Spongy Chocolate Cake with Peanut Icing

As much as I love the carrot cake recipe from my previous post, I feel like we need to balance it out with another chocolate recipe… This cake is also sweetened mostly with dates and has some wholemeal flour hidden in there, making this a more nutritious but just as delicious option when compared to conventional cake recipes.

The cake itself is surprisingly light (not a brownie-style cake) and works well with the thick and glossy peanut-flavoured icing. We all know that chocolate and peanut are a match made in foodie heaven. For the topping I used dried berries, but fresh ones will be even nicer (will try this once berries are in season here). Another variation idea would be to carefully cut the cake in half lengthwise, add a layer of raspberry jam and then top with the peanut icing (regretting I didn’t think of this at the time).

Without further ado, let me introduce you to this super easy, spongy chocolate cake:

Makes: 8-10 slices

Cake ingredients

Dry ingredients

  • 150g flour (I used 100g wholemeal spelt flour and 50g light spelt flour)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 4 tbsp cacao powder
  • 1/2 tbsp carob powder (optional – if not available, just use more cacao powder)
  • good pinch of salt

Wet ingredients

  • 225 ml mylk (I used oat mylk)
  • 1 tbsp liquid sweetener (e.g. date syrup, maple syrup, agave nectar, rice syrup)
  • 50g dark chocolate, melted (I used 62% baking chocolate)
  • 2-3 drops apple cider vinegar
  • 85g date paste*

*The dates must be soft. I use the Sukari pitted dates from Dattelmann (international website), which are gorgeously squidgy. I am not sponsored by them but have a discount code for 15% (I get EUR 10 for each order using my code). I have been using them for years and recommending to friends as the dates are great quality and I find it cheaper ordering from there than buying smaller packets in the store – especially as I eat dates pretty much every day. If your dates are dry try soaking them in hot water first and draining, before blending.

Peanut icing ingredients

  • 50g cacao butter
  • 50g powdered peanut (I used this one)
  • 3 tbsp maple / rice syrup or agave nectar (date syrup would change the color)

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 175 °C (non-fan), with the baking tray already inside.
  2. Combine the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and set aside. 
  3. Separately combine and blend the wet ingredients. 
  4. Fold the wet mixture into the dry ingredients and pour the batter into a loaf-style cake tin lined with baking parchment. 
  5. Bake for ca. 25 minutes (a toothpick should come out clean) and leave to cool in the tin. 
  6. Prepare the icing by melting the cacao butter on medium low heat and subsequently stirring on the peanut powder and liquid sweetener (once the pan is off the heat). 
  7. Ice the cake directly once it has cooled and top with any desired toppings such as fresh or dried fruit, chocolate shavings, nuts, etc. (Note that due to the cacao butter the icing will harden if left overnight; if you want to serve the cake the next day try warming it up a bit beforehand. This would also be delicious with some ice cream on the side 🙂 ).

Enjoy! 

If you do try them, tag @blueberrysmiles22 on Instagram, so I can drool over your creations 🙂

Healthy Vegan Carrot Cake

I have a new obsession and it involves neither chocolate nor peanut butter – a revelation! This is a recipe I did not expect to ever create… I am the person who will always go for something chocolatey if given the option. Lemon, fruit and especially carrot cake never made my heart beat faster. Well, until now, that is…

Last week I did my best to make my boyfriend’s birthday special while both of us were working from home with no one to see and nowhere to go. In times like these, the small things count even more. One of the essential ingredients for the at-home-celebration was, of course, a birthday cake. And as his enthusiasm for chocolate and uber-indulgent desserts has bounds (unlike mine), I decided to perform the ultimate sacrifice: Bake a carrot cake. I was slightly sceptical of the endeavour, but felt good knowing I’d score some (chocolate-free) brownie points. The end result was beyond my wildest dreams: gorgeously spiced, flavourful, juicy cake with a wonderful 2 minute cashew butter icing I whipped up. I may have been even more surprised and excited than my boyfriend, after I took that first glorious bite. Over the next few days the iced carrot cake became my breakfast of choice, fuelling busy mornings and a sense of a newfound identify. (Ok, kidding on the last point, but it was pretty groundbreaking).

