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Exploring vegan, vegetarian and sustainable cooking

Vegan oatmeal Biscoff 4-layer cake

Source: Cake by Courtney, adapted to vegan by me

Another birthday (for Keith), so another opportunity to go all-out with a stunning layer cake from Cake by Courtney. We fell in love with Biscoff buttercream last year, and while last year’s cake wasn’t vegan, we realized that Biscoff cookies and Biscoff cookie “butter” are 100% vegan. Since we had vegan guests coming over, I decided to make a Biscoff-flavoured cake and introduce them to Biscoff.

I selected the oatmeal Biscoff cake from Cake by Courtney, so the focus would be entirely on the Biscoff. This recipe isn’t vegan (Courtney only has a few basic cake that are vegan), but I knew I could easily adapt this particular recipe. I also love cake recipes that incorporate a cookie crust into the cake layers, for added crunch and texture. This recipe also uses Biscoff cookie butter between the layers instead of buttercream, so it’s less sweet than other cakes.

For a recipe to be successfully adapted to vegan, I try to ensure the core flavour ingredients are inherently vegan. This reduced the risks of substituting ingredients.

In this recipe, the following ingredients are all vegan:

  • Biscoff cookies,
  • Biscoff cookie “butter”,
  • Old fashioned oats,
  • Chocolate chips (dark chocolate, not milk chocolate)

For a few other ingredients, there are easy and safe vegan substitutions:

  • Vegan butter instead of dairy butter
  • Bob’s Red Mill Egg Replacer instead of eggs
  • Non-dairy milk and heavy cream instead of milk and heavy cream

As usual when I make layer cakes, I made the cake layers two days ahead and froze them. I wrapped them well in plastic wrap and aluminum foil. I took them out of the freezer a few hours before I assembled the cake, so they’d still be cold when I applied the buttercream icing. This makes the layers stiffer and easier to handle.

The cake layers sunk a fair bit in the centre, probably since I used the vegan egg replacer instead of real eggs. So I trimmed them to make them level, and saved the offcuts to decorate the top of the cake. I also ground some cake bits in the blender to use as a crumble on the top of the cake, and along the base.

The result? A huge hit! (As always for Cake by Courtney.) P.S. my birthday is in 2 months, so I get to plan another cake soon!

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