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Vegan Gluten-Free Mounds Cake

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I made this cake the same day I made the chocolate peanut butter cake because the latter was for a friend’s birthday and I wanted to bring something that her son with food allergies could enjoy as well.  It was so good, however, that we all had some (yes, on top of the chocolate peanut butter cake!) and she served the leftovers to her entire family later on.  They all loved it, which makes me so proud because producing a palatable vegan and gluten-free cake was a challenge.

Dennis and I took a single piece home with us, which we regretted the next day when we split it and it was gone all too quickly. We both love Mounds candy bars and this cake really does capture that flavor. I would make this cake for any one, not just those with food allergies.

I’m submitting this cake to Sophia’s “You are What You Cook” challenge because I feel the recipe really defines me.  I do not personally have food allergies, but I love the challenge of creating a palatable dish when there are obstacles to overcome (in this case, no dairy and strange flours!).  I do commiserate with those who are vegan because they love animals, and I’m enthusiastic about recipes that are meat & dairy-free for that reason.  This recipe is the love I have for baking, the heartache I feel for those who can’t enjoy the treats most of us do, my determination not to sacrifice flavor & texture due to the restrictions, and my triumph in creating something that made a ten-year-old boy give a huge grin after his first bite and declare, “This is awesome!”

If you do not have an allergy to gluten, you can substitute all-purpose flour and omit the xanthan gum, but there’s no need to change anything else, even if you aren’t vegan.   The recipe is perfect the way it is!

Vegan Gluten-Free Mounds Cake

Really Wacky Cake
Wacky Cake was popular during the depression when eggs and butter were rationed and harder to come by. Taking this dairy and egg-free cake and making it gluten-free makes it really wacky!

3 c gluten-free all-purpose baking flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
1 t Xanthan Gum
2 c granulated sugar
1 t salt
2 t baking soda
½ c cocoa powder (I used Dutch processed for a deeper color & chocolate flavor)
¾ c vegetable oil or melted coconut oil
2 t vanilla extract
2 T distilled white vinegar
2 c cold water

Coconut Filling
2 T coconut oil
¾ c coconut milk
1 c granulated sugar
20 large vegan marshmallows
10 oz unsweetened coconut

Coconut Ganache
½ c coconut milk (not light)
8 oz Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 9×13 pan with cooking spray and set aside. Sift all dry ingredients together into a large bowl. Make three wells and put the oil in one, the vanilla in another and the vinegar in the last. Pour water over it all and mix until well blended. Pour into prepared pan and bake 30-40 minutes (mine took 40) until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.

Once the cake is cool or mostly cool, prepare the filling. Heat the coconut oil in a saucepan over medium heat until it melts, then add the coconut milk and sugar. Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the marshmallows until dissolved. Stir in the coconut and spread over the cake. Allow to cool before preparing the ganache.

Place the chocolate in a heat-proof bowl and set aside. Heat the coconut milk until it bubbles around the edges and steam rises off the surface. Pour over the chocolate and allow to sit for several minutes. Stir until smooth and shiny—this will probably take two minutes. If necessary, place bowl over a small saucepan of simmering water & stir constantly to melt the chocolate completely.

Pour the ganache over the cake and spread to the edges. Allow to set for at least an hour before serving.

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About Veronica

I have a kitchen addiction and love to collect & share recipes. My passion is baking but I love to cook as well. The only thing I don't like to do in the kitchen is wash dishes, but my husband generally does them for me in exchange for his dinner.

43 responses »

  1. I’m so glad you shared this, Veronica! Mike and I both love Mounds so this cake is really a must-make. It’s joining my “to-make” list along with your fantastic cherry cordials. :)

  2. Nice……. I’m going to share this with my gluten free friends!

    • Cool! I believe this would be even better with the flour combo used here (1 cup of each): http://veg2eat.blogspot.com/2008/05/really-wacky-cake.html. My friend says that she’s had the most luck with sorghum flour when baking. Bob’s Red Mill g/f all-purpose flour yielded a great textured cake but without the toppings, it did have a slightly odd flavor. There is so much chocolate and coconut flavor in the toppings though, that it disguised it.

  3. Ah! Thank you for this glorious submission, Veronica! And I like your personal definition behind it…I’m guessing that you’re also very friendly, and welcoming to all sorts of characters and people and opinions. :-)

    Now, do you have an extra piece so I can sink my teeth into it? Tee hee!

    • Why yes, yes I am! And I happen to be incredibly humble too! lol. :) I was just browsing through your blog right before I saw this comment–I’m loving it sooo so much! I’m so happy to meet another sister in Christ. You are positively delightful and your posts are so uplifting and amusing and wonderful. I’m so glad Faith “introduced” us through her blog!

