June 29, 2020

Lemon Poppy Seed Cake with Blueberry Filling (vegan option)

8:58 PM 0 Comments
Hope everyone is having a lovely summer so far! I made this amazing and beautiful 4 tiered cake for my birthday this month! I think this may be the first time I made a 4-tier cake so it is very special to me!


This cake is showstopping with it's high layers and colorful cake and fillings! It will be great for a special occasion or nice afternoon tea. It is also surprisingly easy to make if you have a little bit of knowledge in baking.
My suggestion would be to make the blueberry jam the night before then the cake the nest day.  You could make the frosting on either day but I liked making it on the same day as the cake as it was cooling in the fridge. I highly suggest making the cakes and then saran wrapping them once cooled to place in the fridge for a couple hours as this will make it a lot easier to cut and add your fillings. 
You could make this 4 tier or just leave as a two tier if you like as well. You could even half the cake recipe if you don't need so much cake. This would give you one cake to bake and cut in half if desired. 
I made some lilac sugar a couple days before to put on top of my cake for a nice decoration and some floral notes. If it's lilac season for you this might be something you like to try! This isn't necessary and may make your cake a little messy but I thought it was a nice touch. For my lilac sugar I placed about 1/2 cup of fresh, cleaned, and patted dry lilacs in about 1 and a half to 2 cups of sugar. Then I left it for a couple days, making sure to shake everyday. If you don't shake then the sugar will stick together! I made this mistake one year and it wasn't fun. You should be able to leave the crystallized lilacs in the sugar or you could also strain them out.
You can check out where I adapted this recipe from here. Please check it out as the author gives some great detail about why she used certain ingredients. 
I love lemons, poppy seeds, and lilacs so I felt like this was the cake for me on my birthday! It turned out incredible and have rave reviews with those I shared it with. 
Best of all this is a pretty healthy cake! I used whole wheat flour and olive oil which are both excellent substitutions to make something sweet a little healthier. There is still quite a bit of sugar in this so to make it even healthier you could try coconut sugar or another sweetener.

The cake is layered with a homemade blueberry chia jam and cream cheese frosting. The blueberry jam is soooo good! I would highly suggest doubling it so you have more to put on your cake than I did. I ran out of jam (*cough* wasn't paying attention) to put on the last layer and I also think the putting some extra jam on the others wouldn't hurt. You could also layer with a different type of jam if you like. Honestly though if you have extra, I don't think that would be an issue as you'll definitely eat it with something else. 
For the cream cheese frosting, make sure you use vegan cream cheese and coconut oil (as I did) or vegan butter if you wish to make it completely vegan. You could also make a different type of vegan vanilla frosting and I think that would be great. 


Lemon Poppy Seed Cake with Blueberry Filling


Blueberry Jam
3 cups blueberries (I used frozen)
1/2 tsp ground ginger
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest
2 tbsp chia seeds

Cake
1 2/3 cup almond milk
1/2 cup lemon juice (3-4 lemons)
3 cups whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsp lemon zest
1/2 cup olive oil
1-2 tsp lavender extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
4 tbsp poppy seeds

Cream Cheese Frosting
1/2 cup coconut oil
1 cup (8 ounces) cream cheese
1 tsp elderflower drink concentrate
4 cups powdered sugar


