Banana-Apple Bundt Cake (vegan/plant-based)

Yield: 1-10 inch Bundt cake or 12-18 minis

I resigned my former art teaching position with our big public school district after 16 years to accept one at a private school chartered in 1728.  The faculty and staff are so lovely and helpful that I am baking a cake to thank someone a couple times a week.

Not wanting to invent them from scratch and risk fails–or look up a recipe–every time. I decided I need an easy to remember formula that can be adapted. After some research and experimentation, I am excited to share my approach.

My “formula” for delicious, moist, never fail cakes is, essentially, a 1:2 ratio of oil to sugar and sugar to flour.  For 1/2 cup oil, 1 cup sugar, and 2 cups flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder and vanilla extract and 1/2 teaspoon baking soda and sea salt plus 1/4 cup nondairy milk is the perfect base for whatever else you want to stir in.  If the latter is especially moist, like applesauce, reduce non-dairy milk by half.

1 cup sugar (or 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 cup brown sugar)
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon, apple pie spice, or pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup oil
1/4 cup non-dairy milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 pureed bananas
1 finely chopped/processed apple, stemmed and seeded

Optional: Brown Sugar Maple Glaze (recipe follows) + chopped pecans or halves for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 10-inch Bundt pan. Combine dry ingredients in large mixing bowl.  Make a well in center and pour in wet ingredients plus banana and apple. Whisk well to combine.  Spoon batter evenly into pan. Bake approximately 40-45 minutes (or 20-25 for mini Bundts) or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool 10 minutes, invert onto wire rack, and cool completely. Spoon Glaze over and allow to drip down sides. Garnish, if desired, with pecans.

Brown Sugar Maple Glaze

1cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Whisk together until no lumps remain, adding more powdered sugar or maple syrup to reach desired consistency, if necessary.

#vegan #veganrecipes #veganfoodshare #veganfoodporn #plantbased #plantbasedrecipes #plantbasedfoodshare #plantbasedfoodporn #veganbundtcake #plantbasedbundtcake

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Healthier Carrot Cake with Bourbon-Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting (vegan & plant-based)

Yield: 1-6″ two-layer cake or 1-8″ one-layer cake

I still wonder how a cake this moist and delicious can only include 2 tablespoons oil. And if you choose Trivia Blend or Swerve brown sugar over regular, no one will ever know. But let’s talk about this frosting: after trying one bite of this version with no butter, shortening, or powdered sugar, I doubt I will ever go back. It is creamy, tangy, sweet, and can even be piped. What’s not to love?

1 and 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (basically, cinnamon and ginger) 1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup brown sugar (I used Truvia Blend Brown Sugar; Swerve would also work well)
1/3 cup agave nectar
1/2 cup apple butter
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup shredded or fairly finely processed carrots 2/3 cup fairly finely chopped pecans
Optional but recommended: 1 tablespoon bourbon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe follows)

Grease and flour a 6- or 8″ round cake pan. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In large bowl, stir together all ingredients just until completely combined. Transfer into prepared pan, and gently smooth tip. Bake approximately 25 minutes for 8″ cake and 35 for 6″ cake or just until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes on wire rack, run knife around edge of pan, and invert onto wire rack to cool completely. If making the 6″ two-layer cake, halve horizontally with a serrated knife. Frost between layers if making the layer cake, as well as top, and sides of cake. Decorate as desired with pecans. Serve immediately or cover and store in refrigerator. Best served at room temperature.

Cream Cheese Frosting:
8 ounces vegan cream cheese
1/3 cup agave nectar (or a little more to reach desired consistency)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Optional but recommended: 1 teaspoon Bourbon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Decoration: toasted or plain finely chopped pecans and pecan halves

With an electric mixer, cream together all ingredients, except pecans, until fluffy. (Too little agave nectar may allow frosting to crack.)

