Gluten Free Carrot and Date Cake

Vegan, Gluten Free, Sugar Free
IMG_2111

Today I was going to go to uni and finish three assignments, but instead I skipped class and made a carrot cake.

I’m worried by how often this has been happening lately. Very worried. But it’s such a nice day today! If you live in Sydney you’ll agree this last week has been awesome. Goodbye winter and having to sit on my heater every five minutes while I’m getting dressed.

I am kind of sad it’s too hot to drink hot chocolate now though. I developed the perfect recipe this winter involving lots of cinnamon and homemade almond milk. Sooo good.

IMG_2082

I’ve been getting weirdly stressed about making blog posts lately, I don’t know if anyone noticed how late each post is going up. I just can’t decide what to make! And when I do decide, I can’t find the time to make it and photograph it and edit it in time. So stressful!

This morning though the urge to make carrot cake was stronger than the voice saying “but you already made a banana carrot layer cake” and a carrot loaf for this blog. Not to mention the best carrot cupcakes of all time.

But you can never have too many carrot cake recipes! Right? Right guys?! And besides, this one is gluten free. It’s also absolutely delicious. Super moist and fluffy and yogurty from the icing (if you go the non-vegan way). it’s the kind of cake where you cut yourself a second slice before you’ve even finished the first piece, not that I would know anything about that…
IMG_2065_2

My sister and I demolished half the cake this morning, in-between listening to all the new music I downloaded and dancing with my dog. I’m somehow not feeling too regretful about missing my morning lecture about client/lawyer retainers.

You can either top this cake like I have, with a cup of strained yogurt mixed with 2 tbsp of maple syrup, or you can use coconut yogurt or cashew cream for a vegan option. Any will be delicious! Enjoy 🙂

One Year Ago: Carrot, Pear and Quinoa Crumble Muffins

IMG_2114

Gluten Free Carrot Cake: Inspired by this recipe

3 eggs OR 3 tbsp chia seeds mixed with almond milk
2 very ripe bananas
15 fresh dates, seeded
6 tbsp olive oil

1/2 cup almond meal
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/4 cup potato flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon

3 medium carrots, grated finely (skin on ok)

300g yogurt, drained in a cheesecloth for at least an hour
4 tbsp maple syrup

IMG_2105

Preheat the oven to 180C (350F) and line a 20cm round cake tin.

Either mix the chia seeds with the almond milk and set aside, or whisk up the 3 eggs. In a blender, blitz the banana, dates and oil. In a medium bowl sift together all the dry ingredients.

Fold the eggs into the dry ingredients, then fold in the banana date mix. Stir in the grated carrots and pour into the tin. Bake for about 30 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean.

Mix together the yogurt and maple syrup or honey, or 300g cashew cream with maple syrup. Top the cake once it is cool and keep in the fridge.
IMG_2102

Apple and Date Cupcakes with Coconut Yogurt Icing

Gluten Free, Vegan, Sugar Free

IMG_1853_2 copy-2

Yesterday my beautiful friend Maddie had her twentieth birthday party. Last year I made her this lemon sponge birthday cake and covered it in sugar flowers and told you all how much I love Maddie, if you want to read that. This year I wanted to make the MOST EPIC CAKE OF ALL TIME.

Maddie loves banoffee pie so I decided to make a four-layer caramel mud cake with banana and cream filling and chocolate ganache covering the entire thing. So I got up early, went and bought all the ingredients, whipped up my cake feeling like a casual Masterchef, and as I was cleaning up I found the pound of sugar sitting on the counter. Not in the cake, like it was supposed to be, just relaxing on my counter.

Uuugh. Life’s struggles. I tried to fix it by covering every single layer in a thick layer of more caramel as well as the chocolate and bananas and cream, and it ended up pretty awesome. But I think it would probably have tasted better with you know, sugar in it.

