Vanilla Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting and Dark Chocolate Ganache
“vegan kandy kake”
The peanut-butter and chocolate flavor combination is indisputably delicious, and the addition of a light vanilla cake elevates this pairing from a sweet snack to a luscious dessert. Anyone who grew up in the Northeast United States should be familiar with the Tasty Baking Company’s classic snack cakes, KandyKakes – small rounds of vanilla cake with a peanut butter topping enrobed in milk chocolate. This is a vegan version of those sweet snacks, with a sliceable size that makes it much easier to share.
Basic Vanilla Cake
makes two 8-inch rounds or two dozen cupcakes
3 C unbleached all-purpose flour
1 T baking powder
.5 C oil
1 2/3 C sugar
.5 t salt
2 C non-dairy milk
1 T vanilla
Preheat oven to 350
Lightly oil 2 8-inch round pans, line bottoms with rounds of parchment paper and lightly oil parchment; set aside.
Sift together the flours and baking powder into a medium bowl and set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together oil and sugar with paddle attachment until lighter in color and texture, about 5-10 minutes. Scrape the bowl before incorporating the vanilla. Reduce speed to low and beat in 1 C of the milk. Stop and scrape the bowl completely. Add half of the flour mixture and beat on low until just combined; scrape the bowl before returning to low speed to just incorporate the remaining milk. Add the remaining flour mixture, beating on low until just combined. Remove bowl from mixer and scrape with a spatula to ensure homogeneity.
Portion batter into prepared pans and bake, 30-50 minutes, until the top of the cake springs back when lightly pressed and a cake tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
Cool in pans on wire rack 10 minutes before inverting onto rack; right the cakes to cool completely before icing and assembling.
Peanut Butter Frosting
makes about 1.5 C
.25 C non-hydrogenated margarine
2 T non-hydrogenated shortening
.5 C creamy natural peanut butter
1 t vanilla extract
1/8 t salt
1.25 C confectioner’s sugar
1-2 T non-dairy milk
In a medium bowl, beat together the margarine and shortening until well combined. Beat in the peanut butter, molasses, vanilla, and salt on high for several minutes until well combined. With mixer on low, beat in sugar gradually; once sugar is fully incorporated, raise speed to high and beat 5-7 minutes, until lighter in color and texture. Add milk and beat until fluffy.
Use immediately or refrigerate, covered, for 3 days. Allow frosting to come to room temperature and beat lightly before use.
Basic Chocolate Ganache
makes 2 C
12 oz semi-sweet chocolate pieces
.5-2/3 C non-dairy milk
1 t vanilla extract
Combine chocolates in a heatproof bowl. Scald milk over high heat and pour over chocolate, reserving a few tablespoons for adjustment. Let mixture stand about half a minute before stirring with a rubber spatula until well combined, adding the remaining milk as needed to create a smooth ganache. It may be necessary to briefly microwave the mixture to melt the chocolate completely – do so with caution as you do not want to overheat the chocolate. Heat the bowl in 10-15 second intervals, stirring well after each, just until the mixture is smooth. Stir in the vanilla extract.
Use the ganache immediately.
Slice the domed tops from cooled cakes. Place one cake, cut side up, on a cake round. Spread Peanut Butter Frosting over top of cake only, leaving the sides clean. Place second cake, cut side down, on top of frosted cake. Pour warm ganache onto the cake and spread with an offset spatula to create a smooth, even coat. Let cool at room temperature until ganache is set. Store at room temperature for up to one day or refrigerate for up to 3 days.