This brown sugar ackee cake is the same as my Easiest Ackee Cake Ever with dark brown sugar subbed for white. The caramel notes throughout are amazing! I’ve used dulce de leche for the frosting, which isn’t vegan but the cake alone is (you could always use your favourite vegan frosting instead)
I work in a restaurant and as a result never remember what day of the week it actually is😆. My Monday is whichever day I first go back to work and my Friday is the day before my day off. This means that sometimes Wednesday is Friday, or Friday is Monday. But before we get lost in my ramblings, I simply say this to say that: I didn’t realise that my Friday was actually a Wednesday and not just any Wednesday but the Wednesday before thanksgiving.
Dinner with the in-laws was on the books for Thursday and my contribution was to be the original vegan version of the Easiest Ackee Cake Ever. Realizing that it was thanksgiving eve and that crazy people would most likely be at the grocery store trying to get last minute turkey etc I decided that I loved myself too much to subject myself to the torturous lines; said a prayer; hoped that I had everything needed to make the cake then headed straight home.
Though I didn’t have everything for the original, what I did have allowed me to make this wonderful variation.
Having waited until the last minute to make this cake (literally a few hours before we were supposed to be at the parents’ house) I had to quickly come up with a solution on the discovery of each missing ingredient.
First up was the sugar! My only concern here was that it would make the cake heavier than I’d like since the dark brown sugar is more moist than granulated but it was beautiful. The tip here is to not pack the brown sugar as you would for say a cookie recipe, just gently fill the measuring cup.
Second and finally – the chocolate, possibly tucked away by yours truly for safe keeping, but nowhere to be found when I needed it! That one was an easy fix as I had everything I needed for my “Last minute dulce de leche frosting”.
Sidenote: The “last minute” here is actually not related to this particular situation. Some time ago I was making cinnamon rolls which I planned to dust with sugar, at the last minute I changed my mind and decided I wanted to frost them instead, I came up with this frosting on that day and so named it my “Last Minute Dulce de Leche Frosting” I promise I usually get cakes done the day ahead 😉
As the frosting is not one that will hold firm and give you sharp edges I pressed crushed toasted pecans around the side to make it look structured in it’s finish.
The cake was very small and for its size (6-inch round) I’d usually recommend 4 to 8 servings. Instead I marked it to be cut into 12. This turned out to be a really good idea as we had two other desserts and so much food that the size was just right for everyone to enjoy dessert and not feel overly stuffed.
The in-laws had a long time friend from Jamaica visiting and she didn’t know that the cake had ackee in it, which was probably a good thing since she might not have tried it if she knew it did. I didn’t set out to be mischievous but I only remembered and told her it was ackee cake as she was mid bite. She stopped dead in her tracks with her eyes nearly popping out of her head 😂 “ackee can mek cake?!” yup! it certainly can and so much more 😉She was so shocked but finished the slice then had another, so I’m gonna tag this one “ackee-in-dessert-skeptic-approved” 🤪
What do you think? As always feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below. If you make this or any of the recipes from this site, be sure to snap a pic and #amazingackee and @amazingackee so I can see your posts across social media.
Until next time, thanks for stopping by 😊
Brown Sugar Ackee Cake
For the blender:
- 3 tbsps Vegetable oil*
- 1 tbsp Apple cider vinegar**
- 1 tsp Good quality vanilla***
- 2/3 cup Parboiled ackee
- 1/3 cup Soymilk or Almond Milk
For the bowl:
- 2/3 cup Dark brown sugar not packed
- 1 cup Cake flour****
- 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
- 1/2 tsp Salt I’ve been using kosher, if you use sea salt measure it scantly
Preheat oven to 350F and prepare a 6-inch round cake pan
Sift bowl ingredients into a medium bowl.
Combine blender ingredients in blender and puree till smooth
Pour wet ingredients into dry and whisk till well combined but do not overmix
Pour into prepared pan and bake in the centre of the oven for 30 to 40 minutes or till done.
Check it at the 15 minute mark.
Cool and frost when cool if desired.
*I’ve tested it using both canola and coconut oil. If you use unrefined coconut oil, the oil will impart some flavour in the cake which isn’t necessarily a bad thing depending on what you’re going for
**I have not tested using plain vinegar, I prefer the flavour of apple cider vinegar for baking especially in such a simple cake
***I love the Nielsen-Massey vanilla bean paste! I’ve been using their extract instead of the bean paste and I’m not through the bottle as yet. They were always a bit pricey (so worth it though!) but more so now because of the vanilla bean shortage in Madagascar that has been driving up prices.
****I use Bob's Red Mill Super-fine Cake Flour
- I’ve tested this recipe using both cake and all-purpose flour, both work but I prefer the texture using the cake flour more.
- If your milk and ackees are cold, warm them up a bit as the fats in the ackee will solidify and it will not blend smoothly
Last Minute Dulce de Leche Frosting
- 4 oz Unsalted Butter soft
- 1/2 can Dulce de leche*
- 1 cup Powdered sugar sifted
- Pinch Salt
- Splash Vanilla
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or using a hand mixer, beat the butter till smooth and creamy.
Add the dulce and continue to beat for another minute.
Add the powdered sugar in batches so it doesn't go flying everywhere then continue to beat till nice and fluffy
Add salt and vanilla and mix to combine.
Use to frost cake or chill briefly then use.
*I made half this recipe which was sufficient to frost the 6 inch round.
*I make my own dulce by simmering a can of sweetened condensed milk in my slow cooker for about 6 hours on low. One can of condensed milk is usually about 14oz, so if you're using store bought that would be about 7oz or roughly a cup
*You can use up to 8oz of butter if you want the frosting to be a bit firmer but bear in mind it still won't give you as sharp edges as say a meringue based buttercream or an American buttercream with shortening.