Valentine’s Day Vegan Date Caramel Sticky Buns -refined sugar free

Date Caramel Sticky Bun
Date Caramel Sticky Bun

If you love someone you make them sticky buns. If they are your one and only you make them healthier sticky buns because you want them to *stick* around longer.  These take my already delicious cinnamon roll recipe and turn it into a sticky mess of a bun. I took out all the refined sugar, replaced some of the butter with pumpkin, and covered it all with date caramel. These are still sweet, and sticky, and fragrant, and soft, and shout love. They are also great to make the night before and throw in the oven while you sit around sipping coffee. Or rush around getting ready for work and then sit together at the table for a few minutes eating a special breakfast showing your partner you love them because you took extra time to just be with them. Oh, love.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Vegan Date Caramel Sticky Buns

Ingredients

  • For the date caramel
  • 12 oz medjool dates
  • 1 3/4 cup boiling water
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp (4grams) fine sea salt
  • For the sticky buns
  • 4 1/2 tsp.(14 grams) Ener-G Egg Replacer powder (equivalent of 3 eggs)
  • 6 TBL water
  • 600 grams (4 1/2-5 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour- divided
  • 2 1/4 tsp. (8 grams) active dry yeast (one packet)
  • 1 cup non-dairy milk
  • 1/4 lb (1/2 cup) Earth Balance Buttery spread or sticks
  • 1/4 pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • Filling
  • 1/2 cup (144 grams) date caramel
  • 1 1/2 TBL (15 grams) cinnamon
  • 1/4 lb (1/2 cup) Earth Balance Buttery Spread or sticks
  • 1/4 cup ( 68 grams) pumpkin puree (or more butter)
  • Topping
  • The rest of the date caramel
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup Earth Balance buttery spread or sticks softened to room temperature
  • 2 tsp bourbon (optional)
  • 1/4 cup nondairy milk

Instructions

  1. In the bowl of your stand mixer whisk the egg replacer and water until smooth- set aside
  2. In a small saucepan heat together the milk, Earth Balance, sugar and salt until the butter is almost melted.
  3. Remove from heat and stir until butter is melted. Make sure this mixture is warm, not hot or it will kill the yeast.
  4. Add 260 grams (3 cups) of the flour and yeast to the egg replacer/water mixture.
  5. Add the warm milk mixture and mix with the paddle attachment for 2 minutes. If you don’t have a stand mixer you can do this by hand.
  6. Switch to the dough hook add the rest of the flour and mix until the dough forms a ball and no longer sticks to the sides of the bowl. If you are measuring by cups instead of weight add the flour a half cup at a time and mix until the flour is incorporated before adding more. The dough should be firm with slight resistance when you push on it and should just stick to the sides of the bowl, but not your fingers.
  7. Remove the dough hook and drizzle olive oil over the ball of dough, cover with a damp towel and set aside to rise for 1-2 hours.
  8. White your dough is rising make the date caramel and filling.
  9. For the date caramel place pitted dates in a heatproof bowl and cover with boiling water. Let them sit for about 10 minutes to soften.
  10. Drain dates reserving the liquid.
  11. Place dates, vanilla, sea salt, and 1/2 cup of the reserved date water in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. If you are finishing the rolls in the morning cover and refrigerate the unused date caramel until the morning.
  12. To make the filling cream together 1/2 cup of the date caramel, 1/2 cup Earth Balance, and cinnamon until uniformly brown. Set aside.
  13. Once dough has doubled in size, punch it down then allow it to rest for 10 minutes.
  14. While dough is resting combine the filling ingredients and set aside.
  15. Place dough on a lightly floured surface and roll dough into a rectangle about 18″ by 15″.
  16. Spread the filling mixture evenly over the dough, all the way to the edges.
  17. Roll dough into a log and slice into buns, as large as you like. I like mine to be about 1 1/2″ thick and I usually cut between 10-12 rolls.
  18. Place buns on a rimmed baking sheet or pan close enough to touch each other. I use my 9×13 pan. I like to line the baking sheet with parchment paper (for easier cleanup).
  19. If baking right away: Let the the rolls rise until almost doubled in size, about and hour.
  20. If baking the next morning: cover the rolls tightly and let them rise in the refrigerator overnight. In the morning set the on the counter as your oven preheats and proceed as usual.
  21. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  22. Bake rolls for 25-30 minutes depending on their size, until golden brown.
  23. While the rolls are cooking combine the topping ingredients except for the walnuts, and just heat through on the stove.
  24. When rolls are done pour the topping over the hot rolls, and sprinkle with the nuts.
  25. Serve warm.

