Classic Coffee Cake

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This recipe is very special to me. It's based off of a coffee cake recipe from my grandma, who passed away a few years ago. It's still hard for me to think about her not being around. I can so clearly hear her laugh in my head, and envision her taking bites of all the food in the kitchen while she cooked. She made the BEST chocolate chip cookies in the world, and I'm sure some of my love of baking came from her. I always felt so loved by her,  and I hope this coffee cake recipe sends a little bit of love your way this Christmas. It was even better the morning after I made it, so you could easily make this the night before and cover it until the morning. It's not an overly sweet cake, but more of a bread/cake sweetness. I've added an option to make it sweeter if you like, so check that out as well! 

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Ingredients

  • 8 TBSP cold non dairy butter
  • 1 c natural cane sugar
  • 1 cup blended silken tofu
  • 1 TBSP apple cider vinegar
  • 4 TBSP non dairy milk
  • 2 cups AP flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda

Streusel topping

  • 1c AP flour
  • 1/3c brown sugar
  • 1/3c natural cane sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 7 TBSP melted non dairy butter

Preheat oven to 350F, and grease an 8"x8" pan. Start by making your streusel topping. Combine flour, brown sugar, cane sugar and cinnamon in a bowl. Add in melted margarine and stir together until it forms a crumbly topping.

Now make your cake batter! Cream together butter and sugar. Add vanilla, nondairy milk, apple cider vinegar and mix together. Alternate adding blended silken tofu and dry ingredients into the other wet ingredients until just combined. Pour batter into greased pan and top with streusel. 

Bake for 45-50 minutes

*optional sweetness. Add an icing drizzle on top! Combine powdered sugar, a splash of vanilla extract, and a splash of milk until you reach a 'drizzle' consistency. Drizzle over cooled cake for a sweetness kick. 

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Sugar Cookie Tips and Tricks

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It finally snowed here in NYC, which means that the holiday season is officially upon us! For me, Christmas time means hot apple cider, Christmas movies, and sugar cookie decorating!

The thought of trying to veganize a sugar cookie recipe is very nerve wracking...So I didn't do it. No, I'm not saying I used eggs or butter- but I did borrow someone else's recipe and just used egg replacer and Earth Balance. If you've never used egg replacer, I'm about to change your vegan baking life. It's a combination of starches that acts as the 'binder' in vegan baked goods. It comes in a package that looks like its from the 1970's, and is usually pretty easy to find in the grocery store. I don't use it a lot, but in this sugar cookie situation...it's perfect. 

Another Christmas cookie difficulty is trying to decorated them in a way that doesn't end up looking like your 4yr old cousin did it. (Who I'm sure is very cute, but maybe isn't Picasso just yet)  

After quite a bit of trial and error, I'm going to share some tips and tricks with you that have saved me many cookie headaches!

  • keep is simple. No need to try and create a multicolor masterpiece. Pick one or two colors of frosting and top it with sprinkles! 
  • If you do want to do a design on your cookies, pick simple shaped cutters that won't require intricate piping work! Stars, Stockings, Trees, and Candy Canes are all fairly simple designs that require one or two colors with minimal intensive piping. 
  • Chill your rolled out dough in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before cutting out your shapes and putting them into the oven. Working with warm cookie dough will result in spread out cookies. The butter inside will be too warm right after it's rolled out and will melt/expand your shapes.
  • Cookies must be COMPLETELY cooled before you try to decorate them. Otherwise the icing will melt into the cookie.
  • If you want to create fancy piped designs.....get piping bags or plastic bottles with tips. It's just easier. Ziploc bags will work just fine, but piping bags will truly up your game. 
  • Make Mini Cookie Bites! (Pictured in this post) Cut out little squares and frost them different colors! Often times people don't want a full cookie, so these little bites are a perfect sweet treat. 