IMG_1868

Lots of people tell me they’re too scared to bake or try my recipes because they might stuff up or they’re not “good enough.” To them I say, I stuff up all the time. Like literally every time I make something there’s a stage that goes wrong somewhere in there. But it doesn’t matter! Try it anyway, and if you have to go out and buy a jar of Dulce de Leche to smother on your sugar-free cake, that’s ok too.

You can never get any better if you don’t try in the first place. Which brings me to these cupcakes. Ever since I made these apple and cinnamon cream cheese cupcakes, I’ve been wanting to make a gluten free AND vegan version that’s just as good as the original.

I was waay too scared for ages because my memory of them was so perfect, I didn’t want a mediocre cupcake to replace it. But finally thought, geez Lil. Just go make the cupcakes already. With the help of My Darling Lemon Thyme‘s gluten free muffin recipe I finally cracked the apple cinnamon cupcake challenge.

IMG_1855

I’m going to go as far to say that these are better than the original muffins. And they happen to be way better for you too! There’s no eggs, dairy, gluten or refined sugar in them at all and they also happen to be super easy to make.

I’m always worried when I make gluten free cupcakes that the texture will be either super powdery, or gluggy, or dense. These weren’t any of these. My sister ate one not knowing they were gluten free and said they were crumbly but moist (mooooooist), like the perfect cupcake. So there you go, the Cake Kahuna has spoken. You can replace the apple with carrot or pear if you want! You could add chopped almonds or walnuts, sultanas instead of the dates, and you can even leave out the icing.

By the way, I am calling these cupcakes but they are technically muffins…But in my mind once it has icing it is a cupcake, so…yeah. They’re cupcake muffins. Have a great week guys!

One Year Ago: Lemon Berry Butter Cake

Screen shot 2014-08-24 at 2.18.14 PM

Apple and Date Cupcakes with Coconut Icing
Recipe inspired from this book
1/2 cup almond meal
3/4 cup fine brown rice flour
1/2 cup potato flour
2 tsp gluten free baking powder
1 heaped tsp cinnamon
pinch of salt

1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 eggs, lightly beaten OR 2 tbsp chia seeds mixed with 4 tbsp water for vegan
3 apples, washed and grated
1/2 cup dates, chopped into chunks

1.5 cups (370g) coconut yogurt (or normal yogurt)
3 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp brown sugar (optional but awesome)
IMG_1858_2 copy-2

Preheat the oven to 180C (356F) and line 10 muffin moulds with muffin cups. Whisk together in a bowl the dry ingredients well. In a separate bowl mix together the wet ingredients. Gently fold the wet into the dry and fill the muffin cups 3/4 full. Bake for 17-22 minutes, until golden on top and cooked through. Leave to cool.

Drain the coconut or normal yogurt in a sieve lined with a teatowel for a few hours, to make Labneh. Mix with the maple syrup and brown sugar and pipe over the cupcakes. Once iced, keep the cupcakes in the fridge.
IMG_1838_2

Rhubarb and Cinnamon Cashew Cream Cake (raw and vegan!)

Raw, Vegan, Gluten Free, Sugar Free

IMG_1623_2
Guys, it’s happened. I finally got around to making a raw cashew cream cake! Too long have I ogled at this beautiful creation and this one and tried to eat my screen with little to no success. I finally made the splurge and bought the cashews and coconut butter, and gave my blender a serious pep-talk. Don’t worry, dumpling month is charging on, we’re just having a minor cake break so that I can eat my way through the dumplings in the freezer.

I wanted fancy layers for my cheesecake because layers people. Layers are so much more exciting than non-layers. So the bottom layer is infused with cinnamon (because everything should be infused with cinnamon) and the top layer is mixed with poached rhubarb and vanilla compote. Holy to the yum. The compote itself was so amazing! I deliberately made way more than I needed so that I could eat it all week on my weetbix. I highly recommend this as you don’t need much at all in the actual recipe, but if fruit compote isn’t your thing, make a quarter of the recipe.
IMG_1615
The reason this post took so long to put up was because this whole week I’ve been super sick and just horrendous feeling basically. I went away for a week with my friends to a music festival and while that week was one of the best ever and I wouldn’t change a single thing about it, the following week has been rough. It’s been very rough. It started on the day we packed up and left the camping grounds and I’d completely, 100% lost my voice. I could not make a sound.

