My son Catboy turned 11 recently. He wanted a Nyan Cat cake. I don’t know what Nyan Cat is all about but you are welcome to google it. I chose fruit kabobs as the rainbow trail behind the cat, and The Everything Vegan Cookbook has a simple vegan cake recipe I decided to make for the body.
On the day of the party, I followed the recipe for the Pineapple Cherry “Dump” Cake with my beautiful new extra-large rectangle cake pan. As I poured everything in, I had a sneaking suspicion it would not be the kind of cake I could frost, especially spread out in my stupid huge pan. I was right. Fortunately, it was delicious, so I decided to call it a cobbler and stick it in the fridge. Also fortunately, I had time to find a box of accidentally vegan cake mix and just follow directions. I actually got 2 so they’d fit and be big enough for Nyan’s pop-tart body.
I also made Chocolate Obsession Cake from Chocolate Covered Katie (already vegan, I used steamed carrots pureed with water instead of carrot juice) as the cat head, cupcakes tail, and cupcakes legs. The gray fur frosting was hand-crushed Oreos mixed into simple icing (powdered sugar + a little milk and vanilla extract). I smoothed it onto the cooled cakes right away, and it hardened quickly into a perfect fur effect.
The pop-tart body cake ended up being a “butter” cake. Vegan margarine stood in for the butter, and the “egg” was half pumpkin, half Ener-G. On top I did peanut butter frosting that I mixed in my stand mixer with paddles instead of in a blender. I just made sure to blend it for plenty of time and it got very smooth! I spread that on the sides and the edges of the top of the cake. The “pop tart’s strawberry icing” was accidentally vegan store-bought white frosting + ground freeze-dried strawberries. This gave the frosting a wonderfully strong strawberry flavor and bright pink hue. Fresh slivered strawberries acted as the “sprinkles”.
My mom offered to bring some food, so I suggested chips and salsa. I figured even without Mom making any effort whatsoever, they’d end up being vegan. My plan worked! Bwahahahah. I had carbonated water (cheap) and juice to mix instead of pop, plus homemade stevia-sweetened lemonade. There were also plenty of fruits leftover, even after I made plenty of kabobs. In rainbow order, I used: strawberry, orange, banana, kiwi, blueberry, grape.
All the cakes tasted moist and tender. The frostings were great, the fruit was fresh, the cobbler was sweet and buttery, and the salsa was slightly spicy (and provided a much-needed relief from all the sweets!). None of the partygoers were vegan or vegetarian, but no one had any complaints about the food and I got plenty of compliments.
Do your prefer baking birthday cakes for your loved ones from scratch, from a box, or buying ready-made?