Vegan Pumpkin Sugar & Spice Donuts

This weekend was a friends 40th birthday, and when we were asked to bring a vegan dessert, I knew that I couldn’t wait to make Alicia Silverstone’s Chocolate Peanut Butter cups– until I got word that the cake was going to be chocolate too. I was back to square one, and stressed at the prospect of finding an easily transitable recipe that feeds 40! Luckily, while perusing the web, I stumbled upon this recipe for vegan pumpkin donuts, I knew it’d be the perfect introduction to fall.

These donuts were a breeze to make, and we were left with a spongy and moist donut, with just enough pumpkin and spices to hint at fall. The only thing I might change from this recipe was the process of dipping the donuts into earth balance prior to shaking them with cinnamon and sugar. My donuts ended up COATED in cinnamon and sugar, and while I just thought that was delicious, some of us that aren’t complete sugar fiends (ahem, Jason), weren’t as crazy about it. Ah, well, all the more for me!


Dark Chocolate, Cardamom, Orange Cookies

This is what I call my “adult chocolate chip cookie.” I had limited time on Saturday to bake for an event, and wanted to figure out a quick dessert that would go over well. Everyone loves a good, soft chocolate chip cookie, but there is something about it that reminds me of elementary school, but with the inclusion of orange zest and cardamom (I used this recipe), a simple cookie becomes an impressive dessert.

Raw Vegan Chocolate Cashew Dreamcake

This Sunday was a pure rain out. I didn’t leave my apartment the entire day, and while I had a million things to do around the house, I couldn’t help but take advantage of my time inside by making a delicious cashew cake. I love to experiment with vegan and raw recipes, especially since Jason can actually eat them, but since this wasn’t my first time making a cashew dreamcake, I decided to switch it up by adding a chocolate layer.

The result was a creamy, smooth, coconuty dessert with just a hint of delicious cocoa and a bit of crunch from the crust. It manages to give you that feeling of eating dessert without the heaviness of dairy, perfect for the guilty pleasure while still trying to stay healthy.

Chocolate Cashew Dreamcake (adapted from My New Roots):

1/2 cup almonds
1/2 cup dates
1 TBSP Coarse Sea Salt

2 cups cashews (soaked overnight)
Juice from 1-2 lemons (depending on how juicy they are)
Seeds from 1 whole vanilla bean
1/3 cup coconut oil
1/3 cup agave nectar (could substitute honey)
2 TBSP-1/3 cup cocoa powder

1. Chop almonds and dates before putting them into a food processor with coarse sea salt. Process until it is sticky enough to pack down into a pie plate covered in cling wrap or a 7 inch spring form pan. Pack down so that there is even coverage along the bottom and sides. Put into fridge to cool.

2. Melt coconut oil and agave nectar in a small saucepan, add to the cashews, lemon juice, and vanilla bean seeds into a food processor, blender, or Vitamix if you have one.

3. Blend until creamy and spreadable, this may take a while depending on what type of machine you’re using. Spread 1/2-2/3 of the mixture (depending on your preference) onto the crust so it is even.

4. Add the cocoa powder to the rest of the cashew mixture and blend until it’s incorporated. Spread onto the plain layer and chill in the refrigerator. Enjoy!

Red Velvet Whoopie Pies with White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

I thought I had reached my red velvet saturation point, but when a friends birthday happened over the past weekend and they liked “all things red velvet,” I managed to find a new red velvet recipe that I couldn’t wait to try. And, not being one to make anything easy on myself, I decided to make a white chocolate cream cheese frosting as opposed to a typical buttercream. I followed this recipe with a few ingredient alterations (see below), and added a few squares of melted and cooled white chocolate.

The result was a rich, dense cake with a creamy, tangy delicious center. I was surprised as to how great these turned out (my whoopie pies in the past haven’t exactly been amazing), and they were certainly a hit at the party!

Red Velvet Whoopie Pies

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup dutch processed cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon red gel food coloring
  • 1 cup buttermilk

Crisp Birthday Cake Cookies

I have a box of yellow cake mix in my cupboard that I’ve been slowly and surely using to create all sorts of Birthday Cake inspired recipes. This weekend was no difference, and after going through a million recipes, I decided to just wing it and come up with some sort of cookies on my own. 
The truth? They weren’t my favorite, but they were a hit at work, so that’s got to be a good sign. I modified this recipe, by adding some yellow cake mix in the place of some of the flour. And it definitely made a difference, instead of chewy cookies I ended up with crisp, with perfectly browned edges.
Just a note on the recipe- this dough does not really form into little balls, so I found it best to chill the dough first and scoop it out by the teaspoon. If you make them too large, they’ll end up nearly impossible to remove from the baking sheet (see last picture- I have some fun plans for all the cookies that didn’t turn out).

Dark Chocolate, Sea Salt, and Thyme Cookies

 The closest to homemade chocolate chip cookies in my house growing up was Nestle Tollhouse Cut and Bake. So, needless to say, I’ve never been much of a cookie pro. But lately, I’ve been craving a fresh just out of the oven chocolate chip cookie like nobody’s business. The problem? I think that chocolate chip cookies are kind of boring to make.

So when I saw this recipe for Dark Chocolate, Sea Salt, and Thyme cookies, I knew I had to jump on that bandwagon and try them for myself. I used 85% chocolate in big chunks, which when combined with the thyme and the sea salt make for some pretty bold flavors. The best part? Jason actually liked these (he’s not much of a sweet person), which means I’m not left finishing a dozen cookies on my own!

Birthday Cake Rice Crispy Treats

When I was a kid and my school would have a bake sale, my parents would almost always make rice crispy treats (I’m not sure where I got my baking gene from). They were always delicious, time efficient for two working parents, and a hit at my school.

I, however, have never made rice crispy treats and probably haven’t eaten them in a couple years (okay, I may have sneaked one from craft services in the past 12 months). So, when I saw this recipe, for birthday cake rice crispy treats, I knew I had to try it. Not only would having these in the house fulfill my need for all things birthday cake flavored, but they were particularly easy to do on a slightly hungover, sleep deprived Sunday. Now I just have to find someone to help me eat them.

Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?