Wholesome Vegan Carrot Cake with Vegan Cream Cheese Almond Frosting

Wholesome Vegan Carrot Cake with Vegan Cream Cheese Almond Frosting

Carrot cake! Vegan carrot cake! Also known as my favorite dessert on the planet (tied with Van Leeuwen vegan ice cream).

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My favorite non-homemade carrot cake is from Peacefood cafe (which I ate last weekend!). If you like carrot cake and you’re ever in New York City, go to Peacefood and order their glorious carrot cake, even if you’re not vegan. I promise you, it is life-changing.

This year, I had Peacefood carrot cake the day after my birthday, but I also wanted to make myself a cake for the actual day.

Wholesome Vegan Carrot Cake

While thinking about my cake, I actually got curious about the origins of carrot cake, and did a little bit of googling. According to Wikipedia, the origins of carrot cake are widely disputed, but most food historians believe carrot cake was somewhat inspired from Medieval carrot puddings eaten in Europe. During the Middle Ages, when sugar became scarce, people began using carrots as a substitute for sugar.

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Easy Vegan Peanut Butter Blossoms

Easy Vegan Peanut Butter Blossoms

Lol it’s been a month since I  last blogged. What can I say, other than sorry? Even though you probably didn’t even notice or care I didn’t post for a month, it bothered me. I just was under so much stress from the hardest semester of school of my entire academic career/finishing my applications and finals and my two jobs I just kind of drafted like, 9 different posts, got anxious they weren’t good enough, and didn’t publish them. Reminder to self: don’t let the obsession with being perfect prevent you from being good. Moving on. It’s Vegan Peanut Butter Blossom time.

Easy Vegan Peanut Butter Blossoms

^That was the worst transition ever. And why did I keep it in the first paragraph? Because according to SEO crap I have engrained into my brain, the search term should be in the first paragraph. So there it is. Here it is again in the second paragraph: easy Vegan Peanut Butter Blossoms.

Wow, this post is officially all over the place, and we’re only to the third paragraph! But such is life. I’m just pumped to be back home in Wisconsin, with ample time and creative energy to devote to creative pursuits, including this blog.

Simple Vegan Peanut Butter Blossoms

I also am very stoked to have a new camera. The upgrade was years overdue, but being a chronic student doesn’t leave much wiggle room for big purchases.

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Vegan Cocoa Puff Cake Mix Cookies

Vegan Cocoa Puff Cake Mix Cookies

3-Ingredients, 12 minutes, and delicious cookies? You betcha! These Vegan Cocoa Puff Cake Mix Cookies are where it’s at.

Vegan Cocoa Puff Cake Mix Cookies

You may be asking yourself: “How is this magic possible? How can I make fluffy delicious cookies that taste like literal cocoa puffs using only 3 ingredients?”

Well, the answer is: I cheated. Yup, I used a box. But not boxed cookie mix. Boxed cake mix. That’s the secret to these delicious too-good-to-be-true cookies.

Vegan Cocoa Puff Cake Mix Cookies

I actually learned this secret from my friend in elementary school (hello Allie, if you’re reading…improbable but if you ever see this, you da best!). Her genius mother taught us how to make cake mix cookies. I was skeptical, but one bite, and I became a believer.

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Chewy Vegan Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookie Protein Bars

Chewy Vegan Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookie Protein Bars

I have a love for sweet carb-y goodness that fuels me up without making me feel sugared out. Something that will appease my sweet truth, but also make me feel like I’ve eaten real food. That’s why I love things like VVegan Banana Bread, Blueberry Flax Muffins, and Chocolate-Dipped Nut-Butter Stuffed Dates. And now these Chewy Vegan Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookie Protein Bars.

Easy Vegan & GF Oatmeal Cookie Dough Bars

These are made with a secret ingredient – chickpeas! Now, before you abandon this post convinced I’ve gone mad, I promise you can’t really taste them. This is not a sweetened hummus bar (though I’d probably be down to eat that too). This is a neutral-based soft baked bar that is packed with protein, fiber, and flavor.

