smores cake.

smores
Although I didn’t do alot of baking and cooking this summer, i DID manage to whip up this smores cake for a dinner with friends one night. I woke up the next morning wishing we hadn’t eaten it all. It was a fun take on the classic smores (which is one of my most favorite deserts ever).

The cake recipe comes from the smores cupcake in vegan cupcakes take over the world.
(Shutterbean recently made a smores cake and posted a recipe here – No doubt hers is delicious!)

I poured the recipe into a 8×8 pan and baked it for 20 minutes.
After it cooled I made a chocolate ganache

1/3 cup almond milk
1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

In a small sauce pan, bring the almond milk to a boil and then lower the heat to a simmer and add the chocolate and syrup. Mix with a rubber spatula for about 30 seconds. Turn heat off, continue stirring until the chocolate is fully melted and the icing is smooth.

Ice the cake and then top with dandies marshmallows. Put back in the oven for about 3 minutes, but watch closely so your cake doesnt overcook and your marshmallows dont burn!

peanut butter muffins.

peanutbuttermuffins

Peanut butter, chocolate and bananas are like the ultimate baking trifecta.

Here they are in muffin form. I found the original recipe here, and modified it a bit to my liking. You can probably use any oil, but I especially love the sweet coconut-y flavor that coconut oil brings to the mix.

These muffins are so good served right out of the oven with a smear of peanut butter in the middle.

dry ingredients:
1 1/4 cups flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/3 cup rolled oats

wet ingredients:
1/4 cup almond milk + 1 1/2 tspn flax meal
1 large banana, mashed
1/2 cup agave syrup
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract

warmed:
2-3 Tbsp virgin coconut oil
4-5 Tbsp peanut butter

fold in: 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips, vegan

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Mash the banana. set aside. Combine the flax seeds and almond milk and let sit for a few minutes.
3. Combine dry ingredients in large bowl. Add in the wet ingredients.
4. Warm the oil and peanut butter in the microwave until soft and liquid in texture. Pour into your batter and fold well. The batter should be about room temperature at this point – you don’t want it too warm or it will melt the chips.
5. Fold in the chocolate chips.
6. Pour into muffin cups.
7. Bake for about 18 minutes at 350 degrees.

black bean brownies.

BlackBeanBrowniesI really didn’t know what to think of these brownies when I saw them. I’ve successfully baked with beets before, but I wasn’t sure how black beans would work…  Plus, I have a hard time with vegan brownies in general. they either turn out way too cake like or they have TONS of oil in them.

Well, what do you know? Black bean brownies turned out pretty good! I will say these are pretty rich and have a deep chocolatey flavor. They don’t have a ton of sweetener to them, so you really taste the richness of the cocoa powder. If you like dark chocolate these are definitely for you. The peanut butter really helps balance that, so don’t skimp on that!  and extra bonus, they are gluten free! i don’t have very many gluten free recipes on hand, especially when it comes to baking – so it’ll be good to keep this one in mind when the time arises. Plus, it’ll be super fun to tell people they just ate brownies…with beans in them!

original recipe found here.

  • 1 15 oz. can (~ 1 3/4 cups) black beans, well rinsed and drained
  • 2 flax eggs (2 Tbsp flaxseed meal + 5 T water)
  • 3 Tbsp oil
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup or agave
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup salted natural peanut butter (smooth or creamy)
  • 2 Tbsp powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup dairy-free semisweet chocolate chips + more for topping
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Lightly grease an 8×8 baking pan.
  3. Prepare flax eggs by combining flax and water in the bowl of the food processor or blender. Pulse a couple times and then let rest for a few minutes.
  4. Add remaining ingredients through baking soda and puree –  scraping down sides as needed. You want it pretty smooth.
  5. Add almost all of the chocolate chips and stir.
  6. Evenly distribute the batter into the 8×8 pan.
  7. Measure out peanut butter in a mixing cup and add in powdered sugar – mix to combine.
  8. To the brownie pan, add dots of the peanut butter powdered sugar mixture and swirl with a toothpick or knife. Sprinkle top with a few more chocolate chips.
  9. Bake for 20-26 minutes if using muffin tins, or 35-45 minutes if using an 8×8 dish. You want the top dry and the edges to start to pull away from the sides. It shouldn’t be jiggly when shaken.
  10. Remove from oven and let cool for 30 minutes in the pan before serving. They will be tender, so remove gently with a spatula or fork. If they’re too tender, let set in the freezer to stiffen so they’re easier to lift out. The insides are meant to be very fudgy, so don’t be concerned if they seem too moist – that’s the point. Plus, they’re vegan so it doesn’t really matter.

oatmeal chocolate chip cake.

oatmealChocChipCakeOh my goodness. This cake. All I ever want is this cake. Its like an oatmeal creme pie – in cake form. Do I need to say anymore.

