Vegan "Under The Northern Lights" Celebration Cake

December 1, 2017
In years gone by, Winter was my least favorite season. However, something changed fairly recently, and I began to see the beauty in it; the balance that it offers to the extraversion of summer. Winter is mysterious, quiet and intriguing and time for deep introspection. If self-growth is your thing, winter is the season for you. One of the most delightful ways of spending a winter afternoon is in the kitchen, in my opinion. Conjure up something creative and decadent and share it with friends and family. This recipe is one I came up with for a fellow Scorpio friend for her 25th birthday. Two light and fluffy vanilla sponges sandwiched with frosting and the whole thing coated in a colorful concoction reminiscent of the northern lights that are currently dancing their way across the Arctic north. Oh, and it's all vegan. This would make an impressive birthday cake at any time of the year, or a perfect dinner party centerpiece for a cozy meal with your closest friends on a quiet December night. This would also be an excellent choice for a child's birthday. I hope you enjoy making (and eating!) it as much as I did.

Vegan “Under The Northern Lights” Celebration Cake

Recipe Type: Sweets
utensils YIELDS 8 Slices
herb graphic for recipe card
  • 1 3/4 Cups All-purpose flour
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon Baking soda
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Cup + 3/4 Tablespoons Non-Dairy Milk
  • 4 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  • 1/3 Cup Sunflower or Grapeseed Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Apple Cider or White Wine Vinegar
  • 3 3/4 Cups Powdered Sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons Vegan Butter
  • To decorate, Vegan-friendly Gel Food Colouring (Purple, Black, Blue and Green, or mix yellow and blue to make green)
  • To decorate, Edible Silver Balls
  • To decorate, Edible Blue and silver sparkle dust
        graphic for recipe card


1. Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C and grease and line two 7-inch cake pans.
2. Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl.
3. Add 1 cup of your non-dairy milk of choice, 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract, the oil and vinegar and mix until no large lumps remain.
4. Split cake batter between the two pans and bake for 25-30 minutes until inserted skewer comes out clean and tops golden.
5. Allow cakes to cool for 10-15 minutes in the pan before turning out onto a wire rack or plates to cool completely.
6. When cakes almost cooled, begin making your frosting. Gently beat your vegan butter in a large bowl to soften it. Then, gradually add in the powdered sugar in 4 parts, beating to combine with the addition of 1 tablespoon milk each time. Add in remaining 2 teapoons of vanilla. If frosting too stiff, add a splash more milk, but remember that it's better for frosting to be on the firmer side so as to hold its shape.
7. Apply a layer of frosting to one of the cakes and sandwich the two together.
8. Divide the remaining frosting into 4 small bowls and add food coloring to each. You want one bowl to be black, another blue, another purple and the last green. Add food coloring bit by bit and mix until you have the desired effect.
9. Dot tablespoons of the different colors of frosting onto the cake at random and blend together with a palette knife. I find the best effect comes from rotating the cake with one hand while I blend with the other so all swirls go in the same direction.
10. Once all cake is covered (including the sides!) it's time to get creative. Start with the edible silver balls. Create swirls at random or in three matching places, gently pushing them into the frosting. Once you're happy with these, dust over some edible sparkles to finish it off! NOTE: Will keep in a sealed container at room temperature for a few days, or refrigerated for up to a week.

Also by Kat: Three Mushroom Pesto Linguine

Related: Gluten-Free Vegan Bundt Cake

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Photos: Kat Kennedy

Kat Kennedy is an Arizona-based physiology doctoral student and holistic health advocate writing about science, health, and her experiences as a third culture kid and global nomad. She's @sphynxkennedy everywhere.


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