I’ve been saying for a while on this blog that vegan baking doesn’t need to be a compromise. But finding amazing baking recipes isn’t always easy, especially vegan cakes that are more than vanilla or chocolate. For this vegan caramel cake, I combined a few different recipes to make one fantastic cake.
The cake layers are the vegan vanilla cake from Instagram cake maven, Courtney Rich. (Although she calls it an egg-free, dairy-free vanilla cake without using the V-word.) I was hoping her dedication to cake excellence would deliver a solid vegan cake. (She did test a number of vegan baking substitutes to find the best ingredients for her cake.)
The first trick for vegan buttercream icing is to know that you use any (American) buttercream icing recipe by replacing the butter with a mix of 50% vegan butter and 50% vegetable shortening (ideally high-ratio shortening, available at Bulk Barn, but Crisco will also do the job). The key is this 50/50 mix since vegan butter alone is too soft at room temperature to create a solid buttercream, and shortening alone is flavourless and provides a horrible mouthfeel.
I followed a salted caramel buttercream recipe from Sugar & Sparrow, another one of my favourite cake inspirations. But instead of her salted caramel recipe (that uses butter and cream), I adapted it to be vegan using vegan butter and coconut cream. Checkout my vegan salted caramel sauce recipe.
When I assembled the cake, I used a thin later of buttercream between each cake layer, as well as a drizzle of caramel. I applied a crumb coat and chilled it before applying the final coat of buttercream icing. I used the remaining caramel to drizzle over the top of the cake.
Vanilla cake: Cake by Courtney egg-free and dairy-free vanilla cake
Caramel buttercream: Sugar & Sparrow salted caramel buttercream (I doubled the recipe to ensure I had enough… although a 1.5x recipe would have been enough)
Salted caramel: my own vegan adaptation (I used half in the buttercream, and the rest between layers and drizzled on the top)