September 17, 2017

Gooey Dark Chocolate Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

7:08 PM 0 Comments


Hey all! Hope you are doing well. Today I am going to leave out all of the extraneous information and let this cake speak for itself.



This chocolate cake is ultra rich and decadently dense. It's almost like a brownie but better!
The whipped cream cheese frosting is the perfect sweet and light accompaniment.



Feel free to veganize this recipe by using applesauce instead of yogurt and any frosting of your choosing.



Gooey Chocolate Cake

8-10 slices
Adapted from here


Ingredients

1 cup spelt flour
6 tbsp cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup coconut sugar
1/3 cup yogurt
2/3 cup water
1/4 cup melted coconut oil
1 tsp almond extract

Cream Cheese Frosting

1/2 cup cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cup icing sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 tbsp almond milk
dash salt

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350F and grease an 8 inch round pan
2. In a large bowl, combine the spelt flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt, and coconut sugar. Stir very well. 
3. In a new bowl, whisk coconut oil, yogurt, water, and almond extract. Pour wet into dry and stir until just combined.
4. Pour into pan and bake for about 25 minutes until batter has risen and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
5. As your cake bakes, get started on the frosting. 
6. Place butter and cream cheese in a bowl and beat until blended together. Add the rest of the ingredients in and beat until light and creamy.
7. Allow cake to cool completely before frosting
8. This cake tastes even better the next day so don't be worried about letting it sit!


September 2, 2017

Earl Grey Tea Cupcakes (vegan)

7:29 PM 0 Comments


A few years ago I went to New York and while I was there I had to go to the Baby Cakes bakery. I had bought their recipe book a while before even thinking about going to New York city and knew that I had to go! So I journeyed through the other side of China Town to find the small bakery. The treats I had were good and the company I had that day even better! We then took a metro line we weren't very familiar with to get back to our hostel in Brooklyn which turned out to have a confusing detour on it so it was in fact quite the adventure! 



But at least  got my delicious and healthy treats. 

Baby Cakes has since changed it's name to Erin McKenna's Bakery. Named after the owner and author of the original book. 



I've been making the Baby Cakes frosting recipe ever since I got the recipe book but hadn't made it in a while since I do not regularly stock up on soy milk powder. However, I knew that I had to try an earl grey tea version for this recipe! It turned out delicious, as expected. 

Here's to more adventures and even more cupcakes



Earl Grey Tea Cupcakes

Adapted from here
Makes 12


Cupcake Ingredients 

4 earl grey tea bags (or 4 tsp loose tea leaves)
1 1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup almond milk
1/3 cup canola oil
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract


Frosting Ingredients

1 earl grey tea bag
3/4 cup almond milk, heated
1/2 tbsp coconut flour
6 tbsp soy milk powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp maple syrup
3/4 cup coconut oil
1 tbsp lemon juice

1. Make the frosting first. First steep the earl grey tea bag in a cup of warm almond milk for 5 minutes. In a food processor or blender (you could also do this by hand or with a hang blender but it will be more difficult). Combine the earl grey tea almond milk, soy milk powder, coconut flour, maple syrup, and vanilla. Blend for 2 minutes. With the food processor running, slowly add the coconut oil and lemon juice, alternating between the two until both are fully incorporated. Your mixture should look creamy. Pour the mixture into an airtight container and refrigerate (the Babycakes recipe book says to do this for 6 hours but you can get away with less)
2. As your frosting refrigerates, get started on the cupcakes. Preheat your oven to 350F and line a cupcake tin.  
3. Cut 4 teabags open and empty the leaves into a large bowl. If you have full leaf tea you may have to grind up the leaves to make them smaller. Add the flour, sugars, baking soda, and salt.
4. In a separate bowl, mix together the almond milk, coconut oil, apple cider vinegar, and vanilla.
5. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until just combine. Do not over mix
6. Divide the batter into your cupcake tin and bake for 18-20 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean
7. After your frosting has set, take it out of the fridge. The frosting should be hardened and creamy. If your frosting broke or separated simply reheat the mixture and whip it up again then place it back in the fridge to set again. This should fix it. 
8. Apply frosting on to cooled cupcakes as desired. I spread it on using an icing spatula but you should be able to pipe it as well.

Enjoy!

August 8, 2017

Detox Smoothie For Digestion and Clear Skin

1:29 PM 1 Comments




Sometimes even if you're eating really healthy you just need a little pick-me-up to treat yourself!

This smoothie was created with essential ingredients to aid in digestion as well as clear skin!



