triple layer chocolate vanilla birthday cake with chocolate cashew cream frosting

Thirty years?  No freaking way.  How?


A few things I assumed I would have by 30:  

  1. architecture career - nada!
  2. kid - nope!
  3. husband - yes!
  4. house - yes!

A few things I had no clue I would have by 30:

  1. A blog.
  2. A book!
  3. A fancy camera.
  4. A photography business.
  5. 2 dogs.
  6. A massive glass jar collection.
  7. A gluten intolerance.
  8. A meatless diet.
  9. A road bike.

One thing I've learned:

  1. Plans change.  Frequently.

Things that make me the happiest:

  1. husband + family.
  2. friends.
  3. food.
  4. the dogs.
  5. a clean kitchen.
  6. cycling.
  7. waffles.

What I wanted to be when I "grew up" as a 5th grader:

  • school teacher
  • part-time baker

What I wanted to be when I "grew up" as a 7th grader:

  • Architect.

What magazine did I subscribe to in 7th grade?

  • Architectural Digest.

What I want to be now -- all grown up:

  • Still in process.

Where I've lived the past 30 years:

  • marshall, mi 
  • cleveland, oh
  • columbus, oh
  • charlotte, nc
  • denver, co
  • ft. collins, co

Thoughts for the future:

  • Roll with it.
  • Things are good.
  • Play more.
  • Help more.
  • Chill.
  • Eat more cake.

Print this!

adapted from: carrot cake with orange maple cashew cream frosting

Triple Layer Chocolate Vanilla Birthday Cake with Chocolate Cashew Cream Frosting

gluten-free, dairy free // yields 3, 8-inch layers

for the vanilla layers:

  • 1 1/2 cups gluten-free oat flour
  • 1 cup blanched almond flour
  • 1/2 cup sweet rice flour
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar, orsucanat or pure cane sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large eggs, whisked
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup unrefined coconut oil, melted + slightly cooled
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla bean paste, or pure vanilla extract

for the chocolate layer:

  • 3/4 cups gluten-free oat flour
  • 1/2 cup blanched almond flour
  • 1/4 cup sweet rice flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 6 tablespoons coconut sugar, or sucanat or pure cane sugar
  • 1 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs, whisked
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 6 tablespoons unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons unrefined coconut oil, melted + slightly cooled
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste, or pure vanilla extract
  1. Preheat your oven to 350*F and grease and flour all sides of 3, 8-inch cake pans. Knock out excess flour.
  2. For the vanilla layers: In a large bowl stir your dry ingredients together until well combined.
  3. In another mixing bowl whisk together the wet ingredients until thoroughly combined.
  4. Pour the wet mixture into the dry and stir together with a large wooden spoon until just combined. Avoid over-stirring.
  5. For the chocolate layer: Follow directions 2-4 including the cocoa powder with the dry ingredients.
  6. Pour evenly into the cake pans and bake the vanilla layers for 22-26 minutes and the chocolate layer for 23-28 minutes. Test with a toothpick for doneness.  
  7. Let cool for 20 minutes, slide a knife along the edge, then carefully turn out onto a cooling rack and let fully cool before frosting.
  8. Frost the first layer, place the 2nd on top, then repeat.  Lightly push the frosting to the edge so it drips down the sides on the top layer. Add sprinkles if desired.
  9. Serve immediately or keep chilled in the fridge [covered] and set out for 30 minutes before serving.

for the frosting:

  • 2 cups raw cashews, soaked for at least 4 hours
  • 1/2 - 3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 - 2/3 cup muscovado sugar, or light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  1. Drain + rinse cashews then place in your high-speed blender with 1/2 cup almond milk and the rest of the ingredients.
  2. Blend on low working to high, using your blender stir stick to keep things moving until you have reached a fully smooth consistency. Scrape the sides to keep things moving and add more milk if needed. You want to use the least amount of milk as possible for a thick frosting. This frosting is much softer than a typical butter cream and very easy to spread.
  3. Taste and add more sugar if needed then blend again until smooth.
  4. Pour into a bowl and place plastic wrap directly on top, then refrigerate until chilled. Frosting will thicken a bit as it chills.  

notes/substitutions:  For an explanation on almond flour and the difference between almond meal, see this post.  There is no sub for almond flour [almond meal should work] or sweet rice flour.  Best to use all room temperature wet ingredients when baking.  Safflower, sunflower, or canola oil can be used instead of coconut oil.  Cakes can be made a day ahead.  Let fully cool then wrap tightly with plastic wrap and store on your counter overnight.  Set oven to 370*F and use 1/4 teaspoon leass baking powder [vanilla] and 1/8 teaspoon less baking soda [chocolate] if you’re around 5,000’ altitude.


Today I wish:

  • My family could be here to help eat cake!

Have a happy + safe 4th of July!