Earth Day is an annual event on April 22nd dedicated to promoting environmental protection and celebrating our home planet. In honour of the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, here is my recipe for a vegan Earth-themed chocolate oreo cake.
Whilst it is important to look after our planet every day of the year, Earth Day is dedicated to raising awareness for global environmental issues with the aim of inspiring continuous action throughout the year. There are so many ways in which we as individuals can live greener, from recycling and using reusable products, to reducing our plastic use and opting to follow a plant-based vegan diet.
This cake is a deliciously moist chocolate sponge, with crunchy oreo buttercream and coated in an outer oreo crumb to replicate soil. For the Earth, I used a large rectangular pan and, once baked, cut three different sized circles and sculpted to form the dome shape. I actually used an online globe to help me ice the Earth as accurately as I could even though it was still a little off, it's the thought that counts right.
Earth Day Cake
Prep time: 60 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Total time: 90 minutes
For the cake:
450ml plant-based milk (I used coconut)
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
450g plain flour
4 tbsp cocoa powder
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
350g caster sugar
150g dairy-free butter (I used vitalite)
1 tsp instant coffee
For the icing and decoration:
200g dairy-free butter
500g icing sugar
1 packet of 14 Oreos
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 packet white ready to roll icing
Food colouring - Green, blue
Preheat the oven to 180°C (or 160 °C fan assisted, like mine) and grease and line two 9'' cake tins and one rectangular 9x13'' tin.
Combine the milk with the apple cider vinegar in a small bowl and set aside for around 10 minutes (this makes vegan 'buttermilk').
Combine all the dry cake ingredients (except the sugar) in a large bowl and mix well, making sure there are no lumps.
In a separate bowl, whisk the butter and sugar together until it goes creamy. Mix the coffee in a mug with a little hot water until dissolved, then add to the butter and sugar mixture, along with the 'buttermilk'.
Slowly add the dry mixture into the wet mixture and gently fold until evenly mixed (do not overmix!)
Divide the cake mixture between the three tins, ensuring they are evenly spread and reach all the edges.
Bake in the oven for around 30 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.
Remove the cakes from the oven and allow to cool fully on a wire rack.
Whilst the cakes are cooling, mix the butter, icing sugar, and vanilla to make the buttercream icing. Divide a third of the buttercream into a separate bowl for the Earth, and use the remaining two thirds for the oreo icing.
Put all the Oreos into a blender and blitz to form crumbs, then mix half of the crumbs into the larger portion of the icing to form the oreo buttercream, save the remaining crumbs for later on.
Once the sponges are fully cooled, ice and stack the circular cakes with the oreo buttercream.
With the rectangular sponge, cut three circles of different sizes. For a guide, I used a bowl for the largest circle, a mug for the second circle, and a narrow tumbler for the smallest.
On top of the oreo cake, ice and stack the three circles with the largest at the base and the smallest at the top and carve to form the Earth shape.
With the remaining white icing, split into two bowls and colour one with green colouring and the other with blue.
First, decorate the Earth with the blue icing for the water. Then carefully pipe the green icing for the land using a fine-tipped nozzle.
With the remaining Oreo crumbs, cover the outside of the two circular cakes. There is no easy way to do this really, I just patted handfuls of crumbs on until they stuck.
Mix the white royal icing with green food colouring to make the leaves and vines. For the leaves, I used a fondant leaf cutter and for the vines, I rolled the remaining icing into long thin pieces and places onto the cake.
Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
Don't waste any of the leftover sponge from the rectangular cake! You can use this to make some cake pops, or just eat as is whilst decorating the cake.
This cake is delicious to eat all year round. You can easily bake into a three-layer oreo cake, or reduce the ingredients by a third and leave off the top Earth.
If you would like to become an Earth Day volunteer, you can sign up here.
Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoy my vegan Earth Day cake and continue to promote the environment and sustainability throughout the year! If you do try any of my recipes I'd love to know how they turn out - tag me on Instagram @josiewalshaw!