Friday, March 10, 2017

True North Maple Cake with Buttercream Icing and Strawberry Filling (vegan)

Most of us Canadians walk a fine line when it comes to national pride - on the inside we are extremely proud of our country, but we don't like to appear boastful or make like we're better than others. Our pride is not often on display - there aren't many flags flying on porches - except on Canada Day, July 1st (and maybe when we're watching our hockey teams).

This year marks the 150th anniversary of Confederation, when the British colonies of Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick were united into one Dominion of Canada. Most of us know just how lucky we are to live here in Canada. We celebrate tolerance, diversity, education and respect. We promote peace. And we love our surroundings, from the rugged cliffs of Newfoundland to the Yukon's Mount Logan, the highest mountain in Canada.

I was honoured to contribute a vegan cake recipe for's online celebration of Canada's sesquicentennial. When brainstorming a cake that would pay tribute to Canada, my thoughts naturally turned to maple syrup. Oh how I love this sweet, golden liquid! Hence this True North Maple Cake with Buttercream Icing and Strawberry Filling. "True north," for those who don't know it, comes from a line in our national anthem, "O Canada." It goes like this: "With glowing hearts we see thee rise,The True North strong and free!"

This vegan maple cake calls for simple ingredients. The "egg" is actually a combo of ground flax and water. I used almond milk but your favourite non-dairy milk will work. The strawberry filling is optional but I recommend making it - it was my family's favourite part and it's really easy to whip together, with fresh or even frozen strawberries. And the filling is naturally red, of course, paying tribute to the red maple leaf on Canada's flag. The "buttercream" frosting is sweet without being overpowering. I think it's the perfect cake for a special occasion. I doubled up the cake recipe to make a 4-layer cake for a larger crowd but you could certainly make it with two layers for your family.

More Cake Recipes From Canadian Bloggers

See the other cake recipes created by Canadian bloggers on's cake stand page. (And check out the cake stands. They're like eye candy for me! You too?)

Get a Free Parks Canada Discovery Pass

If you are travelling in Canada this year, be sure to order a free 2017 Parks Canada Discovery Pass. It will allow you to visit national parks, marine conservation areas and national historic sites across the country for free this year!

July 1st will naturally be a good time for a party, but there are lots of events leading up to the day too. Be sure to check out the events celebrating National Aboriginal Day on June 21st. After all, these are the people who loved and cared for the land now known as Canada first.

Will you be celebrating Canada or the birthday of your own country this year? What flavour of cake do you like the best?

True North Maple Cake With Maple Buttercream Icing (Vegan)

by Joann MacDonald
Keywords: dessert vegan
    For the Maple Cake
    • 3 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 tablespoon ground flax
    • ¾ cup organic sugar
    • 1 cup almond milk mixed with ½ tablespoon apple cider vinegar
    • ½ cup maple syrup
    • ½ cup grapeseed oil (or other light oil)
    For the Strawberry Filling
    • 2 cups diced strawberries
    • ¼ cup organic sugar
    • ¼ cup water
    • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
    For the Maple Buttercream Icing
    • ¾ cup vegan margarine
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
    • 3 cups icing sugar (powdered sugar)
    • 1 ½ to 2 tablespoons almond milk
    • ¼ teaspoon salt

    Preheat the oven to 350°F.
    Grease two 8-inch round cake pans (or line bottoms with parchment paper and spray sides with cooking spray).
    In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda and salt.
    In a small bowl, combine ground flax with 4 tablespoons of water. Set aside to thicken for 5 minutes or so.
    In a medium bowl, whisk together the flax “egg,” sugar, almond milk mixture, maple syrup and oil.
    Stir wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just combined.
    Divide batter evenly between the two cake pans.
    Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the centre comes out clean.
    Cool. Remove from pans onto a cooling rack.
    For the Strawberry Filling
    In a small pot, heat strawberries over medium heat, stirring constantly and mashing slightly, until they start to soften.
    Add sugar and continue to stir.
    Mix cornstarch into water. Add to pot and continue stirring regularly until the mixture thickens, about 3 to 4 minutes.
    Set aside to cool completely.
    For the Maple Buttercream Icing
    In a large bowl, beat the margarine, vanilla and maple syrup with an electric mixer until smooth and fluffy, about a minute or so.
    Add the icing sugar, a cup at a time, and continue mixing.
    Add salt and 1 tablespoon almond milk and beat until combined. Add more almond milk ½ tablespoon at a time until right consistency is reached.
    To Assemble Cake
    Trim the rounded top off of each layer of cake.* Apply a thin layer of icing to the bottom layer of cake. Smooth on the strawberry filling. Place the second cake layer on top. Ice the whole thing or only the top if you prefer.
    *Crumble the trimmed-off cake over vegan ice cream and top with any leftover strawberry filling to eliminate waste and treat the chef (you!).
    Double the cake recipe for a taller, 4-layer cake like the one pictured.
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    1. Your cake looks delicious! It would make a beautiful birthday cake.(come April).

      1. Thank you! I could definitely make it for a special birthday...come April. ;)

    2. Hi Joann,

      What a fabulous cake! It looks delicious as well. I agree with you. A strawberry filling is a must!
      Will be celebrating Canada's birthday this year. You mentioned The Rock. Love Newfoundland and might fly back there this Summer.

      How will you be celebrating?

      P.S Love your cake the best. ;o)

      1. Thanks so much Gabriela! Yes to the strawberry filling! I adore Newfoundland too! I would love to go, but we will probably do a road trip this summer. We have driven to Nova Scotia several times but never took the car to Newfoundland...although we could. I don't know! We need to celebrate our great country somehow. :) And I'm happy you like my cake the best, lol. :)

    3. It looks amazing! I plan on making it this weekend for Canada Day, and was wondering if you doubled everything with your four layer cake (cake, icing, and strawberry filling).

      1. That's awesome! I would double the cake and the icing. You could keep the strawberry filling as is and just fill one layer. Let me know how it goes. Happy Canada Day!

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