Rustic Bourbon Vanilla Layer Cake

Today, I'm throwing it back to when my bestie got married!  It was Labor Day Weekend 2014 and it couldn't have been lovelier!

Katie was brave enough to have me make her wedding cake.  I love baking and decorating cakes, but I am no where near the level of making wedding cakes.  Thankfully, Katie wanted a simple, plain-jane vanilla cake with vanilla icing.


My first dabble into making a small vegan wedding cake! #vegan #wedding #cake #vanilla #bourbon #flowers #laborday #weekend #rustic #shabool #dairyfree

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We scoped Pinterest for cake styling options, and we went with a simple, one-tier cake with two layers.  Check.

The next piece: travel.  I live in Virginia and she lives in Erie, Pennsylvania.  This is a 6-7 hour drive, without traffic or stops.  My parents live in Pittsburgh, so that worked in my favor.  Here's how it played out: the wedding was on Sunday, so hubs and I drove up to Erie on Saturday, before the rehearsal.

Saturday morning, my mom and I made the layers in Pittsburgh and the icing was made there too.  In Erie, I would just have to assemble and decorate the cake.  (I can't imagine having the cake sliding around in my car for two hours!) Check.

I'll admit, I was so NERVOUS!  This was one of my best friend's wedding cakes; it needed to be pretty and delicious.  I spent over an hour icing it and making the final touches.  I had a few mini freakouts in the middle, but hubs helped me stay calm...ish.

As a side note, this cake was only for the bride and groom to cut (and eat).  They ordered cupcakes for the rest of the guests.  That took some of the pressure off of me!

This vegan vanilla cake was light, fluffy, and perfect.  Tim, the groom, is kind of a picky eater (hence the plain vanilla and vanilla), so Katie told me, "If you're veganizing or adding weird ingredients, don't tell us until after!"  This made me laugh.  So, with this post, I guess the cat's out of the bag!

At the reception, Tim did tell me that this cake was delicious, so even your non-vegan, picky eaters will enjoy this cake!

And I really like Tim, by the way.  I'm poking fun at him a little in this post, but only to illustrate that everyone will love this cake if you make it :-)


For the cake*
Lightly adapted from A Vegan Goddess

1 1/2 c. cake flour
1 c. vegan organic sugar
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1 c. very cold water
1/2 c. canola oil or melted coconut oil
2 tsp. vanilla-infused bourbon (learn more about infusing your own liquor!)
2 T. lemon juice

*If you're making a double layer cake, you need to double this recipe.  I've read that you should not double the ingredients, but make the cake twice - which is what I did.  Sometimes when you double recipes, proportions get messed up or things are not mixed as well; I didn't want to chance it with Katie's cake!

For the Vegan Vanilla Icing**
1/2 c. organic non-hydrogenated shortening, like Spectrum
1 1/4 c. vegan powdered sugar, more as needed
2 T. almond milk, more as needed
1 tsp. vanilla-infused bourbon (learn more about infusing your own liquor!)

**Double this recipe for a double layer cake.

Preheat the oven to 375°. Grease a 8-9 inch pan with organic shortening.  Grease it well!  You want no stickage.

Although it seems silly, do it: sift the flour, salt, and baking soda - THREE TIMES.  This will make the cake lighter.  Promise.

In a medium mixing bowl, cream the sugar and oil; after they are combined, add the water and vanilla bourbon.  Mix well.  Slowly add the dry, sifted ingredients.  

Once the mixture is all together, quickly add the lemon juice, stir a few times to incorporate, and pour it into the prepared pan.  (The lemon juice causes a chemical reaction with the baking soda; you'll see the mixture thicken instantly.)

Bake the cake for 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick can be inserted and come out clean.

For the icing, combine the icing ingredients together with a mixer.  If it is too stiff, add a little water; if it seems too runny, add a little more powdered sugar, about 1/4 cup at a time. 

I hope your cake turns out as yummy and pretty as this one!