 

Icing Tips

  • Use royal icing instead of a buttercream frosting. I suggest this because royal icing will keep its shape after drying for about 12 hours - buttercream will always stay soft and smear any design you try to make if you stack, layer, or do anything with your cookies. Classic Holiday sugar cookies require royal icing. 
  • Royal icing is extremely simple to make! It's two ingredients! Powdered sugar and water. That's it! Pour powdered sugar into a bowl, and then add water to it 1 tsp at a time while whisking. You want it at a consistency that it will stick to the fork and spoon when lifted from the bowl, but when it falls back in, holds its shape for a second or two before blending into the other frosting. This way it won't slowly roll off the cookie before it dries, or be too firm to spread at all.
  • Let your frosting DRY. I cannot stress this enough. Royal icing takes at least 12 hours, if not more,  to firm up. So don't think you'll be creating multi colored/leveled cookies in one evening. Intricate sugar cookies can take days to make. 
  • If you want shiny royal icing, you can always add a little bit of corn syrup. I know corn syrup is the devil, but I'm just letting you know how to get that gorgeous shiny frosting that you're probably envisioning in your mind. 

 

I hope these tips help you in any cookie conundrum you may find yourself in! If there are any other questions I didn't answer, leave a comment below and I'll get back to you asap.

Happy Decorating!

Sugar Cookies

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

PB Cookies

I have always been terrified of cookies. For some reason, every time I make a cookie recipe they fall apart. Until I created this recipe. These peanut butter cookies are so delicious I'm already wondering when I can make my next batch. If you don't love chocolate and peanut butter together or you can't find chocolate peanut butter at your store, you can always sub in plain pb. They will work just as well! These cookies would also be the PERFECT addition to any holiday dessert table or cookie exchange. Don't just take my word for it, you'll have to try them out yourself. 

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2c AP flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 c light brown sugar
  • 1/3c cane sugar
  • 3/4c chocolate peanut butter*
  • 1/2 c chilled non-dairy butter (earth balance is my go to)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 TBSP brewed coffee
  • Chocolate Chips (optional)
  • Sea Salt (optional)

Preheat oven to 350F

Using a hand or stand mixer beat together the butter, peanut butter and sugars together. Once combined, mix in the coffee and vanilla extract. In another bowl, sift together the dry ingredients. 

With your stand mixer on low, slowly add your dry ingredients into the wet. The dough is going to be a bit crumbly, but that is okay! Scoop out dough and shape into one inch balls. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and flatten with a fork to create a flat disk. Bake for 9-11 minutes. Let cool on a cooling rack. 

While your cookies are cooling, melt your chocolate chips using a bain-marie or in the microwave. 

If you’re using the microwave, heat in 15 second increments and stir in between each heating.

Drizzle the melted chocolate over your cooled cookies and sprinkle with sea salt.

Enjoy!

*I used the chocolate peanut butter from Peanut Butter & Co.   (follow link to shop) 

*You can also use plain peanut butter or other nut butter if you don't have chocolate nut butter options around. Just make sure the kind you use isn't the one that separates. You want a to use a thick consistency nut butter. 

 

PB Cookies

Cinnamon Pumpkin Scones

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One of life's great mysteries is WHO decided scones had to be dry and crumbly?! I love the idea of something between a cake and a biscuit, but I don't think that equals a baked good that crumbles the minute you bite into it. These pumpkin scones are unlike any other. They have a soft spiced inside, with a crunchy toasty outside. They are the PERFECT morning treat, simple to make, and I promise they will become a holiday morning tradition.

 

Ingredients

  • 1/3 c +2 Tbsp pumpkin puree
  • 2 TBSP non dairy milk
  • 1/4 c maple syrup
  • 3 TBSP non dairy butter, cubed
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 c white ap flour
  • 1/2 c whole wheat + more for kneading
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • Salt

Preheat the oven to 410F

In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon and salt. Using a fork or pastry cutter, cut the cubed butter into the dry ingredients until well distributed. In another bowl, mix together all of your wet ingredients. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and combine until a dough starts to form. If your dough is sticky, you can always add a little more flour before kneading. 