That transformed into a bad case of the flu, which today transformed into a stomach bug. I feel so nauseous I haven’t actually been able to try the cake yet….I KNOW! But my whole family and a number of friends have tried and raved, so I am going out on a limb and hoping it tastes as good assembled as it did on the back of a spoon when I was making it 🙂
IMG_1642
My blender honestly did die a bit in the making of this cake, but I have lamented here often that raw desserts can be tricky in my kitchen. Every time I decide it’s finally time to make an upgrade and start researching, there are so many conflicting accounts and opinions I give up and give my blender a hug.

If you don’t have a powerful blender like me, make sure you soak your cashews all night long. It really made the difference! Also give the blender lots of time to rest in between small batches, instead of trying to power through the whole thing in one go. This is definitely a cake to make, regardless of whether your crowd is vegan or raw! It feels so special with the pink layers and it tastes so light and wholesome. So I’ve officially joined the cashew cream cake bandwagon. Look to the future for more!

One Year Ago: Berry and Lychee Vanilla Yogurt Cake
IMG_1636_2

Recipe inspired by My New Roots and This Rawsome Vegan Life
Raw Cashew Cream Cake with Rhubarb and Cinnamon:

3 cups of cashews, covered in cold filtered water and left to soak overnight

1.5 cups walnuts
1.5 cups dates, chopped roughly
1 tbsp coconut oil

6 long stalks of rhubarb, cut into chunks
100g raw sugar
1/2 a vanilla bean
2 tsp cinnamon
3/4 cup (185ml) coconut oil, melted if hard
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup (170g) raw honey or maple syrup for pure vegan
pinch of sea salt
Screen shot 2014-08-04 at 6.07.54 PM
Line a 23cm baking tin with baking paper. Blend the walnuts, dates and tablespoon of coconut oil into a dough and press in to the bottom of the tin with your hands. Chill whilst you make the filling.

In a medium saucepan, very gently stew the rhubarb, sugar and vanilla bean (cut and seeds added to the pot) with a few tablespoons of water until completely soft but not straggly.

Drain the cashews well and put in the blender. Add the lemon juice, honey, coconut oil, salt and cinnamon. Blend until mix is as smooth as possible. Pour half into the cake tin and smooth around. Refrigerate for 20 minutes. Blend the remaining half with about 1/3 – 1/2 cup of the rhubarb mix, to the desired colour and consistency (don’t add too much liquid – just the rhubarb pieces!) pour this on top of the cake and refrigerate the whole thing overnight. Serve cold, serves 10 – 12!
IMG_1659

Banana Cinnamon Cupcakes with Mocha Icing

Optional Vegan and Refined Sugar FreeImage

 It was my beautiful lady-friend Maevie’s birthday yesterday. You may remember her from the Chocolate Raspberry Layer Cake of last year. (If you followed that link, please accept sincere apologies for the horrendous photography). Maevie and I have been friends every since year 3, when she became besties with my twin sister. I can’t believe she’s twenty! It seems only yesterday she and my sister were running around the playground playing their weird little games. While me and my friends played horses or card games, Maevie would go around pretending to eat people saying they were KFC chicken tenders. 

I once walked in on her covering my sister in duct-tape telling her she was now a prisoner. Another time I found them playing with little plastic horses and pigs pretending they were Simpson characters. This was in high school!  Such good memories ❤ Maevie, like me, loves cake a lot. So I thought the present she would appreciate most would be something of the baked and covered in chocolate variety. 

