Yesterday was my fiancé’s birthday and for his special day, I just had to make him an amazingly special cake. He loves strawberry-cheese flavored things so I decided I would make him a strawberry chia-infused layer cake with cream cheese icing 🙂
I spent days searching for strawberry cake recipes, ruling out most because like me, my fiancé has an exhaustively long list of food allergies. After going back and forth between a few different cake recipes, I finally settled on one…a vegan, gluten free version of the traditional strawberry shortcake. When I made the cake according to the recipe I’d found, I was disappointed to discover it was a big fail. The consistency of the mix…just wasn’t right. This cake I had made just wasn’t holding together, and I had no clue how I could fix it. I added a little flour and it was still not good! I was so frustrated but I had to think of something fast, my fiancé was due home in a couple of hours. I was feeling extremely achy, nauseated and exhausted the whole day (regular symptoms of mycotoxicosis), so I was working at a snail’s pace. I have to say, I was tempted to just give up and go the cake mix in a box route, but I just couldn’t do that! Plus, I didn’t have any gluten free cake mix on hand anyhoo. My mind was set, I had to make a wonderful, simple cake for my darling. I summoned up the little energy I had and started all over again from scratch. I improvised as I went along hoping that this cake would not be another disappointment, and actually taste good! For my egg substitute I decided to use chia seeds since they’re so nutritious, and well, since I had them. I wanted the cake to be as strawberry as it could be so I added 2 containers of fresh organic strawberries to the cakes. I chose a cream cheese icing sweetened with dates, since my darling doesn’t like sweet-as-can-be icing like me. Since I was rushed for time, I went back to trusty Pinterest for the frosting recipe (I never know if I should say icing or frosting, but I shall try and stick with frosting), and found this healthy Cream Cheese Frosting recipe, which turned out a little chunky since I didn’t use a food processor. My fiancé liked the cream cheese frosting better than I did…it just wasn’t sweet enough to please my super sweet lovin tastebuds. This cake would have been to die for if I had used my very own Vanilla Buttercream Frosting instead (but that couuld be me being biased ;)) Regardless of the frosting, the end result was pretty darn delicious, both my fiancé and I ate 2 huuge slices. I’m pleased to say we all concluded that my cake was indeed a success, thank goodness!! The birthday boy loved his cake, and to me, that made all the hard work worth it! 😀
Strawberry Chia Layer Cake
Vegan, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free, Soy-Free optional
Yield: Two 8″ cakes:
4 1/2 cups gluten free all purpose flour
3 cups vegan cane sugar
1/2 cup chia seeds, ground or whole
5 1/4 tsp gluten free baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 3/4 cups fresh strawberries
2 cups vegan milk of choice
1 1/2 cups extra virgin olive oil or vegan butter (coconut oil should work too)
1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350° and grease two 8-9 inch baking pans.
In a large bowl, add flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder and mix with an electric beater on low setting/speed until blended well.
Puree 1 3/4 cups of organic fresh strawberries in a blender or in a food processor.
In a separate bowl, mix together chia seeds with milk and let sit for about 5 minutes.
Add strawberry puree and melted butter into the dry mixture, and gradually add your chia-milk mixture as you blend with an electric beater on medium setting for about 3 minutes, or until mixture is smooth and thick.
Evenly distribute your cake batter between both pans and bake for 60 minutes.
When your cakes are a light brown/dark golden in color, and you can stick a toothpick through the middle and it comes out clean, they’re done.
Let your cakes cool for at least 30 mins.
Place sliced strawberries in the middle of the two cakes and assemble by gently placing one cake on top of the other.
Frost with this healthy Date-Sweetened Cream Cheese Frosting, my classic Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting, or any topping of your choice (or go topless ;))
Finally, decorate your cake with fresh cut strawberries and enjoy!