Place your dough onto a flat, floured surface and knead the dough for about 30 seconds or until it is able to be formed into a ball. Roll out the dough to a 1/2 inch thick round disk. Cut into 6 triangles and place on a parchment covered sheet pan. Bake for 15 mins. Let cool before topping with glaze.

Cinnamon Glaze

  • 1/2 c powdered sugar
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 TBSP + 1/2 tsp milk

Whisk all ingredients together and top scones. Let the glaze set before transporting. 

'Leftover' Cranberry Orange Pop-Tarts

Cranberry Orange Poptarts

I'd say that it's pretty common knowledge that the best part of thanksgiving is getting to eat all the leftovers. I love eating leftovers the next day for lunch, but I realized that we skip a whole meal before we get to enjoy Thankgiving Take Two. Breakfast!  This led me to create these amazingly delish cranberry poptarts. You save your leftover pie dough from making my Easiest Pumpkin Pie Ever, fill it with leftover cranberry sauce, and top it with some orange cinnamon glaze. The only thing you really have to make is the glaze! You could also make these the day before without the glaze, heat them up the next morning, and then drizzle some of the glaze on top. No reason to wait until lunch for Thanksgiving leftovers!

Cranberry Sauce

  • 1 3/4c cranberries
  • 1 tsp orange zest 
  • 1/4 c brown sugar
  • 1/4c maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp salt

In a pot on medium high heat, combine all of your ingredients. Keep on medium high heat until your mixture starts to boil, and then reduce to a low simmer. Simmer for about 15-18 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once sauce has started to thicken, remove from heat and let cool. 

Cranberry Sauce

Orange Cinnamon Glaze

  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • 2 TBSP Fresh orange juice
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon

Whisk together in a bowl and drizzle on top of pop tarts

Pop Tarts

(Makes 6 Poptarts if using full Pie Dough recipe)

Preheat your oven to 350F

Roll out the leftover pie dough, and cut out rectangles 5" x 3" for full size poptarts. (You could also do mini poptarts with less filling to make more of them)

Spread about 1.5 TBSP of cranberry sauce onto the middle of half the rectangles. Place the remaining rectangles of dough on top and crimp the edges with a fork. Using the fork, poke a few air holes on top. Place on your baking sheet and bake for 15-17 minutes, or until the edges barely begin to brown. Let cool. 

While your poptarts are baking, make the orange cinnamon glaze

Once the Poptarts have cooled, you can top with the orange cinnamon glaze and enjoy!

 

Cranberry Orange Poptarts

Easiest Pumpkin Pie Ever

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Ingredients

  • 15oz can pumpkin puree 
  • 1/2 block silken tofu (3/4c)
  • 3 TBSP cornstarch
  • 1c brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • pinch salt
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon

Preheat your oven to 350F

Blend the can of pumpkin puree, silken tofu and cornstarch together until your mixture is a consistent color and texture. 

Pour mixture into a stand mixer, and add the rest of your ingredients. Mix together on low until all the spices and sugar are incorporated. Pour into a chilled, prepared pie crust

Bake for 45 - 50 minutes. About halfway through, add a crust ring to keep the crust from browning too quickly. There should be a small wobble left in the pie when you remove it. It will set once it sits for a few hours. Let it cool/chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight. 

 

Pie Crust (Makes 2, 9” pie crusts)

  • 2 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 12 tablespoons (1 stick) vegan butter cut into small cubes and kept cold**
  • 8 TBSP cold water (you may not need all 8 TBSP)

Keep all ingredients and tools in the refrigerator until you are using them! 

In a food processor, pulse together the flour, salt and sugar. Add in your small cubes of butter and pulse until the butter has just started to incorporate into the flour. The flour should feel/look like little pieces of sand. You don’t want any large chunks of butter, but you also don’t want the butter to start to melt into the flour. If your butter has started to melt, you can pause at this point and place your mixture in the refrigerator to chill again. 

Once your mixture is chilled, or continuing from pulsing in your butter, slowly pulse in your VERY COLD water one TBSP at a time. 

