Basic Vanilla Cake:
1 3/4 C all purpose flour
2 t arrowroot powder (optional)
1 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
1/4 C brown sugar
3/4 C white sugar
3 t pure vanilla extract
1 t vinegar or lemon juice
5 T oil (canola or sunflower)
1 C cold water
Preheat oven to 180C/350F.
Lightly oil a 9 inch baking pan and keep it aside.
In a large mixing bowl, sieve together the flour, arrowroot powder, baking powder and baking soda about 6-7 times (the more number of times you sieve, the fluffier the cake will be).
Mix the remaining ingredients separately and beat well to dissolve the sugar to some extent.
Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and whisk together with a few quick strokes just until no lumps remain (too much mixing is not advisable). Pour the cake batter into the baking pan and immediately pop into the preheated oven.
Bake for about 35 minutes. Test by inserting a toothpick into the center of the cake and see if it comes out clean. If so, the cake is done. If not, then bake for a few more minutes.
Remove the pan from the oven and keep it aside. Let the cake cool completely before you remove it from the pan.
This cake is delicious eaten as it is but it can also be enjoyed layered with vegan whipped cream.
Vanilla Cream Cake:
Prepare vegan whip topping by carefully following the directions on the package. Rich's is the most well known brand of non-dairy whip topping in India. I also like to use the Merry Whip brand which is available at the Institute of Baking, Bangalore (these guys also carry another non-dairy brand called Gold Top but stay away from that one because it tastes too artificial essence-y!)
Slice the cooled cake horizontally to form two layers. On a large plate, place the bottom layer. Cover it with some of the whipped cream. Place the top layer over this and cover the whole cake with whipped cream with the help of a spatula.
Chill in the fridge for a couple of hours before serving.
The cake is best stored in a closed container in the fridge. It will last at least a week IF it hasn't been finished well before that. :)