A birthday cake? Yes, a birthday cake!
Why, you ask? Because it’s the eve of my 29th birthday and I’m feeling a little sappy (and vain).
Like whoa, 29 is almost touching 30. Look out world.
First, let’s talk about the cake:
Who’s ready to party?
Second, in celebration of my birthday, I give you 29 things I’ve learned thus far in life:
- Sometimes, following your passion actually works. An obsession with food led me to create this blog (and it’s the best job ever).
- Ordering a double scoop ice cream sundae past high school is not sustainable.
- Life is about so much more than the way you look.
- Marrying your best friend is the best idea, ever.
- When in doubt, Indian takeout.
- (Cliche as it may be) dance whenever the mood strikes.
- Good friends make all the difference.
- Listen to your body and be your own health advocate – no one else will do it for you.
- Stop telling people what to do. It never works anyway.
- Always play with puppies. Especially the super tiny cuddly ones.
- Rainy days are underrated.
- Do the things that make you happy, even when you feel silly.
- Use your lady balls whenever necessary. You know what I mean, ladies.
- Travel often – it’s not good to live in a bubble. Besides, the world is pretty damn beautiful.
- Stand up for yourself even if it’s uncomfortable.
- Never go camping. Like, ever. (But do s’mores often.)
- Getting up early is overrated.
- Planning ahead really does help your workflow and sanity. (See my Editorial Calendar here.)
- Meeting internet friends in real life almost always works out.
- Writing a print cookbook will be one of the hardest (and most fulfilling) things I’ll ever do.
- Every summer, get in the water (at least once).
- When in doubt, go to the ocean (and order pizza).
- It’s OK to creep out on You Tubers (i.e. Vivianna and ImJenn). It’s my newest form of therapy.
- Dark chocolate > candy.
- Live where you love (e.g. Portland, Oregon)
- Life is too short to work at a job you hate.
- Brunch is always the answer.
- But first, coffee (so true).
- When it’s your birthday, always eat cake (it’s your one legit excuse per year – get on board).
I went with coconut whip “frosting” for summery vibes, but you could totally opt for a traditional frosting if you prefer. A few options include my Vegan Chocolate Ganache, Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting, and Vegan Buttercream. Or, keep it simple with a dusting of organic powdered sugar or cocoa powder.
The berries kind of make it, especially in summer! So whichever frosting route you decide to go, definitely consider these as a finishing touch.
Make this cake for your own birthday (like I did), or for family and friends. It’s the perfect treat everyone will be able to partake in and fully enjoy.
If you do, let us know what you think! Leave a comment below, rate it, and tag a picture #minimalistbaker on Instagram. We love seeing what you come up with. Happy baking, friends!
Gluten Free Birthday Cake (Vegan)
- 1 cup (240 ml) unsweetened plain almond milk (DIY recipe)
- 1 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 4 flax eggs (4 Tbsp (28 g) flaxseed meal + 10 Tbsp (150 ml) water)
- 1 Tbsp (7 g) baking soda
- 1/2 cup (120 ml) grape seed or canola oil
- 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp (150 ml) maple syrup or agave nectar
- 2/3 cup (133 g) cane sugar (I subbed half with coconut sugar)
- 1 1/2 cups (369 g) unsweetened applesauce
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 cup (96 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 cup (110 g) almond meal (finely ground from raw almonds)
- 1/2 cup (45 g) gluten-free oat flour (finely ground from raw oats)
- 1 1/2 cups (240 g) gluten-free flour blend*
COCONUT WHIPPED CREAM + BERRIES
- 2 14- ounce (414 ml) cans coconut cream (or full-fat coconut milk*), chilled overnight in the refrigerator
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 6-8 Tbsp (42-56 g) organic powdered sugar
- 1 cup (120 g) fresh berries (strawberries, blueberries, blackberries)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 C) and butter three 8" round cake pans (or line 24 muffin tins with paper liners). Dust pans with gluten free flour and shake out excess.
Measure out almond milk in a liquid measuring cup and add vinegar. Stir and let curdle while moving onto the next step.
Prepare flax eggs by mixing water with flaxseed meal in a large mixing bowl and let rest for 5 minutes.
Next, add baking soda to the almond milk vinegar mixture and stir. Set aside.
Add the oil, cane sugar, and maple syrup to the flax egg and beat/whisk to combine.
Next, add applesauce, vanilla, and salt and beat/whisk to combine. Then add almond milk mixture and whisk again.
Lastly, add baking powder, cocoa powder, almond meal, oat flour, and gluten-free flour and beat/whisk to combine, making sure no large clumps remain.
If the batter appears too thick, add a touch more almond milk, but it should be perfect. It should resemble a semi-thick batter that’s pourable.
Divide batter evenly between the three prepared cake pans (or muffin tins). Bake cakes for 30-40 minutes (cupcakes for about 28-35 minutes) or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out completely clean and the edges appears dry. (Time will vary if you subbed ingredients, as well as depending on the size of your pans.)
Let cake rest in the pans for 15 minutes, then carefully run a butter knife along the edges and invert onto cooling racks. Let cool completely.
In the meantime, prepare your coconut whipped cream. Follow these instructions to make a double batch, sweetened to taste (I found 6-8 Tbsp | 42-56 g to be the right amount). Set in the refrigerator to chill/firm up while cake cools completely.
NOTE: Assemble just before serving so the whipped cream doesn’t over-moisten the cake.
To assemble, lay down one cake bottom side up on a serving plate or cake stand. Spread on a semi-thick layer of coconut whipped cream and top with second cake, also bottom side up. Frost with another layer of coconut whipped cream.
Carefully top with remaining cake (also bottom side up) and frost the top generously with remaining coconut whipped cream. (You may not use it all, which you can reserve for serving). Top with berries and serve immediately (or cover and chill in the refrigerator until serving).
Leftovers will keep covered with a cake stand or plastic wrap in the refrigerator for 2-3 days, though best when fresh. (The unfrosted cake will keep covered at room temperature for several days.)
*For the gluten-free flour blend, I've tested both with my DIY Blend and Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free 1:1 Baking Blend and found that I slightly preferred the Bob's blend in terms of the cake's texture. However, both will do!
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate for 1 slice of 12 with generous amounts of coconut whipped cream and berries (calculated using coconut cream, not coconut milk).
*Prep time does not include chilling coconut cream or cooling cake.
*Adapted from my 1-Bowl Chocolate Hazelnut Cake.
Nutrition Per Serving (1 of 12)
- Calories: 542
- Fat: 33.9g
- Saturated fat: 24.6g
- Sodium: 966mg
- Carbohydrates: 61.1g
- Fiber: 9.6g
- Sugar: 31.5g
- Protein: 7.9g