Monday, August 26, 2013

peanut butter & jelly birthday cake

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For my sister's birthday I decided to bake her a birthday cake- a birthday cake to top all birthday cakes. You know when you have an amazing idea in your head and you think it will be as easy as 1,2,3? All four cakes turned out beautiful, the type of cake that bakes up beautifully and slides out of the pan effortlessly. Needless to say half the cake remained beautiful and well, the lower tiers look as if they survived the Texas chain saw massacre. I had this brilliant idea to square off the sides of the cake, instead it turned into a hack job - I should have left it alone, the attempt at squaring off was a total fail. 



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Luckily, this cake tasted brilliant - who doesn't love peanut butter and jelly? I loved the comment "It doesn't even taste vegan!" - really, tell me Dad what DOES vegan taste like? I had no issue sending everyone home with a huge double helping of cake to enjoy the next day.
 The other challenge I ran into when assembling my masterpiece, was keeping the cake layers from sliding off of one another....the skewers that I shoved into the top of the cake (a bit of swearing may have been involved) at the last minute helped some, but it wasn't by any means perfect.  Truth is, perfect doesn't always guarantee perfect taste. Sometimes the least perfect cake tastes like perfection - this was one tasty imperfect cake.  
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Perfect or not this cake is a must make for your next special occasion, don't let the multiple layers intimidate you, surprisingly this cake comes together quite easily .Just make sure you leave those perfect cake layers be and you have a handful of skewers or dowels at the ready to steady the cake layers - and fear not even if it is not the perfect cake, at least it will still be tasty!
After I took these pictures, I added one last touch- edible flowers, if you have access to nasturtiums or flowering herbs top the cake with a handful, everyone will think you are a genius and will want to know all your cake baking secrets. Second runner up in the cake topping category- crushed peanuts or fresh berries.

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Sarah's Peanut Butter & Jelly Birthday Cake
makes a double layer 2 tiered birthday cake (2) 8" cakes & (2) 4" cakes

you will need

 for the cake layers: 
3 cups almond milk 
2 tbsp + 2tsp apple cider vinegar 
2 cups peanut butter (I used PB & Co White Chocolate Wonderful)
1 1/3 cup canola oil 
2 2/3 cup coconut sugar (granulated sugar also works)
 1/2 cup dark black strap molasses 
1 tbsp pure vanilla extract 
 2 tbsp + 2tsp ground flax seed 
  4 1/2 cups All Purpose flour 
1tbsp + 1tsp baking powder 
2 tsp baking soda 
1 tsp salt 

for the frosting: 
3 cups confectioners sugar 
3 tbsp almond milk 
1 tbsp shortening 
 3 tsp strawberry jam
1/3 cup chopped peanuts for sprinkling on top or edible flowers

assembly: 

For the cakes: 
pre heat oven to 350*.

 Oil & line the bottom of the cake pans with parchment paper rounds
Mix almond milk with apple cider vinegar. set aside to curdle.
In a large mixing bowl, cream the PB, oil, sugar, molasses, vanilla & ground flax seeds until well combined. Add the curdled almond milk mixture and mix until incorporated.
Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda & salt into a separate bowl.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until just combined, divide the batter between all 4 pans
 (about 2 cups per little cake pan & 3 1/4 cups for the large cake pan, use your judgement when filling) Place the small round cake pans on a rimmed baking sheet to make it easier when transferring to and from the oven. Place the small cakes on the middle rack of the oven and the larger pans on the lower rack.

  Bake for 23 - 28 minutes alternating racks half way through baking, remove cakes once a cake tester inserted in the center of the cakes comes out with a few moist crumbs attached to the tester
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Remove from oven and transfer to cooling rack, while the cakes are cooling make the frosting:
 In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, combine powdered sugar, almond milk & shortening. Mix until well combined add  jam, mix until combined and your desired consistency is reached.

Once the cakes are cool to the touch, invert cakes onto a wire rack, allow cakes to fully cool.

Place 1 large cake round onto your serving platter or cake stand, place about a 1/3 of the frosting onto the layer and spread evenly over the top Place the second large  cake round on top of the frosted cake. Frost with an additional 1/3 of the frosting. Place a small cake round on top of the second frosted large cake round, frost with half of the remaining frosting. Place the last small cake round on top of small frosted round and secure all layers with 3 wooden dowels or skewers cut to fit the height of the cake (you do not want to have a dowel or skewer poking from the top unless of course you have a master plan to hide said skewer or dowel with creative cake top decorating. Frost the last cake layer with remaining frosting.

Top with edible flowers or crushed peanuts.

Enjoy!

frost with frosting and enjoy!

15 comments:

  1. what an amazing sister you are! the cake looks delicious!

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    1. I have to say my sister is the amazing one, she is the one started the cake making tradition :)

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  2. I wish it was my birthday! This is truly a lovely cake - your sister is so lucky!

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    1. The best thing about this cake is it doesn't have to be your Birthday to make it :0

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  3. That cake is heaven, absolutely heaven :D

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

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  4. It's true, I have the best sister ever!

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    1. And I have the best sister too! We are so lucky aren't we!

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  5. Oh WOW. Doesn't get much more epic than that!

    Your sister is a lucky girl!!

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    1. Thanks Gabby! Even though it wasn't totally perfect, it tasted good!

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  6. I don't see any signs of imperfection in this cake! The nice thing about making a homemade birthday cake for your own family is that they'll love you for your effort anyway...and at least everyone still enjoyed it! I want to find edible flowers for my next birthday cake!

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    1. You are so sweet, edible flowers are awesome, I bet you could grow them at your house- nasturtiums are super easy to grow!

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  7. if i was living anywhere closer to you, i know where i would get my birthday or any event cakes from.. it looks fabulous. mine always look like how i used to bake when i was 10 :)

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    1. I would totally make you a cake any time, any day of the week! xoxo

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  8. I don't care what you say, your cake looks amazing! And I think it's so funny when people say "it doesn't even taste vegan" -- I hear it all the time, and it makes me sad that so many people have been exposed bad tasting vegan food and they think that's all there is, or they think it has to be made with weird ingredients or something... so not the case!

    And happy birthday to your sis!

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