And the back-to-school cake!

In my quest for good cake recipes that a) use whole wheat flour, b) are sweetened only with maple syrup or honey, and c) are not vegan, I tried this “vanilla cake” today.

This recipe is, in fact, vegan, but it was easy enough to substitute buttermilk for the soured almond milk, and melted butter for the oil. Some vegan recipes use ingredients that are harder to substitute.

I also replaced the regular flour with white whole wheat — and I sifted it into the measuring cup with a mug-size tea strainer and a spoon. My usual method is to spoon the flour into the cup, but I wondered if sifting would be even more accurate — my cakes have tended to be dense and dry.

And even though it’s called “vanilla cake,” there’s no vanilla in the recipe — I added two teaspoons.

And I used all maple syrup instead of maple and agave. I definitely want to buy a gallon of grade A maple next time for times like this when I don’t want that strong maple flavor the grade B gives, and have a gallon of grade B for pancakes and the like.

I was surprised there’s no eggs. It seems many of the buttermilk cake recipes I find don’t use eggs, but some do. Not sure why or why not.

I used one of my frozen quarts of swiss meringue buttercream frosting — again with the strong maple flavor but still good, especially with finely chopped walnuts on top.

The cake turned out beautifully — perfect moist and fluffy texture. If you eat a bit without frosting, you can tell it’s whole wheat, but it’s not obvious otherwise. The only real problem is that the recipe makes very thin / short layers if you do two 8″ pans. The recipe says 6″ or 8″ and it didn’t occur to me that of course something that would fill 6″ pans would be shallow in 8″ pans. So next time I’ll try doubling it.


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