Happy Friday! Today I give you a basic chocolate cake with a small twist. I often get a little overzealous when making desserts with unusual flavor combinations, so I had to reel it in a few times with this cake. In the end, the cake and frosting are both pretty basic: a chocolate olive oil cake with strawberry cream cheese frosting, and a little cayenne in the batter for kick. I wanted to also throw in curry! Or rose water! But I think the theme of simplicity with a sprinkle of spice is working in its favor. You best believe I garnished each slice with a grind of smoked sea salt though.
Chocolate Olive Oil Cake with Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting
Makes 2 9-inch round cakes
2 1/2 cups flour
2/3 cup cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8-1/4 teaspoon cayenne (to taste)
3/4 cup olive oil
2 1/3 cups non-dairy milk
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons strawberry jam
1/2 cup vegan cream cheese
1/3 cup vegan margarine
3 tablespoons vegetable shortening
3 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons strawberry extract*
1/3 cup strawberry jam
Preheat oven to 350°F.
For the cake: Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, and baking soda in a mixing bowl. Add the sugar, salt, and cayenne and mix until combined.
Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and add the olive oil, non-dairy milk, apple cider vinegar, vanilla extract, and strawberry jam. Mix all ingredients well.
Pour batter into two prepared 9-inch cake pans and bake for 28-30 minutes, or until a toothpick in the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cakes cool before proceeding.
For the frosting: Whip vegan cream cheese, margarine, and shortening with a stand mixer or hand mixer until fluffy. Gradually add powdered sugar, mixing after each addition. Add the strawberry extract and whip for 5-6 more minutes.
To assemble: Spread strawberry jam between the two layer cakes. Spread and pipe on frosting as desired.
*Strawberry extract can be hard to find, and sometimes tastes very artificial. Feel free to replace with strawberry syrup, strawberry jam, or another fruit extract you like.