Image

 Maevie’s actually a very skilled photographer herself. She’s given me countless tips on why my photos often come out looking like hideous brown blobs. I didn’t want her cupcakes to consist of only shades of brown, but I didn’t really have time to do any fancy icing either. Cue rose petals! There was a big bunch of pink roses on the table and I stole a couple petals to decorate these. If I had more time I would have made sugared rose petals, or maybe designed them a little like this rose cake

I used David Lebovitz‘ banana cake with mocha frosting and halved it to make these, taking a slightly healthier route with the icing. You can use your favourite vegan chocolate icing, or if you want the original recipe, it just said to melt 140g dark chocolate with 70ml of brewed coffee, then stir in 70g unsalted butter until smooth. The smell of the coffee melting with the chocolate is amaaaaazing. If I ever meet David I swear I might cry from gratitude for all the delicious cakes and ice cream flavours he’s brought into my life. 

I’ve given vegan alternatives, most of which I have tested but I used a chickens egg so I can’t 100% assure the chia seeds will make an adequate alternative. There’s only one egg though so I’m sure it will work fine! Also my sister would like everyone to know these were “the nicest cupcakes she’s ever tasted”. 

One Year Ago: Rich Chocolate and Caramel Brownies

Image

Banana Cupcakes with Chocolate Icing (Adapted from David Lebovitz)

150g (1 + 1/4 cup) plain flour

1 tsp cinnamon

1tsp baking powder

115g/1/2 cup butter (or 115ml/1/2 cup vegan butter or oil) at room temperature

150g (2/3 cup) white sugar (or honey/agave syrup)

1 medium egg OR 1 tbsp chia seeds blended with 3 tbsp water, at room temperature

2 medium sized super ripe bananas, mashed (about 250g or half a pound)

45g (3 tbsp) yogurt (coconut yogurt for vegan)

For the icing: 250g (half a tub) coconut yogurt mixed with 200g (7 ounces) melted dark chocolate and 2 tbsp runny agave syrup

 

Image

 For the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 180C (350F) and line 8 cupcake holders with liners. Mash the banana with the yogurt and set aside. Cream the butter or oil and sugar or syrup until fluffy and well combined. Set to low and slowly blend in the egg. In a separate bowl, sift the flour, cinnamon and baking powder well. Stir in half the mashed bananas into the butter, then half the flour. Repeat with the remaining halves and stir just to combine. Spoon into muffin cases and bake for 15-18 minutes, until golden and fluffy. 

Top with chocolate icing of your choice, and a rose petal if you want 🙂 The recipe makes 8 small cupcakes but can easily be increased for more! Enjoy 🙂 

Image

Passionfruit and Coconut Pound Cake with Yogurt Icing

IMG_0049_2 copy

 On Thursday something momentous happened. The official biggest cake failure of the year. It was epic, it was bigger than any year before it. Even worse than the time I didn’t let a chocolate cake cool and all the icing melted off. Even worse than when I used seven tins of tomatoes to make a tomato sauce and burnt the whole pot. Even worse, and this is saying something, than the time I got up super early to make crepes for my sister and ended up waking her up with my screaming and yelling and throwing burnt pancake at my dog. 

It was AWESOME. Maybe awesome isn’t the right word, but it was one of those failures that’s so terrible and so complete and utterly unfixable that it becomes kind of funny. I started out with a positive outlook, ready to make an almond and poppyseed lime cake that was gluten free and vegan too. Everything was going fine until I tried to mix in the chia seed gel. The batter was so stiff and hard they just lay on top of it like fish eggs on a bowl of clay. It was so gross…I kept pouring in more almond milk and lime juice and other random things until it became this huge speckled monster dough.

Image

 I baked it and ominously poured syrup over it in an attempt to make it edible, but alas. The cake was not to be. The entire thing ended up going in the bin which broke my heart because I HATE throwing out cake. And facing the prospect of making the whole cake again when the light was already failing…it just wasn’t going to happen. 

