There are so many events we can celebrate. From a birthday or anniversary, to a new job or a new home. How about a graduation, a new friend, or simply the changing of the seasons? Into the monotony of our often heavily scheduled lives, it’s nice to break up the pattern with a celebration, and what better way to crown the occasion than with a Celebration Cake?
Here on the Westcoast, we are experiencing an extended summer. Warm days reminiscent of those lazy summer afternoons fade into brisk and sometimes chilly nights, where you feel the light fingers of autumn tap you on the shoulder, reminding you that it’s just around the corner. With the merging of the seasons in mind, I wanted to pull in the summer harvest with the strawberries and blend it with the autumn concord grapes and oranges which are usually available all the year through. The result was rather stunning.
My decorative experiment was just a start. This cake is a canvas where you can exercise your own creative flair. While I used oranges, strawberries and concord grapes, any combination of fruit, flowers or even sweets can add up to a masterpiece. It makes an impressive accent to a dinner party or even just a celebration between friends. The choice is yours to impress your guests with your own personal artistic creation!
Use your own creativity for any type of celebration
- 2 cups plain yogurt
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- ¾ cup unsalted butter
- 2 c. coconut sugar
- 2 chia eggs *
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 vanilla bean (if omitting use 3 teaspoons vanilla)
- 3 cups light spelt flour
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- the zest of two oranges
- Chia eggs: for each egg, blend 1 Tablespoon ground chia seeds with 3 Tablespoons water
Butter and flour 2 – 8-inch cake pans (I put parchment paper on the bottom of the pans, but it’s not necessary). In a bowl, mix yogurt and baking soda and set aside. Make sure the bowl is large enough as the volume will expand. In a mixer, cream together butter and sugar until smooth and creamy. Add the chia eggs and mix. Add the vanilla and mix. In a medium bowl, mix together the flour and baking powder. Pulverize the vanilla bean to a powder either in a Vitamix or coffee grinder; add and mix. Add alternately, the flour mixture and the yogurt mixture to the mixer and stir just until incorporated after each addition. Blend in the orange zest. Separate the mixture into the two pans. Bake at 350ºF for about 25-30 minutes. Test with a toothpick, and when it comes out clean, it’s done!
Mascarpone Icing (for one cake)
- 16 oz. (500 grams) mascarpone cheese (or cream cheese)
- 2 ¼ cups confectioner’s sugar
- Pinch of salt
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons orange juice
In a medium bowl, beat the mascarpone with the icing sugar, salt and vanilla extract until light and fluffy. Quickly beat in orange juice, and it’s ready to spread.
Now comes the fun part. You can use one cake like I did, cut it in half to assemble, and freeze the second one for another time. Or you can cut both cakes in half and assemble a four layer cake (you would then need a double-recipe of the icing), or you can even try a three layer cake and either freeze or eat the other ½ layer. It’s up to you! Be creative!
Assembly (based on one cake with two layers): Cut the cake in half and place one half on a plate. Spread half of the filling on the first layer. Place the second half on top and ice the top of the cake. Decorate with fruit and/or other artistic items of your choice.
Food For Thought: “The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.” ~ Nicolas Chamfort