Vegan Red Berry Tiramisu Cake
Regardless of it being vegan, this Vegan Red Berry Tiramisu Cake is getting me in the mode for spring. Despite the fact that the strawberries are from Florida, the mere sight of bright red berries inspired me to make something different: light, fruity—and yes vegan.
I had come across this vegan-red berry-tiramisu thing from Chef Chloe, winner of a Cupcake Wars episode way back in 2011. An acquaintance working in Chloe’s as-of-2015 newly opened store, had some overflow. Trying the cupcake definitely opened me up to vegan vanilla cakes. I know vegan isn’t ‘bad,’ but I think people misuse vegan products. When I worked in retail, I cannot count how many times customers assumed that vegan equated to fewer calories. Vegan was blatantly being falsely perceived as diet food.
I had made vegan products and the past this Vegan Red Berry Tiramisu Cake has a very good crumb. Vegan baked goods can be one of two things: overly greasy or severely dehydrated. The vegan red berry tiramisu cake comes together like a pancake batter. Slightly soupy, with lumps and bumps, it looked like I made a mistake. Under-beating this batter is crucial. I tried this both in a stand mixer and by hand. The stand mixer batter (though silky and smooth raw) baked up tough and rubbery. The hand beaten batter (though lumpy) baked up moist and bouncy.
Initially meant to be cupcakes, I tested the limits of this recipe. I made a single, double, and triple batches all for 8-inch cake pans. While these cupcakes can be controverted into cakes. A double batch is the absolute threshold for this recipe. When tripled the leaveners got super funky and it ended up being both burned and under baked at the same time.
I am not an immense fan of vegan frostings, I dislike the overly fatty mouth feel shortening can leave in your mouth. Plus I like the actual taste of butter. I followed the recipe but in the future I’d honestly just make a non-vegan frosting. I ain’t restricted but for this blog post it’d seem sort of dumb to do a partially-vegan cake.
Since seasonality was at play I did a mixture of raspberries and strawberries. If you’re thinking of a different berry, I’d definitely suggest having one portion of the berries being raspberries. The tartness of these berries cuts through the amaretto and decadent frosting of this Vegan Red Berry Tiramisu Cake.
- For the Soak:
- 1/3 cup amarreto
- 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
- 2 tablespoons water
- For the Cake:
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 ½ teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon fine salt
- 1 ½ cups soy, almond, or rice milk (I used unsweetened vanilla almond)
- 1 cup canola oil
- 4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- For the Raspberry Filling:
- 1 12-oz bag frozen raspberries, dethawed
- 1 pint strawberries, halved, quartered, and tops removed
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- For the Frosting:
- 3 tablespoons instant espresso powder
- 1/4 cup amaretto liquor
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups vegan shortening substitue
- 6 cups powdered sugar, sifted
- Combine the ameretto, espresso powder, and water in a bowl until combine. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray two 8-inch cake pans with cooking spray line with parchment and spray parchment, set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt.
- In a separate large bowl, whisk together nondairy milk, oil, vinegar, and vanilla.
- Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and whisk until just combined.Do not overmix. It’s okay if there are lumps in the batter.
- Bake for 18 to 25 minutes until the edges begin to brown and the center is still a little moist.
- Remove from the oven, let cool for 10 to 20 minutes in the pans before removing to cool completely. Pour the soak onto the two cake layers. Let the soak seep in. Refrigerate the cake in order to firm the layers up.
- Combine the frozen raspberries and the fresh strawberries in a medium sauce pan over medium-high heat
- As the fruit starts to wilt, add the cornstarch, bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer
- Let the berry mixture simmer on low for 5 minutes, the mixture should then be a smooth, pourable consistency.
- Remove from heat and mix in vanilla and salt.
- Pour into a heat proof bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let cool in refrigerator until it sets up.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the espresso powder, amaertto, water, and vanilla until the espresso has thoroughly dissolved
- In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the shortening on a high speed, occasionally scraping the bowl down to prevent clumps from forming
- Reduce the mixer’s speed to low and alternate adding the powdered sugar then the wet mixture, beating between each addition until incorporated (you may not need all of the wet mixture for the frosting).
- Scrape the bowl down, then turn the speed onto high, letting it beat for an additional 2 minutes until it is light and fluffy in appearance.
- Level off the cakes so each layer is flat.
- Gently apply a layer of frosting to the cake.Repeat with the second layer.
- Do a light crumb coating with the frosting on the outside of the cake and let the cake chill in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
- Frost the cake with a final coat of frosting. Let the cake chill for a final 15 minutes. Garnish the top with a light dusting of cocoa powder and slices of fresh strawberries.