#vegan #veganrecipes #veganfoodshare #veganfoodporn #plantbased #plantbasedrecipes #plantbasedfoodshare #plantbasedfoodporn #vegancarrotcake #plantbasedcarrotcake #healthiercarrotcake #healthiercreamcheesefrosting

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Luscious Lemon Layer Cake with Blood Orange-Lemon Curd and Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting (vegan & plant-based)

Yield: 1-6″ two-layer cake

Note: to make an 8″ two-layer cake, double recipe; to make an 8″ three-layer cake, triple recipe

You will want to wrap yourself in this cooling, lusciousness whose cake layers are tender, moist, and perfectly complimented by the silky curd and creamy frosting, all of it boldly kissed with citrus.

My first two attempts at the perfect lemon cake layers resulted in gummy dense disks. But the third time’s the charm. The secret? Mostly, leaving out egg replacer and adding soda and more baking powder.

Luscious Lemon Layer Cake with Blood Orange-Lemon Curd and Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting (vegan & plant-based)

1/4 cup vegan butter, softened
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 to 1 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup + 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2/3 cup non-dairy milk
Zest and juice 1 large lemon (about 2 tablespoons juice)
Blood Orange-Lemon Curd (recipe follows)
Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe follows)
Garnish: thin lemon slices

Grease and flour a 6″ round cake pan. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream together butter, oil, sugar, vanilla, and almond extract. Add half of flour; all of baking powder, soda, and salt; and half of milk. Combine well with mixer on medium-low speed, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary. Repeat with remaining flour and milk, continuing to scrape down sides of bowl as needed. Add zest and juice and, with mixer on medium-low speed, incorporate completely into batter. Transfer into prepared pan. Bake for 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in very center comes out clean. Cool 20 minutes in pan, run knife around edge, invert onto wire rack, and cool completely (or it will soften/melt frosting/curd). Slice cake in half horizontally using a serrated knife. Spread bottom half with frosting. Pipe a border or dam around edges to contain curd if desired, and spread about 1/4 curd inside. Top with second half and repeat. Frost sides and decorate with lemon slices.

Blood Orange-Lemon Curd
(Note: this makes twice as much as you need for 6″ two-layer cake and exactly enough for 8″ two-layer cake. Double only if making 8″ three-layer cake.)

1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
Pinch sea salt
Juice and zest 1/2 blood orange
Juice and zest 1/2 large lemon
1/2 cup non-dairy milk

Whisk together in small saucepan over medium heat. Simmer, continuing to whisk until very thick. Cool and then chill thoroughly. (Will thicken more as it cools.)

Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

1/4 cup vegan butter
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
1/4 cup vegan cream cheese
Zest and juice 1 large lemon
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 to 1 teaspoon almond extract
3 cups powdered sugar (or more to reach desired consistency, as vegan butters and cream cheeses have varying moisture content)

Cream together all ingredients except powdered sugar. Add 1 cup powdered sugar, blend in on low speed, increase speed, and continue beating until fluffy. Repeat with remaining 2 cups powdered sugar, adding more if necessary to reach desired consistency for spreading/piping. Chill until ready to use.

#vegan #veganrecipes #veganfoodshare #veganfoodporn #plantbased #plantbasedrecipes #plantbasedfoodshare #plantbasedfoodporn #vegancake #plantbasedcake #veganlemoncake ##plantbasedlemoncake

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Blooming Black Forest Cake (vegan & plant-based)

Yield: 1 6-inch layer cake (double recipe for an 8-in layer cake)

I finally created a plant-based Black Forest Cake with which I am completely delighted!

Unless you are a recipe developer–professional or amateur counts–you cannot imagine the research, the brainstorming, and the trial and error–mental and actual–to arrive here. I spent many wee hours on Pinterest obsessing.

There were certain things that I wanted from this special cake and certain things I didn’t. For instance, I didn’t want a buttercream frosting, but I also didn’t want pure whipped cream. A favorite dessert from childhood that combined cream cheese, powdered sugar, and whipped cream topped with a layer of cherry pie filling proved to be the inspiration. My recent discovery of Silk brand whipping cream made this luscious filling and frosting possible.

