Almond cake (vegan)

This is the story of how you can turn a failed cake into a very successful one. If you've read my Red velvet cake recipe, you might remember that my first attempt at achieving a red cake was a complete disaster. Well, to be fair (to the cake), it was not exactly a complete disaster, the failure was only as far as the color was concerned. Instead of keeping their beautiful shade of red, the beets had made a reaction with the baking soda, and that striking color disappeared as if by magic. The taste of the cake base was perfectly delicious though so, I decided to freeze it and use it for a different occasion. I made an almond frosting for it, decorated it with more crushed almonds and - there you have it, 'Almond cake' (who needs to know it was supposed to be red velvet in the first place?). So, if you want this cake to turn this light brown color DO use the baking soda listed within the ingredients below. On the other hand, if you prefer to make it red, DO NOT use the baking soda, only use the baking powder and add 2 Tablespoons cocoa.

For the cake
- 1 1/4 cups flour
- (2 Tablespoons cocoa if you want a red velvet cake)
- 1 cup ground toasted almonds
- 1 1/2 cups sugar (organic)
- 1 Tablespoon baking powder
- 1 Tablespoon baking soda (SKIP IT if you want a red velvet cake)
- a pinch of salt
- 1 cup beets puré
- 3 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1/3 cup extra light olive oil
- 2/3 cup almond milk
- 1 Tablespoon almond extract

For the frosting
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- a pinch of salt
- 1 cup non-hydrogenated margarine (Earth Balance) or shortening
- 1 Tablespoon almond extract
- 1 Tablespoon almond milk, or more if necessary
- 1/2 cup ground toasted almonds

Sift the flour with the sugar, salt, baking soda and baking powder. Add in the toasted ground almonds and combine. Mix the beets puré with the lemon juice, vinegar, olive oil, almond milk and almond extract. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ones and combine well. Pour batter into two greased and floured 9 inch springform pans and bake at 350 F for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Allow to cool before frosting.
To prepare the frosting, use a mixer to beat the margarine (or shortening) with the rest of the ingredients, except for the ground toasted almonds. When the frosting reaches the desired consistency, add the almonds and beat a few seconds more, until combined. Add more almond milk if you would like to thin the frosting or more powdered sugar if you would like to thicken it. 
To assemble the cake, spread the bottom layer with some of the frosting, add the second layer and cover the cake with the remaining frosting. Enjoy!

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