Chocolate Cake with Zucchini-Vegan

This is the birthday cake I made for both of my daughter’s this year. It is basically the same as my chocolate layer cake recipe, but with a bit of added zucchini. You can’t taste, see, or detect the zucchini, but I feel just a bit better giving them cake if there is even a tiny bit of nutrition in it. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not for adding sugar to all vegetables, but if you are going to have cake, you might as well also have a vegetable. Pictured here I made it in a 9×13 pan for a sheet cake and used my regular vegan buttercream.

Ingredients

  • 1 TBL vinegar
  • 1/2 cup almond milk or other non-dairy milk
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 cups brewed coffee (or more milk)
  • 2/3 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded zucchini
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Oil 2 8″ round cake pans, put parchment paper in the bottom of the pan, oil and flour pan and parchment paper. Alternatively you can use a 9×13 pan, greased but no parchment paper. Bake for 22-27min for a 9×13 pan.
  3. Mix together the milk and vinegar, set aside to curdle.
  4. Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and baking soda. Stir in sugar and salt.
  5. Make a well in the center of dry ingredients and add the milk mixture, coffee, oil and extracts mixing with an electric mixer briefly until there are no lumps.
  6. Fold in shredded zucchini and evenly divide batter into prepared pans and bake 25-35 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
  7. Let cake rest in the pan about 10 minutes, then remove and finish cooling on cooling rack before frosting.
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Father’s Day 2018

My husband is amazing. He is incredibly kind, thoughtful, and considerate. He takes the time to listen not only to me, but to our daughters, and everyone around him, and his puts time and effort into being a better person, better father, and better husband every day. He is my inspiration, my strength, and my favorite person. I am so happy I get to celebrate him on Father’s Day for being the most incredible father I have ever seen. He notices so many things about our daughters every day and takes the time to celebrate them with them. He takes joy in the small things, and shows how much he loves his girls each and every day. Happy Father’s Day AGW! Your ladies love you.

Because we love my husband so much for his birthday, instead of cake (which my daughters and I wanted) we made him this chocolate peanut butter cup slab and decorated it. This recipe is from the BraveTart cookbook, which you should all get.

For Father’s Day we celebrated early, and we will celebrate again later as my husband will be out of town on the actual day. My 3 year old LOVES to celebrate things right now so it’s super fun to make a big deal every chance we get. We like to make yummy food, the girls make cards, and we eat outside. She thinks eating outside is the absolute height of indulgence. When my husband gets back from his trip we will do all those things. Possible Father’s Day celebration food…

Grilling out with a side of Potato Salad

Dinner and Chocolate Chip Cookies for dessert (my husband prefers them frozen)

Homemade Ice Cream anyone? This vanilla with chocolate peanut butter cups and swirl rocks our world

Possibly brunch with cinnamon rolls?

Vegan Frendsgiving/Thanksgiving Spice Cake

Vegan Spice Cake
Vegan Spice Cake

The recipe for this delightful morsel of a cake has been passed down from my great-grandmother. It was one of the first recipes I posted when I started my blog several years ago. I didn’t have a picture of it, and I never uploaded one, until today. Just in time to celebrate the start of the holiday season. This cake is ultra moist, full of warming spices, and somehow never too sweet. It is perfect for dessert, breakfast, or as an addition to a holiday brunch. It also takes about 5 minutes to make and makes a big impression with its amazing fall flavors. This is the cake to bake when you have company as the whole house smells like you’ve spent hours in the kitchen as the warm fragrance of fall baking spices waft through the air.

Makes 1 9×9 cake

Ingredients

  • 1 cup non-dairy milk, or dairy milk
  • 1 tsp. vinegar (apple cider or white, but I’ve also used rice in a pinch)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 TBL vegetable shortening
  • 1 TBL chia seeds mixed with 2 TBL water, or 1 egg, or equivalent of 1 egg in whatever form you like
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. cloves
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 370F.
  2. Add vinegar to milk and set aside.
  3. Cream together sugar and shortening until smooth.
  4. Add the chia seed/water mixture to sugar and mix together.
  5. In a separate bowl mix together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt.
  6. Alternate between adding flour mixture and soy milk to the shortening, mixing thoroughly between additions.
  7. Pour batter into a greased 9×9 cake pan and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until cake pulls away from the edges of the pan and a cake tester comes out mostly clean.
  8. Allow to cool for at least 20 minutes if you can.

Even Better Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

I posted a recipe for chocolate chip cookies a long time ago; I have been using the same recipe for ages, and it is delicious! However, in the last year I learned a few things about chocolate chip cookies thanks to Food Lab and my BFF Kenji (yes this friendship is all in my head). The two things that I have incorporated into my recipe are the refrigerate the dough overnight, and to finish the cookies with salt. These two simple steps are a game changer. The texture of the cookies is a bit softer, and they develop a deeper flavor. Yummy. The salt, I feel is just the perfect addition to bring out the flavor of the cookie, and as a counter point to the sweetness.

If you are in a rush you can bake these right away, but I would only bake as many as you need and save the rest of the dough for the next day.

 Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup neutral flavored oil (I use refined coconut oil)
  • 1/2 cup Earth Balance buttery sticks
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3 TBL water
  • 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 – 2 cups chocolate chips
  • kosher salt, or other coarse salt for finishing

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl cream together oil, Earth Balance, brown and white sugar, vanilla extract, and water mixing until smooth and creamy.
  2. Add flour, baking soda, and salt giving dry ingredients a stir before combining with the creamed mixture. Mix dry and creamed mixture just until combined.
  3. Add chocolate chips and stir to incorporate.
  4. Place covered mixture in an airtight container and refrigerate overnight.
  5. The next day remove the cookie dough from the refrigerator and allow to sit for about 20 minutes so you can scoop into it.
  6. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  7. Drop cookie dough by the spoonful onto ungreased cookie sheets leaving 2″ between each cookie.
  8. Bake for 8-10 minutes until golden brown.
  9. Sprinkle cookies with salt, just a few grains per cookie, then transfer from cookie sheet onto cooling rack immediately.
  10. Wait a few minutes before eating to prevent burning your mouth on hot chocolate chips.
  11. Enjoy responsibly.

Vegan Gluten Free Chocolate Brownies Made With Black Beans

Vegan Gluten Free Black Bean Brownies
Vegan Gluten Free Black Bean Brownies

Sometimes you need a brownie. I gooey, deeply chocolaty, fudgy brownie. Perhaps you want to make a special father in your life something for Father’s Day. Maybe, just maybe, you also want to pretend to do something decent for your body. This is the answer. These are delightful brownies in their own right, and they are gluten free, vegan, and made with black beans! You would never guess that there are beans here, and the texture is a delight. These would be a lovely contribution for any party, grill-out, or picnic.

Adapted from Chocolate Covered Katie

 Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups black beans (1 15-oz can, drained and rinsed very well)
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp coconut or granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp pure almond extract
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips plus more for top

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Place the rolled oats in a food processor and blend to a flour, about 1 minute.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients except for the chocolate chips and process until very smooth, another 2-3 minutes stopping and scraping the sides occasionally.
  4. Stir in the chips, then pour into a greased 8×8 pan.
  5. Sprinkle a few tablespoons of extra chocolate chips over the top.
  6. Cook the black bean brownies 15-18 minutes until the top looks dry and they feel firm to the touch.
  7. Allow to cool at least 10 minutes before trying to cut.

St. Patrick’s Day Green Muffins (Zucchini-Spinach, sugar free, vegan, toddler approved)

Spinach Zucchini Muffins -date sweetened
Spinach Zucchini Muffins -date sweetened

Who doesn’t love green food? Oh, yeah, toddlers. Well, except mine who things it needs to be green to be edible! These yummy muffins are packed with vegetables, take their sweetness from the dates, and are good enough I was sneaking them when my daughter wasn’t looking. These are quite green from all the vegetables and would be perfect to introduce on St. Patrick’s Day if you have a picky eater. Also perfect to bring to work to nourish you throughout the day to prepare you for your evening activities. Spread a little almond butter on these and you have yourself a meal.

Makes 12 regular muffins

 Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup finely chopped dates (about 5-7 dates)
  • hot water to cover dates
  • 1 1/2 cups spelt flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1 packed cup fresh baby spinach
  • 1 TBL chia seeds
  • 2 cups grated zucchini
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Instructions

    1. Preheat oven to 350 and prepare a muffin pan with paper liners or by lightly oiling the pan.
    2. Place chopped dates in a glass measuring cup, pour boiling water over the top just to cover the dates, and set aside to soften, about 5 minutes.
    3. In a mixing bowl combine all of the dry ingredients, flour through cinnamon.
    4. When dates are soft place them, the soaking water, coconut oil, and the baby spinach in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
    5. Pour date mixture into bowl with dry ingredients, add chia seeds, zucchini, and vanilla stirring to combine.
    6. Divide the batter evenly into prepared muffin tine and bake 18-20 minutes until tops turn golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of one comes out clean.
    7. Remove from the pan and allow to cool a bit before eating.

Refined Sugar Free Cinnamon Muffins + Vegan 4th of July Ideas

Makes number of servings (yield): 12 muffins

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup unbleached flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup oat flour (I ground rolled oats into flour)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup nondairy milk
  • 2 TBL aquafaba (liqid from a can of beans- Garbonzo, white, black, pinto, whatever)
  • 1/2 a large very ripe banana, mashed
  • 2 TBL coconut oil
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Spray muffin tin with non-stick spray.
  2. Mix together dry ingredients (flour through cinnamon) in a large bowl.
  3. Mix the apple cider vinegar and nondairy milk and set aside for a few minutes.
  4. In a small bowl whisk the aquafaba until just foamy, about 30 seconds.
  5. Add aquafaba, mashed banana, coconut oil, vanilla, maple syrup, and milk/vinegar mixture to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
  6. Divide batter evenly into 12 prepared muffin cups.
  7. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Cool for a few minutes before serving.