Long story short: I have been craving that carrot cake ever since I scarfed the last slice and I wanted more, but without all the sugar and refined flour from the recipes I’d googled. Today, I put my ideas to the test and created the healthy cousin of last week’s cake, and, it’s even better than the birthday version (my boyfriend’s words, but I agree 😉 ).

Healthy Vegan Carrot Cake with Easy Cashew Icing

Makes: 8-10 squares

Cake ingredients:

Dry ingredients

  • 150g flour (I used 125g wholemeal spelt + 25g light spelt)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda (or Natron in German)
  • 1 tsp ground vanilla bean
  • 1/2 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • pinch of ground nutmeg
  • pinch of ground ginger
  • large pinch of salt
  • 125g finely grated carrots
  • ca. 40g raisins
  • 40g pecans, chopped

Wet ingredients

  • 1/4 cup apple purée
  • 200 ml mylk (I used oat mylk)
  • 2-3 drops of apple cider vinegar
  • 85g dates*
  • 1 tbsp date syrup
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil

Icing ingredients

  • 75g cashew butter
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • good pinch of ground vanilla bean
  • ca. 3 tbsp mylk / until desired consistency reached (should be silky smooth, but not yet too runny)

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 175°C (non-fan), with the baking tray already inside.
  2. Combine the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and set aside.
  3. Separately combine and blend the wet ingredients.
  4. Fold the wet mixture into the dry ingredients and pour the batter into a loaf tin** lined with baking parchment.
  5. Bake for ca. 30 minutes (a toothpick should come out clean) and leave to cool in the tin.
  6. Prepare the icing by combining all ingredients and stirring with a spoon.
  7. Either ice the cake directly or (as I prefer it as long as it’s the two of us eating it:) slice into squares and ice individually before eating. The icing can be kept in the fridge for a few days.

* The dates must be soft. I use the Sukari pitted dates from Dattelmann (international website), which are gorgeously squidgy. I am not sponsored by them but have a discount code for 15% (I get EUR 10 for each order using my code). I have been using them for years and recommending to friends as the dates are great quality and I find it cheaper ordering from there than buying smaller packets in the store – especially as I eat dates pretty much every day. If your dates are dry try soaking them in hot water first and draining, before blending.

** My loaf tin is ca. 28 cm long and 10.5 cm wide. The cake ended up 3.5 cm in height. If your measurements vary make sure you adjust the baking time accordingly / keep a close eye on the cake while in the oven.

Decoration: I topped with some fresh grated carrot, but mainly for the added color. You can serve with the plain icing or top with e.g. pecans (normal or caramelized), edible flowers, grated orange zest, fresh berries, etc.

Enjoy!

If you do try them, tag @blueberrysmiles22 on Instagram, so I can drool over your creations 🙂

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Hello and happy Monday!

After sharing some recommendations for plant-based eating in my last two posts, I’m finally back with another recipe. I’ve been making this fully plant-based banana bread pretty much weekly lately, as it’s so quick to throw together and perfect for snacking on at work or enjoying on the couch with a cup of tea. I love how fudgy it is when I don’t bake it quite through and how melty the dark chocolate chunks are, before the loaf cools!

The fact that it’s made from simple and nutritious ingredients and is only sweetend with fruit and maple syrup makes it even more irresistible (#begoodtoyourself 😉 ) and the perfect staple bake for week nights or lazy weekend mornings.

The recipe is actually an adaption from my Pumpkin PB Chocolate Chip Mini Loaves, which are perfect for fall. Definitely check them out too if you enjoy this recipe.

Makes ca. 6-8 slices.

Ingredients:

  • 250g mashed banana (i.e. ca. 2 large-ish bananas, peeled)
  • 2 tbsp ground flax- and/or chia seeds
  • 100g soft dates*
  • 5 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup natural, unsalted peanut butter (almond/cashew/hazelnut should work too)
  • 1/4 cup (65 ml) plant-based milk
  • 130g wheat or spelt flour (wholemeal or regular; buckwheat flour should work too for a gluten-free version, but I haven’t tested this yet)
  • 1/2 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground vanilla bean
  • 1 pinch salt (unless using salted nut butter)
  • Ca. 50g chocolate of choice (I use 75-85%), chopped
  • optional extras:
    • spices (e.g. cinnamon, cardamom)
    • chopped nuts: peanuts, walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts etc.
    • dried berries: cranberries, raisins, goji berries etc.

