Crisp Cinnamon Layer Cake (Vegan)
Listen while I cut this cake! Snap snap snap…Each impossibly thin cinnamon layer crackles beneath the knife cushioned by layer after layer of whipped vanilla clouds. The luscious flavors of dark chocolate, billowy marshmallow cream, and spicy cinnamon crisps in each mouthful make for a hushed dessert, a dessert to savor.
I am particularly proud to bring you this dessert, a specialty of my Aunt Helle. She would keep the baked cinnamon rounds in a large tin, each cookie separated by circles of parchment paper. When company dropped by all she needed to do was whip up some cream and construct the layers of whip and cookies. The top layer was a disk ornamented with dark chocolate and almonds.
My sister and I would stand silent as kitchen mice watching as our aunt, like Rumpelstiltskin spinning straw to gold, whipped plain cream into billows of fluffy whip. We gratefully nibbled broken cookie shards, as our Aunt smoothed layer after layer of cookie with whipped cream, constructing a tower in brown and white.
One time we terrible little american girls decided to improve upon the cake by adding sugar to the unsweetened whipped cream when our aunt’s back was turned. We added a scoop of white crystals to the whipped cream and folded it it. Dipping a finger in and tasting the improved whipped cream we realized we had mistaken salt for sugar.
The cookies keep indefinitely in a cookie tin. In fact their flavor improves after a couple of days. This recipe makes enough for (2) 7 inch cakes, allowing for breakage. If you’re in a particularly humid area then make sure to place a desiccant packet into your tin to keep out the moisture.
Remember this is a Cinderella of a cake. It will turn into a pumpkin in a short time span. Eat is while is it is still a glorious carriage and be reminded of the ephemeral nature of the world.
“I carried recipes in my head like maps.” -Joanne Harris
Store a bunch of these spicy cinnamon wafers and you will be able to whip up (literally) an elegant show stopper of a dessert at the drop of a hat. This recipe makes enough dough for at least 2 cakes plus breakage (for the kitchen mice)
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 13 tablespoons butter (vegan)
- 3 tbsp Kahlua
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 tbsp thick aquafaba
- 2 tbsp cinnamon
- 3 tsp cocoa
- 1 2/3 cup flour
- 1 tsp instant coffee powder
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 6 ounces dark chocolate
- 2 tsp coconut oil
- 10 blanched almonds
Heat your oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit (150 Celsius).
Thoroughly blend sugar, butter, vanilla and aquafaba in a food processor or mixer.
Sift the remaining dry ingredients into a bowl and stir in the already mixed wet ingredients. You will have a batter/dough with the texture of stiff whipped cream.
Cut parchment paper paper into 15 /12 " squares. Now here you have two options.
If you are handy with an offset spatula (palette knife). You can draw a circle (mine are 7 inches) on each square of parchment paper in the size you want the cake's circumference to be. Place a small amount of dough (1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons) in the center of the circle and smooth the dough to a meet the edges of the drawn circle.
Follow this procedure with all the rounds until you have used up your dough.
Here is the far easier method for making the rounds. Place 2 tablespoons of the soft dough between 2 sheets of parchment. Roll with a rolling pin until the dough is as large or slightly larger then the circle you wish to achieve. Now remove the top layer of parchment and place a printed out circle of paper on the rolled out dough and cut away any excess with a sharp knife.
Follow this procedure with all the the rounds until you have used up your dough.
Bake the rounds for 13 minutes each and place them on a rack to cool.
Melt the dark chocolate with the coconut oil until it is spreadable. With your palette knife gently spread the chocolate on 2 or 3 of the now cooled rounds. Decorate with blanched almonds. You can go for simple or go for broke as I did in some of the photos above decorating with gilded cherries or meringues.
Once cooled you may store these in a tin and they will last until you are ready to assemble the cake. I place a desiccant package in my tins as it is quite humid here in summer.
Place your aquafaba and cream of tartar in the bowl of a stand mixer.
When ready to assemble, whip your aquafaba and spread it gently between each layer, placing at the top one of the chocolate decorated rounds. Now go eat it. Quickly.
This streamlined recipe for making aquafaba whip is really the best out there. Check out Lynne's tips and tricks on Aquafaba (vegan meringue hits and misses) Facebook group
Place aquafaba, cream of tartar and vanilla extract in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a balloon attachment. Turn the mixer on medium for a couple of minutes until the liquid is foamy and not so sloshy.
Now turn the speed up as high as it will go and whip for as long as it takes till you get stiff peaks. (7-12 minutes)
Slowly add the sugar 1 tablespoon at a time while still whipping. Make sure the sugar is completely incorporated and there you have a lovely marshmallowy texture. Keep whipping until you have stiff peaks.