Lilacs are nothing but beautiful. Their beauty inspired this lilac crepe cake. My favorite garden in Seattle, Parson’s Garden, as well as many homes in Queen Anne “bleed” with these purple flowers called Wisteria.
One of my favorite things to do this time of year is to sit on the bench underneath the wisteria plant. Although invasive, wisteria thrives in sun. In Chinese culture, wisteria is also called “purple vine” and symbolizes adventure and playfulness. In Japan, the wisteria plant has existed for approximately 1,200 years. Due to this, the plant symbolizes longevity and immortality. In ancient European culture, families would mark passed bodies with this plant, symbolizing immortality and also the heart to endure in spite of rejection. I felt as if this plant spoke to the recent tumultuous energy of 2015.
The wisteria and lilac bush inspired thoughts about my recent lilac syrup “oozing” off some sort of cake.
I wanted to make a purple cake and then on a Deutsch Google + baking page, I saw this Austrian food blogger About Verena make a crepe cake. That’s it! I am going to do a crepe cake.
And ironically as I thought about the color purple, Prince passed away a couple days after. Somehow purple is symbolical this spring. Making a crepe cake is easier than it looks. However, figuring out how to make it took several attempts.
They say good things happen in threes. On my third attempt I finally figured out a crepe batter. The first batter I did a one to one ratio of liquid to flour with coconut oil and it came out too thick. The second attempt I did a one to two ratio of liquid to flower and it came out too runny.
Anyways, I am not sure the exact reason why, but baking powder seems necessary for vegan crepes. I tried whisking, food processing etc. and with some great crepe-making tips from my one personal training client, she encouraged whisking in the same direction to eliminate the clumps.
Many beautiful cakes are time consuming and can be expensive. I stuck with coconut cream to make the filling and used blackberries as my food coloring. With no refined sugar, I ate this for breakfast everyday.
Light, airy and fluffy, it’s a dessert (or breakfast treat) you can enjoy without feeling weighed down or oversaturated with sugar. The lilac simple syrup is not necessary unless you want that extra hint of floral flavor. Like a buzzing bee, my palate soared to new heights with this perfect, imperfect and semi-messy cake.
If you want your crepe cake even like the traditional French way, you can place the top of a bowl on the crepes then use a knife to cut the edges.
For me, I prefer making things look beautiful without being perfect. Why? Because overcoming and accepting the imperfect is a part of life.
Vegan Lemon Blackberry Lilac Crepe Cake
Cook Time: 30-45 minutes
Makes one 6-inch base creke
1 cup all purpose flour
1 1/4 cup nondairy milk
1 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp sweetener (cane sugar or maple syrup)
Vegan Butter or cooking spray for the skillet
1/3 cup blackberries
1.5 tsp lemon zest
2 cans of coconut milk, chilled overnight
2-3 tbsp of lilac syrup
Crepes: Mix the dry ingredients and sugar into a bowl and mix until blended. (If you are using maple syrup mix it with the milk). Whisk the flour in one direction. Slowly, begin to pour the milk from a measuring cup while you vigorously whisk. DO NOT change directions as this eliminates the lumps.
Once well blended let the batter sit for 10-15 minutes (if you are short on time just go ahead and begin) and begin by making the frosting. Bring a greased skillet to medium heat. I found that cooking spray worked the best. *Note the first crepe sometimes never comes out right, so don't be discouraged.
Use a 1/4 cup or ladle and pour the batter onto a heated skillet. Lift the pan and roll the batter around until the base is covered and there is no more runny batter. It will take a couple minutes for the first side to cook. Once it slightly bubbles and the edges begin to "curl" use a spatula to flip the crepe. The second side cooks quicker. Repeat the steps until the batter is gone.
You will need two bowls and either a whisk or egg beater (I used egg beater). Open the chilled coconut cans and scrap the coconut cream. Scrape each jar into a separate bowl. Blend the blackberries in a food processor either 1 tbsp with the lilac syrup or maple syrup (approx. 1/2 tbsp). Next, zest a lemon to get about 1.5 tsp worth.
Add a splash of vanilla to each bowl (about 1/2-1 tsp depending on your preference). In one bowl add the lemon zest and 1 tbsp maple syrup, or more to taste.
In the other bowl, gradually add the blackberries. I added 1 tsp at a time and used the egg beaters to blend until the entire mixture is added. Add additional maple syrup or vanilla to taste.
Once the crepes cool, begin making the cake. You will alternate a layer of crepe and cream. I alternated the lemon and blackberry cream, except for at the top since I wanted the white batter to be on top. Since there are 10 crepes, you will have 10 layers to the cake.
Love it? What is your favorite recipe that uses flowers or another unique ingredient?
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Elizabeth Rae Kovar M.A. is Author of her memoir, Finding Om and is a Fitness Trainer, Yogi, Reiki Master, Presenter and Lover of Life. To view her portfolio please visit www.elizabethkovar.com