Sushi and bugs

Yesterday evening we had a small party to celebrate my birthday that was a few days back. We had a few friends over and prepared some food.

I love planning food for parties, and even though it’s usually a bit stressful to prepare everything in time, I pretty much love the preparation part too. For parties you get to plan food that you would not make for a normal day, food that maybe takes a bit more time or looks more interesting. And most of all, you get to bake! I love baking and trying out new recipes and ideas for baking, but I don’t want to be the one eating all of it, so parties are great for this.

birthday party

Yesterday we planned for light finger-foods;

  • Vegan sushi in a few different variations, filled with marinated tofu, cucumber, avocado and mango
  • “Ladybug”-crackers based on an idea R found on the mighty world wide web (with cream cheese and parsley, the ladybugs made out of cherry tomatoes, black olives and chives)
  • Carrot, cucumber and celery sticks with a vegan sour cream dip

Ladybug crackers

And of course there was cake! This time I made a chocolate cake based on my favorite brownie recipe, with a filling of vegan white chocolate mousse.

vegan chocolate cake


My vegan cake recipe

Several people have recently requested my recipe for the cake I usually make during parties, so I thought I would put it up here. The recipe for the sponge cake I use as the base of the cake is originally in Swedish and comes from the book “Vadå Vegan?” by Lisa Gålmark.

Sponge cake

75 g dairy-free margarine
1,5 dl soy cream
2 dl sugar
3 dl flour
2 tsp baking powder
3 tsp vanilla sugar
1 dl soy milk

First, mix the margarine and soy cream with the sugar until the mixture is smooth. Mix baking powder, vanilla sugar and flour in a separate bowl and then add all the ingredients together. Add the soy milk and mix until smooth.

Grease a small baking pan with margarine and sprinkle flour on top so that the pan is covered. Shake out any extra flour left in the pan and then pour the batter into the pan. Bake in oven at 175 degrees celsius for 40-50 minutes.

Some small tips:
I usually put a little less than 2 dl of sugar (maybe 1½), since I don’t like the cake to be too sweet.
This makes quite a small cake, so if needed you can double the recipe. Then it might be good to use a bigger baking pan, since if the batter is too thick the cake might not bake in the middle.

vegan cream cake

Making it into a cream cake:

After the sponge cake is done, let it cool down properly before you cut it horizontally into two pieces (or more if it’s thick). Letting it cool makes it easier to cut since it’s less likely to break. Place one of the layers onto the plate you like to use for serving the cake. Use a little bit of soy milk and spread it over the cake to make it little moist, you will also do the same for the top layer. Make sure you don’t put too much, it’s best if you just use a baking brush to brush on a thin layer.

Between the layers you can put pretty much anything you like. I usually use a mix of strawberry jam and banana. If I have tree layers, I put jam in between one of the layers and mashed banana between the other, if I just have two layers I mix jam and banana together. However, you can use any jam you like, and probably it will also be fine to put some kind of vegan butter cream or something like that, but I haven’t tried this.

On top of the cake and on the sides I just spread a vegan whipped cream (the best one we have around here right now comes from Alpro Soya). I whip the cream with a few teaspoons of sugar and a little vanilla sugar. If you want to add some color to the cake you can probably add some food coloring to the cream (just make sure the coloring is vegan).

The decoration is my weakest side, I’m not that good at making beautiful cakes, just tasty ones! However, I usually use some kind of fruit or berry. My favorites are strawberry, kiwi and grapes. I also like using chocolate in some form. But here you can just let you imagination run wild. I don’t generally use decorations bought in the shop, since most of them include some kind of animal derived ingredient (usually gelatin, milk or colorings).