Happy Birthday Bummed Out Baker! Recipe: Chocolate Birthday Cake with Whipped Cream Icing (Gluten-Free + Vegan)

Happy Birthday Bummed Out Baker!

One year ago, I scuttled into the library at my in-laws’ NYC apartment carrying a heavy cutting board loaded down with a food rainbow. I used the window’s natural light to photograph the korma I was making, and my husband and my mother in-law’s nurse looked at me suspiciously, wondering what the heck I was up to now.

I wasn’t quite sure, myself. I had an old, but decent DSLR camera, limited lighting knowledge, and an affinity for cooking and baking new things, so I decided to capture it and throw it up on my site for anyone interested. I made a deal with myself to post a new recipe every Monday for one year and here I am, 52 recipes later! I’m proud I stuck to a promise I made to myself.

Less than two months in I changed the website name from my full name to Bummed Out Baker (Why Am I the Bummed Out Baker?) in order to encapsulate the full breadth of, well, me. Although I was finally pursuing my passion for writing and had accepted a place in The New School‘s MFA Creative Writing Nonfiction cohort for fall, that didn’t take away the depression and anxiety I’ve suffered for years. Do you guys wanna guess what my thesis is about? ;)

This is not a bubbly, perfectly put together vegetarian food blog like the ones all over the internet. They’re beautiful, but that just isn’t me. Instead, I aim to present my truest self to you all and be unabashed about the mental issues I face.

Some days, I’m too wrecked to do much more than to get up, do my morning routine (bed-making, teeth-brushing, etc.), take my meds, and then crank out what’s needed for school. I work hard not to beat myself up for being unable to take on more extracurriculars or a more rigorous social schedule and always try to look for silver linings in mental illness. I will say that one thing my finite emotional gas tank and constant, sinister awareness of my own mortality (lol) have taught me is to be hyper-focused on what and who matters most. Mental illness silver lining, yay!

Mental illness manifests in a myriad of terrible, unconventional, surprising, and sometimes hilarious ways and I will continue to share what I experience here. Thank you to all those who’ve kept an open mind and have been along for the ride with me.

THIS SEASON ON REAL HOUSEWIVES OF BUMMED OUT BAKER:

  1. I will be more transparent about the issues I’m experiencing in real time.*
  2. “Don’t judge your life in comparison to someone else’s highlight reel” has become a social media platitude, and I will further that mentality.
  3. I, an average, sad person on the internet, will provide community and reinforcement to people dealing with or who are in close proximity to mental illness. You’re not alone.
  4. I will snuggle golden retrievers.

Alright, now CAKE!

Ingredients

1 can unsweetened coconut milk
1 c teff flour
1/2 c rice flour
1/2 c potato starch
1/2 c unsweetened cocoa powder
1 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
2 ripe bananas
1 c orange juice
1/2 c olive oil
1/4 c + 2 T maple syrup
1/2 c coconut sugar
1 t vanila extract
vegan chocolate sprinkles

Instructions

  1. Refrigerate can of coconut milk overnight.
  2. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease sides of cake pan with oil and place parchment paper on the bottom of the pan (or use cake pan w removable bottom).
  3. Combine teff flour, rice flour, potato starch, cocoa powder, baking soda, and baking powder in a large bowl. Mix well.
  4. In a blender, add bananas, orange juice, olive oil, 1/4 c maple syrup, and coconut sugar and blend until smooth.
  5. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
  6. Pour batter into cake pan.
  7. Bake for 25-30 minutes, testing the middle of the cake with a toothpick until it comes out clean.
  8. Let cake cool completely in pan before removing.
  9. When you’re ready to ice, place mixing bowl in the freezer for about ten minutes.
  10. Turn refrigerated can of coconut milk upside down and open. Pour liquid at the top into a jar for later use (i.e., smoothies). From bottom of can, spoon out coconut fat.
  11. In the cold mixing bowl, beat together coconut fat, remaining 2 T maple syrup, and vanilla on high for about four minutes.
  12. Frost top of cake with whipped cream and sprinkle with chocolate sprinkles.

*I’ll start my candor now: this cake, although it looks delicious, tasted like a stale Luna bar with coconut guts smeared on top. The sprinkles were top notch, but you don’t have to make this cake to eat those. My advice: enjoy the photos, eat some sprinkles, but… don’t make this cake. Here’s a recipe for a truly fabulous cake.

If you’re a masochist: recipe adapted from Vegan Gluten Free Chocolate Cake and Vegan Whipped Cream.


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