* E.g. medjool or sukkari (I order ‘sukkari cooking’ dates from Palmyra Delights: Swiss website / EU website and am obsessed with them!). If your dates are on the dry side, try soaking them in hot water and draining before blending.

Method:

  1. Combine the mashed banana with the ground flax/chia seeds and set aside.
  2. Blend together the dates, maple syrup, plant milk and peanut butter and combine with the banana mixture (don’t forget to lick the spoon – it’s divine 🙂 ).
  3. Stir together the flour, baking powder, vanilla and salt (and spices) and combine with the rest of the batter. Finally, add in the chocolate chunks and chopped nuts and/or dried berries if using.
  4. Pour the mixture into a small loaf tin that you’ve greased (e.g. with coconut oil) or lined with baking parchment and bake in an oven preheated to 180°C for ca. 35-40 minutes. Oven times vary, so keep an eye on your bake. The top should be firm to the touch but the middle should still be slightly moist. Leave to cool in the tin for at least 10 minutes.
  5. Serve as is or with some extra nut butter, jam and/or (n)ice cream.

Note: Once cooled, you can slice and freeze this cake to save for later.

I hope you enjoy!

Celine

P.S. Tag me (@blueberrysmiles22) if you share your bake on Instagram! I’d love to know your feedback. 

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Blackberry Vanilla Cake – The Zesty Lime

Hi guys 🙂

Today I’m sharing with you a recipe by my wonderful friend and gifted foodie Rebecca (you may know her gorgeous account: @thezestylime – if not, I highly recommend you check it out for stunning plant-based food porn!).

Rebecca was sweet enough to surprise me with a slice of this blackberry vanilla cake at my farewell dinner in London, and I was blown away by how delicious and satisfying it was. It’s not very surprising, therefore, that hers was the first cake I baked upon being reunited with an oven! (My student flat’s kitchen reflected the widespread prejudice that students only live off of ramen noodles and microwave pizza).

I’ve been back in Switzerland for two weeks, and have already made this cake twice – if that’s not love than I don’t know what is 😉 It’s definitely a keeper, and I can’t be more pleased to share it with you today:

Ingredients:

  • 1 3/4 cups gluten-free flour blend
  • 1 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 flax egg (1 tbsp ground flaxseed mixed with 2 tbsp cold water)
  • 1 cup oat milk (or other non-dairy milk)
  • 3 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil (melted)
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen blackberries (+ 1/2 cup)

Topping:

  • 1/2 cup coconut condensed milk
  • 3-5 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

 

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 180 ° celsuis.
  2. Make a flax egg by combining 1 tbsp milled flaxseed and 2 tbsp cold water in a small bowl. Stir together and let sit to thicken up.
  3. Sift flour into a large bowl, then add rest of dry ingredients- coconut sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Stir together well.
  4. Make a crater in the middle of the dry ingredients and whisk in the flax egg, non-dairy milk, vanilla, melted coconut oil, lemon juice, and apple cider vinegar.
  5. Lightly grease a 7-9 inch pan (round or square, depending on which shape you prefer) with coconut oil and pour the cake batter in.
  6. Sprinkle the 2 cups blackberries into the batter, pushing some underneath so they will be baked through the cake and not just on the top. Save the 1/2 cup to sprinkle on top part way through baking if the batter rises to cover all the blackberries.
  7. Bake (1 hr 25 mins) on the middle rack of the oven. If using a spring form pan, place a baking tray underneath as it may leak. After approx. 55-60 mins check the cake, since baking times may vary depending on your oven and exact size of pan. Check every 10-15 mins until cake is fully baked.Remove cake from oven and cool for at least 30 mins. *Note* As oven temperatures can vary so much, I recommend checking earlier already – the cake only took 30 minutes to bake in my oven.
  8. For the topping combine the coconut condensed milk with the fresh lemon juice and combine. Set aside whilst cake cools. Then serve with lemon drizzle and fresh blackberries.

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Happy Baking!

And don’t forget to tag the lovely Rebecca (@thezestylime) if you post your blackberry cakes on social media! 🙂

xoxo