Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Maple Nut Cake (Gluten Free Vegan)


I love almond flour!  It makes baked goods so delicious with a sweet hint of almond while adding extra protein!  I love to use it in crusts and have recently began using it in cakes as well with some gluten free baking.  Last weekend I decided to make a layer cake using it, as well as a couple other nut flours.  I have to admit, I have never used any nut flours besides almond before, but when I discovered that there was a lot of nut dust at the bottom of my container of walnuts at home, I figured why not try some other ones as well?!  Plus, I had gotten my hands on some hazelnut flour so I thought the trio of nuts would make it a delicious cake! 


Not wanting it to be too heavy however, being that I was going for a gluten free and vegan cake (so no eggs to lift the nut flours), I combined the nut flours with some coconut flour. 


I used coconut milk as the liquid in the batter, and added maple sugar and maple extract as maple and nut is one of my favorite combinations and I knew it would make the cake taste heavenly!  Not to be forgotten however, vanilla needed to be there as well. 


I honestly did not know what to expect, since this was an experiment and  I had also experimented with the rising agents and liquids, but when the cake emerged from the oven it had risen properly and smelled wonderful! 


Once it had cooled, I debated whether or not to make a chocolate frosting...and decided not.  I wasn't in a chocolate sort of mood.  I was just going to use some vegan cream cheese for a creamy frosting, but I thought, what the heck, let's make it almond butter cream cheese maple frosting! 


That was the correct choice for frosting, because seriously I could not stop tasting it.  It was creamy, nutty and sweet, so perfect for the nut filled cake!  I thought the top of the cake needed to be garnished with something crunchy since the cake was already soft, and the frosting was creamy so I topped it off with toasted sweet and salty maple nuts to make this cake crave worthy. 


It was wonderful!  The layers were nutty and light with a hint of maple and the most wonderful flavor from all of the nut flours combined.  The frosting which sandwiched them together was creamy and almondy, and the crunchy nuts on top completed the deliciousness with a hint of sea salt.  I was in heaven as I indulged in it! If you would like to experience the deliciousness for yourself, here is the recipe! 


Maple Nut Cake (Gluten Free Vegan)
Makes 1 6 inch 4 layer cake

2 6 inch cake pans

Salted Maple Nuts:
1 cup sliced almonds
1 cup sliced walnuts
2 Tbsp maple syrup
2 Tbsp maple sugar
1/2 tsp sea salt
Cake:
1/2 cup almond flour
1/4 cup ground hazelnut meal
1/4 cup ground walnut meal*
3/4 cup coconut flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp sea salt
1 cup maple sugar or granulated sugar
1/2 cup coconut oil
1 1/2 cups lite organic coconut milk or almond milk
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
2 tsp maple extract
2 Tbsp cider vinegar
Frosting:
2 8 oz pkgs tofutti vegan cream cheese
1/2 cup almond butter
1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp maple syrup
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
2 tsp maple extract
a pinch of sea salt

To make nuts, preheat the oven to 375 degrees and position rack in center of oven.  Line a baking sheet with foil.  Toss nuts together with maple syrup, sugar and sea salt and spread out on pan.  Bake for about 10 minutes until toasted.  Remove from oven and let cool but leave oven on for cake. 
For the cake, line two six-inch-diameter cake pans with 2-inch-high sides with parchment paper. Coat parchment paper and pan sides with nonstick spray. Whisk almond flour, walnut meal, hazelnut meal, baking soda, sea salt, and sugar in a large bowl to blend well. Whisk oil, milk, vanilla extract, and maple extract, together in small bowl to blend well, then whisk into the flour mixture until well blended. Whisk in cider vinegar and stir quickly. Transfer cake batter to prepared pans and bake cakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 30-35 minutes. Cool cakes completely in pan on rack, about 1 hour. Cut around sides of pan to loosen. Turn cake out onto platter; peel off parchment paper. Let cool completely, then place in the fridge to chill until very cold to make slicing easier (so they don't crumble). When chilled, slice cakes horizontally in half so that you have 4 layers.
To make frosting, whip cream cheese until smooth, then add almond butter, syrup, vanilla, maple extract and sea salt and beat until smooth.
To assemble cake, place one layer on a plate, and top with about 2 Tbsp frosting. Spread out over cake layer to the edge.  Top with another cake layer and repeat, then the next 2 layers ending with a top layer of cake. To frost cake, spread frosting over top and sides, smothing out as you go. Decorate cake with maple nuts and enjoy!

