Saturday Mix | Classic Chocolate Birthday Cake & Vanilla Ice Cream {For Scott}

May 7, 2016

Classic Chocolate Birthday Cake & Vanilla Ice Cream {Vegan} // by Faring Well

If you read my last post this week, you know I kind of like my guy. Having very little experience with baking cakes, I decided that before I try any fancy-pants creations, I should try to master the basics. I’m not sure if I “mastered” them here, but I think I did pretty darn good! A classic chocolate birthday cake (sheet-cake style) with whipped chocolate ganache for frosting, sprinkles, and a dreamy vanilla ice cream. I sliced the iced cake into squares and layered them in cups, alternating with a scoop of ice cream to make a little birthday jar thing – and I am believer in going this route with all future cake and ice cream combos! Digging through layers of ice cream and a frosting-coated cake is really gratifying. This cake is moist and fluffy, the frosting is super chocolatey, and the ice cream is mega vanilla-y and creamy. (And the sprinkles are cute, there is just something about sprinkles.) I will be remaking this today to enjoy with Scott tonight, but hey – if you woke up today, celebrate! Maybe throw in some cake and ice cream action too. Or if you have a sweet momma to bake for tomorrow, I’ll bet a little cake and ice cream could go a long way. Now to the links!

A little news around the house: I did an interview over on Nourish Atelier with Nina the other week if you would like to give it a read! I also shot a grad party shoot for UO before leaving Denver a month ago, and it went live on their site the other week if you want to check it out here. LASTLY, I redesigned the recipes section here on the blog to be much easier to navigate with a ton of subcategories. Pop over to the sidebar and take a peek!

If I could have some of my favorite bloggers cook for me this weekend I would choose Jeanine’s cauliflower rice burrito bowls, Megan’s s’mores granola bars, and Lauren and John’s chocolate hazelnut tarts. MMM.

I’m totally intrigued by The Kitchn’s infused maple syrups. Especially the blackberry, and then the peanut butter one too!

Hilarious facts that aren’t quite what you’d expect each time. Scott showed me this one.

I made Laura’s cinnamon milk this past week and haven’t been able to buy store-bought since. It’s so creamy and delicious – and now I’m motivated to try other combos too.

I discovered Chantelle’s blog this past week and am melting over her gorgeous photography.

If you (or anyone you know) are considering switching to veganism, Gena put together the most thorough, thoughtful, and informative post about the transition here.

Ever wondered if you should be taking supplements or not? Mckel covers her take on it in a recent post that I truly found helpful. Having being diagnosed with severe anemia after it slipped under the radar for so long, I know the pain and fatigue that can come with deficiencies and they are no fun.

A few things Scott is really excited to do this weekend for his birthday are go surfing, see this movie on the big screen, eat my cake & ice cream (duh), and go hunting for the new Ray Lamontagne album on vinyl.

What are you the most excited to do this weekend? How are you going to celebrate life? – xo


Makes 1 – 9×13 inch sheet cake, serves 9.
1 cup oat flour
1 1/2 cup whole spelt flour
2/3 cup cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups maple syrup
2 cups warm water
2/3 cup melted coconut oil
2 teaspoons vanilla

Makes enough to generously frost 1 – 9×13 inch cake.
1 cup full falt coconut milk
12 ounces (2 cups) chopped dark chocolate (no darker than 55%)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

I use these vegan sprinkles that are naturally colored.

Makes about 4 cups, serves 8.
1 can (13.5 ounces) full fat coconut milk
3/4 cup raw cashews, soaked for 4 hours
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
a pinch of sea salt

For the cake, preheat the oven to 350F. Mix the wet ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Place a fine mesh strainer over the bowl and add the dry ingredients to the strainer, sifting through into the wet. Mix well, the batter will be very thin. Line an 9×13 inch baking pan with parchment and pour in the cake batter. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool on a wire rack (in the pan) before frosting. **If you choose to use two 8 inch square, or 9 inch circular, pans, divide the batter evenly, and check after 25 minutes for done-ness with a toothpick. If the toothpick doesn’t come out clean, return to the oven and check every 5 minutes until it does.**

For the frosting, bring the coconut milk to a simmer in a saucepan on the stove, remove and add the chopped dark chocolate to the milk. Whisk until smooth and transfer to a heat-safe bowl. Let cool to firm up either on the counter for a few hours, or in the fridge for an hour to an hour and a half. Can be made ahead of time and refrigerated, will just need to come to temperature for an hour on the counter before whipping. It should be just “spoonable”. Beat on high with an electric whisk until light and fluffy. Spread onto the cake and top with sprinkles.

For the ice cream, add all of the ingredients to a blender and puree on high until silky smooth. Pour into the chilled bowl of an ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Can be served straight from the maker, or chilled for an hour or two to firm up more (if desired). If chilled for longer than 4 hours, set on the counter for 20 minutes to thaw before serving.

Assemble the jars by layering a square of frosted cake and a scoop of vanilla ice cream twice in a glass. Serve right away and enjoy – hip hip!


Classic Chocolate Birthday Cake & Vanilla Ice Cream {Vegan} // by Faring Well


  • Reply Erin May 7, 2016 at 5:13 am

    Chocolate cake is my absolute favorite for birthdays! I have searched endlessly for the perfect chocolate cake recipe that doesn’t contain refined flours, sugars, etc. I have never found it because it was not yet created.. and today it was created :) This cake is just perfect!! xx Thank you for this recipe, pinning and making for ANY next birthday celebration!