Vegan + GF Oatmeal Cookie Dough Bars

I’ve done the whole bean-based cookie dough thing before, and enjoyed it quite a bit. Only recently did I think “hey, maybe this will taste good baked!” So here we are.

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Peanut Butter Chocolate Pretzel Bites

Peanut Butter Chocolate Pretzel Bites

I love a salty sweet treat. And these peanut butter chocolate pretzel bites are the epitome of a salty, sweet crunchy creamy dream snack.

3-Ingredient Peanut Butter Chocolate Pretzel Bites

Bonus: they couldn’t be similar to make. If you can make cereal, you can probably make these delightful nibbly desserts.

All you need is pretzels, peanut (or your other favorite nut) butter, chocolate chips, and some salt. And the only fancy equipment you need a microwave, microwave-safe bowl, and a refrigerator or freezer. Now let’s get into it.

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Easy Raw Vegan Cheesecake for 2

Easy Raw Vegan Cheesecake for 2

All my life I’ve dreamed of a working blender or food processor. And thanks to Amazon Prime day, my dream has become a reality at last, and I can now part ways with my $12 Food Network brand mini food processor from Kohl’s circa 2009. This major upgrade has helped bring me (and you) this incredibly easy raw vegan cheesecake.

Easy Vegan Raw Lemon Cheesecake

Now. Raw cheesecake is something I’ve wanted to make for…oh I don’t know basically forever. But my old mini food processor was so small, dull, and crappy, that it could barely dice a ripe banana.

I’ve dreamt about making raw cheesecakes and smooth hummus and nut butters for years but never had the right equipment to properly execute these desires.

Easy Raw Lemon Cheesecake for 2

Enter new Ninja blender. Enter happiness. And freedom and inspiration to make ALL OF THE THINGS. Stay tuned!

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Nut Butter-Stuffed Chocolate-Dipped Dates

Nut Butter-Stuffed Chocolate-Dipped Dates

These nut butter-stuffed, chocolate-dipped dates are like a 14/10 on the amazing scale. 5 Ingredients. No fancy equipment or oven required. Insanely delicious sweet treat.

Easy Salty Nut-Butter Stuffed Dates with Chocolate

All you gotta do is crack open some dates, de-pit them, slather their insides with nut butter, squash a whole nut in there (optional, but recommended), dip in some melted chocolate, and finish with sea salt.

Chocolate-Dipped Easy Salty Nut-Butter Stuffed Dates

A short chill sesh in the freezer later, you have a treat that’s chewy, crunchy, creamy, salty, sweet, and chocolatey. It hits every desirable snack element in one swoop.

Scruptious Stuffed Dates with Chocolate and Nut Butter

Honestly, the result is far better than it has any right to be. It tastes like a snickers but without any artificialness or sugar overload. They’re actually kind of like a lazy version of my favorite-ever Sunbutter Caramel Date Truffles with Sea Salt.

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Vegan Peanut Butter Fluff

Vegan Peanut Butter Fluff

You know what I adore? Fruit. And sweet graham cracker munchies. Like Teddie Grahams or Trader Joe’s Cinnamon School Book Cookies. Yum. Give me all the sweet (but not too sweet) carbs. And what better to dip all of these carbs in than Vegan Peanut Butter Fluff? Nada, that’s what.

Eeasy, delicious Vegan peanut butter fluff dip

This super easy Vegan Peanut Butter Fluff dip was inspired by fluffy fruit dips from my childhood. I remember raging on fruit and graham crackers with this mysterious white sweet fluffy dip and wondering what the heck it was.

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Vegan Strawberry Almond Butter Oatmeal Crumb Bars

Vegan Strawberry Almond Butter Oatmeal Crumb Bars

Today I was craving some comfort. The past few weeks I’ve felt uneasy, and I can’ quite figure out why.

Easy Vegan Almond Butter Strawberry Seed Jam Bars with Crumb Topping

Perhaps it’s a combination of stress of an 18-credit graduate school load, figuring out my summer practicum, some pressing family issues, or the mundaneness I sometimes feel after working on something (whether it be school work, work work, projects, or applications for practicums) from morning til evening with little relief.

