Tradition dictates that a wedding cake is three layers of white-frosted confection with a miniature plastic bride and groom balanced on top. But there’s no reason why this has to be the dessert of the day. In fact, if you’re short on cash and have a little kitchen savvy, making your own wedding cake is an adventure worth considering. Here’s a decadent vegan chocolate-raspberry cake recipe, inspired by a dessert served at the Grit (in Athens, Ga.) and the Moosewood Cafe (in Ithaca, N.Y.):
• 1 1/2 cups unbleached white flour
• 1 C sucanat or cane sugar
• 4-oz. package frozen raspberries, thawed
• 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
• 1/3 cup canola oil
• 1 teaspoon almond extract
• 1 cup water
• Sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Add the oil and almond extract. Mix together until smooth, then fold in raspberries. Add vinegar and stir gently, just enough to mix it in.
• Pour immediately into one greased 10-inch springform pan and bake at 350 degrees F for 45 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool before icing and decorating. Serves eight.
• For a two-layer cake, double the recipe and bake in two 10-inch pans, icing between the layers and stacking.