Today when I woke up and realised I was going to make a post today, I almost decided just to stay in bed all day and live in my doona for a while. It was the law cruise last night for my uni and while it was super fun, this morning was super terrible. Too. Much. Free. Champagne. In the end I just wanted something sweet and easy with a very low fail rate. This passionfruit pound cake was perfect. 

IMG_0044_2 copy

The combination of passionfruit and coconut is so awesome. And I used vanilla sugar as well which made it taste even better, but if you don’t have any I wouldn’t go out of my way to buy some. I love making pound cakes because they’re so simple and old fashioned. They make me think I’m some olden-days hubbard stirring eggs and butter with a wooden spoon. I love how all the ingredients are so simple but you can add almost any flavour and it will still turn out amazing. 

Today was a butter-sugar-eggs cake day. Tomorrow will probably be a raw chocolate slice and banana smoothie day, but sometimes you just want a massive piece of real homemade cake. So that’s what I made 🙂 The icing is probably my favourite part. If you want a dairy-free option coconut yogurt would be the perfect substitute. 

One Year Ago: Oat and Apricot Granola Bars

IMG_0051 copy

Passionfruit and Coconut Pound Cake:

1 1/2 cups white sugar

110g (1 stick) butter (room temp)

3 large eggs (room temp)

1 + 1/4 cups plain white flour

1/4 cup desiccated coconut

1/2 cup coconut milk

juice from about 8-10 passionfruit (100ml)

2 tbsp caster sugar

For the icing:

500g thick full fat plain yogurt, drained in a cheesecloth for at least an hour

3 tbsp icing sugar or honey 

IMG_0038_2 copy

Preheat the oven to 180C (350F) and line a 20cm or 8inch round cake tin with baking paper. 

Beat the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Slowly beat in each egg, allowing each to be absorbed before adding the next. Gently fold in half the flour, then half the coconut milk, then the rest of each. Spoon into the tin and bake for about 30 minutes, until the top is golden and a skewer comes out clean. 

Strain the passionfruit juice and stir in the caster sugar. When the cake is still hot and in its tin, pour over the syrup slowly, allowing it to soak the cake. Allow to cool completely. 

Mix together the yogurt and icing sugar, then spoon over the cake and spread evenly. You can top it with the leftover passionfruit seeds if you want. Best eaten the same day but lasts well in the fridge. 

IMG_0056 copy

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Image

 Happy Mothers Day everybody!! When I asked my mum what kind of cake she wanted today, she requested an upside down pineapple cake. I’d never even heard of an upside down pineapple cake! It sounded kind of…gross. Like something you would eat in the 70s with spray cream on top and a glace cherry. In fact I bet that’s what she used to do, back in the old days

Well, this and her birthday is the one time of the year I’m not going to question her cake choices, so a pineapple cake was made. I didn’t even try to make it healthy! I promise! No wholemeal flour here. 

Image

I couldn’t resist adding some fresh lime zest and juice. We have an entire box of limes, I’m talking hundreds of limes in our house right now. The lime just perks the pineapple up a little bit. Pineapple can be very sweet so a bit of sour worked really well. 

I kind of liked how the cake came out looking today. When I was making it I wasn’t even going to post about it, because I was picturing a lumpy yellow blob coming out of the oven. (That wasn’t an innuendo…) But it looks kind of ‘rustic’ and old school. I’m lazy so instead of making the caramel I just poured a little pineapple juice from the can and a few dots of butter on to the bottom of the pan, and it worked fine if you want to do it that way!

Happy Mothers Day Mum! You’re the best and I love you 🙂 

One Year Ago: Coconut Muffins with Dark Chocolate Glaze

Image

 Upside Down Pineapple Cake: Adapted from Ready for Dessert 

1 large can pineapple slices (keep the juice!)

