Do you have questions about being vegan? Send them
to Jo using this easy form.
She would be happy to address your individual concerns
as well as general inquiries about vegan ethics, philosophy,
practical applications, and living compassionately.
Jo cannot respond to questions about nutrition or
answer questions that have already been addressed in
Jo will make every attempt to answer each question
personally, however, due to her schedule, this may not
be possible. If a reply is forthcoming, it could take
up to a few weeks, so please be patient. It is also
possible that your question will be answered directly
in the "Ask Jo!" column rather than an individual
If you'd like to view previous questions Jo has
answered, visit the Ask Jo! Archives.
Wedding? Piece of Cake!
am getting married next year. The wedding will be very
untraditional except for one thing: I want a big, pretty,
white wedding cake. I don't want it to be brown, sweetened
with Sucanat, which is what I normally use in place of
sugar. What can I use to make both a cake and a frosting
that would be white? Also, what natural food colorings
could be used to dye the frosting? I know of beet powder
for pink, but the color we really want to use on the cake
is blue. Do you have any white cake and frosting recipes
in any of your books? If so, which one(s) would you recommend
to make a multi-tiered cake? We will have approximately
Almost any recipe you would use from
a standard cookbook will need to be adapted to make
a large enough quantity to serve your guests. If your
cake will be prepared by a professional, she or he should
have no problem increasing the ingredients and adjusting
the baking times for larger cakes.
The recipe I would recommend is my Celebration
Cake from Vegan Vittles (page
156). It is a simple cake to make and it is very easy
to multiply the ingredients. Because it is made with
whole wheat pastry flour and pure maple syrup, the color
is more off-white than white. For a whiter cake, substitute
unbleached white pastry flour for the whole wheat flour,
and replace the maple syrup with sugar. Only white sugar
will give you the bright white color you are seeking.
Beet sugar, which tastes and performs just like cane
sugar, is vegan and can be found in many natural food
stores. Another option is using an unbleached cane sugar
product such as Florida's
Crystals or Turbinado sugar (sometimes marketed
as "raw" sugar). Sucanat also makes an unbleached cane
sugar, but be sure to use the lighter, crystallized
product and not the dehydrated sugar cane juice, which
is very dark. These sweeteners will still impart a slightly
off-white hue, but your cake will be a shade or two
lighter than if you use the maple syrup. If you choose
to substitute any kind of sugar for the maple syrup,
use about 1/2 cup sugar per recipe, because maple syrup
is slightly sweeter than sugar. Also, increase the nondairy
milk to about 1 1/4 cups to compensate for the liquid
that would have been supplied by the maple syrup.
For your frosting you will need something
that will hold up well over a long period of time. I
recommend my Heavenly Coconut Icing (Vegan
Vittles, page 164), which makes a lovely white frosting.
The sweetener in this recipe is apple juice concentrate.
For a smoother frosting, blend it in a food processor.
Another choice is my Creme Cheeze Frosting (Vegan
Vittles, page 162), which is good for piping and
decorating. Although it is sweetened with maple syrup,
it produces a creamy white icing. It does not hold up
quite as well as the Heavenly Coconut Icing, so you
may want to experiment with both and see which you prefer.
Another white topping with a slightly different texture
is my Sea Foam Icing (Vegan Vittles,
page 163). This produces a thinner icing that firms
and sets up as it cools; it would be a good one to tint.
To help the Creme Cheeze Frosting and Sea Foam Icing
hold up better, substitute an equal quantity of Spectrum
Spread for the canola oil called for in the recipes.
To achieve a naturally blue hue, I suggest
you use blueberry juice made from cooked fresh blueberries.
Simmer the blueberries until they are soft. Then run
them through a food mill or fine mesh strainer to pulverize
them and remove the skins and seeds. Use the juice or
puree as needed to tint the frosting the desired shade.
If you would like to layer the cake,
you can fill the layers with Lemon or Lime Curd (Vegan
Vittles, page 165) or with one of the frostings
suggested above. Some other ideas to incorporate a blue
tinge would be to put a few whole fresh blueberries
in the cake batter (dust them with flour first), or
you could decorate the frosted cake with fresh blueberries.
If you use the lemon or lime curd as a filling (which
would go great with blueberries), you can create a confetti
touch with the zest of the fruit. Alternatively, make
a thick blueberry spread for between the cake layers,
or simply swirl sweetened blueberry puree gracefully
over the top and sides of the frosted cake.
Copyright © 1998-2015 by Jo Stepaniak
All rights reserved.
Nothing on this web site may
be reproduced in any way
without express written permission from the copyright