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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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