Bean & Berry Layer Cake

Bean & Berry Layer Cake

IMG_3140Since I was a little girl, vanilla has been one of my favorite flavors. I used to huff vanilla extract on the sly, enjoyed only vanilla ice cream, eating around other flavored add-ins, and, as my birthday neared, requested only vanilla cake.  Fragrant and delicate, it is still my first choice in desserts. Chocolate is an easy please. Vanilla, on the other hand, requires more effort. And now that I’ve tasted vanilla beans in their natural state, now that I’ve stripped pods of their tar-like innards, I am in a pure state of vanilla love.

DSC_0002-pThe Electrician and I were hosting Electrician Dad and Mom for an Easter dinner. And I was in charge of dessert. With the start of the berry season upon us, I decided on a vanilla layer cake blinged out with a heavy hand of strawberries. My vision of the cake was tall, slathered in both coconut cream and vanilla buttercream and guarded by towering strawberries quartered lengthwise. Here is the play-by-play.

DSC_0005Because this was a special occasion cake, I used many cups of confectionary sugar in total. Proportionately, I put the most in the coconut whip and halved the buttercream sugar. I didn’t want a cloyingly sweet dessert, especially given the sweet, red berries. I also added some smashed strawberry into the whipped coconut cream, both for flavor and desired hue. Coconut whip can look a bit grey, especially when paired with a stark white buttercream. However, needing most of my berries for the tops of my layer cakes, a subtle hue would have to do.

PicMonkey CollageAfter baking my vanilla cake layers, I opened up the springform pan, removed the bottom part of the pan, and let cool. Afterwards, the bottom layer was set on the cake server and the springform side refastened. This would help the coconut whip and berry center to set securely in the fridge.

DSC_0011Same went for the top layer. I placed this layer on a cutting board to allow for easy moving.

IMG_3144It was a berry convention on top!

PicMonkey Collage2Flash forward, the layers were stacked and the sides were frosted with the buttercream. I attempted piping but the refrigerated buttercream resisted… and I was concerned about over doing it, since the berries were pretty dramatic on their own.

DSC_0002The cake was a big success! And I was happy to have expanded the perception of vegan baked treats.

DSC_0004I will be eating this for the rest of the week, thankfully.