You should stop pulsing right before the dough starts to form a ball. Most recipes will say to stop when it becomes a ball because that’s a good indicator of moisture, but that actually means the dough is a little too wet.  

At this point you should take the dough out of the food processor and split it in half, shape it into disks, wrap it tightly in cling wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.

Once it’s refrigerated, you can take it out and use as needed!

 

 

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Candy Corn Jack-O-Lantern Cake

Candy Corn

This cake would be the perfect addition to any Halloween table! 

I'd like to start by saying I'm sorry for the grainy pictures- I only had my old camera available when I was shooting this cake...but you still get the idea! 

The "ombre" technique is NOT a hard one, and once you get the hang of it it's so fun to play with other colors!

Start by filling four different piping bags (or Ziploc bags!) with the different colors for the candy corn and jack o lantern face. You’ll probably need a bit more white because you’re also going to cover the top of the cake with the white part of the frosting. 

Cut one corner, or the tip off, of the three candy corn frosting bags. I start with my bottom color so that it doesn’t droop down and bleed into the other colors. In this case that would be the yellow! Grab your yellow frosting and pipe around the bottom on the cake. I had two rows of piping for each color on my 6” cake. Next, do the same with your orange and white. Once you have your rows piped onto the cake, you can either use a ***bench scraper, (Which I will link my favorite below) the flat side of a knife, or an icing spatula to smooth out the colors. You do this by placing the long flat edge of your tool against the side of the cake and dragging towards yourself. This is easier if you have a way to turn the cake as you drag your tool, but you can always drag scraper as much as you can, pull it away, clean it, and then start again on the next “side” of the cake. 

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At this point, your cake should somewhat resemble the picture above. Using the same tool you used on the sides of the cake, you’ll want to flatten out the ridges on the top of your cake. (You can see them here in this picture) Drag your tool across the top of the cake from the far side towards yourself. 

Once this base layer is created, I always like to chill my cake for an hour or so before I pipe anything onto the sides or top. 

*My quick tip for piping anything onto a cake, if you’re feeling nervous, is to do an outline with a toothpick first. That way you can test out the spacing and shape and follow those lines with your piping bag.  (I am TERRIBLE at freehand designs and always get so nervous piping words or a picture onto cakes. It’s one of my least favorite things to do.)

I’m not going to lie, it’s a lot easier to pipe the jack o lantern face onto the cake if you have a piping tip inside your bag, but it’s doable without! Just cut a really small bit off of the end of your bag and do a test line on a piece of parchment or something else to make sure the size of the hole is right. 

Once you have the right size hole or piping tip in your bag, you can start to follow the face outline you created with your toothpick! When you’re happy with your Jack O Lantern, place it back in the fridge to firm up - you don’t want a droopy face! 

Chill for another hour or so - The design can definitely be done the night before and kept in the fridge in a cake carrier or other airtight container.

Take your happy Lantern out of the fridge before your party and place it on your Halloween table for a sweet treat as well as an adorable decoration!!

 

*** Ateco Bench Scraper  

*** Cheaper Ateco Bench Scraper

Vanilla Funfetti Cake

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Ingredients

  • 1 1/2c AP Flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4c sugar
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1c non dairy unsweetened milk
  • 1/2 TBSP apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla paste
  • 1/4c safflower or other flavorless oil
  • 1-2 TBSP rainbow sprinkles!

Preheat oven to 325F. Spray and line three round 6" cake tins with parchment paper (OR make 12 regular sized cupcakes)

Place flour, sugar and other dry ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk together until combined. In a separate bowl, add all wet ingredients together, and mix. When wet ingredients are combined, add them into the dry ingredient bowl slowly with the mixer on low. Mix until there are no more prominent lumps in your batter.

Divide batter between three cake pans evenly. Bake for 17-22 mins or until a toothpick comes out clean from the cakes. Run a knife along the edge to ensure they aren't sticking to the pan and let them cool completely. Once cool, flip out of the tins and frost with whatever flavor you choose!

