Vegan Cake Fusion ~ Apple Crumble Coffee Cake

I don’t know about you guys out there in the world, but sometimes I find myself binge-watching food videos on YouTube because, well, what else is a vegan foodie to do for inspiration? Sometimes I see things that are WAY beyond my cooking capabilities and it turns out…not so great.

And other times, well other times we end up with a delicious vegan cake recipe that is time-consuming but overall easy to make. This recipe was adapted from Chef John on Food Wishes because who doesn’t love a good Dad joke? Or apple crumble vegan coffee cake?

I for one, love both and so when I had some free time recently, I got busy in the kitchen.

I found this vegan cake recipe easy to make but like with most complicated vegan dishes, you need to focus on prep work. So we’ll take this in steps.

Gather your ingredients:

Before you get started, pre-heat the oven o 350 (175C). And dice your apples, with or without peels, the choice is yours.

Step One: Toast the chopped pecans, or whatever other nuts you prefer and place in a bowl with brown sugar, salt, cinnamon and melted vegan butter. Set aside.

Step Two: Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium mixing bowl. Also, set aside.

Step Three: Cream together coconut oil (or vegan butter) and sugar until blended. Use a big-ish mixing bowl because we’ll be adding dry ingredients to this bowl. Add vegan eggs. Then vanilla and yogurt, but if you don’t want to use vegan yogurt, consider full fat coconut milk instead.

Step Four: Add flour mixture to the butter/sugar mix and combine until well blended and then STOP. Resist the temptation to over-mix. Fold in diced apples.

Now it’s time to layer!

You’ll need two layers of batter so when you pour the first layer, keep in mind you’ll need another. My top layer came up a little short so…yeah.

Cake batter layer –> Nut layer –> Cake layer –> Nut layer.

It’s that simple…ish.

Bake for about 40 minutes and let cool, if you have the patience!

I’m thinking of trying cashews and Granny Smith the next time I try…what’s your favorite apple-nut blend?

Vegan Chocolate & Butternut Squash Blondies

I think we’ve already covered that when autumn rolls around, I am all about the pumpkins.

And the squash.

In fact, let’s just say that I’m a fan of the gourd family, as evidenced by my pumpkin cookies. And muffins. And cupcakes.

This time I thought I’d try something a little different in the form of…blondies!

I love a good brownie, in fact I’d say that brownies are probably my favorite dessert and after about my second year as a vegan, I finally perfected my vegan brownies. So this year, I’ve decided to tackle blondies.

The ingredient list is quite simple and if you’ve ever made vegan blondies before, you already know just how easy this vegan dessert recipe can be! So…here we go.

The first thing you want to do is grab two bowls. In the first, add the dry ingredients. Flour, baking soda & powder, salt, cinnamon and ginger. If you’re in a pumpkin spice kind of mood, add that, but I’ve added too much pumpkin spice this year. Whisk to mix and then add in the sugar. I used brown sugar and I sifted it to make sure it was all broken up because brown sugar tends to clump.

In the other bowl, add the coconut oil, milk, extract and squash.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until just combined.

I was able to find vegan baking chocolate so I had to chop it up by hand but if you have vegan chocolate chips, toss them in while you mix to avoid over blending.

Those big hunks of melted chocolate are exactly why I’m so happy to make this vegan blondie recipe right now, look how yummy that looks!

Pour the batter into a greased baking dish and smooth with a spatula, then add a few more chocolate chunks on top…if you like.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes and let it cool for 15 to 20 minutes. Trust me, it’s worth the wait!

This goes great with mulled wine, cider (if that’s your thing) or a nice mug of hot cocoa.

What’s your favorite type of blondie? Drop links or photos in the comment section.

Vegan Pumpkin Spice Pumpkin Cupcakes

I know we all love to make fun of those who go a little crazy when pumpkin spice season rolls around, but the truth is these people are just taking advantage of an abundance of a spice blend that really should be available all year long. I mean, ask yourself, what is so wrong with any of these:

Cinnamon
GInger
Cloves
Allspice
Nutmeg

I can’t think of one reason to hate on these spices, especially when you have every type of squash and pumpkin at your disposal! It’s like being mad that your market has broccoli, cauliflower and romesco! Unfathomable, that’s what it is.

All I’m saying is, embrace the season and not just because we are all living in the Upside Down known as 2020, just enjoy because it’s tasty, easy to make and readily available.

All you have to do is take your favorite vegan pumpkin cupcake recipe, or a vegan cake recipe, or any other vegan autumn recipe and add the pumpkin spice blend to the dry ingredients. It really is just that simple.

And if you’re feeling really sauce, like I apparently was, add a pumpkin spice glaze by adding the same blend to powdered sugar along with almond milk, or any other nut milk, plus pinch of bourbon or brandy. For these vegan cupcakes, I used a splash of Apple Pie Moonshine because it has that extra hint of sweetness and booze that turn these vegan cupcakes into something truly amazing.

Want to make’em?

Here we go:

250g All Purpose Flour
225g Brown Sugar
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
3 and 1/2 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice (homemade or store bought)
335g Pumpkin Puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
1 tsp Vanilla Extract (I’m in love with this Madagascar vanilla from Dr. Oetker.
60ml Coconut Oil (or other oil, like EVOO)
1 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
1 Vegan Egg (I like Arche or Megga Exx, both are German brands if you’re interested)

Mix the dry ingredients together and pour the wet into the dry, stirring until bend but be careful not to overmix or you’ll end up with tough, dense vegan pastries.

Bake at 180C for 20 to 25 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Now you’re done and ready to gobble up your vegan pumpkin spice cupcakes!

If you plan to add a glaze, let the cupcakes cool for 15 to 20 minutes or you’ll end up with a big, gooey mess.

