Maca is thought of as a superfood. It is believed to give you energy and endurance. It’s also used to improve hormonal balance. Why not pair that with cake? Customers often request a birthday cake for someone with dietary restrictions. We love this kind of challenge, as it gives us another excuse to experiment. On this occasion the customer wanted a birthday cake that was dairy-free and vegan and we topped it with our Vanilla Cashew Nut Frosting and finished it off with raspberries, blueberries, and a few leaves of fresh mint. It was such a success that it’s become part of our repertoire.As for Maca, it’s a powerful Peruvian root with an earthy, nutty taste and a hint of butterscotch. Its powder is essentially a flour, but with the spelt taking that role it’s here for its sweet, nutty contribution and amazing nutritional qualities. It also combines very well with the maple syrup and vanilla flavors.
Maca and Vanilla Cake
MAKES 1 x 8-inch round cake
EQUIPMENT 8-inch round, deep, loose-bottom cake pan
1¾ cups spelt flour
4 teaspoons maca powder, plus more for dusting
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
1 cup maple syrup
½ cup coconut oil, melted
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
½ cup warm water (it is important that the water is warm not cold, or it will turn the coconut oil solid)
Vanilla Cashew Nut Frosting (page 214)
1 Preheat the oven to 400°F and line an 8-inch round, deep, loose-bottom cake pan with parchment paper.
2 In a bowl, mix the spelt flour, maca powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
3 In another bowl, mix together the maple syrup, oil, vanilla, vinegar, and warm water.
4 Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and whisk together well to remove any lumps.
5 Pour the mixture into the pan and bake for 40 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
6 Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack.
7 When completely cool, top with the Vanilla Cashew Nut Frosting and a dusting of maca powder or some fresh fruit.
Reprinted from Super Loaves & Simple Treats by arrangement with Avery, an imprint of Penguin Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. Image and recipe copyright ©2018, Melissa Sharp.