Inspired by Spring and blossom trees, this vegan toasted coconut naked cake is a celebration cake everyone will love, not just vegans. Beautifully moist toasted coconut cakes stacked high nestled in swirls of slightly lemony coconut yoghurt frosting.
Spring is fighting to make an appearance here with constant rain casting a big old shadow over the Hills but there are signs the tides are turning. Each day I walk down our path past a beautiful weeping cherry blossom tree; it is Willow’s tree and it is defying the rain and cold to bloom. Willow was our beautiful Wolfhound who passed last year after being in our family for two short years. She was a senior adoption and a little over a year after she joined our clan, was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Each of our beautiful canine friends that have moved on to the stars has a tree with a letter from both myself and the Husband buried within its roots. The cherry blossom is Willow’s tree.
Once I saw her in bloom I got myself a bee in my bonnet. The flowers inspired me to make a cake; don’t ask me why, I don’t know what drives the kitchen fairies. I just know if you don’t listen to them, you’ll be up nights thinking about, well…cake.
A cake for our beautiful Willow girl, Big Mama. And not just any cake; a celebration cake stacked high and decorated with flowers.
This toasted coconut yoghurt naked cake is based on a recipe from Fernanda Capoblanco’s The Vegan Divas Cookbook. I have been meaning to make something from this book for eons so this seemed as good a time as any. As always, I tweaked the recipe – I think I have issues with authority because I am lousy at following recipes to the letter; I always follow my own path for better or worse. Fernanda’s recipe is beautiful but it calls for 3/4 cup of tofu liquid which, you get from draining tofu when you use it. It assumes a foresight and organisational level that I simply don’t possess; I just didn’t remember to drain my tofu even when I knew I needed to. Instead I used xanthan gum suspended in water as a thickener. I also swapped out some plain flour for spelt.
Xanthan gum is usually used to help bind gluten-free recipes in baking but here I used it to thicken. Suspended corn flour might be another substitute or if you are organised, the tofu water.
Another tweak was the addition of a coconut yoghurt frosting instead of a “cream cheese” or buttercream style. I will say buttercream would more likely bond the cake more tightly to achieve the smooth naked cake look but I prefer the slight tang of the yoghurt. With a touch of lemon zest it balances the coconut cakes so well.
I am not a natural baker and this vegan celebration cake challenge has been challenging. But, after several epic fails I am so happy with this toasted coconut yoghurt naked cake. Fernanda’s cake, with or without my tweaks, is a lovely success. It is a celebration cake in every sense and is something everyone will enjoy. I didn’t try and make this super healthy, although it is better than most, I simply wanted to make a cake inspired by the blossoms of Willow’s tree.
Mission accomplished and the kitchen fairies are quiet. For now. xx
Recipe Note: I separated the mixture in to two separate containers to create my tiers and baked for 25 minutes. Bake for 45 – 50 mins if you are making a single, larger cake. I made two batches of this toasted coconut yoghurt naked cake recipe to create four cakes for tiering. I only used three for the cake pictured.
Vegan Toasted Yoghurt Naked Cake
Inspired by Spring, this vegan toasted coconut yoghurt naked cake is an easy to make celebration cake everyone will love, not just vegans.
- 1 1/4 cups (160 grams) spelt flour
- 1 1/4 cups (160 grams) all-purpose
- 1/2 cup (45 grams) toasted desiccated coconut
- 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder (12.5 ml)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda (5ml)
- 1/2 tsp xanthan gum and water up to 3/4 cup (155 grams)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (7 1/2 ml)
- 3/4 cup + 2tbs coconut oil (140 grams), melted
- 3/4 cup + 2tbs soy milk (210 grams)
- 1 1/4 cup maple syrup (375grams)
- 1 tsp vanilla (5 ml)
- 1 tbs coconut syrup (15 ml)
- 1 1/4 teaspoon apple cider vinegar (6 ml)
- 500 grams coconut yoghurt
- 3 cups icing sugar (vegan) (750ml)
- zest of 1 lemon
- Preheat oven to 160 degrees C (325 degrees F)
- Grease or line 2 x 22 cm (9 inch) cake pans.
- Combine xanthan gum with water in a bowl and set aside.
- In a large bowl, gently combine the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt and toasted coconut.
- Form a well in the middle and add the xanthan water, soy milk, maple syrup, vanilla extract, coconut syrup and vinegar.
- Whisk gently until all ingredients are just combined.
- Distribute the batter between the two pans and bake in the oven for 20 - 25 minutes or until cooked through.
- Remove from oven and allow to sit for 10 minutes before turning out on to a cooling rack. Allow to cool completely.
- Combine coconut yoghurt, lemon zest and icing sugar, whisking until thick (it involves some elbow grease).
- Place the frosting in the fridge to thicken further.
- To assemble, place one cake on a plate and pipe frosting on top. Place the second cake on top again and repeat the process. Using a spatula, smooth out the frosting to a thin layer around the cake to achieve the naked look.
- Decorate with flowers or fresh fruit.