What do you like drink with your vegan cupcakes…beer? Cocktails? Almond milk?

Drop your answers in the comments!

Easy Vegan Cherry Crumble

I hope everyone is doing well, wherever you are in the world. Stay indoors and stay safe.

Most of all, while you’re stuck inside don’t be afraid to spend some time in the kitchen like I’ve been doing. Okay, sure I tend to spend some of my rare free time in the kitchen and this time it was for a sweet vegan treat.

The truth is that I make desserts more than I post them because my husband has a wicked sweet tooth and it lets me practice playing with the proportions to reduce sugar and fat without changing the consistency. Anyway the problem with my vegan desserts is that they don’t photograph well. They taste good, at least according to him, but they rarely look good on camera.

Today my cherry crumble has broken the mold. Badump-ump?

No?

Okay, on to the vegan cherry crumble recipe, then.

The ingredients are pretty simple:

Frozen Morello cherries

Brown Sugar

Corn starch

Oats

Cinnamon

Puffed Millet

Petit Beurre biscuits (accidentally vegan!)

Lemon (peel & juice)

Coconut oil (or whatever you’ve got on hand)

Toss the cherries with a tablespoon or two of brown sugar, lemon juice & corn starch. Set aside.

Mix the oats, millet, cinnamon and biscuits with a tablespoon of sugar and vegan butter of your choice. I used Becel because that’s what the market has.

Mix it all together with your hands, slowly adding the butter until you get a crumbly mixture.

Place the cherries in the bottom of a pre-oiled baking dish and sprinkle the crumble mixture evenly on top. Bake 35-45 minutes until it is golden brown and crispy on top and bubbly underneath.

Let it cool slightly and then dig in!

What desserts are you making while you’re inside all day?

Vegan Pumpkin Desserts Galore!

With pumpkin season upon us, I thought it was time that I went a little bit nuts with pumpkin desserts. I’ve been working out regularly and there hasn’t been a month in the past 24 months that I haven’t lost weight so it was time to be…grateful for my success. Okay and pumpkin season is one of my favorite times of the year. The leaves are turning and so is the weather, and even though I pretend to hate it, I love sweaters and tights and boots and scarves and soups and chili. Definitely love chili.

But what I really love is taking pumpkins and squash and turning them into tasty sweet treats that even non-vegans will love.

When it comes to making desserts with pumpkins, I like to steal from recipes I already love. Take a banana bread recipe and add 1 cup of pureed pumpkin or squash to it, and voila…you’re gold.

The small loaf pan is a vegan banana-pumpkin cake with a rum vanilla glaze on top and the cupcakes are pumpkin spice cupcakes with nuts. There are other batches without nuts for those who count calories or simply don’t like nuts.

This is a second mini loaf cake without frosting. It was so delicious. Everytime we have overripe bananas I think to myself, “banana bread isnt’ as good as you remember.” And I truly believe it…until I take a bite. Then I’m sold all over again and the added pumpkin puree only makes the cake more moist.

A family friend of my in-laws brought me a REALLY HUGE pumpkin so I kind of went baking crazy for a day. Maybe two. Then my father in law’s birthday was upon us so I decided to make my famous vegan devil’s food cake and there was enough batter left over for about 4 cupcakes. As you can see the hubs got to them before I could take photos of the big batch!

I don’t use canned pumpkin and I don’t buy pumpkin spice mix. I like to mix it myself because sometimes I want more ginger or cinnamon and less cardamom. I like to experiment but feel free to use whatever you have on hand. Take cookie or cake or bread recipes, add a cup or so of pumpkin (or squash) and you’ve got weeks worth of sweet fall treats for the vegans in your life.

When Berries Are In Season

One of my favorite things about traveling, even within the country, is discovering all the little nooks and crannies close to home. Whether it’s buying fresh (organic) watermelon from an old lady on the side of the road or stopping at an out of the way farm to pick my own corn on the cob, I love the adventure. And what I love most is taking my treasure and turning it into something delicious.

Something memorable.

Summer is now in full bloom here in Romania. The trees are are bright and full and green, the flowers are perfuming the air and the humidity has been lifting weights…if you know what I mean.

View from my balcony!

So when the day is hot (and humid) and beautiful and bright, and gorgeous semi-wild blackberries and raspberries find their way into your kitchen, you treat them right.

I’m a midwestern girl at heart and I LOVE a good cobbler, crisp, crumble or whatever you want to call it, so that was the first thing that came to mind. But I wasn’t in the mood for a buttery crumble or a cake-y cobbler, or a hearty oat-based crisp. Instead, I wanted a sweet biscuit topping.

It’s pretty easy to make and more than worth the small amount of effort.

For the topping:

Sugar

All purpose flour

Baking powder

Salt

Vegan butter

Almond milk

VegEgg

Scoop the dough in spoonfuls on top of the fruit mixture and pop in the oven for 20-30 minutes.

Since I kind of came to this recipe backwards, I figured we’d take the journey together! Rinse and dry the berries and then take a long hard look at your spice rack to see what you wanted to do. Even though these were dark berries and I wanted a cobbler, I didn’t want a autumn or holiday flavor so I went with a pinch of nutmeg, lemon zest and juice, coconut sugar and a teeny tiny dash of cinnamon. Easy.

Because I wanted to take it easy on the sugar, I added a bit of ground vanilla on top of the biscuit topping, that’s the dark flecks you see in the photo above.

This dish is easy to make and you can adjust the size for the amount of berries currently in your possession, and if you’ve had a rewarding workout, feel free to add a scoop of almond ice cream right on top.

Tomorrow is July 4th which is Independence Day for my American readers so please, feel free to use this vegan recipe to celebrate and as a not-so-sneaky way to get fruit into everyone’s day!