Today is my best friend and near sister’s birthday. This lady is true Pisces magic in every form — kind, compassionate, strong, wise, giving, intuitive. I met her in an art class in college, nearly 8 years ago. We were fast friends, in which I was very forward and basically asked her on a friend date (the Goodwill bins! Old clothing by at 1.50 a pound, an Asheville wonder/The best date! 😂) immediately. It was through her that I learned to honor my intuition, communicate with the plants and trees around me, and to create from an otherworldly place. I was and still am always so inspired by the way she expresses herself in clothing, art, whatever she creates, even simple home decorations. Since then we have been on so many adventures, lived in so many places, and grown so much. Some of my favorite memories involve us with a picnic and our homework, laying in the botanical gardens around our campus, underneath those first springtime rays of sun, or jumping up and down outside upon the sight of snow outside our ceramics class, knitting and baking cinnamon buns during a Harry Potter marathon, an adventure where we walked the length of Manhattan in one day and took the funniest nighttime bus from North Carolina to get there.
Over the last two years I have had the great joy of watching her become a mother. The bond between her and Mabel is something to marvel. A relationship of trust and strength and growth and learning. Mabel will say hello and good bye to plants (in which she knows many by name) she loves nearly all fruits and vegetables (as well as tea, kombucha, etc.) she’s helpful wherever she can be — and she’s only two and a half. I can’t wait for the days when she starts telling us how it is, but for now I’m so amazed how bright she is, how in her mischievous playful way she is a secret healer. Not to mention she is a true style inspiration. I wish I had at least one half of her outfits. Wait now I’m just talking about Mabel, either way, I hope that if I ever have children one day I am nearly half the mother that Melissa is.
I'm sure I have a lot more gushing to do, but maybe I'll just talk about the cake. I stayed up late dreaming up a beautiful Pisces cake that involved the blending of blueberry juice to create blues and turquoises. However in the hurry of finishing the cake to surprise Melissa in time I ended up finding various wild and cultivated plants from the yard to decorate the top - namely calendula, sage, dandelion, and purple dead nettle.
I used only einkorn flour which I thought added such a nice nutty almost molasses taste to the sweetness of the cake. The dandelion root adds a slight coffee taste and medicinal boost. And then I developed a coconut yogurt icing recipe earlier this month. It’s not quite the one I used in the picture below but tasty and looks nearly the same.
Dandelion Einkorn Cake with Coconut Yogurt Icing
makes 1 (2-layer) 8" cake
about 1 hour
For the cake
3 cups einkorn flour
3/4 cup roasted dandelion root
1 1/2 cup raw or coconut sugar
1/2 cup dandelion petals (just the yellow part)
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp sea salt
2 cups almond milk
2/3 cup canola oil
1/2 cup water
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract
Coconut Yogurt Icing
1 14oz. can of full fat coconut milk
1/4 cup coconut yogurt
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp honey
For the cake:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease and flour 2 9" cake pans. Stir almond milk and apple cider vinegar together in a large liquid measuring cup.
2. Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, dandelion root and petals together in a large bowl.
3. Whisk oil, water, and vanilla into almond milk mixture until combined. Stir into bowl of dry ingredients until batter is smooth and lump free. Divide cake batter evenly between pans.
4. Bake in oven until toothpick comes out clean, about 35 minutes.
For the Icing:
1. Open the can of coconut milk and scrape out only the fat on top, making sure there is no water removed. Using an electric mixer (hand or stand) beat the coconut until it is it is light and fluffy, resembling whipped icing.
2. Add the remaining ingredients and beat for 10 - 20 seconds more. Chill in refrigerator for 4 hours and the mixture will firm up!
Ice and decorate the cake as you see fit! I used the cake crumbs and walnuts for the siding and then topped with backyard herbs and blueberries!
Happy Birthday Melissa !! <3 <3