The original recipe for this cake came from Tracy, over at shutterbean.com, so I knew it was going to be a good one. I took a stab at veganizing it, and it turned out fantastic!

This is definitely my new go-to dessert! The ladies at book club loved it!

  • 8 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 cups + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 stick earth balance, cubed-at room temperature
  • egg replacer powder, mixed with water, equivalent to two eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of cinnamon

for the frosting:

  • 4 tablespoons earth balance, at room temperature
  • 6 oz. tofutti cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375°. Grease a 9″x13″ baking pan.

Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of flour over chocolate chips in a bowl and toss until coated. Set aside.

Heat 1 & 1/4 cups water to boiling. Place the oats and earth balance in a large bowl. Pour boiling water over oat mixture. Wait 30 seconds, then stir to moisten oats and melt the butter. Set aside for 25-30 minutes.

Whisk “eggs”, sugars, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon. Fold in oatmeal, stirring until well combined. Fold in remaining flour, and then stir in chocolate chips. Pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake 30 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 30 minutes.

To make the frosting:

Beat earth balance until smooth. Add tofuffti cream cheese and beat until combined. Beat in confectioners’ sugar and vanilla extract until smooth (about 1 minute). Cover bowl and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Spread a thin layer of frosting over cake. Chill for 15 minutes before serving.

Store covered cake in refrigerator for up to 3 days.

chocolate baked donuts.

donuts

One night while scrolling through pinterest, milo saw these and said “back up! I want to see those…..OOOOOOH. Can we make those?!!”

He was having his friend sleepover for the first time this weekend, so I thought this would be the perfect occasion to bust out the donut pan and give these a go.

I have been on the fence about these donut-pan baked donuts. They always taste ok to me, but not like a donut. These are the closest to real donuts I have ever had. They are rich and chocolatey and the glaze sets very nicely.

These were gone in no time!

This recipe made 10 full size donuts.

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup almond milk, mixed with 1/2 tspn apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 tspn egg replacer powder mixed with 3 T water
4 tablespoons earth balance, melted
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the Chocolate Glaze:
1 1/4 cup powdered sugar
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
3 to 4 tablespoons almond milk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

sprinkles!!!

Preheat oven to 325  degrees F.  Spray a doughnut baking pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, and brown sugar.

In a small bowl, whisk together almond milk with the vinegar mixed in, egg replacer, melted earth balance, and vanilla extract until thoroughly combined.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and fold together until all of the ingredients are well combined.  Use a small spoon to portion batter into the prepared doughnut baking pan.  Each doughnut mold should be about two-thirds full.  Bake doughnuts for 11 to 13 minutes or until a skewer inserted into one of the doughnuts comes out clean.  Remove from the oven.  Allow to rest for five minutes before inverting doughnuts onto a wire rack to cool completely.  Allow doughnuts to cool completely before glazing.

To make the glaze, in a medium bowl whisk together powdered sugar, and cocoa powder.  Add 2 tablespoons of almond milk and all of the vanilla extract.  Whisk to combine.  Mixture may be thick.  Add milk, a tablespoon at a time, until the glaze is thick but still pourable.

Dip each doughnut into the chocolate glaze.  Shake off some of the excess glaze.  Return to the wire rack and sprinkle with color jimmies.   Allow to rest a few moments for the frosting to harden slightly.

funfetti cupcakes with strawberry frosting.

funfetti
Its no secret that I love sprinkles on my cupcakes! So its an added bonus when there are sprinkles IN my cupcakes!

For these cupcakes, you can use your favorite vanilla cake recipe. Mine comes from Vegan cupcakes take over the world.
Right before you are done mixing, dump in a bunch of sprinkles to the batter. Bake as usual.

While the cupcakes are baking, and then cooling – you can make your frosting. This strawberry frosting is so good! The strawberries give it a hint of berry flavor, and a lovely light pink color. Of course when you are done, you want to top with MORE SPRINKLES!

I found the recipe here for the frosting.  It’s Sprinkle’s cupcakes recipe. Now only if I could learn to make my frosting look like theirs….

  • 1/2 cup whole frozen strawberries, thawed
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) earth balance, firm and slightly cold
  • Pinch of coarse salt
  • 3 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extractPlace strawberries in the bowl of a small food processor; process until pureed. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together butter and salt on medium speed until light and fluffy. Reduce mixer speed and slowly add confectioners’ sugar; beat until well combined. Add vanilla and 3 tablespoons strawberry puree (save any remaining strawberry puree for another use); mix until just blended. Do not overmix or frosting will incorporate too much air. Frosting consistency should be dense and creamy, like ice cream.

double decker chocolate chip peanut butter rice krispie treats.