Wanting a deeply chocolate, very moist, and somewhat subtly complex flavored cake, I experimented quite a bit. I wanted the rich fudgyness of a brownie, but more of a cake like consistency. And ultimately, though I love cherry liqueur, I didn’t want the cake to taste too boozy. You can certainly brush the layers with cherry liqueur if you choose But I put a small amount in the batter along with some concentrated coffee and “buttermilk” because cakes made only with coffee, water or other thin liquids, line soda, don’t quite have the structure that I desired. The cake is sturdy, yet moist.

For decoration, I love chocolate shavings and chocolate curls, which are traditional on Black Forest Cake, but I didn’t want this to be fussy, so I used simple chocolate-dipped fresh cherries and toasted slivered almonds.

What can I obsess about now In the wee hours of the morning?

Cake
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup non-dairy milk curdled with 1 to 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons concentrated coffee
2 tablespoons cherry liqueur or more concentrated coffee
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Whipped Cream & Cream Cheese Filling/ Frosting (recipe follows)
Approximately 3/4 cup canned cherry pie filling
1/4 cup toasted slivered almonds
6 fresh cherries, pitted and halved
4 cherries with stems intact, dipped in about 2 tablespoons vegan chocolate chips melted for 1 minute in microwave

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease and flour a 6-inch cake pan or spray with baking spray. Place metal mixing bowl and whip attachment in freezer for preparing filling.

In large bowl, whisk together all dry ingredients. Make a well in center, add wet ingredients, and whisk together for about 50 strokes until smooth. Transfer batter to prepared pan and bake approximately 35 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pan on wire rack and then invert. Cool completely covered with a dish towel. Using a serrated knife, cut cake in half horizontally. Place bottom layer on serving platter, spread with half of filling, and top with half of cherry pie filling. Place second layer on top and repeat. Decorate with cherry halves, toasted slivered almonds, and chocolate dipped cherries. Store in refrigerator.

Whipped Cream & Cream Cheese Filling/Frosting
1/2 cup vegan cream cheese, softened at room temperature for an hour or so
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup Silk brand whipping cream

Place cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla and well-chilled mixing bowl and cream together until smooth. With mixer on medium-high, slowly drizzle in whipping cream. Filling should be sick, but it will likely not be stiff enough to pipe through a pastry bag.

#veganblackforestcake #plantbasedblackforestcake

#vegan #veganrecipes #veganfoodshare #veganfoodporn #plantbased #plantbasedrecipes #plantbasedfoodshare #plantbasedfoodporn

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Vegan Birthday Cake (from a box!) with Homemade Vegan Lemon Curd Filling and Creamy Vanilla Frosting (naturally vegan from a can)

Tuesday was my “day of rebirth” as my dear friend, Iona Drozda, refers to birthdays.

My partner, Bob, said he would make my birthday cake BUT it had to come from a box. He thought that would be a deal-breaker, but nope!

A little research revealed that one can transform any box mix into a moist and delicious–and very tender–vegan cake by simply adding 1.5 cups of the chilled soda of your choice!



We chose Betty Crocker yellow with 1 teaspoon vanilla and sprite because it’s lemon+lime notes sounded delicious with the lemon curd filling and creamy white frosting I was craving. The layers rose beautifully with fairly flat tops!

I recommend oiling cooling racks, as this cake is quite tender. I also recommend wrapping and freezing the layers before frosting for the same reason. Plus, it is a well-known fact that freezing cake layers makes them even more moist.

The curd was spot-on and came from It Doesn’t Taste Like Chicken. I only tweaked a tiny bit by adding a 1/2 teaspoon sea salt. Whisk and simmer together for about 5 minutes: 1/2 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon cornstarch, 1/2 cup non-dairy milk (I used unsweetened soymilk), zest of 1 large lemon, 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, and 1/8 teaspoon turmeric for color. (It will thicken even more as it cools.)

The creamy vanilla frosting was from a can (eek!), and Bob piped it on like a pro with very little instruction, saying it was like caulking!

The cake was perfection, though we guilded the lily with softened dairy-free vanilla ice cream.

Happy, happy birthday to all!

