This is my best friend in the whole world. It’s not really a picture of her, but the likeness is absolutely uncanny, I promise. Yesterday was her birthday, and as part of my present to her, I had to promise not to take a picture of her and put it on my blog. I grudgingly agreed, and instead grabbed this picture of her chillin with Jiggly Puff. At any rate, she is now officially old as hell. How exciting!
Kristie and I don’t have some sort of average, run of the mill, friendship. It took us years and years to train each other to be the other’s best friend, and have been working on it for about sixteen years now. I’m proud to say that finally, after sixteen years of friendship, I have learned that “Don’t put my picture on the internet” actually means, “Don’t put my picture on the internet.” My mom’s been trying to teach me lessons far simpler than that for twenty six years. Good job, Kristie!
I know a few more things about Kristie that facilitated our birthday celebration (which was a simple dinner at my house); sixteen years will give you that kind of experience, I think. For example: Kristie loves green beans, doesn’t eat meat, thinks Eggplant Parmesan is the epitome of Italian food (but we can’t eat the actual Parmesan, damn rennet), doesn’t like chocolate cake, but could eat frosting out of a bowl pretty happily.
Oh, and she digs sprinkles.
Lightly Spiced Cake or Kristie’s Super Birthday Cake of Happy Joy!
Makes one 9″ round cake (double the recipe to make a layer cake)
2 c white whole wheat flour
1/2 c sugar
1 tbs cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ginger
1 tbs baking powder, divided
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 c canola oil
1 c almond milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 recipe Vegan Frosting of Joy OR
Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting (see below)
Preheat oven to 350 F.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, 2 tsp of the baking powder, and salt, mixing well.
I’m going to teach you a new technique I just learned which helps the applesauce egg bind better. I’ll be updating past recipes (such as other cookies and muffins) to reflect this new trick, which you should take with you into other baking adventures!
Combine the applesauce with the remaining tsp of baking powder. I don’t know why this works better, but it really makes the applesauce a much more effective binder.
After you combine those, you know the drill. Whisk together the oil and applesauce until emulsified and stir in the vanilla. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix together with as few strokes as possible.
Pour into a 9″ round pan, and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a fork comes out clean.
While your cake cools, whip up some frosting. With my chocolate cupcakes, I whipped up a vegan version of buttercream that was pretty good, but for this one I highly recommend this fake cream cheese frosting that will fool people into thinking they’re eating the real thing.
Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting
Frosts two 9″ cakes, but feel free to make a little extra for decorating (I wish I had!)
1 container non hydrogenated Tofutti Better than Cream Cheese (or 8 oz of another vegan cream cheese)
2 tbs vegan margarine
3 cups powdered sugar
Using an electric hand beater (or some serious muscles) beat together the cream cheese and margarine. Add the powdered sugar, one cup at a time, until what you have looks suspiciously like frosting. Taste it, adjust sugar if necessary, and then ice the heck out of the cake.
Let the four year old in your house apply the sprinkles and tada!
Your best friend won’t care that you aren’t the best at frosting things, or that it’s literally covered with sprinkles.
Hell, her favorite cake until recently was titled “funfetti” anyway.
She won’t care that you put her birthday on display on your blog…or that you called her old as hell.
Instead, she will be so happy that you baked her a cake, from scratch and with love, that she will invite you to sit at the table with her, after all the dishes are cleared, to eat cake straight from the serving plate. Perhaps you’ll even have a little fork cheers? Then before you know it, that half a cake you were planning on sending her home with is less than a piece, and you feel full, comatose, but strangely accomplished.
That’s what it’s like to have a best friend.
Happy Birthday, Kristie!