Nearly four weeks back, Andrew and I spent the most stunning Saturday evening surrounded by our dearest DC friends and family, celebrating what we’ve fondly been referring to as: Happy Pushing, A Party. A life, love, and little babe bash, I don’t think either of us had ever felt more overwhelmed or thankful, enveloped in an outpouring of genuine joviality from those who have continued to support, nourish, and foster our relationship, little babe, our bone deep happiness. Keeping as far away from diaper towers and birthing themed charade, I did welcome one little touch of cheeky whimsy, the most delicious lemon, lime, and coconut cream cake, adorned with a ‘Happy Pushing‘ banner. Made with every ounce of love by my most talented and impassioned friends, Sarah and Isaiah, the bakers turned expert fermentation wizards behind DC’s Keep Well Vinegar, this vegan friendly naked cake was not only one of the best bites I’ve ever welcomed, but a real deal slice of summertime perfection. Simultaneously light and bright, made with citrus and fresh summer berries, but also decadently rich with thick dollops of aquafaba merengue infused coconut cream, they’ve so graciously shared the recipe for your at-home pleasure. If you have the patience and are up for the palatable project, make this. NOW!
Lemon Lime Cake
Recipe Created By: Sarah Conezio & Isaiah Billington, Keep Well Vinegar
3 cups all purpose flour
6 tablespoons cornstarch
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons salt
2 cups unsweetened almond milk
1 tablespoon vinegar
zest of 1 lime
zest of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup sunflower oil
liquid from 1 can of chickpeas
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, rack in the middle. Prepare 2 9-inch round cake pans by lightly coating them with coconut oil, then dusting with flour. Set aside.
In a large bowl, sift together flour, cornstarch, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. The cornstarch will have the urge to stick together, so be sure ingredients are all well combined.
In a separate bowl, whisk together almond milk, vinegar, zests, and vanilla extract. The mixture should thicken (or curdle) the milk slightly. This is totally normal!
Add the almond milk mixture and sunflower oil to the dry ingredients and whisk until just combined.
In an electric stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip the liquid from 1 can of chickpeas until it begins to form peaks (almost like a merengue). Once the liquid has reached a ‘stiff peak’ stage, gently fold it into the cake batter.
Divide the batter between the two prepared cake pans, then bake for 15 minutes. Rotate, test for doneness, then bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until the cake springs back when lightly pressed. Allow cakes to cook for 15 minutes, then remove from pans and allow to cool completely.
Creamy Coconut Whipped Icing
2 cans full fat coconut milk, refrigerated overnight
2 ½ cups sugar, divided
25 grams Ultratex
3 teaspoons salt, divided
½ cup water
liquid from 1 can of chickpeas
2 ½ cups vegan margarine
2 teaspoons salt
citrus zest, juice & vanilla extract to taste
In a large bowl, whip the top layer of thick coconut cream (taken from the refrigerated coconut milk), with ¼ cup sugar, Ultratex, and 1 teaspoon salt until the mixture is thick and creamy. Set aside.
In a medium pot, heat remaining 2 ¼ cups sugar with water, making sure to have a candy thermometer nearby (you’ll be heating the mixture to exactly 248 degrees F). As the sugar is heating, in an electric stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip the liquid from 1 can of chickpeas until it begins to form peaks (almost like a merengue). Once the liquid has reached a ‘stiff peak’ stage, preferably at the same time as the sugar has just reached 248 degrees F, increase the whisk speed to high and carefully pour in the sugar.
As you continue to whisk, the mixture should begin to look glossy and cool down. Once it has cooled to room temperature, add the margarine and salt, a little bit at a time (you might lose a little volume, but the important thing is that the mix isn’t too hot- be patient or you’ll end up with frosting soup!). Continue whisking until mixture is uniform and then add flavorings- I added a little more lemon/lime zest and vanilla!
Fold the merengue mixture into the coconut cream mixture, adding more zest, juice, or vanilla to taste.
prepared baby shower lemon lime cake
½ cup lemon Pellegrino
prepared creamy coconut whipped icing
4 cups fresh mixed berries
Making sure the cake is completely cold, brush each layer of cake with Pellegrino. Place the first cake down on your desired serving surface, then dollop on your desired amount of coconut whipped icing, spreading the frosting out over the top of the cake. Sprinkle with fresh berries, then place the second layer of cake on top. Again, dollop with your desired amount of coconut whipped icing, spreading the frosting out over just the top of the cake, then decorate with fresh berries.
for my memory & your back pocket: 33 weeks pregnant, wearing Hatch Collection