Vegan One Bowl Chocolate Fudge Pudding Cake for Two (microwave version)

Vegan One Bowl Chocolate Pudding Cake for Two (microwave version) Ingredients 1/4 cup all-purpose flour 3 TBL white sugar 2 TBL unsweetened cocoa powder 1/4 tsp baking powder dash of salt 3 TBL non-dairy milk 2 tsp sunflower seed or olive oil 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 3 TBL packed brown sugar 1 TBL unsweetened cocoa powder 6 TBL boiling water Instructions In ungreased cereal sized bowl, or large shallow mug, stir together flour, white sugar, cocoa, baking powder, and salt. Mix in milk, oil, and vanilla with a fork until smooth. Spread batter evenly in the bottom of the bowl. Sprinkle with brown sugar and 1 TBL cup cocoa. Pour boiling water over batter. Microwave on high for 2 minutes until the cake is set and there is a fudgy looking pudding. Allow it to cool for a few minutes before digging in. Highly recommended that you serve with ice cream.
Vegan One Bowl Chocolate Pudding Cake for Two (microwave version)
Ingredients
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 TBL white sugar
2 TBL unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp baking powder
dash of salt
3 TBL non-dairy milk
2 tsp sunflower seed or olive oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 TBL packed brown sugar
1 TBL unsweetened cocoa powder
6 TBL boiling water
Instructions
In ungreased cereal sized bowl, or large shallow mug, stir together flour, white sugar, cocoa, baking powder, and salt.
Mix in milk, oil, and vanilla with a fork until smooth.
Spread batter evenly in the bottom of the bowl.
Sprinkle with brown sugar and 1 TBL cup cocoa. Pour boiling water over batter.
Microwave on high for 2 minutes until the cake is set and there is a fudgy looking pudding.
Allow it to cool for a few minutes before digging in.
Highly recommended that you serve with ice cream.

Last minute Valentine’s Day plans? I’ve got you covered. This is a super simple recipe that uses common ingredients that can be found in any corner store. It only takes a few minutes to make, but tastes like you really though about it. You even make it in the vessel you are serving it in so only one dish. This is the perfect size for sharing with your special someone, or for eating yourself while you watch sappy movies and wonder why you don’t have a special someone.

 Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 TBL white sugar
  • 2 TBL unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • dash of salt
  • 3 TBL non-dairy milk
  • 2 tsp sunflower seed or olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 TBL packed brown sugar
  • 1 TBL unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 6 TBL boiling water

Instructions

  1. In ungreased cereal sized bowl, or large shallow mug, stir together flour, white sugar, cocoa, baking powder, and salt.
  2. Mix in milk, oil, and vanilla with a fork until smooth.
  3. Spread batter evenly in the bottom of the bowl.
  4. Sprinkle with brown sugar and 1 TBL cup cocoa. Pour boiling water over batter.
  5. Microwave on high for 2 minutes until the cake is set and there is a fudgy looking pudding.
  6. Allow it to cool for a few minutes before digging in.
  7. Highly recommended that you serve with ice cream.

Vegan Affogato for Valentine’s Day

Affogato with Cold Brew Whiskey Coffee
Affogato with Cold Brew Whiskey Coffee

Valentine’s day is just around the corner, and I’m sure you are planning for a lovely evening. I hope you get to stay home snuggled with your special someone, be that your dog or a human partner. To celebrate I am bringing you a super simple treat to finish the evening (or get it started…) Afffogato, which is traditionally espresso over ice cream. Here it is the delightful cold brew whiskey coffee from last week over vegan ice cream. If you are able, you should make your own. I recommend a simple vanilla flavor, but please be adventurous. If making ice cream is out of the picture, then store bought is fine. I love Luna and Larry’s coconut bliss as a second best to my own. And, well, let’s say you are reading this 2 hours before your date arrives. No stress, just go buy some espresso, mix it with a little whiskey, pour it gracefully over ice cream, and you are in business. No one will know you had grand plans to truly impress, but got caught by a snowstorm and had to make do.

 Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Scoop ice cream into two small pretty cups.
  2. Pour one shot of whiskey coffee over each cup of ice cream and serve.
  3. It is nice to let the ice cream melt a little to help sweeten the whiskey coffee, so eat slowly and savor each bite.

Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting-and-How to Measure

Vegan Chocolate Cupcake With Vegan Chocolate Buttercream
Vegan Chocolate Cupcake With Vegan Chocolate Buttercream

I woke up a few mornings ago thinking about chocolate cupcakes with chocolate frosting. Waking up thinking about food is not unusual for me, thinking about frosting is. In general I’m not a huge frosting fan, but something triggered a need and I had no choice. I made cupcakes with chocolate buttercream frosting. They were delicious.

Both recipes are from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. A perfect cupcake book, and one you should own. In case you don’t, I’ll share the wonderful recipe here. These cupcakes are ultra light, tender, and moist, with a slightly dense frosting that is perfectly chocolatey, creamy, and seductive. Speaking of seductive, you should make these for your sweetheart on Valentine’s Day.

After the recipe I’m including a short tutorial on measuring. I know measuring seems simple enough, but when it comes to baking, the way you measure can make or break the finished product. I hope it helps turn your cupcake dreams into reality.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup non-dairy milk
  • 1 tsp. apple cider or white vinegar
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup sunflower oil, canola oil, or other mild flavored oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp pure almond extract
  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 3/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. and line muffin pan with paper liners.
  2. Briefly stir non-dairy milk and vinegar in a large bowl and set aside to curdle.
  3. In a separate bowl sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
  4. Once the milk and vinegar has curdled add the sugar, oil and extracts.
  5. Beat together until foamy.
  6. Add dry ingredients to the wet and mix just until combined.
  7. Pour batter into prepared cupcake liners filling 3/4 of the way full.
  8. Bake for 18-20 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the tallest cupcake comes out clean.
  9. Remove cupcakes from pan and cool on a cooling rack.
  10. Do not frost until completely cool.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup Earth Balance buttery spread, softened to room temperature
  • 1/4 vegetable shortening, softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 TBL non-dairy milk
  • 1 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Cream together the butter and shortening until thoroughly combined.
  2. Add the cocoa powder, beating until combined.
  3. Add the powdered sugar in three additions followed by a tablespoon of non-dairy milk after each addition.
  4. Once all the sugar is incorporated add the vanilla extract, and beat until everything is light and fluffy.

How to Measure

First off there are two kinds of measuring cups: those for wet ingredients, and those for dry ingredients.

Measuring cup for wet ingredients
Measuring cup for wet ingredients
Measuring cups for dry ingredients
Measuring cups for dry ingredients

You can use the dry ingredient cups for wet, but please, please, do NOT use the wet ingredient measuring cups for dry ingredients. Why you might ask? Simply; because you cannot get a precise measurement of dry ingredients. You might try, but then you will end up shaking or tapping the cup to level the ingredients, then they will become packed down, and you will have heavy, dense, yucky baked goods.

Another important thing to remember when measuring dry ingredients into a dryingredient measuring cup, is to never ever scoop with the measuring cup. Again, this results in too much of whatever you are measuring. You always want to scoopup your ingredient with a separate cup, scoop, or spoon, and sprinkle it into the correct size measuring cup. You overfill the cup, and level it off before adding your ingredient to your recipe. Please see this video of my mom measuring flour for a good example (she starts measuring flour at 24 seconds).

Sifting… I don’t always sift my dry ingredients when I bake, but I do find it important in most cakes. It removes any lumps from your dry ingredients and adds air creating a light, more tender finished product. So, when I do say sift, I really am suggesting you sift.

Sifting the dry ingredients together
Sifting the dry ingredients together