Messy Vegan Chocolate Praline Cake

I've shared countless times how my mother has & always will be a source of inspiration for me... Well this lady is another year older and I wanted to celebrate her birthday with our family's favorite Chocolate Praline Cake. My mother is always up to something, so when we discussed a baking contest she was thinking about entering, I immediately thought of this cake. So the challenge is on! Mom, a vegan chocolate praline is sure to win; you just have to make sure it is prettier than mine! 

 Sometimes messes are for the best, because this cake beats out the non-vegan version that I grew up on. Chocolate, caramel, and coconut whipped cream - yeah that's basically heaven. Also, this cake taste even better the second day, especially if you make a messy version and let the coconut cream harden in the fridge. 

Messy Vegan Chocolate Praline Cake
adapted from Post Punk Kitchen & Pillsbury

1 cup almond milk
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
3/4 cup turbinado sugar
1/3 cup coconut oil
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

4 TB vegan butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup pecans + extra for top

Whipped Cream
1 can coconut cream/milk (refrigerated overnight)
2 TB powdered sugar (optional) 
1/4 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
Mix together almond milk and vinegar and set aside for a few minutes. Add oil, sugar, and extracts. Mix well. 

In a large bowl, mix flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Slowly add wet ingredients and mix until no large clumps are left. 

In a small saucepan, melt the butter and brown sugar together. Cook on low until the sugar is dissolved. Throw in the pecans and mix. 

Grease a cake pan (I used two souffle dishes, but you can easily use a 8in springform pan) and pour praline mixture in and then batter. If you forget to do this (like I did!) you can easily pour the praline mixture on top of the cake once it's baked for 5-10 minutes so it doesn't fall through the cake. Bake for 25-30 minutes (longer if you are using springform or until the center is baked.) 

While cake is baking, beat the coconut cream in a mixer. Slowly add in the extract and powdered sugar. Whip until fluffy. Unfortunately for me, my coconut cream didn't whip up as nicely as it has in the past... hence the messy version! 

Let cakes cool before removing them from the pan and adding whipped cream to first layer and then second. Add pecans to the top & enjoy! 

Note: if you are using a springform pan and are making two cakes to layer, you will need to double the praline recipe for both pans. 

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