Birthday Cake

4 02 2013

Hi All! This will be a happy belated birthday post to me (-: My birthday being two Sundays ago, but this being the first time I have a moment to stop and write.

Because I am gluten-free and vegan, people always wonder how they should make me a birthday cake. This year, we decided to make Sticky Sweet Potato & Pumpkin Cake from the Anniversary Issue of VegNews (August 2010). This is my favorite cake at the moment, so I was happy to have the excuse to eat more of it. The picture here really doesn’t begin to do justice to this very incredibly fabulous cake.

Since I cannot find a link to the original version online, I will type it up below. I made a few changes (made it gluten-free for one), and used the ingredients I had on hand instead of the exact ones called for. Non gluten-free people loved it! They said it was a bit dense, but still devoured it with pleasure. I did not notice a density issue – then again I’m pretty used to eating gluten-free foods so that might account for the difference of opinion. Best of all, this spicy cake taste amazing the next day with a fresh cup of chai (or coffee). I especially love this cake because it is so spicy that the sweetness is a bit masked and you can eat it for dessert, but it also makes a nice sweet but not too sweet breakfast.


For my birthday, Ilana suprised me with some tasty oatmeal lentil cookies (I will try and convince her to guest blog them). Anne also made me the sweetest birthday present: a painting of our dog Maymoona! You can check it out here. And, stayed tuned for my next post on birthday chickens ūüėÄ


makes one 9 inch cake


1/2 cup cooked, mashed sweet potato (we used white sweet potatoes)

1/2 cup cooked, mashed pumpkin (we used the local squash)

1/2 cup canola oil (we used sunflower)

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup white sugar

1/2 cup alternate milk

1.5 tsp vanilla

1 tsp orange zest

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

1.5 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour

3/4 tsp xanthum gum

1.5 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/3 cup golden raisins (we left these out Рwho wants raisins in cake?)


1/2 brown sugar

1/2 cup water

1/2 orange juice

1 3-inch cinnamon stick

1 whole star anise or 1/2 tsp anise seeds

2 tablespoons brandy or rum (I used orange flavored rum)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9-inch cake pan. The original directions say you should also line it with¬†parchment¬†paper, I was able to flip it out later without doing this step. Also if you use silicone cake pans you shouldn’t have trouble flipping it out. But, if you are worried, also line the pan with¬†parchment¬†paper.

Mix sweet potato, squash, oil, brown and white sugar, milk, vanilla, orange zest, and lime juice together until well blended. Separately  mix the rest of the cake ingredients (except the raisins). Add the flour mixture to the wet mixture and stir until combined, do not over-mix  Add in raisins (if you like that kind of thing) and pour into the cake pan.

Bake for 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

In the meantime, combine all of the syrup ingredients and bring to a boil stirring frequently. After boiling for 2 minutes, reduce heat and simmer for another 10 to 15 minutes until the syrup is reduced by one-third. Remove from heat and cool. Strain the mixture and set it aside.

Cool the cake for about 20 minutes. Then run a knife around the sides and carefully flip the cake out of the pan. Carefully flip the cake again, this time onto a serving dish. Poke some small holes in the top of the cake at one inch intervals. Then spoon warm syrup over the cake spreading it evenly over the cake. Be generous with the syrup and add more as it begins to soak in. Let the cake sit for an hour before serving and then serve with extra syrup.





3 responses

4 02 2013

Happy Belated Birthday! Does the 1/2 canola oil mean 1/2 cup? I wonder if coconut oil would work? Thanks!

4 02 2013

Yes, 1/2 a cup. Thanks for catching that, and I think coconut oil would work great.

5 02 2013
Mary Kate

I can’t wait to try this — I think it would be perfect for an upcoming birthday (not mine).

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