Spelt flour is a pleasure to work with and has a nutty flavor that leads to delicious baked goods. Its gluten has a slightly different composition than regular wheat and is often better tolerated by those with gluten sensitivities. For this recipe, you can use whole-grain or light spelt flour, or even a combination of both. If using whole-grain spelt, which I prefer, the cake will have a more distinct, earthy flavor and a slightly denser texture. Although this cake is vegan, it is very moist, thanks to the sweet potato and pear puree included in the batter.
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1 1/4 cups raisins
3/4 cup rum or orange juice (or a combination of both)
1 medium sweet potato
2 ripe pears, grated
3 cups spelt flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup coconut oil, melted, plus more for oiling the bundt pan
2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
6 tablespoons water
3/4 cup coconut sugar or other sugar of preference (or more to taste)
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
4 tablespoons fat from full-fat canned Thai coconut milk
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon miso paste
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon honey
Zest of 1 orange
2 to 4 teaspoons freshly squeezed orange juice
How to Make It
Step 1 Make the cake
Soak raisins in rum/orange juice for at least 1 hour, preferably overnight. Preserve the soaking liquid.
Preheat oven to 400°. Prick the sweet potato several times with a fork and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, depending on the size. Let cool, scoop out the flesh and mash into a puree. Add grated pears to the sweet potato mash to get 2 cups total. You may need more or less grated pears, depending on their size and the size of the sweet potato.
Lower the oven temperature to 350°. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large mixing bowl. Mix well.
Oil a 10-inch bundt pan with coconut oil.
Combine flax meal, water, soaking rum/orange juice, sugar, apple cider vinegar and vanilla extract in a high-speed blender and blend until smooth. Add coconut oil and blend to incorporate. Then add sweet potato/pear puree and pulse to combine. Alternatively, you can beat the flax meal with water and soaking rum/orange juice by hand or with a hand mixer on high until well combined. Then add sugar, apple cider vinegar, vanilla extract and coconut oil, continue to beat until smooth. Fold in sweet potato/pear puree and mix to combine.
Pour the wet mixture into the flour, add raisins and quickly stir to combine. Spoon the batter into the oiled bundt pan, evening out with a wet spoon. Lift and lightly drop the pan several times to prevent air bubbles and to fill all of the creases evenly. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Let cool for about 20 minutes before inverting the cake onto a cake stand or a plate.
Step 8 Make the glaze
Place the can of full-fat Thai coconut milk in the refrigerator the night before or at least 2 hours before making the glaze. It will separate into two layers: fat on top and water on the bottom. Open the can and scoop 4 tablespoons of fat into a medium bowl. Add miso paste and mix with a spoon until smooth. Mix in honey and orange zest. Finally, add 2 teaspoons of orange juice, mix and check the consistency. If it is runny enough for glazing, leave it as is. If too thick, add 1 to 2 more teaspoons of orange juice. Keep refrigerated until ready to glaze the cake.
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