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  5. Hey Veronica- got a question from of my co-workers about an ingredient. What’s xanthan gum? Thanks!

    • Xanthan gum is made from the outer layer of a tiny, inactive bacterium called Xanthomonas campestris and has a unique ability to hold small particles of food together, which makes it an ideal subsitute for gluten in gluten-free baking. It is powdery like a fine flour or baking powder and you can find it by the gluten-free flours, usually. I found mine at Walmart in the gluten-free and allergy-free section. (Bob’s Red Mill brand, in a clear bag the same size as the other bagged flours.)

  6. Hey Thanks- got your note-and 3, yes 3 of my co-workers said they’re going to make the cake! Which means, I get to sample! Thanks again V!

  7. Mmmmounds. I love coconut. I’ve made very few vegan cakes but have found it an interesting challenge to make the frostings as good as the butter-rich ones. This however looks delicious. It’s going on my list to try soon — well, as soon I stop trying to cut back on sweets… knowing me this will be next week :)

    • I found the coconut milk to be a wonderful replacement for cream in the ganache–it had the same consistency, but it had coconut flavor with the chocolate, which I loved! I have no idea how I would make other vegan frostings without resorting to shortening or margerine, which I usually avoid.

  8. So first thing this AM at work one of the Gluten Free girls I work with comes into my room with half a cake! It was awesome-very rich. I love coconut and chocolate. Needless to say I only had one piece and shared the rest, but right about now I’m thinkin’ I may go see if there’s any left………

  9. This looks wonderful, here is another one of your recipes i would like to try.
    ~Southern Cookbook ~Cheryl

  10. Veronica, found you thru Sophia’s latest post and holy crap girl, you can cook!
    I am high raw, vegan, GF, soy free/light, and am more of the raw dessert balls un-baker myself but I have a contest up with 2 links to some of my nicer recipes dessert balls and choco recipes…anyway, this one of yours looks amazing and i make a vegan GF creme de menthe bars that kind reminds me of this with the choc and white middle :) great eats!

  11. I love the fact that you made this both gluten free and vegan even though you don’t need to adhere to either of those diets. It really shows how conscientious and thoughtful you are! Plus it looks delicious!

    • Thanks, Joanne. Honestly I don’t know how conscientous and thoughtful I am but when it comes to food, I hate for anyone to miss out on the good stuff.

  12. Looks fantastic, thanks for posting this. I would def make for my gluten free gd. BUT marshmallows are NOT vegan, unless you meant to use a vegan version.

    • Thank you for pointing that out, Barbara! You’re right, marshmallows contain gelatin so that wouldn’t be vegan. I was paying more attention to keeping it gluten and dairy free and I didn’t even realize there was gelatin in marshmallows until you said that, then I looked at the ingredients. You’re right, however, there are vegan varieties of marshmallows available to make this a completely vegan cake. Or you could even make your own vegan marshmallows with this recipe: http://veganmarshmallows.blogspot.com/2009/04/vegan-marshmallow-recipe.html. Again, thank you for pointing out my error–I will revise the recipe to indicate “vegan marshmallows.”

  13. It looks fantastic, thanks for posting this. I’m going to share this with my gluten free friends

  14. Thanks……You have just made my diabetic, celiac diseased father a very happen man.

  15. Can’t wait to try this!

  16. Oh gawd, this looks YUM! I MUST try this recipe, soon! I am not vegan, but dairy-free, so I can’t wait to try this one! (am not gluten allergic, so can I use regular or whole wheat flour in it?).

    Can’t wait to try this one at your party! :D

  17. Hi again: Haven’t made this one yet. But plan to soon!

    Btw: Just a suggestion to any vegans or non-dairy readers here: A VERY VERY good Vegan Cookie book: ‘Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar’ You can find it on Amazon, or in any bookstore. Their recipes are YUMYUM!! :D

    And Veronica: Thanks so much about the tip re: WW Flour not making good cakes, this is valuable info to know! I use WW Flour in my cookies, though and they’re good. But for cakes, I’ll def switch to white flour :)

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  21. I wanted to mention that most marshmallow fluff/creme is vegan so you can sub that for the marshmallows. The only way to get vegan mellows here is to mail order them and in the summer that is a no go in 100+ degrees so fluff is the way to go. Here’s hoping it gets cooler here soon, because my kids have been waiting all summer to marshmallows!

  22. I am wondering if this can be made with coconut flour?

  23. Any fantastic diabetic recipes for Christmas goodies?

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  25. Yum, how awesome that it is vegan and gluten free. I have so many friends with wheat allergies, I will have to pass this along.

  26. how nice to make a second cake for your friends! this sounds amazing. did you buy the Xanthan Gum in bulk or do you have a suggestion to purchase it inexpensively? where i’ve seen it before, it has been tres expensive!


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