mini chocolate-raspberry loaf cakes

One of my favorite flavor combinations in the world is chocolate and raspberry. Growing up, I spent my summers eating chocolate-raspberry Handel’s ice cream cones with my brothers in the scorching Midwestern heat, lips stained from the dark chocolate; for my birthday each year, Betsy would make me the most decadent chocolate cake with ganache and raspberry jam. It’s a pairing that reminds me of the people I love.

Last year for Valentine’s Day, I made funfetti mini cakes and tried to pretend that I wasn’t thousands of miles away from my valentine person. While I’m not particularly attached to the holiday, I do appreciate any reason to celebrate, and the one person I wanted to celebrate with was across the sea! Consuming spoonfuls of strawberry frosting helped, but it was hard. Long distance, y’all. It’s rough.

These mini chocolate-raspberry loaf cakes are vegan and make a great dessert for Valentine's Day or dinner parties year-round.These mini chocolate-raspberry loaf cakes are vegan and make a great dessert for Valentine's Day or dinner parties year-round.

Just about everything is different now. At the end of March, Leo and I will have been married for one whole year. That also means we will have lived in the same country, in the same city, in the same HOUSE together for one whole year–the longest amount of time we’ve spent in the same place. We made it through the treachery of long distance and this Valentine’s Day we can eat cake while sitting next to each other. It’s pretty damn splendid, when ya stop and think about it. This year, I obviously had to bake an extra-special cake, one with my favorite flavor combination, so we could eat it together in the same room.

These mini chocolate-raspberry loaf cakes are vegan and make a great dessert for Valentine's Day or dinner parties year-round.

These mini chocolate-raspberry loaf cakes are vegan and make a great dessert for Valentine's Day or dinner parties year-round.These mini chocolate-raspberry loaf cakes are vegan and make a great dessert for Valentine's Day or dinner parties year-round.

Actually, I baked six cakes. They’re all of the miniature variety, in keeping with last year’s theme, but this time around they’re vegan (though you wouldn’t know it). These cakes pair a dense chocolate crumb with a super-fresh raspberry icing, and they taste like nostalgia and a little something new at the same time. Of course, the best part is that you get a whole one to yourself–because while I want to eat cake sitting next to Leo, I certainly don’t want to share it with him.

These mini chocolate-raspberry loaf cakes are vegan and make a great dessert for Valentine's Day or dinner parties year-round.These mini chocolate-raspberry loaf cakes are vegan and make a great dessert for Valentine's Day or dinner parties year-round.

mini chocolate-raspberry loaf cakes
 
author:
serves: 6
ingredients
for the cakes
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup almond milk (or dairy milk, if not vegan)
  • 1/2 cup brewed coffee
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 2 tsp. white vinegar (apple cider vinegar works, too)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla bean paste
for the icing
  • 1/2 cup raspberries, mashed or puréed until liquid
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tsp. vanilla bean paste
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
for topping
  • Sprinkles
  • Coconut flakes
method
make the cakes
  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F / 175° C. Grease or spray 6 mini loaf tins or a cupcake pan and set aside. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix until evenly incorporated. In another bowl, whisk together the almond milk, coffee, coconut oil, vinegar, and vanilla bean paste. Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour the wet mixture into the dry. Mix until just combined, taking care not to overmix.
  2. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf tins, filling each about 3/4 full. Set the tins on a baking tray and bake for 16-20 minutes, until a tester inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before turning the cakes out of the tins.
make the icing and assemble the cakes
  1. In a bowl, combine whisk together the raspberry purée, coconut oil, vanilla bean paste, and salt. Gradually stir in the confectioners' sugar so that it is evenly incorporated. Add more until the desired consistency is reached (mine was a very thick glaze, not quite pourable but not stiff).
  2. Frost the top of each cake and decorate with sprinkles, coconut flakes, and anything else that makes you happy. Serve.

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