*To make walnnut meal, grind walnuts until very fine and put through a fine meshed strainer to remove any large chunks.
*if you would like a 4 layer 9 inch cake, double this entire recipe and bake in two 9 inch cake pans.

32 comments:

  1. I just baked for the first time with coconut oil.... ah, AMAZING! I think I'm addicted... and I'm sure I would be addicted to this cake! lol. Happy Tuesday chica! :D

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  2. That's one heck of an experiment! Glad it worked out for you - looks amazing!

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  3. That cake looks beautiful, I'm sure it tastes amazing too. Just the ingredients in the frosting alone- yum!

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  4. This looks awesome...bookmarked

    Aarthi
    http://www.yummytummyaarthi.com/

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  5. Amy, this cake is fabulous! All the flavors make for a heavenly combination. Thank you for sharing!

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  6. Wow, what a perfect cake! Awesome job on the decorating, and the flavors sound fantastic. I will have t try out almond flour, sounds like a wonderful alternative!

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  7. This looks amazing! The layers look so delicious with the frosting, serious yum!!

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  8. WOWOW so beautiful and I bet it's delicious!

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  9. Yum! I'm not a huge maple fan, but I loveeeee almond flour and coconut flour!

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  10. You have officially made the cake of my dreams - I salute you oh baker!

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru
    Latest: Brown Butter Mixed M&M Chewy Cookies

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  11. I have a gluten free friend - I should make this for him, he would LOVE it!!! Very cool.

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  12. I love nut flours for cakes like this. Those layers of frosting look irresistible.

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  13. Nana Clare's KitchenMarch 8, 2012 at 8:24 PM

    Amy, that cake looks amazing! My son needs gluten free, along with several of my friends, so I really appreciate the recipe. Your photography is drool-worthy! Nana Clare's Kitchen

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  14. Amy, you're quite the cake decorator. The layering is very skillfully done. This cake wouldn't last very long in my household... toothsome!

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  15. This is a gorgeous cake! I've never used almond flour, I'll have to give it a try, the flavor sounds awesome, yum!

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  16. I have just read & re read this wonderful recipe for this absolutely delicious sounding cake BUT in the cake ingredients it calls for 3/4 cup COCONUT FLOUR
    1. I CAN NOT FIND WHERE TO ADD THIS COCONUT FLOUR IN THE METHOD
    In relation to the addition of the COCONUT FLOUR do you add it with all the other flours OR do you ADD it to one of the other flours before & do you sift it in?

    2. WHere does one buy COCONUT FLOUR from please?

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  17. You add it with the other flours, as listed above. I bought it at a natural foods store, but it can be bought online as well from Bob's Red Mill.

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  18. Hi,

    I want to make this but we are not vegan, just love the consistency of this cake. Do you think it would make a huge difference is i sub more walnut flour for the hazelnut flour and would this taste good with a chocolate fudge frosting?

    Anna

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    Replies
    1. I think it would work the same, or even just using additional almond flour. Yes it would!

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  19. Hi
    I made this cake but doubled the recipe because I'm making it as a birthday cake. The cake did not rise at all with the 11/2 tsp of baking soda. I'm going to make another layer to put on top of it. Do you think using 2 tsp baking powder and 2 tsp baking soda would make a difference. I used all the ingredients mentioned here but I have an 8.5 inch pan.

    Anna

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    1. Hmm, mine rose just fine. Did you double the baking powder too? Maybe it was just too big as a larger cake to rise well. I would try the larger amounts of powders.

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    2. I made a few changes. Used only half of the coconut oil as I found the first one to be pretty oily and I used 2 tsp baking soda and 2 tsp baking powder.

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    4. That might be why the cake did not rise, it needs the liquid and if you doubled it it should 1 Tbsp Baking soda.

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  20. Do you think I can use whipped coconut cream as a frosting?

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    1. You can try, but it may be a bit too soft at room temperature, it tends to run.

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  21. Hi Amy,

    I don't have 6-inch baking pans. Can I use a 11x13 Pyrex glass baking dish instead? (I have a smaller one if that would work better.) Also, I'm not vegan. Can I sub butter instead of coconut oil? Thanks! Mary

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    1. You would be better off using a smaller one since this is a 6 inch cake. It should be fine as long as you do not mind it being a sheet cake instead of a layer cake. Yes, you can sub butter.

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  22. Thanks for your quick reply! One more question. Will this cake taste as good if I make it the day before it's eaten?

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  23. Hi Amy,

    I want to make this cake, the combination of ingredients sounds perfect. I didn´t find almond flour and I thought to replace the almond flour for almond meal. Do you think it will work?

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    1. They are pretty much the same thing, so yes ;)!

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