Directions

Jam:
  1. Place blueberries, ground ginger, maple syrup, cinnamon, and lemon juice in a saucepan on high heat. Bring mixture to a boil. This may take a few extra minutes if you're using frozen berries. 
  2. As the mixture cooks, pop any berries that you need to with the back of a wooden spoon. Stir frequently
  3. Cook for about 10 minutes. This may be shorter or longer depending on if you used frozen berries and how much you used. The jam should have reduced and thickened a bit
  4. Remove from heat and stir in chia seeds to thicken. 
  5. Once jam has cooled, you can move to a container to store in the fridge until you're ready to use it
Cake:
  1. Preheat oven 350F. Grease and line two 9 inch cake pans (you can use a different size but remember to adjust bake time)
  2. Zest lemons until you get 2 tbsp of zest. Juice lemons until you get 1/2 cup juice.
  3. Stir almond milk and lemon together in a bowl and allow to curdle for a few minutes
  4. In a large bowl, stir flour, baking soda, sugar, and salt. Pour in milk mixture and stir.
  5. Next stir in olive oil, zest, lavender extract, almond extract, and poppy seeds until combined. Do not over mix
  6. Pour batter evenly into you cake pans. If you only have one like I did then you'll have to bake, allow the first to cool, and then bake your second.
  7. Arrange cakes in middle of oven and bake for 30-35 minutes until cakes are lightly golden brown and a toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs
  8. Remove from oven and allow cakes to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Then remove from pan to allow to cool fully
  9. Once cooled, wrap cakes in plastic wrap and store in fridge
Frosting:
  1. To a large bowl, add in coconut oil and cream cheese. Beat on low until mixture is creamy
  2. Gradually add in powdered sugar, lemon zest, and elder flower concentrate then beat until smooth and creamy
Assemble
  1. Slice your two cakes in half horizontally. I did this by placing my cake on a flat surface and then with one hand on top, slicing through with a serrated knife. This can be a little tricky if you've never done it before. Make sure to keep the knife as straight as you can and if your knife isn't long enough, then you may need to twist your knife or turn your cake to get every edge
  2. Place one of your quarters on to your plate, spread some cream cheese on the cake and then spread your jam on top of that
  3. Place next cake layer on top and then do the same to this layer
  4. Now place one more layer and do the same. For this layer I ran out of jam so I drizzled some elder flower concentrate to add something
  5. Place your last cake on top and with any cream cheese or jam, you can decorate as you like. Top with lilac sugar if using
  6. Slice cake and enjoy!


May 11, 2020

Chocolate Banana Pie Squares (vegan, gluten free, refined sugar free)

3:31 PM 0 Comments

These bars are amazing! I love the filling because it is just bananas! (pun intended)
They are such a great healthy alternative for any chocolate or banana dessert.
The crust is chocolately and delicate. The filling is packed with banana flavor and so creamy!
They taste just as creamy and maybe even more delicious than your average banana pie. Plus they are gluten free, vegan, and free of refined sugars! I could barely notice myself that they were healthy when I tried them because I really felt like I was indulging!
I adapted them from here and didn't realize until after I finished making them that the creator suggested not using coconut flour. I thought the coconut flour was great though and not dry at all! It also stayed well together after it completely cooled.
I thought they tasted really good warm (if you're ok with the crust falling a part a little) but also awesome at room temperature or cold. If you eat them cold, it gives a more banana pie texture.


Chocolate Banana Pie Squares
Adapted from here

Crust
2/3 cup coconut flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup peanut butter
4 tp 6 tbsp almond milk

Filling
3 bananas (at least 1 cup mashed)
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp almond extract
almond milk if needed
1/2 cup peanuts
1/3 cup chocolate chips

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350F and prep a 8x8" square pan
2. Combine all ingredients for crust in a bowl. Add more almond milk if needed so that the dough sticks together when you squish it
3. Press dough into you pan. It may not look like you have enough at first but keep spreading and squishing!
4. Combine all filling ingredients in a food processor except peanuts and chocolate chips
5. Blend until creamy and smooth. Add extra almond milk if needed to help blend (for example if you're using frozen bananas)
6. Add in peanuts and chocolate chips. I like to pulse them into the mixture in my food processor but you could also stir them in
7. Pour over crust and smooth out
8. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes until filling is set and lightly golden brown on the sides
9. Allow to cool for a few hours or chill. You could eat it warm right away if you want but the crust most likely won't stay together. It still tastes good though!

April 24, 2020

Deadly Double Chocolate Cookies

1:01 PM 0 Comments

These double chocolate cookies are perfect for when you have an intense chocolate craving! You will not regret making these when the moment arises.

