maple syrup

carrot cake with a cream cheese frosting (vegan)

9th June 2021

I had my sights on a go-to celebration carrot cake that is walnut-studded and carrot-flecked, fragrant, moist and lavish with a decadent frosting.  So I revisited and reposted a recipe that was created a few years back and made a few adjustments. 

This cake uses walnuts for crunch and flavour, with a lovely warmth coming through in the cardamom and cinnamon. The cake itself is deliciously moist and it is topped with a vegan cream cheese frosting and decorated with edible flowers. 

carrot cake with a cream cheese frosting

Inspired by the much-loved Spice Cake from The Voluptuous Vegan by Myra Kornfeld.

The cardamom adds a rich warmth, so it is important to grind your own as the taste is much more fragrant, fresher and more flavour intense. 

ingredients 

1 cup/100g walnuts – divided

1 cup/120g whole-wheat flour

1 cup/120g unbleached white flour

2 tsp baking powder

1½ tsp baking soda

½ tsp fine rock salt

2 tsp cardamom powder

2 tsp ground cinnamon powder 

½ cup/110g neutral-tasting oil or mild-tasting olive oil

cup/190g maple syrup (can replace with cup/100g brown sugar)

¼ cup/45g brown sugar or coconut sugar

cup/160g almond/oat milk

1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

¼ cup/50g golden raisins/dates, roughly chopped

2 cups/210g grated carrots (approx 2 medium)

cream cheese frosting

cup/60g vegan/regular butter (softened to room temperature)

1 tub (200g) Vegan Violife Cream Cheese, (available from Celeiro – out of the fridge for an hour)

cup/40g icing sugar

2 tsp vanilla extract or scrape 1 vanilla bean (halved lengthways and seeds scraped out)

prepare the cake 

1.  Preheat the oven to 350F/180C. Oil a 9-inch springform pan with oil.

2.  Toast the walnuts: place them on a baking tray and bake for 10 minutes.  Remove half of the whole walnuts for garnishing on top (approx 23 pieces) and roughly chop the remaining (50g) to add to the cake batter – set aside.

3.  Make the cake: In a medium bowl, sift together the dry ingredients –  flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices. Whisk to combine.

4.  In another medium bowl, combine the wet ingredients – oil, maple syrup, sugar, almond milk and vinegar. Whisk until the wet ingredients are emulsified. Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry, whisking together just until all the dry ingredients are absorbed. Stir in the walnuts, sultanas, grated carrot- fold gently with a spatula to combine.

5.  Pour the batter into the oiled pan and bake for about 45 – 55 minutes, or until the cake is springy to the touch and a toothpick comes out clean. If the top looks like it’s getting dark, but the inside needs more time, cover loosely with aluminium foil for the last 10 minutes of baking.

6.  Prepare the frosting: Beat together the butter with a hand mixer until really soft. Add the cream cheese and beat again until well mixed. Sift over icing sugar and add the vanilla extract – beat again until smooth. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

7.  When the cake is completely cool, flip the cake over so that the top is now the bottom and spread the frosting evenly over the cake. Decorate the cake with the remaining walnuts and edible flowers.

Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Variation

  • Sprinkle the sides and bottom of the greased cake tin with 2 tablespoons of sesame seeds before baking.
  • If wanting to avoid the frosting, sprinkle the top with 2 tablespoons of sesame seeds and extra chopped raw walnuts before baking.

Anna’s vegan marble cake

23rd December 2014

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This cake is based on the magical spice cake which is a regular in our house.  An amazing vegan moist cake that my brilliant friend, Anna has recently been experimenting with, and sharing those experiments via email. First, there was the orange-zested cranberry cake, and more recently, this marble cake.

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Anna’s vegan marble cake

When I told my son that there was cake when he arrived home from school, he looked at the cake, and then at me and said, – “Yes! – This is THE good one. “

ingredients 

1 cup + 2 tsp/130g whole-wheat flour

1 cup/120g unbleached white flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

½ tsp fine rock salt

2 Tbsp cocoa powder

½ cup/100g coconut oil

1 cup/280g pure maple syrup (can replace with 1 cup/180g brown sugar + ½ cup almond milk)

1 cup/225g almond milk

1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

2 Tbsp vanilla essence

for the glaze 

1 cup powdered sugar

1 Tbsp water/lemon

preparation 

1.  Preheat the oven to 350F/180C.  Grease a bundt pan well with oil, making sure to get every nook and cranny (I used a ring pan as recommended by Anna).

2.  In a medium bowl, sift together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt (not the cocoa powder) – whisk to combine.

3.  In another medium bowl, combine the coconut oil, maple syrup, nut milk, vinegar, and vanilla – whisk until the ingredients are emulsified, then pour into the dry ingredients, whisking until all the liquid ingredients are absorbed.  The batter will be quite wet.

4.  Pour ¾ of the batter evenly into the greased cake tin.

5.  With the remaining batter, add the cocoa powder and mix well, then pour over the white batter. Using a toothpick, create a marble effect into the cake.  Don’t mix too much as the chocolate and vanilla will blend and there will not be any difference between the two.

