Baked Sunday Mornings: Hippie Cake

This week's Baked Sunday Mornings recipe, in honor or Earth Day, is a vegan chocolate-olive oil cake. You can mix the "Hippie Cake" by hand. You combine dark chocolate, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and very hot water, whisking until the chocolate melts; add sugar; and fold in the dry ingredients (flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt, and baking soda). My batter was full of lumps so I put it through a sieve before pouring it into a greased 8-inch pan lined with parchment.
The cake baked up with an almost completely level top. Usually cakes shrink and pull away from the sides of the pan as they cool, but this one stayed glued to the sides of the pan. I ran a stiff plastic spatula around the perimeter of the cooled cake to release it from the pan, and large chunks of cake came out in the process. When I turned out the cake, the edge was a total mess because of the pea-sized chunks of cake that had crumbled off.

I had already decided to skip the almond butter frosting for this recipe (the headnote states it's not necessary, and it calls for a bunch of ingredients I don't keep on hand), but I decided the cake wasn't presentable with its ragged edges. So I squared up the cake by cutting off the rounded edges; that's why I ended up with rectangular slices from a round cake.

Even though I was able to get decent-looking slices to serve, the crumbliness problem did not go away. Bits of cake continued to fall off if you picked up a slice or as you cut through it with a fork to eat a bite. The friable texture was a nightmare. That said, this was a very moist and deeply chocolatey cake that was well-received by my tasters. My favorite part was the top crust, which had a nice firm texture. When I tasted a scrap of cake right after turning it out the pan, I found the fruity olive oil flavor to be overwhelming. Thankfully, on the second day the olive oil flavor was significantly toned down, but definitely still perceptible. I personally am not a fan of fruity olive oil -- if I had to make this cake again, I would be tempted to use a flavorless oil like canola.

But let's be honest, I'm never going to make this cake again -- it's just not worth it the aggravation of having it crumble everywhere.

Recipe: "Hippie Cake" from Baked Occasions by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito, recipe available here at Baked Sunday Mornings.

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Robyn said…
Seems like I'm the only one without the crumbly texture, not sure why that is. I bought some almond butter to make the icing and it was a great compliment. I think you could easily un-veganize it with butter and cream ;)