Friday, April 27, 2012

Blackberry Vanilla Buttercream Cake with Blackberry Vanilla Buttercream Frosting...

And now for the grand finale... We ended our Earth Day dinner with a delicious Blackberry Vanilla Buttercream Cake!

I absolutely adore blackberries, have since I was a kid. To me they’ve always meant spring, and summer, because when I was growing up my Opa used to pick ice cram buckets full of wild blackberries that grew in brambly areas along the roadsides. He would pick enough buckets of blackberries all summer for each of his six children to have a couple of buckets, plus a few buckets for him and my Oma too. My mom would always turn those buckets of blackberries into blackberry pie which was then and still remains my all time favorite pie. To me there is absolutely nothing better then a juicy ripe blackberry eaten fresh of the vine or cooked down with a bit of sugar.

Unfortunately I think blackberries - despite their awesome array of phytonutrients and antioxidants - are a relatively underappreciated and underused berry. They never get the appreciation of blueberries, nor the love of raspberries most people just complain that their seeds are annoying. While I can’t deny that simple little fact, I do own floss, and never leave home without it. Blackberries are just too good to ignore, especially when they’re fresh, ripe and in their prime.

So I wanted to use them on Earth Day, but I wasn’t interested in going through all the hassle of making a pie crust. I sort of loath pre-made store crusts, and so almost always opt to make my own, but they’re work. More work then I felt like investing on Saturday night when I got home late from work, so I had to come up with something else. It thought about other sweet decadent ways to use blackberries and suddenly recalled the Gluten-Free Raspberry Cake from ‘Sweet Vegan’ that I’d made for Easter. It has been such a hit, and tasted so good when mixed with vanilla buttercream I thought “why not try something similar with blackberries?” From there it was a no-brainer, blackberry vanilla cake it would be, topped with a blackberry buttercream frosting to match.

Like the Raspberry cake this blackberry version was a huge hit, even amongst people who’d previously said they were not blackberry lovers. So I hope you try it, enjoy it, and forever become a blackberry lover!

*** Note - Normally I’d use whole wheat pastry, or at least a combination of whole wheat and all-purpose flour. However, because I wanted the blackberries to stand out against the cake I chose to use all purpose flour, for aesthetic and contrast reasons. If that doesn’t matter to you buy all means sub in some whole wheat pastry or whole wheat flour. ***

Blackberry Vanilla Buttercream Cake

3 C Unbleached All Purpose Flour
3 tsp Baking Powder
1 C Earth Balance or other non dairy butter at room temp
1 1/4 C Granulated Sugar
3 tsp Vanilla Extract
6 tsp Ener-G Egg Replacer Mixed with 8 Tbsp warm water till frothy (or other egg replacer)
1 1/4-1/2 C Almond Milk (Unsweetened, Plain, or Vanilla flavor)
1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
1 ½ C Fresh Blackberries quartered

Blackberry Vanilla Buttercream Frosting 

1 C Earth Balance or other non-dairy butter at room temperature
4C Powdered Sugar
2tsp Vanilla Extract
3-4 Tbsp Blackberry Jam (Seedless if possible)
1-3 Tbsp Vanilla or Plain Almond Milk to thin if needed

To make the cake

- Preheat the oven to 350'F

- Combine the flour and baking powder in a large sized bowl and set aside.

- Using a handheld or stand mixer beat the Earth Balance with the Sugar and the Vanilla extract on medium speed until combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Set aside.

- In a third bowl, combine almond milk, vinegar, and Ener-G egg replacer mixture.

- Alternate adding both the dry and the wet ingredients to the earth balance sugar mixture. Staring and ending with the dry ingredients. Mixing on low-speed until each addition is just incorporated. Once all wet and dry ingredients have been incorporated scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.

- With a wooden spoon gently fold in the blackberries until just incorporated.

- Grease two 9 inch cake pans - I like to use springform - with cooking-spray, and spread the cake better evenly between the two. Bake for 35-45 minutes until a toothpick inserted inside the middle of each cake comes out clean.

- Remove cakes from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes. Then remove the cakes from the pans transferring to a wire cooling rack. Let cool for 1 hour, or until completely cool.

To Make the Frosting

- With handheld or stand mixer beat non-dairy butter and vanilla extract until smooth and creamy

- Add in Sugar 1 cup at a time beating to incorporate.

- Add in 1 Tbsp of almond milk, plus the blackberry jam and beat until thoroughly mixed.

- If the frosting Is too thick add in additional almond milk or jam. If it’s a little thinner then you’d like add in some more powdered sugar 1/4 at a time.


- Place 1 cake upside down on a plate. So that bottom is facing up. Using a flat frosting spatula - or regular spatula - spread a thick layer of frosting over it.

- Carefully place the other cake - right side up - on top of the first cake.

- With the remainder of the frosting frost the top and sides of the cake as desired. Garnish with fresh blackberries however you like, and serve!

*** Note - Soy-Free if using a soy-free non-dairy butter, Can also be made Gluten-Free by subbing in GF Flour(s)***

1 comment:

  1. I never understood why people don't appreciate blackberries like they do raspberries or blueberries, either. I've always loved them - especially in baked good. This cake was no exception! Such a good & delicious idea you had. Thanks for making it!