#vegan #veganrecipes #veganfoodshare #veganfoodporn #plantbased #plantbasedrecipes #plantbasedfoodshare #plantbasedfoodporn #veganlemoncurd #veganbirthdaycake #veganizedboxcakemix #itdoesnttastelikechicken

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Vegan Pumpkin Cake Bars

Vegan Pumpkin Cake Bars
Yield: 16 servings (app. 150 calories each)

Somewhere between what we used to call a snacking cake and a bar, this vegan treat is quick, easy, moist, and delicious.  The texture and rise are just right and, though it needs nothing, not really even a dusting of powdered sugar, it would be decadent with a vegan cream cheese, caramel or praline frosting.

2 cups all-purpose flour (I use white whole wheat)
3/4 cup natural Demerara sugar
1 teaspoon molasses
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1-15 ounce can pureed pumpkin
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 to 2 tablespoons water, if necessary

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Grease 8-inch pan.  In a large bowl, whisk together dry ingredients.  Add pumpkin, oil, and water, if desired, for a smooth consistency, and stir together just until completely combined. Transfer to prepared pan and gently smooth top. Bake about 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack, slice, and serve. Keeps well tightly covered.

#vegan #veganrecipes #veganfood #veganfoodshare #veganfoodporn #plantbased #plantbasedrecipes #plantbasedfood #plantbasedfoodshare #plantbasedfoodporn

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Vegan Pumpkin Spice Poundcake

Yield: one 10-inch poundcake

A pumpkin spice lover, not hater–in spite of all the hype–I take my savory and seeet pumpkin seriously. So three attempts and 12 cups of flour later, I finally got it: the perfect Pumpkin Pound Cake in both flavor and luscious moistness and tenderness.

The first two cakes were a little dry and we’ll say “sturdy.”  The secret to my ultimate success is three-fold: two kinds of fat, both vegan butter for flavor and vegetable oil for moistness; molasses also for deep, flavorful moisture; and the combination of curdled soymilk and vegan sour cream for ever-so-slightly-tangy tenderness (though using all curdled soymilk will work nicely too).

Get your pumpkin spice on!

1/2 cup canola or other vegetable oil
1/2 cup vegan butter, softened
2 1/2 cups demerera sugar or brown sugar
2 tablespoons molasses
1/4 cup flax meal
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon pure almond extract
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice
4 teaspoons  baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup nondairy milk mixed with
1 tablespoon vinegar, set aside to curdle for a couple of minutes
4 cups white whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
1/2 cup vegan sour cream (or another 1/2 cup nondairy milk, but I prefer sour cream)

In the bowl of a stand mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the oil, butter, sugar, and molasses for one minute. Then add 1/2 cup of the milk, extracts, flax meal, extracts, spices, baking powder and soda, and salt, and continue to beat for another two minutes until the mixture is quite fluffy.

Add the flour and remaining nondairy milk to the sugar mixture in three batches, alternating and beating for 20 seconds after each addition. Scrape down the sides and the bottom of the bowl with a spatula frequently.

Finally, add the pumpkin puree and sour cream (or 1/2 cup nondairy milk) and mix for 20 seconds.

Scrape the batter into an oiled and floured bundt pan.

Bake in a preheated oven set at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 1 hour and 5 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the bundt cake comes out clean or with a few crumbs sticking to it.

Set on a rack to cool for 30 minutes, then unmold and continue cooling the cake on a rack covered with a dish towel.

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Blooming Best (Practically) Raw Vegan Coconut Cake
with Cream Cheese Frosting

Maybe it’s the warming weather, or maybe it is less patience with the steps required to bake properly and well: mixing, preparing the pan, cooking time, cooling in the pan, turning out of the pan, cooling on the rack, and so on.  Okay, or less patience with most things…

But, regardless, (practically) raw vegan food has been on my mind lately.  I conducted some online research and I bought a couple of (disappointing) cookbooks.  My take-away?  This niche of vegan “cooking” holds great promise, but there is room for fairly vast improvement. So I got to work.

