A Barnyard Birthday with Vegan Cake!

We like to celebrate birthdays at the Barnyard, they are a big deal, especially for the animals that have come to us from very bad situations. This coming Friday, March 24 is Dominic’s 17th birthday, the mini-dinkey that my husband and I sponsor. So of course I had to make him a birthday cake!

IMG_0056

 

Dominic actually came from a loving home, he had been a companion animal for a horse for his first 15 years until the horse passed. He happen to come to the Barnyard because he had been attacked by bear, his head had lots of scratches and his back right thigh had to get 16 stitches. He was found in a neighbors empty swimming pool. Well, the bear kept coming back so his owners felt it best that he live out his days safely at the Barnyard with lots of friends. This is where I came in. He came on a Friday, I saw him that Saturday and fell in love….

Now back to cake, this is a great recipe; easy and delicious! And I guarantee you, vegan or not everyone will love it! Thank you Minimalist Baker for the recipe.

IMG_0074

Ingredients for the Cake:

1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk

2 tsp white or apple cider vinegar

1 1/4 cups unsweetened applesauce

1/4 cup strongly brewed coffee, cooled (or more almond milk)

2/3 cup melted coconut oil

2 tsp pure vanilla extract

2 cups + 2Tbs unbleached all-purpose flour or whole wheat pastry flour

1 1/3 cups organic cane sugar

1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

Ingredients for the Icing:

3 3/4 cups powdered sugar

3 Tbs vegan butter

4 Tbs almond milk or soy milk

2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 2 8-inch round cake pans or one large rectangular pan with vegan butter. Dust with cocoa powder, shake out excess and set aside.
  2. Mix the almond milk and vinegar in a large mixing bowl, set aside for a few minutes to activate. Add coconut oil, coffee, vanilla extract and applesauce and beat until foamy.
  3. Put flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a sifter and sift into wet ingredients. Mix the ingredients and then add sugar continuing to mix well until not large lumps remain. It should be creamy and pourable.
  4. Divide batter evenly between the 2 cake pans or pour into one rectangular pan.
  5. Bake 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool completely before frosting.
  6. To make the icing add powdered sugar, vegan butter, almond milk and vanilla extract to a mixing bowl, stir until moistened. (I like to stir the ingredients a bit first so that the powdered sugar doesn’t fly out everywhere)
  7. Using an electric mixer, start at low speed and gradually increase speed until icing becomes smooth.
  8. It should be thick but spreadable. You may need to add more almond milk if too thick or more powdered sugar if too thin.
  9. Ice the cake as usual, add candles, sing, cut and ENJOY!

*Icing recipe courtesy of Loving it Vegan

What language do you Eat?…

 

Yes, I know you don’t “eat” language but lately my and my husbands dietary choices have become the topic of conversation, especially during the holidays. I consider myself a vegetarian who eats seafood.  Immediately people will say, that makes you a pescatarian, I guess it does, but I just don’t like that word, it sounds weird to me. My husband loves to tell people he is on a feathers and fins diet, no fur; in other words he will eat chicken, turkey and seafood but no beef, pork or lamb. I applaud him. He was the guy who ordered his steak “black and blue”and after one day of volunteering at The Barnyard he stopped eating “fur”.

Screen Shot 2017-01-15 at 2.45.03 PM.png

Vegetarian :a person who does not eat meat, and sometimes other animal products, especially for moral, religious, or health reasons.

Why is it so important that we need to have labels for our diets? I love the way Tracey Stewart put it in her blog post for the Daily Squeal “If you’re someone that is curious about moving towards more vegan choices but you don’t because you’re afraid you won’t be able to live up to all the rules… you need to remember that you decide your track and your rules. Don’t get bogged down by what you will call yourself. Call yourself a “human trying to eat better.” ”

Screen Shot 2017-01-15 at 2.48.22 PM.png

Vegan :a person who does not eat or use animal products.

I am working towards becoming a “vegan”, I no longer eat any goat cheese as we have 2 baby goat cull boys. I don’t use milk. My weakness is cheese…I love cheese. I eat less of it and hope that one day I can cut it out completely. I also eat eggs but only eggs from truly caring farms, local. We hope to have our own chickens  one day soon.

Screen Shot 2017-01-15 at 2.55.21 PM.png

Pescatarian :a person who does not eat meat but does eat fish.

Why? Why don’t I eat meat? Mainly for humanitarian reasons, animals in general at factory farms and even small farms are treated terribly. I also do it for the environment. The negative impact that factory farming has on our planet is enormous. I don’t ever place my values about my eating choices on others but I do hope that it will influence some to perhaps think about changing what they eat…one can only hope.