We invited our neighbors over to make cake with us on Monday because we all really wanted some cake. I had visions of a beautifully frosted double layer treat but then got stuck on the idea of making something kind of healthy. It's not usually a good idea to test a new recipe on friends but I was feeling confident that the Chocolate Paleo Snack Cake I'd found on Pinterest had enough good feedback that we'd be safe. I also found a recipe for a white frosting that looked delicious from the same website and volunteered Brett's services to run to our local health food store to find dates, coconut everything, and vegetable shortening.
Our friends came over and the kids played while we talked and sorted and pureed and poured. We got things measured out for the kids to take turns adding and mixing and tried to reassure Sebastian that he would love this new healthy cake. He was suspicious.
The cake came out fine and tasted pretty good. We used this recipe and added an extra egg. My friend, Jessa, has chickens in her backyard so they were about as local as you can get! It was like a moist brownie consistency. The frosting, however, was not something I'd be comfortable passing along. It tasted like shortening so we added 2.5 cups of powdered sugar in order to get it to look and taste sweet enough to offer the kids. We had to make it twice, too, because I didn't know the difference between coconut milk in a carton and coconut milk in a can. Learning all the time, I tell you!
The kids had already waited awhile for the cake to be ready so we didn't let it cool much before adding the frosting so it ended up looking a bit like this. I likened it a brownie with melty marshmallow cream frosting. It was good enough for 4 out of 5 of us to clean our plates but Sebastian was a little disappointed. I promised him a regular cake if he didn't like our healthy one so later that night I used what I had on hand to make something a little more to his taste.
This one was made from this cake recipe and this frosting recipe. Once again I misread the directions and put the butter substitute in too soon (we were out and I had tons of coconut oil and vegetable shortening to substitute) so it was less meringue-y and more runny. The pairing of coconut oil and brown sugar made it taste like butterscotch.
Sebastian woke up first and told me he went straight to the kitchen to check for a cake. I let him have a small piece for breakfast and have promised him we won't finish it off before he gets home. Even though the cakes didn't quite turn out to be as gorgeous or perfect as I'd hoped, we had such a lovely time having our friends over to share in the process. Something I hope we can do more often this year!
Oh, and while we were baking our afternoon away, Brett was out running 14 miles with Sunday. I made a cake and he ran a half-marathon. So, there's that.
Any links to your favorite tried and true white cake or chocolate frosting from scratch are welcome to be left in the comments below. I've got one frosting recipe I love that uses powdered sugar so I need a buttercream that I can count on. Thanks in advance!