Vanilla Bean Frosting (Makes enough to frost cake, you will have extra if you make a dozen cupcakes!)

  • 2c non hydrogenated palm shortening (https://store.nutiva.com/shortening/)*
  • 1/2c non dairy margarine/butter (I use soy free Earth Balance)
  • 2 1/2 tsp vanilla paste
  • ~ 3.5-4 cups of powdered sugar, sifted
  • Optional* More Rainbow Sprinkles!

Start by whisking, with a stand or hand mixer, your butter and shortening until it is smooth with no lumps. It might even start to melt a little, that's okay! Add in your vanilla paste and mix again to incorporate. Then a little at a time, add in your sifted powdered sugar until you reach the taste/consistency that you want!

I find it works best if I fold in the sprinkles with a spatula by hand after my vanilla frosting is finished, and not to try and use the stand mixer. 

Should keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. 

*You can substitute more vegan margarine if you don't have/want to use this!

 

Pumpkin Almond Butter Banana Bread

Pumpkin Almond Butter Banana Bread

Banana bread is one of my all time favorites! This recipe combines bananas, pumpkin, and maple almond butter to create an amazingly delicious fall flavored version. 

 

Ingredients

  • 2c AP Flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 1/2 tsp ground flax seed
  • 3/4c brown sugar
  • 1/3c pumpkin puree
  • 2 mashed overripe bananas
  • 3 TBSP almond milk
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2c room temperature vegan butter
  • Maple Almond Butter for swirling into batter (About 2-3 TBSP)

 

Preheat oven to 350F

Grease and flour 9” loaf pan

Mix milk and vinegar and set aside

Sift dry ingredients together (This could also mean dump them in a bowl and whisk them until they’re combined)

Using a hand mixer, cream together your butter and brown sugar in a large bowl. Once combined, add in other wet ingredients.

While continuing to mix, slowly incorporate your dry ingredients into the wet bowl.

Divide the batter in half. Add the first half into the loaf pan. On top of the batter in the loaf pan, drop dollops of the maple almond butter to create a good layer. Use a knife to swirl the almond butter into the batter. Pour the other half of the batter on top of the layer of almond butter.

Bake for 50 mins - 1 hour. Cool completely before removing from the pan.

Gluten Free Pumpkin Cupcakes

Gluten Free Pumpkin Cupcakes

Need a simple and delicious allergen friendly pumpkin cupcake recipe? This recipe is your solution! You can pair this with your favorite vanilla bean frosting, or pump up that vanilla by adding a dash of cinnamon and 1/2 tsp of maple extract (YUM!)

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2c Bobs Red Mill Gluten free 1 to 1 Baking Flour
  • 3/4c sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 1/2c nondairy milk
  • 1/2 TBSP apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4c pumpkin puree
  • 3 TSP safflower oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 325F. Line a 12 cupcake tin with liners and spray with nonstick spray of choice. (I always use coconut oil spray)

Place flour, sugar and other dry ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk together until combined. In a separate bowl, add all wet ingredients together, and mix. When wet ingredients are combined, add them into the dry ingredient bowl slowly with the mixer on low. Mix until there are no more prominent lumps in your batter.

Divide batter among cupcake liners and place into the oven for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick comes out of the cupcakes clean.

Cool completely on cooling rack.

 

Vanilla Bean Maple Frosting

  • 1c non hydrogenated palm shortening (https://store.nutiva.com/shortening/)*
  • 1/4c non dairy margarine/butter (I use soy free Earth Balance)
  • 1 tsp maple extract 
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla paste
  • 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • ~ 2.5-3 cups of powdered sugar, sifted

Start by whisking, with a stand or hand mixer, your butter and shortening until it is smooth with no lumps. It might even start to melt a little, that's okay! Mix in your vanilla paste, maple extract and apple cider vinegar. Then a little at a time, add in your sifted powdered sugar until you reach the taste/consistency that you want! 

Should keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. 

*You can substitute more vegan margarine if you don't have/want to use this!