Finally we have some nice weather and I can take photos outside! I much prefer the outdoor lighting since I only use natural lights in my photos. I don't have any fancy light equipment yet and I honestly think natural light is the best when the conditions are right!

They have a chewy and soft texture as well as a deep chocolate flavor thanks to the abundance of cocoa powder. They're also vegan!

You can omit the cinnamon if it's not your thing but I love the sweetness and delicate spice that cinnamon gives!

Deadly Double Chocolate Cookies
24

1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
2/3 cup grapeseed oil (or other oil)
1/4 cup almond milk
1 tbsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp almond extract (or vanilla)
1 cup whole wheat flour (or other flour)
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup chocolate chips


1. Preheat oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper
2. Combine brown sugar, white sugar. oil, milk, and cornstarch in a bowl. Whisk or blend until combined and creamy. Mixture will resemble a thin caramel. When you pick up the whisk, ribbons of the mixture should remain on top for a second.This mixture doubles as your binder so make sure you don't get lazy and mix it well!
3. Add in baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and almond extract then mix to combine
4. Create a well in your mixture then stir in flour then stir in cocoa powder until combined
5. Mix in chocolate chips

April 14, 2020

Matcha Elderflower Loaf Cake (gluten free, vegan)

12:36 PM 0 Comments



Hey guys! I hope you're doing well. It's almost spring time!

I'm so excited that days are getting longer and the weather is getting warmer. Where I live we still get snow sometimes but I've been able to go on some bike rides already!
I know there's not much to do in this time of physical distancing so going out for some fresh air has been a priority for me. Just make sure you maintain distance from others and if you touch anything to wash your hands and clean your clothes.

This new cake recipe is perfect for spring! It's floral, energizing, and sweet! 
I used a gluten free flour blend which made the cake taste more rustic (also had some trouble keeping it together so be careful!) but you can use any flour!

You can skip the elderflower if you don't have any or use something else but I love elderflower! I get the drink concentrate from Ikea. I think the elderflower and green tea balance each other nicely too. You get the sweet floral elderflower and the sweet, creamy, and slightly bitter matcha. It makes for a killer combination!
I also love the taste of green tea and matcha so I put tons in! You can put more or less in depending on your taste but I'm guessing that if you're reading this recipe then you love green tea too so you will appreciate this recipe!



Matcha Elderflower Loaf Cake

Ingredients
3 tbsp ground flax seed mixed with 9 tbsp water, allow to sit
1 cup almond milk
2 green tea bags
2 1/4 cup gluten free flour blend (I used a quinoa flour blend, you could also use all-purpose if you're not gluten free)
1/2 cup brown sugar (or coconut sugar)
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1-2 tbsp matcha powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup elderflower drink concentrate (or more maple syrup)
2 tbsp vinegar
1/3 cup melted coconut oil
1/2 cup shredded coconut (optional) plus more for topping

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and/or line a 9x3 loaf pan
2. Gently warm almond milk and then steep your two green tea bag in it for about 10 minutes
3. Mix flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, matcha powder, salt, baking powder, and baking soda together in a large bowl
4. Add in flax seed mixture then maple syrup, elderflower concentrate, vinegar, and coconut oil one at a time. Gently mix together
5. Fold in coconut
6. Pour mixture into loaf pan
7. Bake 35-45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean
8. Allow to cool then slice

April 6, 2020

Healthy Ancient Roman Cheesecake

1:23 PM 0 Comments
Yes this recipe is from Christmas don't judge

This cheesecake is not only healthy but historic! It is based off an ancient Roman cake called Savillum! I based the recipe from this one so check out that link for more history of the cake!  It is made with ingredients that you would have found way back in ancient Rome. This includes cottage cheese, honey, and poppy seeds.