Benefits of the ingredients

Herbs: Really you can use any combination of herbs you like but I used fresh basil, parsley, and mint.

Basil- anti-oxidant effects which slow down the effects of aging, supports liver functions to detoxify the liver
Parsley- contains iron to fight fatigue, contains antioxidants to protect against aging
Mint- promotes digestion and soothes indigestion and inflammation in the stomach



Coconut water- full of electrolytes to help you maintain proper fluid balance and very hydrating. Also acts a diuretic and helps with your metabolic rate so you can lose weight. 

Cinnamon- anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties. Could maintain normal digestion functionality by relieving abdominal discomfort brought about by excess gas

Ginger- ginger has been shown to speed up emptying of the stomach in people with indigestion

Raspberries- raspberries contain certain ketones that can affect the activity of enzymes and cell signaling molecules that are involved with the breakdown of fats which can help with weight loss. Raspberries also contain anti-oxidants

Collagen- collagen is a source of highly bioavailable protein with a specific amino acid profile that feeds soft tissues like cartilage and skin
I used this kind

Honey- regulates blood sugar and reduces gastrointestinal disorders






Detox Smoothie

Ingredients

1 tbsp of fresh herbs (I used basil, parley, and mint)
1 1/2 cups coconut water
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4" of fresh ginger chopped up (or about 2 tsp)
1/3 cup raspberries
scoop of collagen
ice if desired


Directions 


1. Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth
2. Serve!



July 18, 2017

Amazingly Chewy and Healthy Peanut Butter Cookies

8:53 PM 2 Comments

What should I do with my life? This is something I ask myself often and something that has been wrecking havoc on my life. I've discovered that this question for most people is something that takes a lot of time and hard self-discovery. 



I don't know if I have the patience for that but I'm definitely ready for the adventure! And I'm going to enjoy it with these cookies because that's something I'm sure of.



These cookies are so chewy and have the perfect peanut butter taste! I love it when cookies are just slightly stick to your mouth chewy but still soft. So if your like me you'll love these cookies.




Amazingly Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies

Makes 24

Ingredients

1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg (or flax egg)
1 1/4 cup oats
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup chocolate chips
a couple tablespoons of almond milk if needed


Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350F and prepare a cookie sheet
2. In a small bowl, cream together peanut butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract
3. Add in oats, baking soda, and cinnamon then mix until combined. Add in a couple tablespoons of almond milk if the mixture is too thick to mix
4. Stir in chocolate chips
5. Roll dough into tablespoon sized balls and place on baking sheet. Gently flatten
6. Bake for 6-8 minutes until golden brown


July 6, 2017

Rhubarb Crisp

10:00 AM 0 Comments


In the summer time my family tends a huge garden in our backyard. Every year one of the things that grows is rhubarb! And this year I've decided to experiment with it!


Rhubarb not pictured here but look at our garden! This is just part of it

And here is the rhubarb. I picked it from here myself though I do have to admit that I don't have the greenest thumb

Despite it usually appearing in desserts, rhubarb is actually a vegetable! It's a wonderful summer time vegetable at that too.



Most often it's paired with strawberries to sweeten it up as rhubarb can be a little sour for some but if you're like me and just want to taste the rhubarb then try out this crisp. If you feel like you'll need something a bit sweeter you can always add more honey or top it off with some sweetened whipped cream.



This crisp has a delightfully tart filling with a delicious crumbly topping. You can make gluten free and/or vegan if desired but enjoy it knowing that you're eating something healthy! It's the perfect summertime treat and tastes even better with fresh rhubarb.



Rhubarb Crisp

Serves 9


Ingredients

1/2 cup honey or maple syrup
1 1/4 cup water
2 tbsp cornstarch
3 1/2 cups rhubarb cut into bite sized pieces
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1 cup spelt flour*
1 cup rolled oats
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/3 cup melted coconut oil
2 tbsp almond milk
Handful of chopped walnuts (optional)

*You can also use white all-purpose flour. Or if you want to make this gluten free, I have also made this with oat flour and it came out well


Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease a 8x8" square pan with coconut oil
2. Combine honey or maple syrup, water, and cornstarch in  a saucepan and heat over medium heat until it comes to a boil. Turn heat down and simmer for 5 minutes or until color turns into a light brown. Remove from heat and set aside.
3. In a medium bowl combine coconut sugar, flour, oats, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Add in coconut oil and milk and mix together until crumbly. You can add a little more milk if the mixture is not sticking together well (I especially recommend this for the oat flour version)
4. Press half of the oat mixture into the bottom of your pan. Cover this with the chopped up rhubarb and then cover the rhubarb with the syrup mixture. Sprinkle the rest of the oat mixture on top and top with walnuts if desired.
5. Bake for 45-50 minutes until the top turns golden brown.
6. Allow to cool slightly and then cut into squares and serve


Let me know if you try this out!

