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Traverse City Cherry-Chocolate Cake

For the Cake:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 lb. extra-firm tofu, drained and cubed
1 1/4 cups grade-B maple syrup
1 1/4 cups canola oil
3/4 cup vanilla soy milk
1/4 cup black-cherry concentrate
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract

For the Chocolate Icing:
1 cup cocoa powder
1 cup maple syrup
1 1/4 sticks soy margarine, softened
1 tsp. vanilla

Toasted sliced almonds, for garnish (optional)
Black cherries, halved, for garnish (optional)

For the Cake:
• Preheat the oven to 325°F.
• Oil and flour 2 8-inch springform pans.
• In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and baking soda.
• In a blender, combine the tofu, maple syrup, oil, soy milk, black-cherry concentrate, and vanilla until smooth. Whisk into the dry ingredients.
• Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake in the center of the oven for approximately 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool completely before removing from the pans.
• Frost with the chocolate icing.

For the Chocolate Icing:
• In a food processor fitted with a steel blade, process all the ingredients until very smooth.

To Assemble:
• Spread about 1/3 of the icing on the top of one cake layer.
• Top with the other cake layer.
• Frost the entire cake with the remaining icing.
• Press the almonds into the sides of the cake and garnish with the black cherries.

Makes 6 to 8 servings

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