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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Gluten Free, Vegan, Naturally Colored "Buttercream" Frosted Birthday Cake Recipe- and How To Make Natural Food Coloring


For my husband's birthday, I made him a birthday cake... and at first, I wasn't sure if I should submit the photo to CakeWrecks.com, because I'll admit, cake decorating is not my strong point- I have a lot to learn on the subject... But even so, I decided to share the recipe and pics, less to show off my non existent cake decorating skills, but more to share the recipe and the method of making this gluten free vegan cake, frosted with a vegan buttercream style frosting, and how I made 4 different colors of naturally colored frosting.


To start off, I made a the "crazy cheap vegan chocolate cake" recipe, but I changed the recipe a bit- instead of the 3 cups of wheat flour it calls for, I added 2 cups of brown rice flour, 1 3/4 cups of potato starch, and 2 teaspoons xanthan gum. I added 2 teaspoons of instant coffee to the recipe, and used apple cider vinegar as the vinegar. Yes, I made mine with white sugar... I have yet to come across a perfect gluten free egg free cake that I feel comfortable enough using as a birthday cake. Oh well...

After baking the cake in a round, silicon baking pan, I flipped it over on to this pretty plate and set to work decorating it.

I'll be honest- though I admire the beauty of lots of conventional cakes, etc... I get thoroughly grossed out by most. I am absolutely not interested in eating things that aren't food, and in my books, margarine is not food. I consider eating margarine like eating plastic. I know its not the same, but you couldn't bribe me to eat anything with margarine...
Neither do I consider anything with food coloring food. Food coloring is paint. It's not food. It doesn't belong in our bodies. In our home, food coloring is used for one thing only- to refill printer ink cartridges!
When I see professional cakes and cookies, decorated with standard frostings, etc... I ooh and ahh over their beauty like anyone else, but consider them no more edible than a painting.

But there is something nice about a prettily decorated cake, with lots of frosting in lots of different colors, etc....
Not everyone always wants things either white (vanilla) or brown (chocolate). Color is fun.

But colors don't need to be chemicals. There are so many beautiful colors already in nature that can be used to decorate your food. And to color frosting. And these are stuff you can easily make at home.

Beauty and healthy in one shot!

I don't know how to make every color healthily, but I can make brown, magenta, pink, yellow, and green, and used most of those in this birthday cake for my husband.
And made it dairy free, but without margarine.

To make the frosting, I used 2 3/4 cups sugar which I made into powdered sugar in my coffee grinder. You can use xylitol for this if you want it to be healthier.
I mixed the powdered sugar with 2/3 cup of solid palm oil (it's solid when cold). You can also use coconut oil for this.
And I had an off white frosting.

To make it yellow, I peeled a few carrots, and chopped them in the food processor with teaspoon or two of water. I then squeezed the carrots through a cheesecloth, and had orange/yellow "food coloring". I added between 1/4 and 1/2 cup of this carrot juice to the frosting, and it became a beautiful yellow (with just a touch of orange). It came out slightly more orangey than showing in this picture. You can do this with store bought carrot juice as well.

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I used that to frost my cake.

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I reserved some of that yellow frosting, and from that, I set aside some frosting, to which I added some beet juice, until I got a nice pink color. (I made the beet juice the same way as I made the carrot juice- peel, process, squeeze through a cheesecloth.) I needed to add more palm oil and powdered sugar so it didn't separate once I added all that liquid though.

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I used that to make the heart and flowers on the cake, by squeezing it through a hole cut in the corner of a sandwich bag.

 photo 100_6663_zps6e5cf3fe.jpg I added some cocoa powder to the leftover pink frosting to make a brown frosting.

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To make the green frosting, I mixed some spirulina seaweed powder with the yellow frosting until I got a nice green color.

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The cake was a hit. Delicious, cute, colorful. As for pretty... lol, its the thought that counts, no?

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Do you use natural food colorings in your home? If so, what do you use to make them?

Linking up to Fresh Bites FridayFight Back Friday

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