Two Red Bowls turns one today! In honor of its first birthday, have … yes, yet another miniature cake. Mini-cakes forever! (No, I think a cake hiatus might be in order after this.)
I thought this little cake might be fitting for a number of reasons. One is plainly that it’s based on one of my favorite cupcake recipes of all time — this green tea cupcake by the inimitable Isa Chandra of Post Punk Kitchen and Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. The second reason is that this cupcake recipe was the first thing I ever baked from scratch. That is, not Funfetti, or Ghirardelli Brownie Mix, or break-and-bake — but actually measuring out leaveners and flour and dry ingredients and wet ingredients and taking care not to overmix. (I’m not counting the time in the 9th grade that I tried to make sugar cookies without measuring cups or spoons, and thought it would be a good idea to substitute baking soda for baking powder 1:1.)
Incredibly, that day was less than three years ago. And even more incredibly, just one year ago, I had no idea what fun and friendship and memories I’d be making with so many of you in this amazing community of ours. I’d never made a pie crust. Or baked with yeast. I was morally opposed to Instagram (HA ha) and I’m pretty sure I’d never even gotten up the courage to comment on another blog, let alone make friends with other bloggers. It’s been the best year, and I might even venture to say the most fulfilling. I know you guys must be tired sick of sentimentality after all the hubbub of last week, but just know that I think you’re the cat’s pajamas, and I’m so glad you’re here. Here’s to you, and here’s to year two! 🙂
Mini matcha cake with coconut glaze.
Cake recipe adapted from Isa Chandra’s Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, available here on her blog. As usual, it is egg-less and perfect for two (or one). My favorite part is the glaze, which soaks into the cake (especially through the leveled layers) and turns this into a tres-leches-like confection.
- for the cake:
- 2 tbsp plus 2 tsp yogurt
- 3 tbsp soy, almond, or rice milk
- 1 tbsp plus 2 tsp canola oil
- a few drops vanilla extract
- a few drops almond extract
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- pinch (1/16 tsp) baking soda
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- pinch salt
- 1 1/4 tsp matcha tea powder (divided into 1/4 tsp, 1/2 tsp, and 1/2 tsp)
- for the glaze:
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tbsp coconut milk
- 1/8 tsp almond extract
- for the topping:
- sliced or slivered almonds (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line three porcelain ramekins with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together yogurt, milk, vanilla extract, and oil until combined. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugar, and 1/4 tsp of the matcha powder. ( Note: To omit the ombre effect, simply add all the matcha powder here into the dry ingredients, mix together the dry and wet ingredients, and divide the batter evenly between the three ramekins, skipping this next step.)
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until incorporated. Pour about a third of the batter into one ramekin (it should be about halfway-filled if you’re using 4-ounce ramekins). Add 1/2 tsp more of the powder to the remaining batter and mix gently again. To avoid over-mixing, I used a spatula to fold the powder in. It takes a little longer, but it’s gentler on the batter. When incorporated, pour another third into the second ramekin. Finally, add the remainder of the matcha powder, fold it gently in again, and fill the final ramekin.
- Bake at 350 for about 20-22 minutes, or until domes have set and bounce back when touched, and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
- While the cake is cooling, make the glaze. Whisk together the coconut milk and powdered sugar until smooth, then add the extract and mix again. If the glaze is too thick to pour, add more coconut milk a teaspoon at a time. If too thin, add powdered sugar a tablespoon at a time, until the glaze reaches the consistency that you want.
- When the cakes are fully cool, level the tops (you may want to leave the top layer intact) and stack, drizzling glaze between each layer and on top. Top with a few almond slices, if desired.
Because this is ombre, it requires a bit of finesse in eyeballing how much batter to add to each of your three ramekins. If you’re not sure how much to pour initially, I would recommend being more generous with your first and second layers, since you can always add some of that batter back to the mix for the darkest layer, but not vice versa. The ombre effect also requires a gentle touch to ensure that each addition of matcha powder and subsequent mixing doesn’t lead to a very dense third layer. To avoid overmixing, I folded the matcha in (here’s a great little video on folding technique by Emma at Poires au Chocolat!) and the cake came out just fine.