I couldn't fall asleep one night, and instead of listening to a sleep meditation audio, taking an epsom salt bath or reading (my usual tricks), I began trying to think of what creative and healthy treat I could make. Since my 30th was looming ahead (oh to be 29 again, ha), I thought of trying to make a healthy birthday cake, and I began reminiscing about those terrible-for-you but amazing Betty Crocker boxed rainbow party cake mixes that were the feature of so many birthday parties I attended as a child.
My parents didn't let the four of us kids eat junk food, so I lived for the chance to inhale some rainbow cake with rainbow chip frosting from a can at every party that I could! (Not surprisingly, I always felt sick after going to parties or snacking at friends' houses). Turns out I was allergic to dairy, soy, corn and gluten, which in hindsight makes a LOT of sense.
Anyway, I found myself thinking how could I add healthy rainbow pieces to a cake?
Then it came to me. Vibrant fruits and vegetables, of course! In fact, I was surprised that this cake turned out delicious at the first attempt. I was prepared to sacrifice a batch or two, but the texture came out perfectly. (I learned when remaking it do NOT use lemon rind chunks for more yellow pieces. Barf. Just stick to yellow bell peppers, or maybe star fruit if you have one handy).
My husband initially said it reminds him of mochi with bell peppers but when I asked if it was too weird, he insisted despite his initial response, it tastes great. Like, really great. A (non-vegan, junk food-loving) friend later had a piece and concurred that it was in fact, delicious and demanded the recipe. So you don't have to just take my word for it!
Also, it's vegan, gluten-free, soy-free and nut-free, so it works for pretty much everyone!
Rainbow Cake or Cupcakes
yields 9 pieces or about 4-5 double layer pieces
Vegan, Gluten-free (and Paleo if you swap the rice and sorghum flour for almond flour)
(*hint: double recipe for cupcakes!)
1/2 cup brown rice flour (great for adding a fluffy texture to GF goodies)
1/2 cup sorghum flour
2 tablespoon coconut flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
sprinkle of sea salt
5 tablespoons coconut yogurt*
1 tablespoon organic raw apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup water
1. Preheat oven to 350F and grease a 8" pan with coconut oil.
2. Mix apple cider vinegar with yogurt, and set aside to thicken.
3. Stir dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
4. Whisk all wet ingredients together, then pour into the dry, then stir in melted oil and water last. Fold in finely diced fruits and vegetables of choice (I used red, orange and yellow peppers, zucchini and cherries and blueberries.).
5. Pour into pan and bake for 30-35 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
5. Optional frosting: organic powdered sugar, water, tapioca starch and mixed veggies OR sugar-free version: whip chilled coconut cream.
*Make your own coconut yogurt with an Instant Pot or you may try subbing 3 tbs coconut milk (canned/full fat)
For the frosting pictured above, whip a can of coconut cream or the thick layer atop chilled canned coconut milk until creamy. (I used oat flour in the cake version above but it's crumblier and not as yummy!)
It makes a yummy birthday cake or cupcake option, especially for little ones with allergies! Double the recipe for 12-14 cupcakes.
Go full rainbow with rainbow party decor for under $12!
You can also make this recipe into rainbow cupcakes! Use rainbow cupcake liners for extra pizazz
Happy Birthday! Or pride day, or just happy Monday. No judgement, this is a healthy treat, so go crazy!