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A few years ago, while walking into the office, and a woman stopped me to say, “Girl, you look gorgeous.”  I can’t remember what I did that day: I probably emailed ppl, sat in on conference calls, looked through some contracts. I can’t remember when I left the office or what I ate for dinner. […]

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Vegan Mint Chocolate Cake with Simple Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

Food

A few years ago, while walking into the office, and a woman stopped me to say, “Girl, you look gorgeous.”  I can’t remember what I did that day: I probably emailed ppl, sat in on conference calls, looked through some contracts. I can’t remember when I left the office or what I ate for dinner. I can’t even remember what I wore that day. But I will never forget the way that woman’s  words darted through me like a shot of espresso. It’s International Women’s Month and while we can and should celebrate the women who fill our history books, let’s also remember to celebrate the women who can change our lives every single day: each other.

I figured there was really no better way to celebrate women than to make chocolate cake. Like a really GOOD chocolate cake. Not dry, not too dense, not too sweet. Now, you have to understand, guys, I’ve been making chocolate cake since I started The Korean Vegan all the way back in 2016. It’s my husband’s absolute FAVORITE dessert and therefore, it was among the very first things I learned to veganize. But over the years, I’ve been tweaking it here and there to make it a little more perfect, a little more scrumptious.

I have a few tricks up my sleeve–like using bananas instead of eggs (which you can’t really taste, btw), two shots of espresso to really intensify the flavors (I use decaf), and heating the chocolate mixture up so that the cocoa powder becomes totally liquified. I also like to use oil in lieu of melted butter, to keep the cake a a little lighter and soft (what does butter turn into when it’s being cooled? You guessed it–hard!).

But, my Achilles heel has always been the frosting. When I started baking with vegan butter, my buttercream frosting would always break and it would literally drive me bonkers. I tried everything–keeping everything at the same temperature, chilling the frosting and then mixing, using a hair drier while mixing, adding more cocoa powder and even flour to help emulsification, letting the stand mixer beat the living daylights out of it for 20 minutes straight, you NAME it, I tried it. My frosting always started to curdle. So, one day on my own initiative, I decided to start with the dry ingredients and then add the butter and the other wet ingredients.

Look, baking professionals can yell at me all they want, but this has SAVED my buttercream frostings. By adding the dry ingredients first and THEN the wet ingredients, I can keep an eye on the consistency and make sure I’m not adding too much fat (i.e., butter) to throw off the delicate balance that is seemingly necessary to achieve a non-curdled buttercream frosting.

I added peppermint to the batter because my husband prefers mint chocolate cake. However, if you don’t want to add any, just skip it. A word of warning: peppermint extract is powerful stuff so I only added 1/2 teaspoon!

Vegan Mint Chocolate Cake with Simple Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

Servings 8 slices

Ingredients
  

Mint Chocolate Cakes

  • 2 1/2 cups sifted all purpose flour (370 g)
  • 2 cups sugar (400 g)
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 pinch salt optional
  • 1 1/8 cup cocoa powder (120 g)
  • 2 shots espresso (see Note)
  • 1/2 banana, mashed
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 3/4 cup water
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp peppermint extract

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

  • 1 cup sifted powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup sifted cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup butter (at room temperature)
  • 1/4 cup melted chocolate (at room temperature)
  • 2 tbsp plant milk (at room temperature)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions
 

Mint Chocolate Cakes

  • Preheat your oven to 350°F.
  • Spray 2 7-inch cake pans with cooking spray and line them with parchment paper. (Watch the video for how I do this.)
  • Add the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl. Whisk and set aside.
  • To a small saucepot, add cocoa powder, vegetable oil, water, peppermint extract, espresso, vanilla extract, and banana. Stir together over medium-low heat until the cocoa powder has completely dissolved.
  • Stir the warm chocolate mixture into the dry ingredients. Using a whisk, mix together all ingredients until the dry ingredients are completely incorporated.
  • Divide cake batter equally into the two cake pans (use a scale–it's not as intuitive as you think!).
  • Bake in the oven for ~38 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Allow the cakes to cool in the pans for about 5 to 10 minutes. Run a sharp knife or offset spatula around the edges to loose the cakes before flipping the cake pans over and gently dislodging the cakes.
  • Allow the cakes to cool on a wire rack for at least 1 hour before frosting them. You can also wrap them up and place them in the fridge overnight (this will actually make it much easier to frost them).

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

  • Add powdered sugar and cocoa powder into a large bowl.
  • Add 1/2 of the butter, melted chocolate and vanilla extract and mix using handmixer until the mixture becomes creamy. If the frosting is too thick, additional butter (1 tablespoon at a time) and plant milk until you reach desired consistency.
  • Wait until the cakes have completely cooled before attempting to frost them. I generally do not like too much frosting, but if you like frosting, double the frosting recipe.

Notes

If you don’t have espresso handy, you can substitute in 2 teaspoons of instant coffee powder, but add 1/4 cup (for a full 2 cups) of water to the recipe.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
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Recipe Rating




  1. Julia says:

    Can’t wait to try! Can I substitute gluten free all purpose flour for flour? I’m sensitive.

    • the.krn.vegan@gmail.com says:

      I’m not sure, as I haven’t tried it; however, if it’s worked on other cake recipes, this one is should be no different! Good luck!

  2. Patty Fitts says:

    5 stars
    I was so. Excited to see this in the mail today!! I found, in checking my spam drain, that I had missed an email about your pre order of your book . So I made sure I am getting your emails now. I can’t wait for your. Book! I can’t wait to try this cake!

  3. Helen says:

    5 stars
    This was my first time baking a cake, and it came out amazing! I didn’t have mint extract, so I made mine without and it still was very delicious and went well with toasted sliced almonds. One question though, can you freeze this cake or would that mess up with the texture of the cake or the buttercream?

  4. Kate says:

    5 stars
    This got devoured by even my non vegan friends, thanks for the recipe! Best vegan chocolate cake I’ve tried by far

  5. 5 stars
    Wow! Amazing recipe Thank you, I love baking and this was a dream, I will be trying many more of your recipes over the next few weeks. We have an ethical vegan online store https://mettalife.co.uk/ so always looking for inspiration

  6. Leah Favela says:

    5 stars
    I made this tonight and it came out really good! You forgot to put when to add the peppermint extract and espresso so I just added it at the end. I think this is my new favourite cake; the hint of mint is so delicious. Thanks for the recipe, Joanne!

CHECK IT OUT

IF YOU WANT TO EAT AMAZING VEGAN FOOD, I AM HERE TO HELP.

This meal planner was built for you.
THE KOREAN VEGAN MEAL PLANNER IS HERE.