30g butter 

30g sugar

juice and zest of 1 lime

210g (1 + 3/4 cups) plain flour

1/2 tsp salt

110g (3.8 ounces) butter, unsalted

150g white sugar 

2 large eggs, at room temperature

125ml (1/2 cup) milk, at room temperature

Image

Preheat the oven to 180C (355F) and line a 23cm (9 inch) cake tin with baking paper. In a small saucepan, melt the 30g butter, sugar, 3 tablespoons of the pineapple juice and lime juice, and stir to make a sauce. Pour in the bottom of the tin. Cut slices of pineapple and arrange over the caramel layer so that the whole surface is covered. 

Sift the flour and salt. Beat the 110g butter, lime zest and 150g sugar until creamy, and then slowly beat in each egg. Stir in half the milk and sifted flour, then the other half. Stir just to combine and spoon over the pineapple. Smooth with a spatula and bake for about 3-40 minutes, until the cake is golden and a skewer comes out clean. 

Only leave the cake to cool for about 5 minutes, then carefully flip out on to a plate. Serve warm 🙂 

Image

Coconut and Easter Chocolate Banana Bread (vegan!)

Vegan and Wholemeal

Image

 What happens when you have a law assignment + Easter chocolate + overripe bananas + desiccated coconut + free afternoon minus any rational thinking?

= The best banana bread in the world. 

It’s scientific and you can’t fight science. 

Image

 My house right now is like an Easter wonderland. There are so many eggs! Every kitchen surface is adorned with colourful piles of rabbits and caramel balls and chocolate freckles.  It’s beautiful but it’s so overwhelming! My tongue doesn’t even register sweet anymore: everything just tastes like chocolate. 

I put my fancy chocolate Belle Fleur egg to the perfect use this year, making David Lebovitz’ chocolate sorbet. It was so rich and just wow. I’m going to go have some more as soon as I finish writing this. 

But what to do with all the little Easter Eggs? I don’t want to hurt any Easter Rabbit feelings, but those little cadbury eggs you get buckets of every year aren’t exactly top quality. They’re kind of overly sweet and chewy. They somehow TRANSFORM when you add them to a banana bread. 

Image

 They melt into little pockets of Easter flavoured sunshine. I threw in all the little eggs on the counter, which included caramel eggs and white chocolate eggs. All of them tasted awesome! For a completely vegan bread, obviously use vegan chocolate. Bittersweet eggs went in there too and were amaaazing. 

I halved the amount of flour the recipe asks for and replaced it with finely desiccated coconut. The bread was softer and denser than normal, and in my opinion much better. The coconut gave the bread a slightly buttery texture? If that’s a thing? Super soft and crumbly and moist. (Mooooist.) 

I really recommend making this with your Easter chocolate, even if you have to freeze it for a week or two until you come out of your chocolate coma. I especially recommend making this right in the middle of the time you have allocated to writing your assignment. Trust me, it will make you feel much better.

One Year Ago: Chocolate Brownie Caramel Sandwich Cookies

Image

 Chocolate Coconut Banana Bread (Adapted from this recipe

Dry Ingredients- 

1 cup (125g) wholemeal or plain flour

1 cup (80g) desiccated coconut

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp cinnamon

100g chopped up chocolate eggs, or normal chocolate

Preheat oven to 180C (350F) and line a loaf pan with baking paper. Whisk together all of your dry ingredients and set aside. 

Image

 Wet Ingredients:

110g (1/2 cup) brown sugar

110ml (1/2 cup) butter or olive oil, for vegan

2 eggs at room temperature (or 2 tbsp chia mixed with 4 tbsp water)

2 medium bananas, mashed 

80ml (1/3 cup) black coffee

Beat together the oil or butter and sugar until fluffy, Slowly incorporate each egg, until combined. Beat in the banana and coffee, then stir in the dry ingredients until just combined. Pour into the tin and bake for 35 minutes (check from this point, it may take longer) until the top is golden brown and a skewer comes out clean. Enjoy!

Image