This Spelt and Coconut Cake is delicious and all my friends absolutely loved it. The Quirky Princess turned ONE over the weekend and I had to bake something beautiful and sweet to mark my beloved blog’s first! Of course cake is the only way to celebrate a birthday!
When I turned twenty-five I had the prettiest birthday cake at a party called “When I Grow Up I Want To Be A Princess.” Put something out there in the universe and it will probably come true, here I am, truly a grownup if only because I do grownup things like try to run a startup and in some ways a princess.
Princess has many connotations to it, Disney, being spoilt and so forth but the way I define a princess is anything but that. What I loved most about fairytales and Disney films was the sense of adventure the characters had, they wanted to explore something other than their status quo. Sure it was spurred on by a guy as far as the stories went but that was never that part that appealed to me. Ariel wants to explore a new land, Jasmine wants a life beyond the confines of a palace, Mulan becomes a warrior, Pocahontas wants to remain a free-spirit…
Blogging was a way to explore horizons I didn’t always have access to by being creative and letting the imagination run riot. Whether it was penning some evocative thoughts or turning ingredients into a dish.
Technically I’ve been blogging for way longer than a year, but it was this time last year that I moved over to The Quirky Princess (TQP) domain. With Love To Eat It taking off and my days filled with whatever startup life has in store for us next, it’s not as easy to blog as much as I used to, but I’ll never give this up.
Years ago, people would dismiss blogs and it took ages for some of my own friends to even take me seriously. Things have changed so much today! When you tell people you have a blog, they are interested and want to know more about it but that’s never really why I blogged and I like to think TQP reflects that. It’s an extension of my own evolving journey, discovering myself and the world around me. Yesterday it was about thought filled notes, today it’s through the joy of cooking and sharing recipes online – tomorrow who knows?
Blogging has brought so many beautiful things into my life. It indirectly led the love of my life to me, I’ve met the most amazing lady bosses who have become my friends and continue to inspire me everyday, it’s how my family and friends all over the world who love my cooking get to enjoy the spoils of my kitchen but most of all blogging empowered me.
When I first got married and moved to Toronto, I couldn’t work and didn’t know many people other than Ahmed’s friends. It was really hard, going from a full life in Karachi to feeling lonely most of the time. I didn’t want to waste months of my life doing nothing while I waited to get a work permit and permanent residence. In those days Confessions of A Quirky Princess played host to my posts but running a blog full-time was the best decision I ever made. Blogging stimulated my brain, got me out of bed each day, gave me something fun to do, helped me lay down roots in Toronto and got me my daily dose of glow.
As it turned out blogging became the stepping stone for Love To Eat It and even though I need to spend most of my energy working on our startup, there will always be a special place in my life for TQP. TQP wouldn’t have turned one without Ahmed’s encouragement and patience, Zee’s generosity, Ali’s constant feedback, Jared’s PR, all those fabulous coffee dates with Davida and my family and friends support. What I’m trying to say is if you’ve ever thought about starting a blog, just do it.
The first recipe I ever blogged was made with spelt, so as an ode to that – here is a recipe for Spelt and Coconut Cake!
- 3/4 cup almond milk
- 1tbsp coconut vinegar
- 3 1/4 cups spelt flour
- 2tsp baking powder
- 6.4oz coconut oil*
- 1 3/4 cup coconut sugar
- 4 eggs
- 2tsp vanilla extract
- 1.6oz water*
- 2 cups frozen organic raspberries
- 1tbsp agave
- 1tbsp chia seeds
- 500g of vegan cream cheese
- 1/4 cup coconut milk
- 1tsp orange zest
- Juice of an orange
- 1/2 cup icing sugar
- – Preheat the oven to 350F and line two 9″ cake tins with parchment paper and grease. (You can make mini cakes from this or make one big one.)
- – Mix the almond milk and coconut vinegar together and set aside.
- – Sift the spelt and baking powder together and set aside.
- – In a bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the coconut oil and coconut sugar together.
- – Add the eggs one by one to the creamed coconut oil and coconut sugar, beating in each one completely before adding the next.
- – Stir in the vanilla extract.
- – Fold in some of the spelt, then add the milk, then fold in some more spelt and then add some more milk, continuing until you have added all the spelt flour and milk.
- – Finally, stir in the water and divide the batter in the cake tins equally.
- – Bake for 20-25 minutes. Check cakes after 20 minutes, if they are springy at your touch then take them out, if not return to the oven for five more minutes. Let the cakes cool off in the tins, before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
- – Put a small saucepan on medium heat. Add the raspberries, agave and chia seeds. Let them simmer and stew until the contents thicken and reach a jam-like consistency.
- – Beat all the ingredients together and let them rest in the fridge for a few hours while the cake cools.**
- – If you are making one big cake, then just spread the raspberry filling and frosting onto the cooled cakes, sandwich and dust with some icing sugar!
- – If you are making mini cakes then use a round cookie cutter to cut out small rounds of cake. Decide how many layers each cake will have, I opted for three. Spread some coconut cream cheese frosting and raspberry filling between each layer and stack the cake rounds. I then spread a little more frosting and filling on top of the cake and decorated them with some baked orange slices.
- *I used ounces because I was trying get the ratio of fat and liquid right.
- **I usually make my frosting the night before and let it sit in the fridge overnight, the consistency is perfect for frosting!