IMG_4767

Try saying that ten times fast!

I made these for our christmas eve lunch, so I knew I had to step up my rice krispie treat game.  These are peanut butter rice krispies at the bottom, a layer of cut – up justin’s peanut butter cups, then a layer of cocoa-krispie treats topped with mini chocolate chips. All held together by dandies. hubba hubba.

Ingredients:

Peanut Butter Layer
2 and 1/2 cups Rice Krispies cereal
2 Tbsp earth balance
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 package of dandies marshmallows
2 2-packs of justin’s peanut butter cups

Chocolate Layer
2 and 1/2 cups Cocoa Krispies cereal
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
the other half of the dandies marshmallows
1 cup mini chocolate chips

Directions:

Line a 11×7 (or use a 9×13 pan and just dont fill all the way b/c who has a 11×7 pan??) baking pan with aluminum foil/parchment paper.  Generously spray with nonstick spray. Set aside.
To make the peanut butter layer, melt the earth balance and peanut butter in a large saucepan over low to medium heat.  Add the marshmallows and constantly stir until they are completely melted.  Mixture will be thick.  Remove from heat and add in Rice Krispie cereal. Mix together well.  Press mixture into prepared baking pan.  I used a spatula sprayed with nonstick spray to make the sticky mixture easier to press down.  Top peanut butter layer with chopped up peanut butter cups.  Set baking pan aside.
To make the chocolate layer, melt the earth balance in the same large saucepan over low to medium heat.  Add the marshmallows and constantly stir until they are completely melted.  Remove from heat and add in Cocoa Krispies cereal.  Mix together well.  Press mixture on top of the peanut butter layer.  Press chocolate chips on top of chocolate layer and allow to set for at least 30 minutes.  Cut into squares.

indoor smores.

SMORES smores2

You want smores this winter but don’t have a campfire to make it happen? Fear no more! I have come to save the day!

  1. Preheat your oven to 450.
  2. In a cast iron skillet, add some chocolate chips. (about a cup or so). Cut your marshmallows (i used dandies) in half and top the chocolate chips with them.
  3. Bake for 7-9 minutes, or until the marshmallows turn golden brown.
  4. Scoop with graham crackers.

star wars sugar cookies.

STARWARS IMG_4336

These may not be my prettiest cookies, but it was an attempt at vegan royal icing and it actually wasn’t TOO bad. Williams sonoma had these cookie cutters more half off a few weeks ago, (they still are!) so we bought some and I wanted to see how hard decorating cookies really is. I’m definitely no pro and have some work to do, but they definitely made my 4 year old happy. I used pastry bags to pipe; would like to try the squeeze bottle route if I can get my hands on some.

I used the sugar recipe from vegan cookies invade your cookie jar.

The royal icing recipe I used is here:

1 cup organic powdered sugar
2 tbsp of non-dairy milk
2 tsp of light corn syrup
1/2 tspn vanilla extract

Place sugar in bowl, add non-dairy milk and whisk until smooth.  Add in vanilla and corn syrup.  Whisk some more.  Icing will be smooth, shiny, and a little runny.  You don’t want it really runny or the icing won’t stick to the cookies.  Icing will be hard with a shiny finish once dry.  You can either dip cookies into icing, or use this icing in a pastry bag.

gingerbread cut out cookies.

gingerbread IMG_4301

Milo got together with a friend and decorated cookies. I couldn’t go over there empty handed, so I made the gingerbread cut out cookies from vegan cookies invade your cookie jar. These are so delicious, especially if you cut them a little on the thicker side. …and yes, those are millenium falcons, in case you were wondering ;)

1/3 cup canola oil
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup molasses
1/4 cup non dairy milk
2 cups flour
1/2 tspn baking soda
1/2 tspn baking powder
1/2 tspn salt

Whisk together the oil and sugar for about three minutes. Add molasses and non dairy milk. Sift in all the other dry ingredients and mix until a stiff dough is formed (I needed to add a little bit more milk and mix with my hands).  Flatten the dough into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap and chill for an hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare your cookie sheets with parchment paper.
On lightly floured surface, roll the dough out and make shapes with your cookie cutter. Move to prepared pan and bake for 8 minutes. Remove cookies and let them cool for two minutes on the baking sheet. Wait until they are completely cool before icing.

Icing:
2 cups sifted powdered sugar
2-4 Tablespoon non dairy milk
vanilla

Whisk all the ingredients using a fork or wire whisk until smooth. Add the milk one tablespoon at a time….Combine to form a glaze that can easily be spread with knife or piped from a pastry bag.

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