Travel Recap: Colorado

Wednesday:

Wednesday night I landed around 5:00pm Denver time and my sister kindly offered to pick me up from the airport since she got off work early that day, which I was super thankful for because Millie was NOT having a good travel day (usually she does fine, but she, like everyone, has her days she is not feelin’ it).

After waiting 5ever for my luggage, we headed to my sister and her husbands place, stopping for tofu and kombucha at Natural Grocer’s along the way.

Disclaimer: Millie does not engage in recreational marijuana lol; this was a joke!

Back at her place, her husband whipped up a Super yummy cauliflower rice stir fry with crumbled tofu and a spicy peanut sauce. I didn’t take a photo cause #hanger but it was YUMMY in my tummy.

After that we just kinda chilled and hung out until bedtime. I was pooped.

Thursday:

I didn’t sleep well AT ALL on Wednesday night, and neither did Millie. I think it was the altitude. And then Millie woke me up for the zillionth time at 4:00am and I decided to put her out and feed her. And after that, I was just up, and couldn’t fall back asleep no matter how hard I tried.

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Jenn and Tyler both worked Thursday, so I went to a free birthday Yoga class at CorePower, half napped, and worked in the guest bed the whole day with Millie. Anyone else get super pooped while adjusting to altitude? I feel WIPED the entire first day.

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Then, at night, the three of us met up with my friend Vic to celebrate my birthday early with dinner at True Food Kitchen Denver. I started off with this really yummy house-made ginger tea with lemon thing. Because, you know, turn up.

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We ordered a bunch of stuff to share including a butternut squash pizza with almond milk ricotta, a charred cauliflower with a yummy vinaigrette glaze and dates, tofu mushroom lettuce cups, a seasonal salad with a bunch of burnt veggies and squash and white beans and pomegranate, a veggie bowl with teriyaki glazed sweet potatoes, quinoa + hemp seeds, avocado and some other veggies, and a winter squash toast appetizer.

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Noms.

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The charred cauliflower was my favorite. I also was SO looking forward to redeeming my birthday dessert and they were out. Boo. Looks like no bday desserts for me once again this year.

After dinner, we went back to their place, put the pups out, and went to bed.

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Friday:

Friday my sister had off work so we took the pups hiking at Three sisters wilderness area. Millie had SO MUCH FUN it was insane.

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There were many sniffs involved!

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Afterwords we headed back to her place to shower. In the afternoon, the three of us ventured out to Whole Foods in search of vegan cheese, fruit, veggies, guac, crackers, and other goodies to make a charcuterie plate for dinner. Whole Foods ended up being out of many of the cheeses we wanted (womp womp) but we still picked up some yummy ones and nice spread. I reviewed the ones we tried here.

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We also got Hail Mery’s pies which I reviewed here.

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After that we played some board games and chilled and went to bed early.

Saturday:

Saturday we left in the morning for Rocky Mountain National Park. We did a nice walk around a frozen lake and played on the ice a bit.

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I had fun with portrait mode.

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After, we stopped in Boulder, CO for the Celestial Seasonings tea factory tour!

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It was pretty legit considering it was a completely free tour. While we were waiting for the tour to start, we got LOTS of tea samples and were offered the ability to have any flavor brewed for us to try. The tea tour was about an hour, and included a video about the company, as well as a walk-through of the facilities. The mint room smelled so minty it hurt my eyes!

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Next, we hit up Whole Foods Boulder to check out the Beyond Meat Sausage since we were close by they have the Beyond Burger Bar there.

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The Beyond Burger bar is where the whole Beyond Burger got it’s start, and it’s currently the only place in the country you can get it. I’m writing a whole review for Spoon, which I will link here once it’s live, but long story short, it was good!

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It came with these weird quinoa tots. And Jenn and I also ate salads.

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After we got back, I showered and did some homework while Jenn napped and Tyler gamed.

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Eventually I got hangry and woke Jenn up and we ate leftovers from the previous night for dinner with zero pants or fancy arrangement, all standing around the kitchen island inhaling food like savages.

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We finished off the evening at C-Squared, a local cider brewery, where we met up with our friend Vic and some of her friends / boyfriend. GTs.

Sunday:

Sunday I slept until 6:40am (late for me). Millie was also so pooped she didn’t want to get out of bed!

I tried to bake something but messed it up (I’m going to blame never before baking at altitude lol). Didn’t matter much, though, since we ventured out to Thump (not Trump) for coffee. 

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At Thump, I spotted a vegan coconut almond scone that was out.of.this.world.

I’m not a huge scone person but if all scones tasted like this one I would be. The inside was super fluffy and the outside was crispy and had crunchy caramelized coconut flakes and the whole thing just tasted like fluffy almond extract which is one of my favorite flavors EVER.

Tyler and I noshed on this while we walked the dogs at Chessman’s park.

Millie rode co-pilot home. We quickly dropped off the pups and headed to brunch at Vital Root.

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Per this post, Vital Root USED TO have the best avocado toast on earth. They changed it significantly and now it is MEH! They took away the crispy chickpeas, balsamic glaze, and spicy chili sauce…aka everything magical about it.

Also, maybe it was just the one I got, but it was like SOPPING with oil and super greasy and gave me gnarly acid reflex. I was super bummed. My sister’s tofu scramble was pretty tho lol.

I was in a poopy mood after that because I was bummed about the toast and sad about going back to the city. I just love hanging with Jenn and Tyler so much and really miss them. Plus, the city is just a hard place to go back to when you’ve been away.

