Vegan Chocolate Sheet Cake (with non-vegan chocolate frosting)

Guess what, everyone? I tried to find a recipe for a vegan chocolate sheet cake last week (I was low on eggs and had to bring cake to a barbecue). I could not find any vegan sheet cake recipes. What the fuck? Is this because vegans don’t have enough friends to bother with sheet cake? No offense, vegans. But maybe if you used some butter you’d have more friends. #realtalk #sorrynotsorry

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I am pretty new to sheet-cake-level popularity, so I don’t have large platters. I’m working on it, and I made do with the cake carrier this time

Anyhoo, I ended up making a few slight adaptations to a vegan chocolate layer cake recipe that I have used for years. It turned out marvelously, and thanks to a butter-filled frosting, everyone wanted to be my friend.

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I poured my vanilla and apple cider vinegar into bowls for you guys, instead of just taking more pictures of my vanilla jar with the rusty lid. Making friends takes effort. And butter.

This works as a layer cake with two 9in cake pans, or it could also make 24 cupcakes. I found this handy baking time chart for all you type A vegans looking to make friends with cake.

Adapted from Joy the Baker

Ingredients:

2 1/4 cups flour

2 cups sugar

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

2/3 cup canola oil

2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar

2 cups cold water

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 9 x 13 in pan and line with parchment. Line two cupcake pans with paper liners and set aside.

Mix flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl. Sifting is advised because cocoa power is a pain in the ass and clumps.

Mix the water, oil, vinegar, and vanilla together in a medium bowl.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until just combined (vegan cakes get cranky when they are over-mixed, no one wants to eat a cranky cake)

Pour into the prepared pan. Bake for about 35 minutes. It is done when the skewer comes out mostly clean.

Cool completely then transfer onto a cake platter to be frosted.

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I was not sure about the baking time, so I stabbed the cake with a bamboo skewer about 20 times. It was effective. Also, I didn’t use a timer

Chocolate Frosting, adapted from a recipe on the back of a box of baking chocolate

Ingredients

8 oz baking chocolate (I usually do ½ unsweetened and ½ bittersweet)

6 tablespoons butter

About 1/3 cup milk (I use unsweetened almond milk)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ teaspoon salt

About 3 cups powdered sugar

Instructions

Melt butter and chocolate. I usually use the old put a bowl over some boiling water method. Once melted, take off heat and let cool for a minute. Add vanilla and salt.

Alternately beat in powdered sugar and milk until you get a thick, but spreadable consistency. Spread evenly on cake. This frosting hardens and becomes fudgy when it cools.

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I don’t know how there are already splashes of butter and chocolate on the cake carrier, I hadn’t even mixed in the powdered sugar at this point, and that’s the messy part

You don’t make friends with salad

Serafina

Chicken Birthday Cake

I have some very strong opinions about birthdays. I think that birthdays should be a guaranteed paid day off from work. I think that alcohol should be served at all birthday gatherings, especially any gatherings involving young children. And I think that everyone deserves a birthday cake.

I don’t do anything for the cats’ birthday because I don’t like the cats and also their not mine. I also don’t do much for the tortoise, but that’s because he only eats greens and I just can’t, in good conscious, make a salad into a cake. My chickens, however, turned one-year-old over the weekend, and you can bet your ass we celebrated the shit out of their birthday.

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You don’t make friends with salad

Actually, three of the four chickens turned a year old over a week ago, but we only celebrated on the youngest one’s birthday because she’s my favorite. My mom says I shouldn’t have a favorite chicken because she’s really supportive and talks to me about how I’m raising my chickens.

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This was the day we got the youngest chicken. I’m sure you can see why she’s my favorite. The red lighting stops the chicks from cannibalizing each other, which would not be adorable.

Chickens change your perspective on things. When they were about six months old, a friend came over to meet the chickens and I finally got to explain my theory that people should have chickens instead of children. I’ll break it down for you. So you get to raise them from like a day old, and they recognize you’re their mom. At first, they’re really cute and helpless and make adorable peeping noises. They also get poop stuck to their butts and you have to clean it off so they don’t die. I actually think that needing to check their butts every couple hours to make sure they didn’t have poop stuck on their butt fluff really helped us bond, but unlike human children who poop themselves for years, this phase lasts like a week for the chickens. (I seriously considered trying to get chicken-maternity leave at first because I worried about them so much, but my boss had just had a human kid so I figured at best I’d get told no and at worst I’d offend my boss by asking.) Chicks live inside the house with you needing a good deal of attention for about two months, and then they move outside. It’s fucking perfect. It’s the exact right amount of time to take care of a creature you love before kicking them out, because it’s your goddamn house and you need your space. I feel so sorry for people who have human kids because they don’t move outside until they’re like 18 years old.

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They were about two weeks away from moving outside in this picture. If you’re wondering if I was emotionally ready for them to be so far away, just look up “chicken dust” and you’ll have your answer.

I think two months is a far more reasonable amount of time to invest in parenting. And the best part is, once they’re four or five months old they give you fresh, delicious eggs all the time! I haven’t checked yet, but I’m fairly certain that human kids don’t lay eggs.

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Colorful backyard eggs are so much better than grocery store eggs.

Anyway, I love these chickens so damn much. I visit them outside multiple times a day to bring them treats, collect eggs, and tell them how much I love them. On their birthday, I knew I needed to make sure they got a much better treat than their usual greens and scratch grains, but obviously a chocolate cake would hurt their adorable tummies, so I had to get creative.

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Ingredients:

Serves 4 chickens

4-5 Frozen strawberries

Oatmeal (I made mine with currants, almonds and pecans)

½ a banana

Instructions:

Put the frozen strawberries in the bottom of a ramekin. Pour oatmeal over strawberries to cover (the ramekin should be about half full). Let set in the fridge for a few hours.

Before serving, loosen the oatmeal from the sides of the ramekin and then invert onto a plate (I generally use plastic plates when I’m serving chickens). Thinly slice the banana lengthwise and place around the oatmeal cake.

If using candles, be sure to blow them out before serving the chickens. Chickens aren’t very good at blowing on things.

Cut into four pieces and spread out across the plate to ensure each chicken will have access to the cake.

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The fifth strawberry was bonus for the fastest chicken. It went to the one on the left.

Then text a picture to your mom, if she’s not proud, she’ll at least pretend to be.

Love my chickens more than you

Serafina