I made the most delicious vegan cake EVAR

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Though I was big into baking as a kid, in my adult life I’m way more of a cook than a baker. I think I’m too impatient for it. If I have to use a rolling pin or yeast, forget it.

But a recent foray into baking paid off big time.

My mom’s birthday was last week and I went home to Olympia last weekend to celebrate with her. Because I’m strapped for cash right now, Mom told me not to buy her a present, but I insisted on at least baking a cake. (My selfish motivation: I wanted to be able to eat her birthday cake with her, not eat a birthday apple while the rest of my family got to eat treats.)

When I saw a recipe for a raspberry chocolate cake with chocolate ganache-y frosting, it just screamed MOM’S BIRTHDAY CAKE.

The recipe comes from Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s Vegan With a Vengeance. And, aligning with my no-B.S. sensibilities, it was quite easy. I think the toughest part was overcoming my fear of ruining the two cake layers when I flipped them out of their pans.

I’m not even a chocolate cake person, but this cake was heavenly. So moist and rich. Best of all, my family loved it. I didn’t want it to scream “vegan cake.” I didn’t want it to be “good for a cake with no eggs.” It was just a bomb-ass cake. Full stop.

In addition to being able to whip up something delicious for people I love, I also got a kick out of showing them how righteous vegan food can be. The best evangelism is just showing people how metal plant-based food is. You can preach till you’re blue about animal cruelty and environmental degradation and heart disease, but most people aren’t going to click with plant power until they see how easy and awesome it is.*

I’m still on a high from that cake. I’m pretty firmly Team Pie, but if this is what cake can be in my life, I might cross the aisle more often.

*My first shot at vegan baking was also for my mom, making the Happy Herbivore’s pineapple sunshine muffins (from Happy Herbivore Abroad) for her Mother’s Day breakfast. They, too, were a big hit and I didn’t tell her until after she decided she loved them that they were vegan.

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