What’s funny about my two recent recipe posts being thanksgiving casseroles is that the #hotforfoodcookbook debuted at #1 in casseroles on Amazon.com and continues to rank there! I have no idea why. I’ve literally never made anything with casserole in the title… until now that is!
This dessert casserole has a layer of vanilla cake and is topped with fluffy white chocolate mousse. Then swirled all around that is a tart cranberry compote that will have you swooning!
Follow along to see the methods used to achieve the right textures and flavors by watching the video below and then get into the recipe.
This recipe will use about 3 to 4 cans of coconut cream for the whole recipe. Be sure you chill them in advance for at least 24 to 36 hours to get all the cream to separate and thicken. Alternatively you can use cans of full fat coconut milk and also refrigerate them for the same amount of time, but you will likely need more cans to get the same amount of thick cream outlined in the recipe.
MAKES 8 to 10 servings
PREP TIME: 30 minutes + 30 minutes freezing + chilling overnight
COOK TIME: 20 minutes
vanilla cake layer
1/2 C soy milk
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 C all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 tsp vanilla
cranberry compote swirl
3 cups frozen cranberries
1 cup sugar
1 tsp orange zest
1/3 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
white chocolate mousse
6 oz. cacao butter (about 1 1/2 cups roughly chopped)
1 C coconut cream
1/4 C coconut milk or soy milk powder
1/4 C agave nectar
3 C coconut cream (chilled until solid)
1/4 C confectioners sugar
Preheat oven to 350°F
Make the cake layer first by combining the soy milk and apple cider vinegar in a bowl and set aside to thicken for about 10 minutes.
Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and sea salt in an 10 x 8 baking dish (which you'll bake the cake layer in).
Add sugar, oil, vanilla to the milk and vinegar mixture and stir until well combined.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and fold together with a spatula in the baking dish until well combined. Spread into an even layer. The spatula can help clean the sides of the baking dish and keep all the cake in one even layer.
Bake for 16 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
While the cake is baking you can make the cranberry swirl. To make the cranberry compote heat a saucepan over medium heat with all the ingredients for the cranberry compote and bring to a boil. This takes about 7 to 8 minutes.
Then let the mixture continue to bubble and reduce for 10 more minutes. Turn heat down if it's splashing or burning. It should be reduced by about half and the liquid is still present but slightly thicker. Allow this to cool completely.
To start the white chocolate mousse, over a double boiler melt the cacao butter completely. Once melted, whisk in 1 cup coconut cream, soy milk powder, and agave nectar.
Turn off the heat and remove the bowl once it's mostly combined. Continue whisking until completely smooth and melted together off the heat.
Then place this bowl in the freezer for 30 minutes until the mixture is thicker and completely cooled and a soft butter texture forms around the edges and the entire thing is like thick caramel in consistency, but it’s not entirely hard or solid. You have to freeze this mixture and mind the time because it’s all about how quickly the cacao butter cools. Do not leave unattended. Set a timer!
Only once the white chocolate cream is at the right consistency and chilled you can whip together the 3 cups of coconut cream in a stand mixer or with a hand mixer in a cold glass bowl. Once the whip cream is fluffy and smooth then add in confectioners sugar slowly while whipping. Turn up the speed to get it fluffier.
Once the coconut whip is thicker and fluffier, add the chilled white chocolate cream while the mixer is beating on medium high. Continue to mix until well incorporated and very smooth and fluffy.
Refrigerate this mixture while the the cranberry mixture and cake layer cools completely. Do not assemble this while anything is still warm. Do not let the white chocolate mousse sit overnight. You should be able to assemble this within an hour.
To assemble add dollops of white chocolate mousse on top of the cake layer in the casserole dish. Then dollop large spoonfuls of the cranberry compote onto the mousse and you can push it into the mousse a little too. Then dollop the remaining white chocolate mousse and then the cranberry compote. Take the end of your spoon or the spatula and swirl it around until you get a pattern you like and the cranberry compote is swirled and interspersed into the mousse layer. Watch the video to see exactly how I did it!
I like this refrigerated for at least 12 hours before serving but it’s more of a personal preference. You could serve it immediately but the mousse will be a bit more loose when you scoop it out and serve, however it’s still very delicious!
To serve take a large spoon and carve out portions of the cake and mousse together in your desired serving size. If you’ve refrigerated it longer it will generally hold it’s shape so you can see the cake layer and the mousse layer, but the mousse shouldn’t be completely solid.