Vegan Matcha Cake with Vanilla Lemon Cream Frosting
When I read through my reader survey a few months ago, I noticed that someone had asked how I manage to balance blogging while working a full time job. The truth is that there isn’t a simple answer to that question, but if I had to sum it up with one word it would be sacrifice.
Sacrificing precious hours of sleep, quality time with my husband, and relaxing moments just to clear my mind. Missing out on fun things on the weekends so that I can spend hours upon hours in the kitchen, doing endless mounds of dishes, and eating failed recipes that make me want to cry.
It means coming home after a full nine hours of work, an hour and a half commute, an hour at the gym, preparing dinner, then finally sitting down to write and trying to formulate coherent thoughts in hopes that I don’t make a complete fool of myself.
As bloggers I feel like we paint such a perfect picture for our readers but the amount of work and trepidation that’s involved often goes unseen.
At the end of the day, I love having this little space and although sometimes I wonder why I do this to myself, ultimately I feel like every tiring moment is worth it.
Sorry, I don’t where the hell all of this is coming from; it’s Friday and I’m sharing green cake for Pete’s sake!
On the flip side, one of the many positives of blogging is that I’m continually inspired to step outside of my comfort zone and try something new and this recipe is a perfect example of that.
I’ve been wanting to make a vanilla vegan cream frosting for a while now so when I finally stumbled upon a method in Amy Chaplin’s book, At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen, I knew I had to try it.
The key ingredient to making it is agar agar, or vegetable gelatin. Now agar flakes aren’t exactly easy to come by but if it you can find them, I promise it’s worth the trouble. They’re basically just seaweed flakes that acts as a natural thickener which you can use to make jello, pudding, pie fillings or in this case, creamy vegan frosting. I slightly adapted Amy’s recipe in her book and I was blown away by how good it turned out.
Now my mind is spinning with all of the recipes I want to experiment with using agar!
The cake is made with whole grain spelt flour, natural sweeteners and a just enough mathca powder for a light green tea flavor. It’s nutritious enough to be served as a snack cake or even breakfast if you want. Why not, right? Life’s too short not to eat cake for breakfast.
2 cups light spelt flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons matcha powder
1/2 cup ripe mashed banana (1 medium banana)
1/3 cup melted coconut oil
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons organic sugar or coconut sugar
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons unsweetened vanilla almond milk
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
Vanilla Lemon Cream Frosting
1 (13.5 ounce) can full fat coconut milk
2 tablespoons brown rice syrup (or honey)
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
3 tablespoons agar agar flakes
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
juice of 1 lemon (1/4 cup)
1 teaspoon vanilla paste (optional)
- Prepare the frosting by combining all of the ingredients (except for the lemon juice and vanilla extract/paste) in a medium size sauce pan. Whisk together and then bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce to a simmer then cover and cook for 20 minutes, or until agar flakes have dissolved. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract and lemon juice. Transfer to a bowl and allow to cool then cover and store in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
- At this point, the frosting will be firm. Use a spoon to scoop it out into a food processor and then blend until smooth, scraping the sides with a spatula as needed. Add vanilla paste (if using) and blend until well-combined. Transfer the frosting from the processor back to the bowl and refrigerate again for at least 1-2 hours to allow it to firm up some.
- To prepare the cake, preheat the oven to 350°F and grease an 8-inch round cake pan. Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl and set aside. In a separate medium size bowl, mash the banana along with the maple syrup, sugar, vanilla extract and coconut oil. Add the almond milk and lemon zest and whisk until smooth. If there are any large lumps from the banana, you can use the food processor to blend it until smooth.
- Add the wet mixture to the dry and use a spatula to gently fold together until combined. Pour it into the cake pan and then bake in the oven for 25 minutes, or until you can prick the center with a fork and it comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool completely before frosting.
- Once cake is properly cooled, spread the frosting on top. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve. Leftovers will stay good for up to 3 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator.