Lots of chocolate gets eaten in February, and I am SO about it. Let’s get into some other options besides boxed chocolates, and into this vegan chocolate layer cake with vanilla mousse and strawberries!
I took a poll on instagram last week, asking if y’all would dig a chocolate layer cake recipe. Naturally, I got a resounding YES! (With maybe three nos) And because I only have one other “proper” layer cake on here, it’s about damn time I come out with a new one.
This vegan chocolate layer cake is gorgeous, and is ready to make its debut. Rich, chocolatey layers of fluffy cake, broken up with vanilla mousse and fresh strawberries. To top it off, a layer of chocolate ganache and more mousse and berries! I feel like any valentine would be lucky to get their hands on this cutie-of-a-cake.
Now, I made the cake layers using three 6-inch cake pans, but feel as though the cake would be a touch more manageable if made in 7-inch pans. If you do this, you will need a few more strawberry slices, but the amount of mousse should be sufficient.
This was my first attempt at a non-chocolate mousse, and honestly? I’m pretty impressed with how it turned out! I didn’t have to rely on it setting up super firmly, because the strawberries help support the heavy cake layers. Because of that, I now have a versatile mousse recipe that can go on all kinds of desserts!
I nice touch for this vegan chocolate layer cake would be to color the mousse with some natural red food dye. Light pink mousse would be adorable for Valentine’s! Next time, I may add some cute sprinkles to the top pile of mousse, for a finishing touch.
If you’re curious about how to make this in advance, I recommend baking the cake layers, cooling them completely, then wrapping them in plastic wrap. Then making the mousse and have it set up in the fridge, overnight. That way, the next day (or maybe two days later), you can assemble with ease!
2 years: Dreamy Tangerine Chia Pudding // 3 years: Supreme Nacho Burger // 4 years: Greens 24/7 Cookbook // 5 years: Chocolate-Covered Strawberry Oatmeal // 6 years: Loaded Enchilada Soup // 7 years: Arugula Pesto Spaghetti Squash
For Vanilla Mousse
- 1 cup raw cashews
- 3/4 cup firm tofu
- 1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk
- 1/2 cup vegan white chocolate chips, melted
- 3 tablespoons agave nectar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
For Cake Layers
- 3 cups (420 g) unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2 cups (475 g) cane sugar
- 2/3 cup (50 g) cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups (473 ml) very cold water
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) olive oil
- 1/4 cup (60 g) apple sauce
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) apple cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Assembly & Ganache
- 2 1/2 cups fresh strawberries, halved with leave removed
- 1/2 cup vegan semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) full-fat coconut milk
- For the white chocolate mousse, pour boiling water over the cashews (in a heat resistant dish) and soak them for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, place tofu, coconut milk, white chocolate chips, agave, vanilla, and salt in a blender.
- Once the cashews are plump, drain and rinse them, then add them to the blender. Puree until very smooth, then let mixture rest for 5 minutes. Puree again, then transfer mousse to a container and refrigerate for 1 hour.
- For the cake, preheat oven to 350F and grease three 6-inch cake pans, then dust each with cocoa powder. In a large mixing bowl, sift flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt together.
- In a large liquid measuring cup, measure out 2 cups of very cold water, then add olive oil, apple sauce, apple cider vinegar, and vanilla to it. Whisk until well-combined, then pour into the dry flour mix. Whisk until smooth.
- Split batter between the three cake pans, gently tapping the pans on a stable surface to even out the mixture. Bake cakes for 38-42 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Cool on racks for 20 minutes, before transferring to the refrigerator to chill.
- Once both the cakes and mousse are chilled, use a serrated knife and cut the cake dome off of each layer so that they are flat. Arrange the strawberry halves around the outer edge on top of your first cake. (as pictured) The berries help contain the mousse and give more rigidity to the cake.
- Scoop the mousse into the center, making the height slightly higher than the strawberries. Top with second layer and repeat. Top with remaining layer of cake, and make ganache.
- In a microwave safe bowl, combine chocolate chips with coconut milk, and microwave for 45 seconds. Stir until melted and completely smooth. You can also do this with a double boiler, if you don't want to use the microwave.
- Wait 2 to 3 minutes before slowly covering the top of the cake with ganache. Letting excess ganache drip down the sides. Chill cake for 15 minutes, then top with remainder of mousse, berries, and/or chocolate pieces, how you see fit. Keep chilled before serving.
I made the cake layers using three 6-inch cake pans, but feel as though the cake would be a touch more manageable if made in 7-inch pans. If you do this, you will need a few more strawberry slices, but the amount of mousse should be sufficient. And the baking time may be 5-10 minutes less.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1 grams
Amount Per Serving: Unsaturated Fat: 0g