You may use ricotta instead of cottage cheese. I think this would be more smooth with ricotta but also ricotta is way more expensive! I thought it was still amazing and smooth with cottage cheese.
I made this for a Saturnalia party and the only photos of the whole cake I took were on my phone but I think they turned out ok!

Even though this cake is made with pretty natural ingredients, it is rich! You only need a small slice to feel happy and satisfied.


It is made with ay healthier ingredients than your typical cheesecake.

Honey- a natural sweetener which is gentler on your body than sugar. It does not spike insulin levels which may lead to eating more later. It is also sweeter than sugar so you need to use less therefore less calories!
I felt like my cake was almost a little too sweet so you may want to add less or be careful on how much you add

Cottage cheese- less fat and calories than cream cheese

Poppy seeds (optional)- rich source of calcium, iron, and magnesium. Can relieve exhaustion and anxiety

Whole wheat flour- more fibre an nutrients which keeps you fuller for longer

Obviously I added some non-traditional ingredients like the vanilla and cinnamon but I thought these made it taste even better!


Healthy Ancient Roman Cheesecake
12-24 servings

Ingredients
3 1/2 cups cottage cheese
3/8 cup honey plus 3/4 cup
1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 egg
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp salt
poppy seeds

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Prep an 8" springform cake pan
2. In a bowl, combine all ingredients except the 3/4 cup honey and poppy seeds
3. Pour into your cake pan and bake for 1 hour and 40 minutes until cake is firm
4. Poke some holes with a fork on top of your cake and pour the rest of your honey on top
5. Sprinkle with poppy seeds
6. Return to oven and bake for 10 additional minutes




March 28, 2020

Vegan Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies

12:56 PM 0 Comments



Hope you all are doing well during this time of social distancing. I'm sure many people out there are baking up a storm like I am!
I made these brownies a while ago for Valentine's Day (I know I'm very behind). For V-day I wanted something pink! It took me a while to figure something out but I also felt like making something different with a few more steps than I usually do.

Eventually I settled on making these vegan red velvet cheesecake brownies!

You don't need to use the food coloring but I did since I wanted these to be pink!

These brownies are awesome! They're dense and gooey with a perfect coconut flavoured topping! I highly recommend trying them out!

Vegan Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies
adapted from here
Makes 12

Date paste
1 cup dates, packed
1/4 cup water

Cream Cheese Swirl
3/4 almond milk
4 tbsp cornstarch
1/2 coconut butter
2 tbsp maple syrup
pinch of sea salt
1 tsp vanilla
red food coloring (optional)

Brownies
1 cup date paste
1/4 cup almond milk
1/4 cup peanut butter
2 tbsp flax seeds mixed with 6 tbsp water
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt
chocolate chips

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350F and prepare an 8x8" pan with oil o
2. For date paste: place dates and water in a food processor and blend until smooth
3. For cream cheese swirl: gently warm almond milk, coconut butter, and maple syrup. I used a microwave but you may also do this over the stove.
4. Add cornstarch and stir until thickened then add the rest of the ingredients and stir until smooth.
5. Remove from heat if using the stove. I used a food processor to combine all my ingredients
6. If your mixture needs to thicken more, you can place it in the fridge until your ready for it
7. For brownies: whisk together date paste, almond milk, peanut butter, flax seed mixture, and vanilla until well combined
8. Add whole wheat flour, cocoa powder, and salt then beat until smooth. Mix in chocolate chip
9. Pour batter into pan and then swirl your cream cheese mixture in on top
10. Sprinkle with some more chocolate chips if desired then bake for 25 minutes until brownies are set

December 29, 2019

Melty Pumpkin Blondies

6:40 PM 0 Comments


These bars are sooooo good! They are wonderfully gooey and tender. The add ins create the perfect texture along with it!
If you choose to use chocolate chips, they become so melty in the bars when warm. Making this recipe is so soothing and the bars are dense yet healthy!
I’ve been so excited to share this Melty Pumpkin Blondie recipe with you! It’s one of my favorites! If you love pumpkins as much as I do, this is a must-make!

