Chocolate Celebration Cake with Strawberry Frosting

Happy Summer!

If you're keeping tabs on us, we recently moved to North Carolina -- and it's still crazy hot. Our house is mostly unpacked, but we're still doing minor unpacking and uncluttering. We need to organize our new baby's room (eeeeeek!) and hang a few more pictures. Needless to say, with being super pregnant and unpacking, I haven't been doing a lot of baking or cooking.

Rosie Ru recently celebrated her 18 month half birthday, so obviously I had to make a half birthday cake! She has quite a vocabulary and is loving sea creatures right now. (Her favorite words are Shark, Octopus -- OCKPOO -- and Turtle.) Our doggo, Clem, is her best buddy -- whether she likes it or not!


I wanted to make a chocolate cake because of pregnancy cravings, but I wanted it to have a summer flare. Sally's Baking Addiction has a great recipe for strawberry icing...and her secret ingredient is freeze-dried strawberries! It keeps the frosting from separating and becoming gross. I just happened to veganize it for you.

Chocolate Celebration Cake
Adapted from The Pretty Bee

1 1/2 c. organic flour*
1 c. organic sugar
1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. baking powder, aluminum-free
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/3 c. coconut oil, melted
1 tsp. vinegar
1 c. cream soda, lemon-lime beverage, or other light-colored soda

*gluten-free baking mix can be substituted

Preheat the oven to 350°. Line the bottom of a 8 inch round pan with parchment. Spritz it with a little oil on the sides if you'd like.

Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.  Combine the materials and make a well in the middle of the bowl.

Have the liquid ingredients measured and ready to go before you start to pour.  Pour both the soda and vinegar/oil into the well.  Stir well.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake it for about 30 minutes. Insert a toothpick into the center and be sure that it comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool completely.


Vegan Strawberry Frosting
Adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction

1 c. freeze-dried strawberries
1 c. non-hydrogenated shortening
4 c. vegan powdered sugar
3 T. dairy-free yogurt, like So Delicious Coconut flavors (I used raspberry)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
salt, to taste

Using a blender or food processor, process the freeze-dried strawberries into a powdery crumb. You should have around 1/2 cup. Set aside.

In a large bowl using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle or whisk attachment, beat the shortening on medium-high speed until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add powdered sugar, strawberry powder, yogurt, and vanilla. Beat on low speed for 30 seconds, then switch to high speed and beat for 2 minutes. Taste. Add a pinch of salt if frosting is too sweet.

Cover and store leftover frosting for up to 5 days in the refrigerator.

For the half birthday cake, slice the cake in half and ice the top of one of the halves with frosting. Stack the other half on top and frost it as you like! I kept mine a bit naked to cut down on the work!

Cheers and Enjoy!