Whipped cream is one of those vegan holy grails. The store bought stuff is expensive, hard to find (impossible if you live in rural Utah), and only OK. So we never really bother with it much. For years we have simply lived without whipped cream on our favorite deserts and one of my favorite treats, Newly Wed Cake (otherwise known as Refrigerator Cake) was totally off the table. Until now.
Newly Wed Cake is made of flat chocolate wafer cookies layered with whipped cream between each cookie and covering the outside of the cookies. You then let it sit in the refrigerator for several hours until the cookies absorb some of the moisture and flavor of the whipped cream and you end up with this lovely soft, sweet, roll type cake that is super easy to make and absolutely delicious. My mom used to make them occasionally and I have always wondered if there might be a way to veganize the idea, but since I had no idea how to do vegan whipped cream I didn’t bother thinking about it too hard.
But then, one day, I stumbled across this recipe for vegan whipped cream that looked so easy I thought it must be too good to be true, but I had to give it a shot. It is just the cream out of two cans of coconut milk whipped up with powdered sugar for about 30 seconds. I am not sure it could get any easier, really. After having my mother ship us some of the Nestle Famous Chocolate Wafers* (which are already vegan) from Michigan, because we couldn’t find them locally, I was ready to make the cake. I decided that it would be a perfect desert for Easter.
*I should mention that these cookies do contain high fructose corn syrup. We didn’t realize this until after we’d made the cake, and we’re only just starting to try to be more vigilant about cutting this out so for us, we decided not to worry about, but next time I think we’ll try making our own cookies…I’ll let you know how it goes.
The directions for how to make it are on the box, but it is really super easy:
1. Get all your supplies in place first because you need to move quickly so your whipped cream doesn’t get warm. You’ll need a long platter for the cake, a spatula (like the type you use to ice a cake) or knife or something like that, your ingredients for the cream, and you box of cookies (or cooled stack of homemade cookies if you go that route).
2. Make your whipped cream.
3. Take a cookie out of the box, spread it with a generous dollop of whipped cream, and set it, creamy side up, on your platter.
4. Continue to stack your cookies, one on top of the other, with cream in between each layer (probably about a quarter of an inch of cream between each layer after you press them together, though there is no exact science here), until it gets high enough that you’re a little worried it might tip over.
5. Lay the stack on it’s side on the platter so now you have a long log instead of a tall tower of cookies and cream.
6. If you have more cookies and cream left you can continue to add them to your log (but remember to leave some cream because of the next step…).
7. When you have your cake as long as you want it to be, finish off the outside of the cake with a coating of cream all around it. (I found that the recipe, which calls for 2 cans of coconut milk, didn’t make quite enough cream to use up all the cookies in the box. So I would recommend adjusting the recipe a bit and using 3 cans of cream and more powdered sugar if you want to use up all the cookies.)
8. Stick the cake in the fridge for several hours (2-4 should be enough, but overnight is fine too) until the cookies have become soft. I left it uncovered for the first couple hours, mostly out of convenience because I didn’t have a good way to cover it, but also because I figured it could use getting slightly drier since the coconut milk whipped cream is more moist than dairy whipped cream. Then, after we had eat much of it, I transferred it to a covered container to store it.
9. When you’re ready to cut the cake, slice it at an angle so that you cut through several cookies at once and get a lovely stripped pattern in each slice. This cake was a huge hit at our house. We at through it in no time. I think that next time I might add a little vanilla extract to the cream to cut the coconut flavor just a touch, but it was pretty perfect as it was.