June 29, 2017

Easy Rainbow Unicorn Cheese Cake

10:09 PM 0 Comments


I thought of several names for this cake: psychedelic cheese cake, magical cheese cake, multi-colored cheese cake ... and I still don't know if I chose the right one! There is something kinda cute and sweet about unicorns though so this is what I stuck with.




I just recently celebrated my 25th birthday and for my b-day I made myself a cheese cake. I used to love cheese cake as a kid so I thought it would be a fitting and fun dessert.




This is the first time ever that I've made cheese cake so I was a little nervous about what would happen. Thankfully I found a no fail recipe and my cake came out perfectly!

(save for a bit that broke off when I was trying to take the cake off the wax paper. Perhaps I pressed the crumbs in too firmly)




Some tips for the perfect cheese cake:

  • after you are done baking, turn off the oven and leave the cheese cake to cool in the oven with the door partially opened. This will allow the cheese cake to cool slower which will prevent cracks
  • adding in cornstarch is not necessary but will act as insurance to keep from cracking. It should not change the taste or texture of the cake
  • make sure all of your ingredients are at room temperature for easy mixing
  • make a water bath. I did not do it for this recipe as the recipe I adapted from did not require it but if you want your 
Colors before adding to the crust
Cake before going in the oven. Look at all the colors!
And after!


Rainbow Unicorn Cheese Cake

Adapted from here
Serves 8

Ingredients


Crust
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1/3 cup melted butter
pinch of salt
1/8 tsp cinnamon

Filling
2 cups (2 packages) of cream cheese at room temperature
2 eggs
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp lavender extract*
1 tbsp cornstarch 
Food coloring (I used pink, purple, orange, and green)

*If you do not have lavender or do not like floral tasting things you can substitute this for more vanilla or another extract


Instructions


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Prepare a 9 inch spring form pan by placing a sheet of wax paper on the bottom and buttering the bottom and the sides
  2. Make the crust by stirring together all of the crust ingredients, mixing until thoroughly combined.
  3. Press the crumbs into the bottom and up the sides of the pie pan, making a thicker layer on the bottom than on the sides.
  4. For the filling: mix together the cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add in the eggs, lavender, cornstarch, and vanilla then mix until smooth. To avoid beating too much air into the batter, use a mixer set at low-medium speed. To avoid lumps, make sure the cream cheese is softened, and/or at room temperature.
  5. Divide your filling equally into four bowls (or more or less depending on how many colors you want) and then add a few drops of your desired food coloring into each. Mix each bowl well and add more color as needed 
  6. To get the marbles effect. Take a big scoop of each colored filling one at a time and place onto your crust as large balls. Alternate each color one at a time until you have covered the crust and then continue the process by layering it over. When you have used all of your filling, take the back of one of your spoons and make a big swirl through all of your filling. You can watch this video for a visual explanation start at 4 minutes
  7. If desired, set your pan onto a baking sheet to make it easier to transport in and out of the oven, and also protects the bottom of the crust from any potential scorching.
  8. Place the cheesecake in the oven. Bake it for 20 minutes, then make a crust shield with strips of aluminum foil around the outside of the pan. Bake for an additional 10 minutes (for a total of about 30 minutes). 
  9. Turn off the oven and open the oven door slightly, let the cheese cake cool in the oven for at least 20 minutes
  10. Remove the cheese cake from the oven and allow it to cool completely before covering it in plastic wrap and placing it in the fridge
  11. When ready to serve, remove cake from pan and slice. Serve with whipped cream if desired


What would you call this cake?
Also does anyone else have tips for the perfect cheese cake?

June 20, 2017

Millet Cupcakes with Honey Cream Cheese Frosting

9:44 AM 0 Comments

I know what you're thinking... millet flour, honey, and olive oil? How is this even a cupcake? 
But I assure you not only does this taste just like a cupcake, they taste phenomenal!




These cupcakes are really different from the traditional kind but that's what makes them so great! The texture of the millet and taste of the olive oil makes this the perfect summer time treat that just so happens to be a little better for you too. 



Top with a creamy honey cream cheese frosting to blend all the flavors together and call it a day!




