Deep, dark, rich, moist, and luxuriously everything Devil's Food cake should be - but vegan!
Yield: 18-inch round cake
For the cake:
3/4cupdutch process cocoa powder
1/2teaspoonfine-grain sea salt
2cupsplain unsweetened soy milk
1/2cuppure maple syrup
2teaspoonsapple cider vinegar
2teaspoonspure vanilla extract
For the frosting:
1cup2 sticks vegan butter at room temperature (I highly recommend Melt brand; Earth Balance will also work but in my opinion doesn't taste as good)
3-4tablespoonsunsweetened soy milk
2/3cupdutch process cocoa powder
1teaspoonpure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease two 8-inch round cake pans with oil or non-stick spray. Set aside.
Make the cake. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
Into the bowl of a stand mixer or in another large bowl (to mix with a hand mixer), add the soy milk, oil, sugar, maple syrup, vinegar, and vanilla. Mix on medium speed for two minutes.
Add half the dry ingredients and mix to blend. Add the remaining dry ingredients and mix at medium speed for 1 minute. The batter will be quite runny. Divide the batter between the two cake pans.
Bake until the top springs back when you poke it and a toothpick inserted into the center comes back clean, 25 - 30 minutes. Remove the cake pans from the oven and place on wire racks to start cooling. After 10 minutes, run a butter knife around the edges of the cakes to loosen them from the side, then invert onto a wire rack, removing the cake pan. Let cake rounds cool completely, 30-45 minutes. To expedite the cooling process, you can place the cakes in the freezer for about 10 minutes for the fridge for 20.
Meanwhile, make the frosting. In the clean stand mixer bowl affixed with a beater blade (or in a medium mixing bowl if you are using a hand mixer), add the vegan butter. If you're using the recommended brand (Melt) and it's room temperature, it should be very very soft. Add 3 tablespoons of the soy milk and beat until as incorporated as possible. Add the cocoa powder and mix until well combined and glossy. Mix in the vanilla extract. Add the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, beating until incorporated after each addition. Once all the powdered sugar has been added, beat frosting at medium speed for about 1 minute until it has lightened up a bit and is a bit fluffier. If the frosting seems too soft to spread on the cake, add more powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time. If it's too stiff, add more soy milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, until the frosting is perfectly spreadable.
Once the layers are cool, place the first layer on your cake plate. Add about 1/3 of the frosting to the top of the first layer and with a butter knife or offset spatula, smooth to the edges. Top with the second layer. Smooth a thin layer of frosting around the sides of the cake, then add another, thicker layer (the thinner layer first will help hold the crumbs in). Add the remaining frosting to the top of the cake and smooth with the knife or spatula, adding swoops and swirls how you see fit (or smoothing it all out - however you want, it's your cake!)