Thursday, October 4, 2007

Chocolate Rose Cocoa Puff Cake

I went to college in Ohio, and my two best friends still live there. In August I visited them in Cleveland, for the first time in four years! My dear friend PJ was getting married, and my friend Melita now has a little girl (almost four), who I'd never gotten to meet.

Here's PJ looking all bride-like...
Mel's family is especially important to me. Her parents have always been incredibly supportive of me and my antics, and because of her family, I'm vegetarian. They went vegetarian in the 80s and gave me Diet For a New America to read in 1988. So the three of us, plus her parents, were all new vegetarians together in the late 80's. Mel's mom loves to cook, too. She has one of the best collections of vegetarian cookbooks and recipes ever. So needless to say, when we get together, there's always good eating.

Here's me and Mel (and the top of Sylvie's head, she was brushing her hair with that fork!)
The first night we went to one of my favorite restaurants in Cleveland, it's a Salvadorean Cooperative. I ordered bean papusas with rice and plaintains. They bring a huge jar of homemade curtido to the table, it was spicy and so good.

bean papusa, curtido, plaintains, beans and rice
PJ wanted me to make a small vegan cake for her wedding, so Mel, Sylvie and I got to it. We made a triple layer chocolate/rose cake. Each layer was cut in half horizonally and spread with cherry preserves and then the whole thing was frosted in a chocolate cream cheeze buttercream. Of course, I couldn't leave well enough alone, so I edged the whole thing in cocoa puffs.

If you decide to play the cocoa puff game yourself, put them on at the last minute, they absorb moisture from the frosting and go stale quickly! I just frosted the cake per usual, and then layered them ons from bottom to top.

Chocolate Rose Cake
Makes a double layer cake

Into a large bowl mix well:
3 cups unbleached white flour
2 cups sugar
2/3 cups cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
Into another bowl add:
1 cup cold water plus 1 cup rose water
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
Preheat your oven to 350°F. Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and blend well with a big whisk or mixer. Beat out all of the lumps. Divide into two 8" cake pans that have been greased and floured with cocoa.
Bake about about 45 minutes, then test the centers with a toothpick or cake tester. If the tester comes out clean they are done. Cool for ten minutes, then turn out on a wire rack to cool fully.

Chocolate Cream Cheeze Frosting
What You Need:
  • 1/4 cup Earth Balance buttery sticks (at room temperature)
  • 8oz (one container) Tofutti cream cheeze
  • 1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips, melted (3 oz)
  • 3 cups powdered sugar (sifted)
  • 1 teaspoon liqueur or your favorite extract

What You Do:

  1. Beat the Earth Balance and cream cheeze together until smooth with a stand mixer or hand beaters.
  2. Beat in the melted chocolate.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients and beat until whipped and very fluffy. Be sure to scrape down the sides of your bowl to get everything mixed well.
  4. Refrigerate to set.
This make enough frosting to amply cover a double layer cake.


  1. who else but you would think to decorate a cake with cocoa puffs? brilliant. and dang cute!

  2. Who knew cocoa puffs could make a cake look so elegant?! KITTEE KNEW! You're brilliant!

  3. That cake is so cute... and tall! I love it, and so cool you got to see your friends!

  4. That cake is awesome! I love the cocoa puffs (I had no idea they were vegan). Woo hoo!

  5. I love it--it's fun and elegant and made me smile in a few different ways!


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