 tbs baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
3 eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups soy, almond, or rice milk
1 1/2 tbs white vinegar
1 1/2 cups strong black coffee, hot
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 tbs vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare three, 9 inch cake pans by lining each of them with parchment paper, buttering them, and dusting them with flour.
Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bow of a mixer.
Combine the non-dairy milk, vinegar, coffee, oil, vanilla extract in a medium bowl. Beat in the eggs.
With the mixer on low, carefully combine the dry ingredients. Slowly add the wet ingredients while continuing to mix on low speed in order to prevent the batter from splattering out of the bowl. Mix until combined. The batter will be very thin.
Divide the batter equally between the three prepared pans. Bake for about 30 minutes, rotating pans half way through baking.
Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes before inverting the pans to release the cakes. Allow the cakes to cool completely before frosting.
Yields three, 9-inch cakes
Dairy Free Chocolate Frosting
2 cups Earth Balance or another non-dairy, non-hydrogenated butter substitute, softened
7 cups confectioners' sugar
1 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 tbs vanilla extract
1/2 cup soy, almond, or rice milk
Sift the confectioners' sugar and cocoa in a large bowl.
In the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter for a few minutes until it is creamy.
Add the dry ingredients to the butter.
In a small bowl mix the non-dairy milk, vanilla, and the salt until the salt is dissolved. Add the mixture to the mixer. Mix until a creamy, smooth texture is achieved.