It’s fig season, which means it’s time for a glorious fig cake. What makes a great fig cake? In our book, the characteristics include: 1) tastes great; 2) looks great; and 3) everyone can enjoy it. We’ve got the first two more or less figured out, but for the third one, we decided that it needed to be gluten free and vegan so all of our friends could indulge.
Oh, and here’s one more characteristic we neglected to mention: It should be fairly easy to make. So in that spirit, we took a little bit of a short cut and used a gluten-free boxed spice cake mix. Scandalous? Not really. Hey, we’ll try whatever works to make the process more appealing… and still meets the first three qualifications.
Vegan-izing the Cake Mix
We started with the gluten-free spice cake mix. (We used Namaste brand, which we found in the regular supermarket, but you can use any brand). Most cake mixes call for eggs; this one called for four eggs. Here’s a really simple substitution: For each egg, substitute 1 tablespoon flaxseed meal and 3 tablespoons water. So for four eggs, so we used 4 tablespoons flaxseed meal (1/4 cup) and 12 tablespoons water (3/4 cup).
Fig Cake (Gluten-Free, Vegan)
A delicious fig cake that brings in all of the great flavors of fall. Plus, it's gluten-free and vegan.
Flax Eggs (makes the equivalent of 4 eggs)
- 1/4 cup flaxmeal
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 gluten-free spice cake mix prepared as per instructions on box, using flax eggs in place of regular eggs
- 4 flax "eggs" (as directed above)
- 3/4 cup water (as called for in our box cake recipe, but yours may vary)
- 2/3 cup oil (as called for in our box cake recipe, but yours may vary)
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh figs
Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1/2 cup vegan butter
- 8 ounces vegan cream cheese
- 4-5 cups powdered sugar
- fresh figs
- fresh rosemary
Prepare the flax eggs: Mix the flaxmeal with the water, and let sit at room temperature for at least 10 minutes
Prepare the cake mix as directed on the box, substituting the flaxmeal mixture for the eggs. Gently stir in the chopped figs.
Pour the batter into greased 8-9" cake pans and bake according to the box directions, until the cake is golden brown and springy to the touch. Remove layers from the cake pans and set aside to cool.
Prepare the frosting: Whip together the vegan butter and vegan cream cheese until smooth. Add powdered sugar gradually, mixing well after each addition. Add additional sugar if necessary to reach a thick consistency. The frosting should form peaks and should not drip from the beaters of an electric mixer.
Frost the layers and outside of the cake. Garnish and decorate with figs, rosemary, and other herbs if desired.
If you are going to get technical about it, many store-bought frostings are vegan. OK, inadvertently vegan. They just contain sugar and various kinds of oils. But they don’t really hold with the spirit of veganism, which is that they are highly processed. Additionally, they usually contain high-fructose corn syrup, which you shouldn’t eat whether you’re vegan or not.
So for this cake, we made our own vegan “cream cheese” frosting. We used a store-bought vegan cream cheese product that’s made with tofu. But when you taste it, you would never know anything was different. If you’re not used to making your own frostings, please consider it!
Looking for another vegan and gluten free cake? Try this Vegan Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake !
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