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30 recipes down, 223 days to go

Monday, October 19th.

Another family birthday. Another cake. This time a double chocolate one, for my chocolate-loving sister.

It was a bit of a disaster...


- double-layer chocolate fudge cake + Chocolate Buttercream Frosting -

Oh She Glows

When I told my family I was making this cake for my sister's birthday, they made fun of me. I have a reputation in my family for healthifying all desserts, and thus they can be quite skeptical when it comes to my creations. They were questioning me if it had any black beans in it. I'd made black bean brownies a while ago. "How about some spinach?"

Believe me, I told them, this was the real deal. Normal all-purpose flour (and whole wheat pastry flour!), normal cane sugar. Just vegan.

I was excited for this one; I was certain it would turn out delicious and it would be something special for my little sister.

I was making a full cake this time (see past post of carrot cake I made for my mom's birthday). I had to make it the day of her birthday.

This presented a bit of a challenge. I had softball conditioning that night, and wouldn't get back home until around 7:15 pm. And then I had to shower immediately, before doing anything else. I figured it would be too late to make it then. My sister couldn't stay up that late to eat it.

So I decided to make it before I left.

The only problem was, I didn't leave myself enough time.

I was stressed and rushed, trying to get the cake in the oven before I had to leave. Only once I'd put it in the oven, finally, did I find something terrible...

I saw... the 2/3 cup of coconut oil I had heated up still sitting on the counter! It had gotten hidden behind all the ingredients. In my hurry, I had forgotten to combine it in with the other liquids. I can't even express how devastated I was.

It's 2/3 cup of oil for pete's sake! It's not like it is just some puny 2 tablespoons or other. 2/3 damn cup.

That was all I could think about sitting in the car, driving to conditioning that night. While the cake with the missing ingredient baked in the oven.

"Is my perfect cake ruined?" Who knows little sis, we'll just have to wait and see...

I wasn't there to see how it turned out. One of my family members was the one taking it out of the oven.

That was another problem. The cake would have to cool for the hour and a half until I got home in its pan. It was supposed to be removed and placed on a cooling rack after 20 minutes. I should have asked someone to do this, but I was afraid the cake wouldn't look like a cake anymore if one of my family members attempted to transfer it.

I should have asked.

The cake with the missing liquid cooked even longer. Not good.

I wasn't able to do anything regarding the cake when I got home because after I showered, I had to join everyone outside for dinner. My grandma had came, and we had ordered California Pizza Kitchen. We sat social distanced of course.

After dinner, I still had to make the frosting and frost the cake. My family was standing, watching in the kitchen while I was beating all the ingredients. This was the first time I had used vegan butter. I got the Earth Balance brand that was recommended.

I had thought about using normal butter for the frosting, but I wanted the full vegan experience, no shortcut. Vegan butter it was.

It was stressful having everyone watching me. Waiting. I could sense their impatience. But they still waited.

Moving the cake to the cake stand, I could feel that the cake was hard, harder than a cake should be. The edges of the cake were especially hard—from sitting in their pans, I realized. I swallowed my disappointment and went ahead with coating both layers and the perimeter with the frosting.

It looked very professional, and my dad complimented me. My sister got the slice of honor in the picture.

It tasted mediocre. Probably because of the missing oil, it didn't have the fluffy texture that makes the best cakes.

The saving grace was the frosting. It was really good. My brother even remarked, "The frosting is high quality stuff."

Angela Liddon had written about this cake, "this chocolaty delight is the cake I make most often for birthdays and other special events. It's always a hit with kids and adults alike and it's a great dessert to show the skeptics that vegan desserts can taste even better than traditional desserts! In fact, my mom says this is the best chocolate cake she has ever made, vegan or otherwise."

I was looking for something a bit more special. I was sad that night of how it turned out, and I was still upset with myself for forgetting the coconut oil.

I think I'll have to give this another shot for another occasion, to see if the coconut oil makes the difference. It deserves a more fair shot.


I'd thought I had been wrong to make a full cake this time. Surprisingly, the leftover cake tasted better than it did that night. Cold, from the refrigerator, it was still dense, but it had a little bit of a fudgy quality to it. This was called a fudge cake. It ended up all being eaten by the Friday, and I enjoyed another piece or two.

I'll probably look back and laugh at the coconut oil incident. It wasn't all that bad. Anyways, happy birthday sister!

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