As my baby's birthday was approaching, I've been an emotional wreck for the last month. Anyone else know what I mean?
My little big girl turned Two, just yesterday.
It's weird because when she turned One, I felt nothing.
Everyone was congratulating me on this huge milestone, saying what a big deal it is and how it must feel so incredible to celebrate.
I know how that sounds. The truth is- I was obsessed with my little girl, but I was still healing from the trauma of birth and the challenges of breast feeding. On top of that, I was still learning how to juggle work and motherhood. I didn't feel in control of anything any more and as all Lake wanted to do was crawl, I was regretting booking a busy crowded restaurant for her 1st birthday celebrations.
This year couldn't have felt any more different.
So different in fact, that for a solid month leading up to her birthday on 13th January, I only had to think of my baby turning 2 and tears would well up in my eyes.
My grateful heart would feel so full, it hurt physically.
Then on her birthday eve, as I reminisced exactly what I was doing to prepare for her birth two years earlier, I was in bits.
It was as if I was suddenly feeling the collective love of every parent of this world. The love that I never knew existed, so pure, so intense, and so unbelievably unexplainably unquestionably unconditional.
I posted some highlights of her first two years earth-side on social media that night. Have a browse here if you like>>
Guys, thank you so much for being here and for letting me share my joy with you.
It literally feels like it is you that I blog for every week (well almost every week) and it means so much knowing that you're reading.
This Raspberry & Coconut cake I made yesterday was of course for my beautiful angel but it was also for you too...
I knew I'd be sharing the recipe with you ASAP, so just know that it was made with EVEN more love, because you were on my mind.
Oh and BTW, the cake is vegan, so no dairy or animal products of any kind, but it's also gluten free. Also, I would never use refined sugars, so it feels good to feed it to my child and her little friends till their tummies and hearts are full.
And adults LOVE it too! It's still as moist and sweet and creamy and spongy as your favourite naughty cake. Definitely one to try!
PLANT BASED RASPBERRY & COCONUT CAKE
For the baked cakes
- 1.5 cups extra virgin olive oil (360ml)
- 3 cups coconut palm sugar (375g)
- 1 can coconut milk (400ml)
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 4 cups gluten free flour (I used 2 cups rice flour, 1 cup buckwheat flour, 1/2 cup coconut flour and 1/2 cup desiccated coconut)
- 2 teaspoons bakin powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
For the raw icing
- 2 cups cashews, soaked 3-8 hours
- 1 can coconut milk (400ml)
- 1 cup xylitol or erythritol
- 1/2 cup extra virgin coconut oil, melted
- Juice of 2 lemons
- 1-2 cups desiccated coconut
- 3 punnets fresh raspberries (450g)
- 300g frozen raspberries
- Preheat your oven to 200 degrees C. Grease three 7.5 inch (19cm) removable base cake tins with some olive oil.
- Pour olive oil, sugar, coconut milk, cider vinegar and vanilla extract into a high speed blender and pulse till well combined.
- Sieve the flours, baking powder and soda into the same blender jug and blend on low till fully mixed. I used a heavy duty Dynapro jug from Tribest>> (Alternatively, beat everything in a large bowl using an electric mixer)
- Divide the batter equally among 3 greased tins. Bake for 30 minutes or until the knife slides out clean when cake is pricked. Cool the cakes completely in their tins (I baked them the night before Lake's party).
Icing MethodRinse the soaked cashews in warm water and transfer to a blender jug (cashews must be warm, otherwise the coconut oil will solidify too fast). Also add the coconut milk, xylitol, lemon juice and melted coconut oil to the jug and blend until runny and smooth.
Pour out about 1/2 cup of the mixture for use later and add 1 cup of desiccated coconut to the blender jug. Blend using a tamper rod. If this mixture is still runny, add more desiccated coconut and continue to add then blend, till the mixture becomes easy to scoop and spread.
Remove all three cakes from their tins and place one onto the cake stand or plate which you'll be using to display the finished masterpiece. Spread the thick icing like pancake batter in the middle of the cake, leaving approximated 1 inch around the perimeter clean.
Take fresh raspberries, one at a time, use the point of each to slide from edge of the cake towards the icing, until it sticks. Place raspberries side by side, always having the round opening facing out. You should have an assemble resembling a flower.
Take little spoonfuls of the smooth runny cream and carefully pour it on top of the raspberries. Some cream will naturally drip between the berries, but don't overdo it. Sprinkle some frozen raspberries all over the thick icing and gently press on each one until it touches the cake. Spread a little more of the thick icing on top to create an even surface.
Place the second cake layer on top and repeat the steps above.
Place the third cake layer on top and now spread more of the thick icing but in a much smaller circle. Create another raspberry flower and continue to create another flower within it, until you reach the middle.