Jan 30, 2011

House of Cake

layered chocolate cake with vegan buttercream frosting in the shape of a house.
I took the month of December and part of January to clean, purge, and organize my entire house of 12 years worth of junk. It was tedious. It was draining. It was therapy. Old pots and pans, tupperware with missing lids, an assortment of clever kitchen gadgets that never worked as they're TV commercials had claimed- all to be remembered with varying degrees of fondness, before letting them go. It's amazing how much we hold on to things in our lives- some out of mere laziness, some with an alarming amount of dysfunctional sentiment. In the end, our home made it through it's month-long intervention with a rekindled energy, and a heck of a lot less dust!

A 4-yard dumpster, sore muscles, and 10 plus donation bags later, I decided to celebrate this experience by making a gift to the house. What better way to celebrate than with a house of cake? It's one whopping New Year's resolution down!

This cake was another of my attempts to also use spelt flour instead of wheat, and to minimize processed sugar. I adapted this recipe to make it, and also added a bit of coffee, as I read that it enhances chocolate flavor. It turned out super moist, not too sweet, and the perfect partner to the vegan buttercream frosting.
The roof was made with a triangle cake that was inspired by this post by Hannah over at Bittersweet.

Cake Ingredients:
2 1/2 C. whole pitted dates
3 C. water
1 T. instant coffee (I used decaf, but regular should be fine too)
1 C. soy milk
2 T. apple cider vinegar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 T. ground flaxseed
1/2 C. vegetable oil
1/2 C. unrefined sugar
3 C. spelt flour
1 T. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
3/4 C. cocoa powder (unsweetened)

Makes two houses, depending on size

Cut open dates to check for pits. Place them in a sauce pan with the 3 C. of water. Let it come to a boil, then turn off heat, add instant coffee, and set aside.
Mix soy milk, apple cider vinegar, flaxseed, vegetable oil, and sugar in a bowl. In a separate bowl, sift together the spelt flour, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder. In a food processor, transfer the date mixture and blend until smooth (if it's still hot, allow steam to escape or allow it to cool down first). Mix the date mixture into the prepared wet mix, then mix in the dry mix. Spread into two prepared jelly roll pans (try to spread evenly). Bake at 350 F for 10 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow it to cool before cutting into four identical squares (to make the base layers). Cut 2 more squares into rectangles lengthwise (to make roof layers).

Vegan Vanilla Buttercream Frosting Ingredients:
1 C. Earth Balance buttery sticks
3 1/2 C. confectioner's sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 C. soy milk (adjust according to desired thickness)

Put everything in a food processor, and blend until very smooth and thick. Refrigerate.

Assembling the Cake:
To make the base, simply spread on a thin layer of frosting in between squares, making sure to frost all the way to the ends. For the roof, frost between the rectangle layers as you did previously. Then put in the freezer to set- this will help you keep the layers together when you cut your triangles. See the diagram below.


  1. I think you did a great job...the cake looks amazing and very delicious looking.

    I also feel your sore muscles, I did the same thing in my house for the entire month of November, December & January. It feels so good to see the house clean, organized and with less stuff to dust. I love it...I hope you have a spinning good week.


  2. That is one cool cake. :) I like the date addition and just how chocolaty and rich the whole thing looks mmmmmm... What an awesome way to celebrate your hard work!

  3. This is so fun and cool! I love the cake ingredients...I'm trying to go GF for Feb and see whether I can tell any difference in how I feel.

    It must feel great to get the house cleared of clutter.

  4. You so ROCK! What a cute cake! I love the dates in the cake.

  5. I so want to live in that house of cake. :-)

  6. Wow, I love it! And it looks so smartly constructed, you wouldn't have to worry about it suddenly collapsing under its own weight. That sounds way tastier than a hard-as-rock gingerbread house!