People often ask me how I do it, eating a vegan diet. They sound bewildered that I can give up things like milk chocolate, pizza, or Lucky Charms. I know what you’re thinking, clearly my friends have stupendous tastes in food. They obviously equate veganism with deprivation. I’m a vegan, it’s true. And the message I like to share is that being vegan isn’t about restriction. It’s not about what I can’t eat, but discovering the world of opportunity in the things I can eat. Sure, I might spend a little bit more time in the kitchen as a result, but not much. Not only is my family healthier for it, but I figure with so much time spent sitting behind a computer throughout the day, moving around in the kitchen is a wonderful way to start out an evening. And my favorite way to end the evening is to have a slice of cake! Here’s one of our favorites, Iced Banana Pecan Cake. I’m clearly a deprived person, eh? Not only is this cake vegan, it’s also gluten-free and packed with some nutritional punch thanks to those bananas, pecans, and chia seeds. So, how do I do it? How do I stay on a vegan diet? Here’s my secret: lots of veggies, brown rice, tofu, a few nuts and twigs…and a slice (or two) of Iced Banana Pecan Cake.
Iced Banana Pecan Cake [Vegan, Gluten-Free]
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 2 cups sugar
- 3 - 4 large bananas, ripe, mashed
- 1 cup soy buttermilk, (soy milk with 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar added)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- 1 cup buckwheat flour
- 1 cup brown rice flour
- ½ cup soy flour
- ½ cup corn starch
- 1.5 teaspoons baking soda
- 1.5 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon, (optional)
- 1 cup pecans, chopped
- 1 16 oz container Vegan Cream Cheese, softened
- 1/2 stick Earth Balance margarine, softened
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 3 tablespoons soymilk
- Heat your oven to 350F and spray a 9 X 13 cake pan with vegetable spray.
- In a small bowl combine the soy milk with apple cider vinegar and set aside to the let the two ingredients combine.
- Next, mix together the vegetable oil and sugar. You can use a mixer or get a little exercise by beating well by hand. Add the remaining wet ingredients (including the soy buttermilk) and the chia seeds. Stir until all the ingredients are acquainted with one another.
- In a separate bowl, mix together the flours, corn starch, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and spices.
- Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. I started with adding about half the dry ingredients to the wet, mixed that together and then added about half of the remaining dry ingredients until everything was well combined.
- Finally, add the chopped pecans to the batter and stir well. Pour the batter into your prepared cake pan and bake for 40 - 50 minutes (depending on your oven). I usually insert a piece of spaghetti into the center of the cake to see if it comes out clean. If it does, then your cake is done.
- Set aside the cake to cool and in the meantime, prepare your Icing.
- Cream together the vegan cream cheese and margarine until smooth. Add powdered sugar a little and stir until well combined. Add soy milk one tablespoon at a time until you get the desired consistency (I like the icing to be thick, but spreadable).
- Once the cake is done, removed from the oven, and cooled completely, top it with the icing and decorate with whole or chopped pecan pieces (optional).