Work has been so busy lately that I’ve not been able to invest in blogging or even much baking! This is from early April but with fieldwork and office work and face painting and regular life nonsense, I’ve not had a chance until now to bring myself to sit and write this up. Anyway. Last month, my friend from work asked me to make the birthday cake for her son’s second birthday. As you might expect from the son of a freshwater biologist, it was a bug themed birthday, and the request was for no dairy and as little sugar as possible. I decided to try a beetroot and avocado vegan cake recipe by Bunny Kitchen, using a mix of maple syrup, rice malt syrup and agave nectar for the sweetener.
Since I knew I’d be slathering this with frosting, I halved the amount of sweetener in the cake recipe. I also used wholemeal flour, which combined with the lack of sweetener, turned the cake a bit more ‘bready’, which I’m not sure I liked. You could also taste the avocado a lot more, so I wouldn’t recommend reducing the amount of sweetener unless you’re frosting it like I did.
The cake was flipping huge! The abdomen was made up of two 20cm cakes, the thorax was an 18cm cake, and the head a 10cm cake. I boiled 2kg of beetroot for it, and had to go to a specialty cake store for a cake board and box big enough! The frosting is margarine and icing sugar with a bit of cacao, the antennae and legs are licorice straps, and the eyes are halved Oreos with M&M pupils. I also covered the body with chocolate sprinkles, which along with the M&Ms are the only non-vegan element to this cake.
Easily the most daunting part of this cake was getting it down two flights of stairs from my apartment to my car, and driving it to the party without crushing anything! Overall I’m really pleased with how it turned out, even if the cake kinda tasted more like bread than cake. Yay bugs!