Red Wine Chocolate Cake(s)

         Last week, I made the famous Smitten Kitchen red wine chocolate cake with mascarpone whipped cream frosting.  It was, as promised, unbelievably decadent and delicious.  It's one of those cakes you can make to impress people...
         For the surprisingly easy recipe, go here
         When I got back to my lovely vegan co-op house, I wanted to try my own version--sans eggs, whipped cream, mascarpone, or butter. 

         I took my favorite chocolate cake recipe and adapted it.  I love what Deb says about red wine chocolate cake, that it's the "true red velvet cake".  I agree completely, as this cake comes out a beautiful, dark red color.

Vegan Red Wine Chocolate Cake with Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting

The Cake:

         Preheat your oven to 350º and line the bottom of two 8x8 pans with parchment paper and grease the sides. I made this cake square, but I think it might work better in round cake pans. Mix together in a large bowl:
  • 2/3 cup oil
  • 2 tbs vinegar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 c red wine 
  • 1/2 c water
  • 1 3/4 c sugar (you may want a little more depending on how sweet you want your cake--up to 2 c maybe)
Mix together dry ingredients in another bowl:
  • 3 c flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 7 tbs (1/3 c + 2 tbs) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
         Gradually add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix together. Split the batter into the two 8 x 8 pans, and bake for 28 minutes or so, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool.

The Frosting:
  • 1/2 c Earth Balance (EB) or other vegan butter substitute, softened 
  • 20 oz powdered sugar (I used 1 1 lb bag plus a bit more)
  • 1/4 c unsweetened soy milk (these amounts are adjustable depending on texture)
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp lemon zest
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp egg replacer (this gives the frosting a really pretty shine, but it's not necessary!)
         Using an electric mixer, beat the EB until somewhat fluffy (it doesn't fluff up as much as butter).  Begin adding the powdered sugar a little at a time and mix at medium-high speed until combined.  Add the soy milk, cinnamon, egg replacer (again, optional), vanilla extract and lemon zest and beat at high speed for a few minutes until frosting is fluffy and smooth (it will not get as fluffy as real buttercream). You want it at a texture that is spreadable but not drippy (mine was a little on the drippy side, but I ran out of powdered sugar). Add more powdered sugar if need be to make the frosting the consistency you would like it.
         Put the first layer down on the plate, and spread some of the frosting on the top. Add the second cake, and frost the top and sides. For the cinnamon flower, cut out a flower (or any shape you choose) our of a paper bag, and place it gently over the top of the cake after the frosting has hardened slightly. Sprinkle cinnamon over the top, then gently and carefully lift off the bag.

Update: The cupcake version...

Update # 2: It's also adorable as a birthday cake (the following is the SK version, but I made it with cinnamon buttercream):

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