I. MADE. CAKE. and I ran around for a week bragging about that to anyone and everyone who would listen.
For a while, cake lingered in the back of my mind, whispering, "bake me! bake me!", but I ignored it because I didn't have any sort of special occasion on my calendar for which to bake the cake. After all, don't we all want to share cake with family and friends and talk about good it is and then the next minute find ourselves in a cake-coma with only crumbs left on the plate? Duh. With nothing cake-worthy planned on the calendar, the cake had to wait.
Cake is about as impatient and subtle about said impatience as I am. "BAKE ME! BAKE ME!" it began. OKAY DUDE FINE. Unable to shut it up, I did some research on cakes - blackout cakes, coffee cakes, cupcakes, etc. Each recipe the wonderful world-wide web presented to me only made me want to try it more and more. My last bite of cake was two years ago - a vegan carrot cake from one of my favorite local cafes. Two. Whole. Years. Ago. If only I could get over this unexplained notion of mine that cake is only to be baked for special occasions.
One week later, on Saturday morning, I finished my workout and showered before heading out to the farmers market. An early morning it was, because I was out of the shower at 7 AM, leaving an entire idle hour between then and the farmers market. Hmm.... what to do, what to do...
Bake a cake. Bake a cake. Bake a cake.
I baked a cake. And it's funny because, as I got dressed that morning, some negative body thoughts crept into my mind, obnoxiously letting me know that my jeans were tighter and my crop-tops were no longer going to reveal toned abs. When I pulled up a cake recipe only minutes later, I felt like I punched those thoughts in the gut and boasted a big ol' grin because never did I ever think cake could be so powerful.
I should also add that, throughout this entire trial-run process, I had not even the slightest idea what I would do with the outcome. So, like the process of piecing together a puzzle, I gathered equipment any baking recipe calls for and took everything step by step. Measuring cups? Check. Flour? Got it. Eggs and butter? You better believe it. Cake pan? Well, I have this set of flatter-than-usual cake pans I mindlessly bought about a month ago, so if the recipe makes enough batter, I'll make it a layer cake, I guess?
And with that, the cake and I were off and running! I pulled it out of the oven and it hit me - I BAKED A CAKE. I baked a friggin' layer cake! But now I needed frosting, and I didn't want to take the traditional powdered sugar + butter route. For some reason, that just sounded so "basic" and, because I already baked a friggin' cake, I let Nutrition Student Haley guide the frosting decision. Greek yogurt with some maple syrup and vanilla extract sure did taste pretty good by itself, so I rolled with it and got to frosting the cake (once it cooled, of course).
My roommate sat downstairs with me as I frosted and proclaimed my cake-victory and frosted some more and sang out with some more joy about my cake-victory. Slicing the cake, for some reason, seems to be that part which everyone blows up into a big deal. For a second, slicing my little beauty freaked me out - what if I mess it up? To my surprise, I did not mess it up AND slicing it actually felt like slicing into a rich, fluffy chunk of one of my biggest accomplishments (which is exactly what I was doing).
I sliced it one more time, slid each piece onto a plate, and set one in front of my roommate and one in front of me. We. Dug. In.
CAKE. Will I ever use that word without such enthusiasm, especially when referring to my own homemade version? Nope. Never.
Makes 2 layers for 1 stacked cake
For the cake:
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup cacao powder
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. sea salt
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup mashed banana
1/4 cup butter, at room temperature
1 egg, at room temperature
2 tbsp. almond butter (can sub other nut butter)
Oil or butter, for greasing
1/2 cup dark chocolate chunks
For the frosting:
1 cup Greek yogurt (plain works too)
3 tbsp. maple syrup or honey
1-2 tsp. vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 F and coat a two small cake pans with oil or butter.
- Combine the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl and set aside.
- Beat together the wet ingredients using a hand-mixer and slowly pour into the dry ingredients. Stir to combine and remove any lumps of flour.
- Pour batter into cake pans evenly and bake for 20-22 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely.
- Whisk together the frosting ingredients until combined and, when the cake has cooled, cover the bottom layer in frosting and then the top. Carefully place one on top of the other and gently press chocolate chunks into the cake until evenly distributed.
- Slice and serve immediately and store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week.