I first heard about Clara Polito of Clara Cakes when she was 12-years-old, selling her vegan sweets at punk show venues like The Smell, where Edie Sedgwick once played. Now Clara is a woman, and she has a wholesale business, runs pop ups around the country, and just finished her first cookbook, Clara Cakes: Delicious and Simple Vegan Desserts for Everyone.
Clara invited me to her home and baked me a special gluten-free version of what she calls her Sexy Cake – “a tangy, sweet lime cake with a spicy, salty blueberry filling and lime frosting with a swirl of the blueberry filling. It satisfies all your taste buds at once, hence sexy.”
Clara created the cake for Eat Drink Vegan (aka LA Vegan Food and Beer Festival) so it pairs really well with beer. I had mine with tea, and it was absolutely perfect. Below is her recipe from the cookbook, which she was kind enough to share with all of you! More info on her website, where you can order goodies, and have her cater an event (she can also cook savory vegan meals).
Recipe printed with permission by Clara Polito
- 1 1/4 cup Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour
- 3/4 teaspoons Xanthum Gum
- 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
- 1/3 cup Soy Milk
- 1/2 cup melted Vegan Butter
- 1/2 tablespoon Coconut Vinegar
- 3/4 cup Sugar
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 1/4 cup Lime Juice
- 1 teaspoon Lime Zest
- 1 container Fresh Blueberries
- 1/4 cup Sugar
- 1/2 cup Key Lime Juice
- 1/4 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt
- Zest of 1 Key Lime
- 1/2 cup Shortening
- 1/2 cup Vegan Butter
- 2 1/2 cup Powdered Sugar
- 4 tablespoon Key Lime Juice
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 1/4 cup Sexy Sauce
- Make the sexy sauce: In a medium saucepan, gently combine the blueberries, sugar, key lime juice, cayenne pepper, salt, and lime zest. Allow to simmer for an hour on medium to low heat, stirring every now and then. When mixture has thickened, remove from heat and store in refrigerator.
- Make the sexy frosting: Using an electric mixer with a whisk attachment, on medium speed, blend the butter and shortening together until light and creamy. Add the powdered sugar and key lime juice. Mix on medium speed until it's well incorporated. Scrape the sides really well. Add in the vanilla extract, blend on high speed. The frosting should become light about a minute in. Using a spatula, gently fold in the sexy sauce.
- Make the Lime Cake: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. (If making cupcakes, line a muffin pan with 12 cupcake liners). Trace a 9-inch round cake pan on parchment paper with a pencil. Cut the circle out. Coat the cake pan with nonstick spray and gluten-free flour and place parchment paper circle on top.
- In a measuring cup, whisk together the soy milk and coconut vinegar. Set aside and allow to curdle for a few minutes.
- In a medium mixing bowl, sift the flour, baking soda, xanthum gum, and baking powder together. Using an electric mixer with the whisk attachment, cream together the butter and sugar.
- Add the vanilla extract, lime juice, and lime zest to the butter and sugar mixture on medium speed until well incorporated.
- Slowly add in the dry ingredients and the buttermilk mixture to the wet ingredients. Mix on medium speed until batter is smooth.
- (For muffins) Line a muffin pan with 12 cupcake liners. Use an ice cream scoop to fill cupcake liners about 2/3 of the way full. Bake for 18 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Transfer to a cooling rack. Frost cupcakes when completely cool.
- (For cake) Bake cake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when poked in the center of the cake.
- To take the cake out, place a cooling rack on top of the cake so the tiny legs are sticking up and not towards the cake, then flip the cooling rack and pan altogether, place on a surface, and remove the cake pan and parchment paper, slowly. Allow to fully cool before frosting.
Replace gluten-free flour with all-purpose flour and leave out the xanthum gum for the original version.