Finally! A baking recipe! I’ve been (forced) back in the kitchen thanks to my cake decorating class. I’m back in action for the time being. Last week we had to create a birthday cake and do some simple decorations. I wanted to make my dad a cake for his birthday that was a few weeks ago but he already had a cake so he took a raincheck and I made it last week instead. Birthdays are supposed to last for the whole month anyway, right? Anyway, it worked out great. I put a lot of thought into it…
Staring off into baking space, thinking of all the possibilities…
Frosting, flavors, pipings and decoration, colors… it takes a lot of mental (and physical) labor. Money, time, energy, and creativity all go into it but it’s all so worth it!
Four hours later (plus or minus some), this is what manifested:
Mango Banana Macadamia Cake
with (Vegan) Lime Buttercream Frosting!
“Keep Calm, Bike On”
inspired by this popular quote:
(although I just now realized I unintentionally wrote “bike on” instead of “ride on” but that’s okay, more original that way I suppose!)
I baked the cake one day ahead of time in two small 6-inch cake pans because the recipe was made for one 9-inch round cake pan. I love making mini cakes–they’re way easier to frost, too! The space was a little cramped for decoration and I didn’t put in too many cake decorating techniques, but I don’t care, it was great for practice. The recipe comes from a cookbook for sale at my place of employment that is a benefit for hospice. One day I thumbed through it and found this incredible recipe for the mango cake and I was fortunate enough to be able to make a photocopy of it. Really pretty simple ingredients that go amazing together. My only real problem with it is that it calls for a large deal of honey. Now don’t get me wrong, I love honey. It is THE Ayurvedic sweetener. But, as you may see, a precaution is that it should not be heated. Added to already heated/warmed/hot things, yes, but actually cooking or baking with it? Big no no. When heated above 108 degrees F, it becomes transformed into a gluey sticky-like substance that is difficult to digest and is considered a toxin since it adheres to the tissues of the body and is difficult to remove. Plus the good qualities of honey (enzymes, minerals, etc) are destroyed. Alas, I was in a pickle. I would like to say I found a better alternative, but I did not. So, this time and this time only, I used the honey, I’m ashamed to say. I couldn’t really think of anything better that would go well with the olive oil and other flavors of the cake. Maybe organic brown sugar or sucanat, who knows, but I have to say it did turn out pretty darn amazing. Probably one of the best cakes I’ve ever made. Super moist and delicious, almost like a carrot cake (but better if I do say so myself). I doled out portions to my entire family and everyone raved about it. But next time, no honey. This was just an experiment…
Since it didn’t call for an icing, I added one from VCTOTW, figuring the Lime Buttercream Frosting that was made for the Coconut Lime Cupcakes would be best for the tropical flavors and spices of the cake. I was on a quest to practice with a vegan buttercream because 95% of the things I tend to bake are vegan. There really is no major difference between dairy buttercream and non-dairy buttercream. You just use a “healthier” non-hydrogenated shortening and non-hydrogenated margarine (Earth Balance). It’s no different. Powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and whatever else and you’re good to go! It turned out great to be great to work with. As you can see, I’m pretty stoked with the results… baking makes me so happy!
Mango Banana Macadamia Cake with Vegan Lime Buttercream
Adapted from Andy Rojas, the Hospice Cookbook (I don’t remember the name) and VCTOTW
The Mango Banana Cake:
3/4 cup olive oil
3/4 cup honey (eek!)
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour
3 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. cardamom
a pinch of nutmeg
2 ripe mangos, finely chopped
2 small ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup chopped macadamia nuts
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 6″ cake pans. Beat oil and honey together with an electric mixer. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in sifted flours, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, cardamom, and nutmeg. Then add the fruit and nuts. Bake (approximately) for 1 hour (plus or minus 10-15), or until a toothpick comes out of the center of the cake clean. Frost with lime buttercream when cooled.
Vegan Lime Buttercream Frosting:
1/2 cup non-hydrogenated shortening
1/2 cup non-hydrogenated margarine
4 cups confectioners sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup fresh lime juice (approximately 3 limes worth)
1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
Beat the shortening and margarine together until combined well and fluffy. Add the sugar and beat for about 3 more minutes. Add the vanilla and lime juice, beat for another 5-7 minutes or so until fluffy. Add the zest and mix to distribute. Chill until ready to use.
As for the decorations, that’s for you to decide. 🙂 Now get on your aprons and have at it!