Vegan Mint Chip Cake
I loved mint chip (or peppermint bon bon) ice cream growing up as a kid, and I still enjoy it as an adult. There is just something so refreshing and delicious about it, especially in the summer since the mint is cooling. I always was attracted to the green color also, but now I make mine green with mint or spinach instead of the fake food coloring that is in a lot of commercial conventional mint chip ice cream. Anyways, I made some recently, and I decided that a mint chip cake would be even more fabulous! I didn't make an ice cream cake however, since I have made a mint chip ice cream cake before. I wanted a mint chip cake with baked chocolate cake layers so decadent that they taste like brownies.
I have a go to chocolate cake recipe that I use for a lot of bases that was perfect for this cake. It is sweetened with dates, uses nut butter instead of oil, and it is gluten free. If baked for the proper amount of time, it is the perfect texture, and you would not be able to tell it was vegan at all, let alone healthier cake. It is awesome. So, once I had that all made, I made a luscious mint chip frosting with a coconut milk cashew base laced with both fresh mint, and mint extract for extra freshness. It tasted just like the ice cream, but you could eat it and not get an ice cream headache.
Lastly, I added some delicious chocolate chips and it was perfect. Like the classic ice cream flavor and a cake were morphed into a hybrid. It was so good. The perfect dessert for Summer when you don't want ice cream but you want cake. It was simply heavenly and it was perfect for the hot day we enjoyed it on. Don't let the idea of a layer cake intimidate you, it is actually pretty easy to make, and so worth the time!
Vegan Mint Chocolate Chip Cake
Makes 1 6 inch 2 layer cake
3 6 inch cake pans
1 1/2 cups quinoa flour (or all purpose gluten free flour)
1/4 cup cacao powder or unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 cup packed soft medjool dates, pitted, soaked in water for 30 minutes and 1/2 cup of the water reserved
1/4 cup raw almond butter or pecan butter
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup filtered water
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 15 oz can organic full fat coconut milk*, chilled
3/4 cup raw cashew butter
1 cup fresh peppermint leaves
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 tsp sea salt
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp peppermint extract
1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp coconut butter, warmed to liquid
1/2 cup vegan chopped chocolate or chocolate chips plus more for serving
Preheat the oven to 375F degrees and position rack in center of oven. Line the bottoms of t three six-inch-diameter cake pans with 2-inch-high sides with parchment paper. Coat parchment paper and pan sides lightly with oil so that the cake doesn't stick. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, sea salt in a large bowl to blend well. Place dates, reserved water, pecan butter, water, and vanilla extract into a blender, and blend until smooth, then whisk this blended mixture into the flour mixture until well blended. Whisk in the cider vinegar until bubbles form. Transfer cake batter to prepared pans and bake cakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Cool cakes completely in pan on rack, about 1 hour. Cut around sides of pan to loosen. Turn cakes out onto platter; peel off parchment paper.
Meanwhile, to make the frosting, combine all ingredients but the coconut butter, in a high speed blender or food processor and blend until smooth. With the motor running, add the coconut butter and process a minute more (if it starts to get lumpy at all during the process it is just the fat separating because it is 2 different temperatures. Just continue to blend until it is smooth, and it will get warm so it will just have to chill longer). Pour the frosting into a bowl and let sit in the freezer until the consistency of whipped cream, whisking every 15 minutes (this may take anywhere from 15 minutes to hour to an hour depending on how warm it has gotten and which appliance you used).
To assemble, place one cake layer on a plate, spread some frosting over it and sprinkle about 1/2 cup chocolate chips over it. Place the another cake layer over that, and sprinkle more chocolate chips over it, then top with the last layer. Spread the rest of the frosting over the top and down the sides of the cake. Sprinkle more chocolate chips over the cake, and serve!
*You want a brand of coconut milk that is rich and mostly cream (at least 3/4 of the can) or the recipe will not work. I like organic Thai Kitchen full fat coconut milk.