6.  Place on a middle rack in the oven and bake for 40 – 45 minutes, or until the cake is springy to touch and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Let the cake cool in the pan and run a thin knife around the edges of the cake, as it can be a bit delicate coming out.

7.   For the glaze, place the powdered sugar into a small bowl and mix with a little water, until you get a thick but pourable consistency.  Spoon the glaze over the top, allowing it to drip down the sides or serve on the side.

Enjoy with love, light, celebrations and blessings!

variation

  • For a more contrast in the marbling, omit the whole-wheat, and use all white flour.
  • For a non-vegan alternative, create a butter icing by adding 2 heaped tablespoons room temperature butter to the glaze and beat/whisk until well combined and thick.  Using a knife spread over the top and sides.

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Goodness shared by Stacey

almond lemon coconut chia macaroons (vegan)

21st December 2014

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almond lemon coconut chia macaroons

Makes 25 – 30 macaroons.

At first, I made the chocolate ones from the link below, but I found the chocolate (especially using raw cacao) too bitter.  I like the intense sweetness of these which complements the coconut and lemon.

Adapted from these.

ingredients 

3 cups/250g dried, unsweetened desiccated coconut

2 Tbsp/20g chia seeds

1 cup/100g almond meal (I used whole almonds, skins and all, then ground into a rough powder)

½ cup/45g almond flakes

¼ tsp fine rock salt

zest from one lemon

¼ cup/60ml water

¾ cup/185g maple syrup

cup/80ml extra virgin coconut oil (melted)

1 Tbsp vanilla extract

preparation 

1.  Preheat oven to 150C/325F.

2.  In a large bowl, combine the coconut, chia seeds, almond meal, almond flakes, salt, and lemon zest – stir to combine thoroughly.

3.  In a small bowl, whisk together the water, maple syrup, coconut oil and vanilla extract, then add to the dry ingredients – stir until fully combined, and no dryness remains.

4.  Cover and place the mixture in the fridge for 15 – 20 minutes.  The chia seeds will help bind the mix together and the coconut oil solidifies, making it much easier to scoop.

5.  Use an ice-cream scooper that has a spring action, which releases the mixture by sliding the band underneath.  This works perfectly for easy shaping.  Fill the scoop half full and firmly pressed the mixture.  If you don’t have an ice-cream scooper, use a teaspoon to create more rustic mounds.

For the oven, place the macaroons on a baking sheet.  I fitted all macaroons snugly on one tray. Bake them in the oven for 25 – 30 minutes, or until golden.

For the dehydrator,  dehydrate at 115F for 6 – 8 hours if you want them fudgy, and longer if you want some chewiness.

light and festive!

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 Goodness shared from Stacey

granola

22nd June 2009

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I woke up on Friday with newfound energy and found myself in the kitchen inspired to make my weekly supplies of granola, tofu, ghee and dosa batter.  All in one morning!

As a family, we try to stay away from the processed boxed cereals.  As these are heated to such high temperatures and pressures, this makes them very hard to digest.  I needed to come up with something that would tempt my children and keep them tempted.  Something that tasted good.  This granola seemed to do the trick.

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meet our very naughty, mischievous, goats – Grace & Ester

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Enjoying this version above, dried apricots, macadamia, orange & lemon zest

granola

Lately, I have been grinding 2 cups of the oats to a rough flour and add ½ cup water to the wet ingredients  – creating clusters of crunchy oats throughout.  

I often prepare a batch of granola and a jar of homemade almond milk to give as a gift for a house-warming or just to say thank-you.  Just bottle it in a jar or paper bag with a homemade label.

Makes about 6 cups 

ingredients 

500g/5 cups flaked rolled oats

200 – 300g/2 cups flaked almonds/finely chopped slivers whole almonds

50g/½ cup each sunflower and sesame seeds

65g/¾ cup unsweetened coconut flakes

¼ tsp ground cardamom powder

2 tsp cinnamon powder

½ tsp fine rock salt

1 Tbsp vanilla essence

½ cup ghee/cold-pressed coconut oil/olive oil (I use an equal mix of ghee & oil)

½ cup maple syrup

¼ cup brown rice syrup

160g/1 cup dried fruit, coarsely chopped (sultanas, cranberries, dates, goji, figs or dried apricots)

preparation 

1.  Pre-heat oven to 350F/180C.

2.  In a large bowl, combine oats, flaked almonds, seeds, coconut flakes, cardamom, cinnamon powder and salt, stir to combine.

3.  In a separate bowl whisk together the melted ghee, oil, maple syrup, brown rice syrup and vanilla essence.

4.  Pour over the oat mixture and combine well, for 1 minute, so all is well-coated.

5.  Spread the granola mixture out on a deep baking tray and roast in the oven for 30 – 40 minutes. Turn the granola over every 8 – 10 minutes.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

6.  Once cool, stir in the dried fruit. The granola will continue to crisp as it stands.   

Serve with fresh milk, home-made almond milk or creamy yoghurt and with seasonal fruit.  Great for breakfast, lunch or dinner!

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Shared goodness from Stacey

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