Strawberry Lime Cake (Vegan)

A getaway. That's what I'm craving lately. Not veggie burgers or mochi ice cream bites (though super hard to resist), but my body wants to get the heck out of California and confuse itself with time zones, culture shock, and all that great stuff. 

When something upsetting happens, big or small, it tends to flick a switch inside of me that says, "ok, it's time to go now." Then, I pack my bags, quit my job, and book spontaneous flights (sometimes one-way flights). There's something very attractive about starting fresh in a different city, and a faraway state where no one knows your name. You can be anyone you want to be. Of course, my true self with all it's strengths and weaknesses lingers with me everywhere I go, but I feel like I've gained an inch of inner-strength every time I switch locations. 

In this present moment, I'm trying so hard to call Los Angeles my "home." All of it's palms, frills, the people I've met, and the busy streets I walk. I'm in the process of filling my apartment with new furniture as a stay-put tactic for myself. Yet, all a new sofa in the living room has done is give me anxiety about what will eventually happen to all of this stuff when I just can't take it here anymore?

I've done a few things to counteract all of the 'mid-life-crisis-at-the-age-of-22' thoughts. 

1. A new space to practice yoga. My roommate has introduced me to a yoga studio that has been helping me immensely. I'm going to become an official member at the end of this month (this is a 3-month commitment and yet another stay-put tactic). 

2. Write letters. Codi Ann Thomson has inspired me to take up snail mail and became my first recipient. Writing my thoughts straight onto paper, enclosing it, and sending it away to someone comes with an emotional release I cannot begin to explain. Try it for yourself to see what I mean (and feel free to request my address and send me a letter). 

3. Travel and return. The moment I landed in this little crisis I starting thinking, "Ok, I need to keep moving. I need to go. Where can I go?" I now have a flight to Oregon planned for two weeks from now, where I'll head to the coast for some self-discovery time. I'm also in the midst of planning an adventurous trip to Alaska. 

Meanwhile, I'm swooning over parked camper vans and vintage motorhomes both on the streets in my neighborhood and all over craigslist. They're calling my name, "Jess! Call my owner, come take a look at me, buy me, fix me up, and turn me into the most gorgeous mini kitchen and travel with me!" My future home on wheels doesn't have a name yet, but as you can tell, it has already developed a voice. It's going to happen guys, and I'll let you know when I come up with a name. 

Ok, let's talk cake now. This strawberry lime cake reminds me of the Minute Maid strawberry limeade I used to drink in the summertime when I was a kid. I've never been much of a lemonade girl, but limeade was my jam. Nowadays, I'm not sure about how my grown-up tastebuds would respond to Minute Maid. If I tried to drink a glass I'm afraid that my cheeks might pucker and I'd complain about the sugar content and how I could make my own healthier version. Wow, listen to me, I really am a boring adult now, aren't I? 

Maybe one day I'll post a recipe for strawberry limeade for sugar sensitive adults such as myself, but today I've got a cake version of just that. This is a perfect, not too sweet, snack cake. It is vegan and lower in fat than most cakes, but your friends won't know that if you don't tell them. 

This recipe is adapted from Vegan Richa. She uses a blender to puree the strawberries, which makes the cake a little more pink and strawberry-y, if you will. I decided to add lime zest and lime juice into the picture, turning it more into a lime cake with fresh strawberries folded in for texture. I'm sure you could combine our methods by pureeing the strawberries and adding some lime. Please let me know if you decide to try it this way!

I'm so happy with how this cake turned out, and can't wait to try it with more summer fruits (blueberries, figs, cherries, etc.) when the season arrives. Oh summer fruit, I'm so ready for you. 

It's been pretty grey out lately in LA. It's still sweater weather, but these calm mornings and overcast skies remind me of the June gloom that is to come. I'm crossing my fingers for a good monsoon or two. Here's a playlist dedicated to my favorite weather pattern of the year:

Strawberry Limeade Cake (Vegan)
Yield: One 6" cake 
Adapted from: veganricha 

for the cake:
- 1 cup all-purpose flour 
- 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour (or additional a.p. flour)
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch 
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda 
- 1/4 teaspoon salt 
- 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk 
- zest & juice of 3 limes
- 1/2 teaspoon white vinegar 
- 3/4 cup raw sugar
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
- 1 cup chopped ripe strawberries 

for the icing:
- 1 cup powdered sugar 
- 3 tablespoons unsweetened almond milk 
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla 
- zest of 1 lime 
- strawberries for decoration 

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and line one 6" cake pan with parchment paper. 
  2. Sift the flours, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt together and stir to combine. 
  3. In a separate medium bowl, whisk the almond milk, lime zest & juice, white vinegar, and vanilla. Let rest for 5 minutes. 
  4. Add the raw sugar, melted coconut oil, and vanilla to the wet ingredient mixture and whisk.
  5. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the wet ingredients to the center. Whisk into a smooth batter. Then, fold in chopped strawberries. 
  6. Place batter into the prepared cake pan and bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick into the center comes out clean. Then, remove and let cool completely before icing. 
  7. To make the icing: whisk the powdered sugar, almond milk, vanilla, and lime zest together until smooth and runny enough to slowly drizzle off a spoon. If the icing is too runny, add more sugar. If it is too thick, add more almond milk. 
  8. Cover the top of the cake with the icing, letting it drip off the sides of the cake. Top with strawberries and serve!

- Try cutting the cake in half and filling it with strawberry preserves before icing. 
- Store the cake in the fridge for up to 5 days. 

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© A Little Baker
Maira Gall