Fig & Vanilla naked cake sweetened with dates

So if you know me, you know I am not but a LITTLE obsessed with figs… and naked cakes! Hence the photos of our wedding cake from a year ago in about 10 different forms throughout this blog πŸ˜‰ Inspired by our gorgeous wedding cake, I decided to experiment with recipes to make a healthy, vegan version of a naked cake. (Also since this time is celebrated by family as Shavuot, we traditionally eat a lot of fruit & dairy products- I made a vegan twist to celebrate) This cake is perfect for any special occasion, or just for a beautiful displayed dessert. This cake only has two layers, but you can double the recipe or make as many layers as you like. I used two 9.5 inch cake pans, but 8 inch pans will work as well. There is no added sugar in this recipe, I sweetened it with dates- so by nature of that, the batter is a bit dense and is also only lightly sweet! Which makes it a perfect tea cake. I also used some “helpers” such as coconut milk yogurt for the cake and a coconut base “cream cheese” for the frosting. These are both better when incorporated at room temperature. Vanilla bean paste & almond extract are also specialty ingredients that I think really help bring together the vanilla cake flavors. Also, be sure to store the cake in a covered container in the fridge. Uncovered will dry it out, so you can also try to make the cake more moist by drizzling a simple syrup of warm water & agave over the actual cakes before layering them…

So give it a go! Lemme know how you like it πŸ˜‰

Fig & Vanilla Naked Cake – sweetened with dates

Ingredients for cake:Β 
– 2 1/2 cups of flour
– 1/2 tsp salt
– 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
– 1/2 tsp baking soda
– 1 tbs cornstarch
– 1 1/2 cups almond milk (or milk of choice)
– 10 pitted dates
– 1/4 cup vanilla coconut milk yogurt (or use any vanilla yogurt)
– 1/2 canola oil (or melted coconut oil)
– 1/2 tsp almond extract
– 1/2 tsp vanilla
– 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste

Ingredients for frosting/topping:
– 2 cups vanilla coconut milk yogurt
– 1 cup coconut or almond milk base “cream cheese”
– 1/2 tsp vanilla bean puree
– 8-12 fresh figs

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease (I use coconut oil spray) and lightly flour two 9.5 inch cake pans and set aside.
2. Put almond milk & dates in a bowl and set aside. (the longer these two soak, the better!)
3. Mix together first 5 dry ingredients well, set aside.
4. Mix together yogurt, oil, almond extract, vanilla extract, and vanilla bean paste for wet mixture.
5. In a blender, blend together almond milk & dates. Add to wet mixture.
6. Slowly add wet ingredients to dry and mix well. Batter will be dense.
7. Divide batter into the two cake pans and tap a few times to get out any air bubbles.
8. Place pans in oven and bake for 25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean in a few areas.

9. Let pans cool completely. Make frosting (using a handheld or stand mixer, mix first 3 frosting ingredients until well blended).

10. Assemble one cake on a cake stand, then a layer of frosting, then the other cake,

and then another layer of frosting to top it. Arrange slices of figs all around and on top.

And voila! I hope you enjoy this cake as much as I did πŸ˜‰
*like I mentioned, the cake is only lightly sweet, so if you would like a sweeter variation, add pureed fruits in between the layers on top of the frosting- such as blackberries, figs, strawberries, etc…


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