My (Practically) Raw Vegan Carrot Cake was a vegan and omni triumph.  But one of my other favorite cakes is coconut. The challenge, it seemed to me, was how to keep the color of the cake light, like a baked coconut cake, and the favor pure:  no dates, apricots, etc.  

At Whole Foods yesterday, I decided to spin through the dried fruit in bulk.  Eureka!  Turkish dried figs are light in color, yet plump enough to add some moisture and earthy sweetness.  Sweetened coconut flakes and coconut flour–essentially coconut ground to a flour–were no-brainers–and I deemed oatmeal, which provides lots of structure, light enough and neutral enough in flavor to help build the “batter.”   Blanched slivered almonds (use raw if you prefer)–nicely pale in color and not too buttery in flavor–were the perfect nut to use.  One glimpse and I knew coconut sugar was too dark in color, so I bought some powdered sugar which I needed for the frosting, but the cake ended up being sweet enough with nothing more than a small amount of light amber maple syrup.  And a liquid sweetener is nice because of the amount of dry ingredients.

For moisture, I did end up using 1/2 cup applesauce–but it does not impart a noticeable apple flavor–and coconut milk.  A word about the latter:  So Delicious makes an astonishingly thick and velvety coconut milk that they call “Culinary Coconut Milk.”  It is high in calories, so you might consider the “lite” version.  Either way, I would combine a carton of it–about 1 1/3 cups–with canned coconut milk which is not quite so thick and helps achieve a nicer, less dense, batter or, really, for raw cakes, more like a “dough.”   

In short, I do believe I met the challenge.  And I think you will be absolutely swept away by the results.

This cake is so beautiful and beautifully textured and flavored that it would be lovely for a wedding cake…not that I’m planning a wedding or anything…

Note: if you want a raw vegan frosting, substitute something like a cashew buttercream.

Yield: 16 servings

8 Turkish figs, stemmed and quartered
2 cups old-fashioned oats
3 cups fairly thick coconut milk (or a combination of So Delicious Culinary Coconut Cream and soy or other non-dairy milk)
2 cups grated sweetened coconut
1 cup blanched slivered almonds
1 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
¼ cup maple syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe follows)
Garnish: 1/2 cup coconut curls

Line 8″ square pan with foil. Pulse all ingredients in food processor, a couple of ingredients at a time, alternating with coconut milk, until a homogenized, but textured, dough-like consistency is achieved.  Press in pan, frost with cream cheese frosting, and garnish with coconut curls.  Cover with foil and keep refrigerated. 

Cream Cheese Frosting

Note: you may have a little left over if you use the 2 cups of powdered sugar.)
8 ounces vegan cream cheese
1/4 cup coconut oil (solid at room temp)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
1 to 2 cups powdered sugar (depending on consistency desired)

Process until smooth.

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Blooming Best (Practically) Raw Vegan Carrot Cake
with Cream Cheese Frosting

Yield: 1-8 inch cake

This, my first foray into (practically) raw vegan desserts, may be the best cake, baked or virtually raw, you have ever eaten. I hope that doesn’t sound boastful, but my omni friend said as she chewed, eyes squeezed shut, “This is like church.”  So, it is omni and vegan–and teen and adult- approved.

Note: if you want a raw vegan frosting, substitute something like a cashew buttercream.

11-12 ounces baby carrots or carrot pieces
8 Medjool dates, pitted and quartered
8 plump dried apricots, quartered
2 cups old-fashioned oats
½ cup sweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
¼ cup agave nectar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4-½ teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup walnut pieces
Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe follows)
Garnish: 1/4 to 1/2 cup walnut halves or pieces

Line 8″ square pan with foil. Pulse all ingredients in food processor, a couple of ingredients at a time, until a homogenized, but textured, dough-like consistency is achieved.  Press in pan, frost with cream cheese frosting, and garnish with walnut halves or pieces.  Keep refrigerated.

Cream Cheese Frosting
8 ounces vegan cream cheese
1/4 cup coconut oil (solid at room temp)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 to 2 cups powdered sugar (depending on consistency desired)

Process until smooth.



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