Vegan Waffle Party 2023 Highlights and Photos

I celebrated my birthday with wonderful people atop a forest-covered extinct volcano, enjoying fun conversation and connection. Much gratitude to Megan and everyone who attended for helping to make it happen!

It was also a waffle party. Part of the birthday celebration was a vegan and gluten-free “Ore-gasmic Waffle Cake.” It had five layers of vegan chocolate cake waffles–one for each decade.

gluten-free vegan chocolate waffle birthday cake, view from side

Technically, the waffle birthday cake had ten layers if you include the two layers of homemade roasted hazelnut butter, two layers of vegan chocolate mousse, and a layer of vegan coconut whipped cream, fresh blueberries, and candied ginger.

gluten-free vegan chocolate waffle birthday cake, view from above

The vegan waffle birthday cake was, of course, inspired by recipes from The Global Vegan Waffle Cookbook and Vegan Chocolate Seduction. I had fun putting it together and sharing it with friends. I called it an “Ore-gasmic” waffle cake because I really like chocolate, and because hazelnuts and blueberries are two of Oregon’s biggest crops. It’s difficult to find locally-grown ingredients this time of year, but it would be fun to make another one when they are in season!

For the waffles, I used the gluten-free version of the Vegan Chocolate Cake Waffles from the revised and expanded second edition of The Global Vegan Waffle Cookbook.

wet and dry batter for vegan chocolate cake waffles

I used a combination of Sunfood organic cacao powder and cocoa powder from the wonderful bulk section of our neighborhood employee-owned WinCo. I keep the latter stored in an old Hershey’s cocoa container, as I sometimes use Hershey’s cocoa as well.

I baked the waffles the night before, around 17 hours before the birthday gathering.

baking vegan chocolate cake waffles

Rice-based waffles tend to retain firmness longer than many wheat-based waffles. Nonetheless, I took several other precautions to help ensure that the waffles didn’t become limp or soggy before the party. I used a blend of about 1/4 olive oil, 1/4 canola oil, and 1/2 melted coconut oil–I included the latter because it hardens as it cools, helping to provide structure. I also baked the waffles slightly longer than usual, but not so much as to burn them.

Immediately after baking, I placed the waffles on metal cooling racks for about an hour to allow remaining moisture to evaporate from the undersides.

vegan gluten free chocolate cake waffles cooling

I made two batches of waffles. This was just over double what was needed for the cake, but I wanted to make sure there was enough for people to eat. Making extra turned out to be a good decision.

vegan gluten free chocolate cake waffles cooling

I then sealed the waffles in plastic produce bags, stacked no more than three waffles high to avoid squishing the ones on the bottom, and refrigerated them overnight.

vegan chocolate cake waffles in produce bags, waiting to be refrigerated

I also made the vegan chocolate mousse, roasted hazelnut butter, and dark chocolate syrup in advance. I ended up making a bit more mousse than what is pictured below. It took some will power to avoid eating too much of the toppings before the party.

vegan chocolate mousse and homemade roasted hazelnut butter

Because it was a very cool winter day, I transported the waffles to the site in a backpack. Had it been a hot summer day, I may have used a cooler. I assembled the waffle cake on site, putting on the waffle toppings–roasted hazelnut butter, chocolate mousse, coconut cream whipped topping, blueberries, candied ginger, and deep dark chocolate syrup–shortly before eating.

Dave assembling waffle cake
photo (and other photos of me in this post) by Megan Martin
Dave assembling waffle cake, putting blueberries on top

I was pretty pleased with the flavor and texture of the vegan waffle cake. Others seemed to enjoy it, too. Alongside the five-waffle cake, we placed the remaining toppings and a plate of untopped waffle quarters for guests to top and eat as they wished.

Dave posing with gluten-free vegan chocolate waffle birthday cake
vegan chocolate waffle birthday cake, side view (photo by Brenda Sutton)
photo by Brenda Sutton

One of the cool features of a waffle cake is that if you align the “split grooves” of the waffle layers when stacking them (the grooves that allow you to cut or tear the waffle into quarters more easily), it’s pretty easy to cut. Then guests can easily take as many waffle/topping layers as they wish from a given quarter.

Dave cutting waffle cake

Here are a few friends’ custom-topped vegan waffle quarters!

vegan gluten free chocolate cake waffle with homemade roasted hazelnut butter, dark chocolate syrup, coconut whipped cream, and blueberries
vegan gluten free chocolate cake waffle with homemade roasted hazelnut butter, dark chocolate syrup, and coconut whipped cream

I had originally hoped we could view a sunset from atop the dormant volcano of Mount Tabor Park. But nature had something different and even more beautifully interesting in store for us.

soft light through the fog and Mount Tabor Park trees

Unexpectedly, we were embraced by a wonderful, magical blanket of fog. Some of us lingered in the park as evening approached, enjoying the soft glow of the street lamps through the soft, cool mist, with Douglas Firs towering above us. Quite a treat!

soft lamp light in foggy Mount Tabor Park
bicycle blinkie in foggy park
soft light through the fog and Mount Tabor Park trees

While I talk a lot about waffles on this blog, the best part of these gatherings is the really wonderful people. Because it was planned short notice, I totally understand that some friends were unable to attend. Advance planning was logistically difficult. I’m deeply grateful for those who attended, and for all who have wished me birthday greetings. Thank you!

2 thoughts on “Vegan Waffle Party 2023 Highlights and Photos”

  1. This is fabulous! I hope I have the pleasure some day of enjoying this beautiful treat! Happy Birthday!

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