Vegan Devil’s food cake with Biscoff and sesame

This cake was loosely inspired by the EatDomi chocolate, salted caramel, and sesame cake. I wanted to make it vegan, as it was a birthday cake order for a friend of a friend, and that person’s boyfriend was vegan. Yeah, I know, that was a really long string of words there. Anyways, while I could make salted caramel vegan very easily, I wanted to use a different ingredient entirely. I happened to purchase a jar of Biscoff butter(cookie butter), just because I saw a very talented baker friend of mine, Catherine, using that, and was intrigued. Upon tasting it, I realized that Biscoff butter is just speculoos. And upon doing some research, I found out that Biscoff cookies are indeed vegan. Meaning I could use that in this cake!

For the components, we have a vegan devil’s food cake, a vanilla milk soak, a black sesame crunch, a Biscoff butter cream, and a sesame buttercream. I wanted the cake to maintain that signature Milkbar naked layer cake look, just so that you can really appreciate the layers within. With the ingredients, I do use black cacao powder for that Dutch-processed cocoa flavor, which is a fruitier take on chocolate. I also use the water from the tofu packet in my cake batter, as it acts like an egg substitute. The tofu itself is blended with the Biscoff butter, just because the two will emulsify together into a custard-like substance, while the other buttercream uses tahini, just to give it that rich, sesame flavor. With this cake, you have this decadent devil’s food cake with a delicately spiced Biscoff cream, a nutty Tahini buttercream, and crunchy sesame cookies to finish.

For the cake batter:
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
a pinch of salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup black cacao powder
3/4 cups canola oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
reserved water from a silken tofu packet
3/4 cups rice or soy milk
3 tbsp cider vinegar

In a bowl, sift together your baking powder, salt, flour, white sugar, and cacao powder first. Then whisk into the dry ingredients your canola oil. You want a crumbly texture at first. In another bowl, mix together your vanilla, tofu packet water, rice milk, and cider vinegar. Pour that into your dry ingredients and whisk to form your batter. Pour onto a parchment-lined sheet tray and bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes. Cool down the cake completely before cutting out 6-inch disks, making one of the disks out of scraps.

For the soak:
1 cup rice or soy milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
a pinch of salt

Mix to form your soak.

For the black sesame crunch:
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup black sesame powder
2 tbsp tahini paste
2 tbsp canola oil
a pinch of salt

Mix until combined. Crumble into smaller pieces(about the size of your thumbnail). Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes. Cool down before using.

For the Biscoff butter cream:
14oz(1 packet) silken tofu
1/2 cup Biscoff cookie butter
1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
a pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla extract

Puree everything in a food processor until fully combined and smooth. Transfer into a piping bag.

For the tahini buttercream:
2 sticks vegan butter substitute
1/2 cup tahini paste
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
a pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla extract

Whip together until combined. Transfer into a piping bag.

To assemble:
Start with cutting out 2 6-inch cake rounds and creating a third using the scraps. Line a 6-inch cake round with acetate. Place down the scraps into the bottom and add on 1/3 of the soak. Spread on 1/3 of the tahini buttercream first, then sprinkle on 1/3 of your sesame crumbs. Then spread on 1/3 of the Biscoff butter cream. Repeat this with the next round of cake. For the third round, start with the cake and soak again. Then spread the remainder of your Biscoff butter cream on top. Freeze the cake for at least 3 hours and then remove the acetate. Finally, pipe the tahini buttercream on top of the cake, and then garnish the top of that with your crumbs.

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