Last week my sweet niece from Portland, Maine celebrated her first birthday. We were going to be together for the special day, at the seashore in Delaware. They were traveling a long distance to get there, so I offered to take care of the birthday cake. Her family is vegan and we didn’t want to introduce inflammatory gluten, flour, or sugar on her first birthday, so I happily took on the project of creating her first birthday cake. It was so much fun, and the results were beyond delicious! Even a sugar-loving grown-up would love the flavor of this cake, but the beauty of it is that it’s also full of nutrients and good healthy ingredients.
Almond Raspberry Jam Cake with Coconut Cream
*It’s best to make the raspberry jam and to start the coconut cream the night before.
For Raspberry Jam:
2 cups fresh raspberries
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 Tbsp. maple syrup
Combine all ingredients in a saucepan. Over medium heat, stir the ingredients and mash up the raspberries with a wooden spoon. Stir and cook for 8-10 minutes until the jam thickens up a bit. Remove from heat. Jam will thicken more as it cools. Once cool, store in a jar in the fridge for 4-5 days.
For Coconut Cream:
2 tsp. maple sugar
1/2 tsp. Vanilla extract
2. Open can of coconut and scoop out solidified coconut cream into the chilled bowl, pouring out liquid (or reserve for a smoothie later.)
3. Whip on high speed until fluffy (takes 5+ minutes.) Add in maple syrup and vanilla and whip again for a few moments to combine.
For Almond Cake:
1/2 lemon, juiced
4/5 cup almond milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 1/4 cups almond meal
1 1/4 cups gluten-free flour
1/4 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder
3. Pour oil into a mixing bowl along with the lemon, almond milk, vanilla, maple syrup, and almond meal. Sift in the flour, baking soda and baking powder and mix well.
4. Pour into three cake pans. Bake for about 15 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean.
5. Remove from pan and cool on wire racks, also removing parchment.
6. Once cool, place first cake on a plate or cake stand. Place a large spoonful of raspberry jam on top and spread to the edges, covering the cake. Then add a dollop of coconut cream and do the same. Add the second cake and repeat, and the third cake and repeat. I love the look of non-iced sides, but you can also try icing the sides as well. Top with raspberries, strawberries or any other fruit that you desire. Serve immediately as the coconut cream doesn’t hold up well. Store extras in fridge for a delish treat later!