    • Reply Faring Well May 9, 2016 at 1:44 pm

      YAY =)

      I am so so glad to hear this cake answered your recipe search Erin! It is my favorite, ever. I hope you love it too when the next need for birthday cake arises! Hope you have a gorgeous week girl <3

  • Reply Emilie @ The Clever Carrot May 7, 2016 at 6:09 am

    Hey Jess!! First of all happy birthday to Scotty! Looks like you birthday cake adventure was a success! It’s been awhile… trying to catch up with my own self! So glad you made the transition to sunny california! It suits you and your sunny self. Looking forward to taking a peek at your interview with Nina!
    Much Love,
    Emilie xoxo

    • Reply Faring Well May 9, 2016 at 1:45 pm

      Hey Emilie! Thank you tons! You are so incredibly sweet. We had the most wonderful birthday weekend, made even better by spending it here now, back in CA. I hope you had a wonderful weekend too friend! Happy belated Mother’s day! XX

  • Reply Sarah | Well and Full May 7, 2016 at 7:56 am

    Happy birthday Scott!!! I’m sure he’s going to absolutely love this delicious cake you concocted for him ;) I hope you two have the most wonderful day!! <3

    • Reply Faring Well May 9, 2016 at 1:47 pm

      Sarah! Thank you tons sweet lady! We did have the most wonderful weekend, and this cake + ice cream jar was definitely a huge part of it ;). Hope you had a wonderful one as well! Hugs!

  • Reply Molly May 8, 2016 at 3:41 pm

    That is the best birthday cake idea! Also, I love the shots you took for UO! They came out great :)

    • Reply Faring Well May 9, 2016 at 1:47 pm

      Sheesh, thank you Molly! You are TOO SWEET. xo

  • Reply Gena May 9, 2016 at 8:34 am

    I was looking forward to seeing Scott’s birthday treat, and this wonderful cake does not disappoint! Thanks, Jessie — and thanks for linking to my transition post. Hopefully it can help some new plant-eaters to explore the diet safely and happily :)

    • Reply Faring Well May 9, 2016 at 1:48 pm

      Aw thank you Gena! You are too kind! We enjoyed it tons over the weekend ;). And of course, thank YOU for the wonderful article. So so important and needed, I really appreciate you Gena! Hope you have the most gorgeous week – xoxo

  • Reply KJ | Omnomherbivore May 10, 2016 at 10:05 pm

    Yum!! Hope Scott loved these – because it looks awesome! With the sprinkles it kind of reminds me of the little brownies parents would stick in their kids lunches in like 4th grade (although I know yours are 100x better). And I agree Fresh off the Grid’s Smore bars look phenom!!

    • Reply Faring Well May 11, 2016 at 10:36 am

      Thank you KJ! He so did. And omg you are right, they totally remind me of them now too! Those were always my fave <3

  • Reply Lori May 12, 2016 at 9:31 am

    Question for you. My son and I made this cake yesterday and didn’t have an 8×8 pan so we just cooked it in a tall 9 inch round. I was a little concerned after we put it in the pan because the batter went almost to the top of the pan, but we baked it anyway. It totally overflowed in the oven, and even baking it a lot longer than it said it was still raw and gooey in the middle. Should we have used two 8×8 pans or a 9×13?

    • Reply Faring Well May 13, 2016 at 3:56 pm

      Lori! I am so very sorry to hear this. I will be remaking the cake this weekend to triple test it. However, I believe the 8 inch square pan holds more volume than the 9 inch round – but still! I will try again. My 8 inch is a very tall pan as well, I should probably clarify the pan situation more! I would recommend using a 9×13 if you choose to make it again. I’m very sorry this happened and will comment back soon with my results from the weekend re-test! Thank you for writing me let me know, I so super appreciate it! <3

      • Reply Lori May 13, 2016 at 4:47 pm

        Thanks for responding! I look forward to what you have to say. I didn’t even think about the 8 inch square holding more volume than a 9 round. :( I am anxious to try it again after I hear back from you because the flavor and texture was outstanding! I have been looking for a refined-sugar free chocolate cake recipe for so long, and this one fits the bill!

        • Reply Faring Well May 19, 2016 at 11:58 am

          Hi Lori! So sorry this took me a few days longer than I promised – where did this week go!? ;) But I have updates for you! I’m updating the recipe above to reflect these changes as well, it turns out my 8×8 is unusually tall, but a 9×13 works perfect for this batter ratio! I’m also making a note where you can use two 8 inch or 9 inch pans as well, dividing the batter, and checking at an earlier time during baking. Thank you again for bringing this to my attention and being so very sweet about it all! I am so happy to hear you loved the flavor and texture, and would love to know if you ever try making it again! It is one of my favorite cakes I’ve ever had (sans all the processed ingredients) and hope it can be yours too! <3

  • Reply Lori May 19, 2016 at 3:17 pm

    Thank you so much! I am definitely going to be making this again! I am so excited to have a cake recipe that isn’t full of junk. My birthday is coming up soon, and I know this will be the cake I make for it! Have you ever come across or developed a recipe for a frosting that is refined-sugar free?

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