Millet Cupcakes with Honey Cream Cheese Frosting

Makes 12


ingredients:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup millet flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • zest of lemon
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Frosting
1/2 cup cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup honey 
1/3 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup icing sugar 
*note the coconut oil and icing sugar can be optional. This frosting tastes fine with just cream cheese and honey. I added coconut oil and icing sugar to get the texture I wanted. Feel free to adjust these amounts to get the texture and consistency you like

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line or oil and muffin tin
2. In a large bowl combine flour, millet flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.
3. In a separate bowl whisk together olive oil, juice, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and vanilla until well combined and frothy
4. Add wet ingredients to dry and stir until just combined
5.  Fill cupcake tin 3/4 of the way full. Bake for 16-18 minutes until tops are lightly golden brown. Let cool completely before frosting.
6. For frosting, add all ingredients to a bowl and beat until light and creamy. Add more of any of the ingredients to get your desired texture and sweetness


June 7, 2017

Best Ever Gluten Free Chocolate Chunk Coconut Cookies

2:06 PM 0 Comments


I have been searching for the perfect gluten free cookie for a while. I find that usually gluten free baking will have a slight grainy texture or fall apart but...
OH.. MY .. GOSH
I am so surprised by how these cookies came out. They have the perfect texture and flavor, they don't taste gluten free at all!



They are soft and chewy with the perfect about of sweetness and go lovely when dunked in a cup of milk or tea.

Not to mention that they are low in fat and sugar!



Feel free to use chocolate chips if you don't have any chocolate to break into chunks. I used a very dark chocolate in this recipe and loved it. 

I also added in some coconut because why not?! Coconut is delicious. You can omit this if needed.






Best Ever Gluten Free Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Makes 24


Ingredients

1/2 cup millet flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
6 tbsp coconut flour
1 tsp guar gum
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 ts salt
4 tbsp coconut oil, melted and cooled
2 eggs, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1/3-1/2 cup chocolate chunks
1/4 cup shredded coconut (optional)


Directions

1. In a large bowl, whisk together the millet flour, cornstarch, coconut flour, guar gum, baking powder, and salt.
2. In a separate bowl, whisk together coconut oil and eggs. Then add in the vanilla and the sugars. Mix until everything is well combined and has the appearance of caramel
3. Stir in your chocolate chunks and coconut then refrigerate dough for about 30 minutes
4. Preheat oven to 350F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper
5. Take cookie dough out of fridge and form round dough balls. Place dough onto baking sheet and gently flatten
6. Bake cookies for 10-13 minutes until lightly golden brown. Allow to cool on baking sheets

Have you been surprised by any gluten free recipes lately?

May 30, 2017

Lilac Velvet Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting

3:17 PM 2 Comments






Spring is here! And so are my favorite flowers, lilacs!




Purple has always been my favorite color so its fitting that I would have purple hair and my favorite flower would be purple. I have a huge lilac bush in my backyard so every year when the short lilac season comes around I take advantage of it.



I swear these are a lighter purple IRL but isn't this color pretty too!

This year I decided to up it a level by matching my cupcakes to lilacs.






These cupcakes are soooo good! I know the peanut butter frosting sounds a little strange to have on velvet cupcakes and you can use the traditional cream cheese but I urge you to try this! The salty and creamy peanut butter frosting goes perfectly with the rich and dense velvet cupcakes. I've brought these cupcakes to a couple functions and they have been a crowd favorite.






Lilac Velvet Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting

Makes 12

Ingredients 

For Cupcakes:
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1 cup almond milk mixed with 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar (let sit for a couple minutes to curdle)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup olive oil
1 tbsp white vinegar
purple food coloring

For Frosting: 
same as here

1/3 cup peanut butter 
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup powdered sugar
1/8 cup almond milk

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Line or oil a muffin pan
2. Sift flour into a large mixing bowl, add sugar, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder
3. In a separate bowl, combine milk mixture, vanilla, olive oil, white vinegar, and food coloring 
4. Add wet ingredients to dry and whisk by hand until there are no lumps. Be careful not to over-mix
5.  Divide batter evenly into muffin pan. Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean
6. As your cupcakes bake, get to work on the frosting
7.  Using a hand mixer or whisk, M=mix together peanut butter, coconut oil, and vanilla until combined
8. Add the powdered sugar and cinnamon and blend until combined
9. Now add the almond milk and beat until light and fluffy
10. Allow cupcakes to cool completely before frosting




What is your favorite flower?