By Julie Piatt on May 20, 2015

 Finding magic in the destruction is the key to transcending any challenging experience…

This week in the JAI kitchen lab, I set out to make the perfect layer cake that would serve as a foundational pillar for one of my super secret new books that I am working at the moment which involves lots and lots of birthday cake.

As I have found true in my life or beyond the kale so to speak, earth shattering discoveries are usually preceded by more than a few “failures” and this cake recipe was no exception.  Finding magic in the destruction is the key to transcending cake and life. Truly one cake’s shortcomings are another’s celebrated attributes. This seeming misfire produced a delicious slice of an altogether different kind of cake. And I would say miraculously that I failed way up with this recipe.

This cake is hearty and bold like an Irish country tea cake.  To be perfectly honest, I have never eaten Irish country tea cake, but if I had tasted one, I imagine this one would be it. I can see it in my inner vision setting on the old worn wood table inside the farm stone house complete with thatched roof. 

I am traveling to Ireland in June all my children to perform and sing at my dear friend Tara’s wedding. Ireland has been in my heart as of late and it creatively expressed in my cake without my intending it to.  Using coconut sugar turned the batter a lovely caramel color. The oat flour makes it hearty and country like. 

Even though this cake was a far cry from the finer crumb I envisioned, everyone devoured it and it left us dreaming of our upcoming journey to Ireland.

Irish Tea Cake?



2 teaspoons coconut oil

2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar

3 cups almond milk

2 1/4 cups of white rice flour

1 2/3 cups of oat flour ( gluten free)

1 1/2 cups tapioca flour

3/4 cups potato starch

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

2 1/2 cups coconut sugar

1/8 cup chia soaked in 1/2 cup water

1/2 cup apple sauce

2 teaspoons vanilla 

zest of one small lemon


1 cup organic veganic shortening or earth balance vegan butter

2 cups powdered sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla

1-2  tablespoons almond milk

1 pint of fresh blueberries 



1. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Using a clean cloth or paper towel, grease two 8" round layer cake pans with the coconut oil, making sure to coat the surfaces well.

2. In small bowl, stir the vinegar into the almond milk and set aside.

3. In a separate medium mixing bowl, sift together the rice, oat flours, tapioca flour, potato starch, baking powder, baking soda.  Add the salt and stir with a wooden spoon.

4. In a separate small bowl, add the sugar, chia mixture, apple sauce, vanilla and almond milk.

5. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, pour in the wet mixture, and stir until the   batter is smooth and creamy.

6. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pans and bake for about 35 minutes or until a fork inserted into the center comes out clean.

8. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 12 minutes before turning them out onto wire racks to cool completely.


I am usually not a huge advocate of using such large amounts of sugar.  I recommend going easy on the frosting. A thin layer will work just fine. Or eliminate it completely by substituting a layer of vegan cream cheese sweetened with some maple syrup and pureed fresh blueberries.

1. In a mixer with the paddle attachment, whip the shortening or butter until smooth.  

2. Add the vanilla and mix. Add the powdered sugar in 1/2-cup increments.  

3. Add the almond milk in 1 tablespoon increments at a time to reach desired consistency.  Refrigerate the icing until the cake is ready to frost

4. When the cakes are completely cooled,  spread a layer of frosting and add a layer of fresh blueberries.   Carefully place the second cake layer on top- bottom to bottom. Ice the top and sides of the cake, first with a thin layer of frosting to catch any crumbs, then spread the final frosting layer to finish your cake.

For over 120 plantbased amazingly tasty recipes, check out my new cookbook THE PLANTPOWER WAY, Avery Penguin.  Available everywhere.

Let me feed you!

In love and service,


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