“Whoa! You made that? Yourself?” That’s what your friends will be asking when you make this monster of a cake. It is the perfect dessert to show off your rock star, pastry chef skills. From Chloe’s Kitchen: 125 Easy, Delicious Recipes for Making the Food You Love the Vegan Way by Chloe Cascarelli.
The Chocolate Cake layers can be made in advance and frozen, unfrosted, for up to 1 month. The Mocha Frosting can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Thaw cakes and frost before serving.
3 cups all-purpose flour*
2 cups sugar
⅔ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups cold coffee or water
1 cup canola oil
1/4 cup white or apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup nonhydrogenated vegetable shortening
3 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 tablespoons instant espresso powder dissolved in 1/4 cup water
CHOCOLATE FUDGE SAUCE
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (dairyfree)
1/4 cup canned coconut milk, mixed well before measuring
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 cup almonds, toasted and roughly chopped, for garnish
*For a gluten-free alternative, substitute gluten-free all-purpose flour plus 1. teaspoons xanthan gum and see page 11.
To make the Chocolate Cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease two 9-inch round cake pans or one 9 x 13-inch pan and line the bottoms with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together coffee, oil, vinegar, and vanilla. Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and whisk until just combined. Do not overmix.
Fill each prepared cake pan evenly with batter. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out almost clean, with a few crumbs clinging to it. Rotate the cakes halfway through the baking time. Cool the cakes completely before assembly.
To make the Mocha Frosting: Using a handheld or stand mixer, beat the shortening until smooth. With the mixer running on low, add powdered sugar and vanilla, and beat to incorporate. Add 1 tablespoon of espresso liquid at a time, as needed, until it reaches desired frosting consistency and espresso flavor. Beat on high for 2 more minutes until light and fluffy.
To make the Chocolate Fudge Sauce: Melt chocolate chips and coconut milk in a double boiler or microwave. Whisk in oil until smooth.
To assemble the cake: Once the cakes are completely cooled, run a knife around the inside edge of each cake pan to loosen, and gently unmold the cakes. Peel off the parchment paper and slice the dome off the top of each cake. Place one cake on a cardboard cake circle or serving plate, and spread a generous layer of frosting on top of the cake. Place the second cake on top of the first and spread a generous layer of frosting on top. I like to leave the sides unfrosted. Drizzle the Chocolate Fudge Sauce over the top of the cake vertically and horizontally to make a lattice pattern. Garnish the top of the cake with toasted almond pieces.