Pumpkin Blondies


Ingredients
1/2 cup melted coconut oil
2 tbsp flaxseed mixed with 6 tbsp water, allow to sit
1/2 cup brown sugar or coconut sugar
1 cup pumpkin puree
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
Add ins:
pumpkin seeds
chocolate chips
dried cranberries

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 375F. Prepare an 8x8" pan with grease and parchment paper
2. Mix together flax seeds, coconut oil, and sugar thoroughly
3. Add pumpkin puree, cinnamon, and nutmeg then mix again
4. Slowly mix in flour, baking powder, and salt
5. Mix in your add ins
6. Pour mixture in your prepared pan
7. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes until lightly brown and a toothpick comes out clean
8. Let cool completely and then cut into squares

October 31, 2019

Gooey Vegan Pumpkin Muffins with Dried Cranberries

1:56 PM 0 Comments



These pumpkin muffins are so chewy, gooey, and soft coming out of the oven. They make a great snack or treat!

They are refined sugar free making them healthier than your average muffin and so they are easy to make. With just the right amount of sweetness from the maple syrup and some spicy cinnamon and nutmeg, they are sure to be a hit!
Feel free to add dried cranberries, pumpkin seeds, and/or chocolate chips. Personally, I am a sucker for pumpkin seeds!

Gooey Vegan Pumpkin Muffins

Ingredients
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup almond milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Prep a muffin by lightly greasing with some oil
2. Combine flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg
3. Add pumpkin puree, almond milk, vegetable oil, maple syrup, and vanilla, Stir until combined but don't overmix. A few lumps are ok
4. Stir in dried cranberries and pumpkin seeds
5. Fill muffin tins 3/4 full. Bake for 20-25 minutes until lightly golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.
6. Allow to cool before removing from tin

August 25, 2019

Lavender Lemon Loaf Cake (vegan)

1:20 PM 0 Comments

Last month I went to Seattle! This was my first time in the city and I had a blast!
I was swing dancing all night and exploring the city during the day. I went to the Pike Place Market and fell in love with the flowers there. I also went to the best thrift stores in the world (like seriously Seattle has some good stuff)
One of my favorite things about the city though was the lavender just growing everywhere!
There was lavender growing by the streets in the middle of city and big lavender plants planted by walkways. Lavender was growing like a weed!
I would often pick some lavender and just smell it as I was walking around. I have tried growing lavender where I live but it has been impossible.
If there is one thing you should know about me, it's that I love lavender. It's one of my favorite scents and flavors.
So loving lavender so much, you bet I had to make some delicious lavender things as soon as I got home!

This loaf cake is so dense and delicious. The lavender pairs wonderfully with the tart lemon flavor. You will not need to skimp out on either to get both flavors in this recipe!

You could probably get away with just the dried lavender or lavender extract in this recipe but I think having both really take it over the top!

Lavender Lemon Loaf Cake


Ingredients
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tbsp dried lavender
1 1/2 cups flour
3 tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 cup almond milk
1 tbsp lemon juice
Zest of one lemon
1/2 tsp lavender extract (or vanilla)
1/2 cup vegetable oil

For Drizzle
1 1/2 cup icing sugar
3-4 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp lavender extract
some purple food coloring
*almond milk or more lemon juice if needed

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a loaf pan
2. In a food processor, blend sugar and lavender until finely ground and combined in sugar
3. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and lavender-sugar mixture
4. Make a well in dry ingredients and add almond milk, lemon juice, lemon zest, lavender extract, and vegetable oil. Stir until combined
5. Pour mixture in loaf pan and bake for 45 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean
6. Allow cake to cool and prepare drizzle
7. Place icing sugar and lemon juice in a bowl and stir until combined. Add in extract and food coloring and stir again. If needed add in more liquid to get desired consistency
8. Pour icing over cooled cake and serve. I added some more dried lavender on top
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