Once I cross one thing off my list, it seems, 6 more pop up.

VEGAN Strawberry Almond Butter Oatmeal crumb bars

Yesterday I took a break and got brunch at Mathew’s with my good friend Raag. The outing provided not only a delicious meal and good conversation, but a much needed break, some peace of mind, and a fleeting moment or two of comfort.

But today, I was back on the grind. And today, comfort came in the form of Vegan Strawberry Almond Butter Oatmeal Crumb Bars.

Vegan Strawberry Chia Jam

I love a sweet but not-too-sweet breakfasty nibble, filled with oats, nut butters, and sometimes fruit to snack on in the afternoon with tea and to have to pack for snacks during the school week.

I wanted something with a soft bottom, a yummy fruity center, and a scrumptious oatmeal crumb topping. Crumb toppings are one life’s finest pleasures, as far as I’m concerned.

Almond Butter Strawberry Chia Seed Jam Bars Spread 2

I was trying to decide what to bake when I remembered the clearance frozen strawberries I purchased at the store yesterday, and the idea for a Vegan Strawberry Almond Butter Bar with an oatmeal crumb topping came to me. And just like that, I knew I had to make some.

Easy Cegan Almond Butter Strawberry Seed Jam Bars + Crumb Topping

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Easy Chocolate Hazelnut Bark with Sea Salt

Easy Chocolate Hazelnut Bark with Sea Salt

Last night I was cleaning out the fridge/freezer/pantry (party) and started making a bunch of random things to use up odds and ends to help the organization process along.

Easy Salted Chocolate Hazelnut Bark

I whipped up some dark chocolate hazelnut bark with sea salt and was SUPER thrilled with the result. Chocolate + nuts + salt = my favorite. So obviously, I was into this.

Easy Salted Chocolate Hazelnut Bark

It was a spontaneous creation, but so good, and so simple, I decided to snap some phone pics today to put it on the blog in case anyone needs some #inspo for an easy yet impressive homemade chocolate treat.Easy Salted Chocolate Hazelnut Bark

This is basically a no-recipe recipe. You can use whatever nuts you fancy. Or you can add in some chopped figs/dates if you like. You really can’t mess it up.Easy Salted Chocolate Hazelnut Bark

No matter what you add, you’ll end up with delicious, rich, chocolate bark. It’s impressive to put on a plate at gatherings (so long as you keep it elevated if you have doggos) and/or bring to a party or dinner. It also takes minimal effort and is perfect for using up odds and ends in your baking pantry.

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I hope you make this bark and I hope you love it. Let me know if you do! Tag or DM me on Insta (@katherinebaker4) or leave a comment below.img_0427

Peace, love, and salty nutty chocolate!

Easy Salted Chocolate Hazelnut Barki

Easy Chocolate Hazelnut Bark with Sea Salt

Prep Time:  10 minutes
Freezer Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 1-4, depending on how much you like chocolate

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups chopped dark chocolate (or one bag dark chocolate chips) – I used Dark Chocolate Lover’s bar from Trader Joe’s
  • 1 1/2 cups toasted or raw (based on your flavor preference, I used raw) whole or chopped hazelnuts, plus additional handful chopped for topping (about 1 3/4 cup total)
  • 1-2 tablespoon flakey sea salt

Method:

  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone baking mat.
  2. Melt dark chocolate in a microwave safe bowl using medium-high heat in 30 second increments, stirring after each increment until melted. This will take about 90-180 seconds, depending on your microwave.
  3. Stir in 1 1/2 cup hazelnuts. Chop additional handful for garnish and set aside.
  4. Spread mixture over prepared baking pan.
  5. Sprinkle chopped hazelnuts and sea salt over the top of the hazelnut bark.
  6. Place bark in freezer for at least 20 minutes or refrigerator for 60 minutes to set.
  7. Break bark into rough pieces with hands.
  8. Store in refrigerator in an airtight container in the refrigerator.