Thursday, January 30, 2014

For the Love of Zevia... and Cola Cake Recipe!

I'm basically in love with Zevia soda now. See, way back when, I used to be a huge diet soda junkie. In fact, my girlfriends and I could polish off several bottles of diet cola while pulling all-nighters and playing cards. Oh, to be a teenager again. If I were a teenager in 2014, I would have done the whole soda thing a lot differently. I would have chosen Zevia. For anyone who has not heard of Zevia, it is zero calorie soda that is naturally sweetened with stevia, erythritol, and monk fruit extract (the monk fruit is a new addition to their product). These non-sugar sweeteners have no effect on your glycemic index and therefor do not trick the body that you are getting sugar or not getting sugar; there is just no effect at all. Zevia has 15 flavors of soda (sweet, right!?) and so far my favorites have been, cream, cola, ginger ale, and black cherry. I'm super excited to try their root beer, dr. zevia, orange, lime cola, and grape flavors; if they are anything like what I've already sampled, I can say for sure that they all taste amazing! 

Upon initial tasting of the cream Zevia, it was hardly noticeable that this was a "diet" soda at all. At first, it almost tasted like a cane sugar soda, but then after a few seconds you get the stevia aftertaste, which is similar to the diet soda aftertaste except this is not a chemical aftertaste at all like with aspartame or saccharin. The cream taste was crisp and delicious and the same goes for ginger ale and cola. I absolutely loved the cola because it tasted more like a regular cola than a diet one. With black cherry, you can taste it as soon as you open the can and bring it towards your mouth, that is how powerful the flavor is. The cool thing with these flavors are, that they are so apparent yet so natural and clean tasting. Some other sodas that are artificially flavored have that strong flavor but taste so disgustingly chemical. I love the fact that Zevia is naturally flavored and has that really delicious way of representing each of it's flavors. It is actually very difficult to choose a favorite flavor because of how much I enjoyed each one. Bravo to the folks at Zevia!

So, since I have all of these cans of Zevia handy, I wanted to do a recipe. Yes, a recipe with soda in it! I decided to do a cake and let me tell you, it came out freaking amazing! I tried this cake a few different ways while I was experimenting; I tried it once with cream and once with cola. Also, I made this in two variations; once with chocolate chips and once without them. In all variations this cake came out super delicious! It is very moist and easy to work with and tastes amazing without any frosting at all. Yes, it is that cake, you know the cake that you can eat without having to make frosting as an additional step. However, this cake would be perfectly yummy with whatever frosting or glaze you choose. I might be trying this recipe with frosting, but I truly did enjoy the cake just itself. So here it is, the only cake you will ever love!

Chocolate Cola Cake
(with variation to make it as Chocolate Cream Soda Cake or Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cola Cake)

What you will need:
  • 2 tbsp ground flax seed
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups cane sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 cup vegan butter
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup Zevia cola (or flavor of your choosing)
  • 1/2 cup vegan milk
  • 1/4 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • OPTIONAL: 1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips, 3 tbsp for sprinkling on top
What you will need to do:

Preheat oven 350 degrees and grease your pan (I used an 11 inch round but you can use your favorite pan). In a small bowl, mix together flax and water and set aside. In a large bowl, combine your dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt) and set aside. In a sauce pan combine butter, cocoa powder, Zevia soda, and vegan milk and stir constantly on medium/high heat until brought to a boil, then remove from heat. Add vanilla to the sauce pan mixture then mix in your flax mixture. Lastly, combine your dry and wet ingredients and pour into your greased pan. Bake for 40 minutes or until a toothpick can be inserted and removed cleanly.

To make this a chocolate chip cake, after combining dry and wet ingredients, fold in 1/2 cup chocolate chips, pour into greased pan, then sprinkle 3 tbsp chocolate chips on top. Bake the same as above.

And for now, the Dirty Vegan is signing off. Cake wishes and soda dreams!

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