I left for the airport around 3:00pm and off Millie and I went on our 5:50 flight to Newark. We landed around 11:00pm local time and Millie was a TOTAL rockstar traveler (#proudmamma).

And now it’s back to the grind! My bday is tomorrow and I plan to post a reflection post, as well as a review of my trip to Orchard Grocer soon. Stay tuned!

Reviewing Some Kitehill Vegan Cheeses

Hello from the east coast again! I just got back from my holiday break which involved a fun trip to Denver, CO to visit my sister and her husband. During the trip, we ate so many yummy things!

I thought I’d share some reviews of certain products, including a few vegan cheeses I tried recently. While in Denver, we decided to be fancy people and make a cheese board for a Friday night in. My sister’s husband is plant-based, and my sister is down to try anything, so we decided to splurge on a a bunch of vegan cheeses.

Sadly, the Whole Foods we went to was out of many of them (BOO!) but we still got a couple, along with some guacamole and hummus.

Anyways, I thought I’d do a quick mini review of what we tried in case anyone is curious!

1. Kitehill Herb & Chive Cheese

Price: $6.99 at Whole Foods

Review: This ‘cream cheese’ is darn delicious. The texture is a little softer than that of dairy cream cheese, but, in my opinion, even better for spreading and dipping.

I really liked this stuff. The plain variety Kitehill makes is great too. This Herb & Chive version packs a solid amount of flavor without being overpowering, making it a good addition to a cheeseboard and perfect for crackers, bread, or dipping pretzels and other goodies in.

I especially like it on roasted veggies and warm grains (like farro) so it gets all melty. It’s also good on toast or bagels or to add flavor to sandwiches and could see it adding something special dolloped on top of pasta.

Buy Again: Yup. No question about it.

2. Kitehill Ricotta

Price: $8.99 at Whole Foods

Review: This ricotta was so good. The texture was so on point you could serve to the biggest vegan cheese skeptic and they would not know the difference. Kitehill ricotta also had a very mild, creamy flavor that paired epically on bread with some sweet apricot jam. I could see this going well on pizzas or pasta. Or used for baking.

Yes, it’s pricy, but in my opinion, it was worth it. Sometimes when people gawk at high prices of vegan cheese (myself included) I try to remind them/myself that a lot of high quality dairy cheeses are quite expensive, too. So yes. Worth it if you need some ricotta.

Buy Again? Yup. No question.

3. Miyokos Kitchen Double Cream Sundried Tomato

Price: can’t remember exactly; I think between $6-9 at Whole Foods

Review: I liked this cheese. I thought it had a good tangy flavor from the sundried tomatoes and a nice, spreadable texture. Truly, this is more like a cheese dip than an actual cheese. It was really good spread on crackers and used as a pretzel dip. I could also see it going nicely on sandwiches to add some extra flavor, and/or dolloped on top of a roasted veggie pizza.

Buy again: Maybe, in the right occasion.

Hope you liked that mini review! Let me know in the comments if you like this kind of post. I find them kind of fun to write!

Review of Hail Merry’s Pies

Hello  from Denver, CO!

Earlier, I reviewed some vegan cheeses, and now I thought I’d review some vegan mini pies by Hail Merry’s that I’ve wanted to try for forever. I had heard they were yummy, but never went for them since they tend to be on the pricer side at my local Whole Foods (like $6 each, which for a tiny pie seems like a lot since I can gobble up desserts in 2 seconds flat).

When I saw that they were only $3.49 each at my sister’s local Natural Grocers, I excitedly decided to give them a try. I couldn’t decide which to get, so I ended up getting 3 so my sister and her husband and I could all try them.

And they were good! So good! Like, shockingly good for a tiny pie purchased from a refrigerator section of a grocery store. Here’s my full review of the 3 flavors I tried:

PS- Pardon the crappy poorly-lit photos; I ended up spontaneously reviewing this after-the-fact.

1. Vanilla Coconut Cream Pie

Review: This pie was different, and delicious! The crust of the pie was crumbly yet dense, and tasted buttery, almost like a graham cracker. I think it was made of nuts.

The filling was a luscious, rich and dense coconut cream layer, laced with hints of real vanilla flavor, and topped with unsweetened shredded coconut which added both a nice crunchy textural contrast and a neutral temperament to offset the sweet filling below.

Buy Again? Yes! This pie was my second favorite of the three we tried. I probably wouldn’t want a whole one to eat by myself, but a couple bites of this pie would be a satisfying addition to any dessert platter.

2. Dark Chocolate Almond Butter

Review: As I’m a HUGE chocolate + nut butter fan, I expected this one to be my favorite and it was the pie I was most excited to try. Sadly, I found this one a bit disappointing. Rather than eating like giant almond butter cup as I had imagined it would be, the pie had a crust and a filling that I didn’t think worked that well together.

I found the chocolate crust a bit dry and crumbly and did not find it to offer much other than a harsh dry cocoa flavor. It left me wanting a big gulp of almond milk. The filling, meanwhile, was also lackluster. The almond butter layer was quite thin and got lost between the crumbly crust and the layer of ganache-like chocolate that sat on top of it, which had the bizarre consistency of a tootsie roll.

Overall, this one just wasn’t the one for my mouth. It wasn’t bad, just not my favorite.

Buy Again? As much as I love dark chocolate and almond butter, this wasn’t my favorite, and I can’t see myself buying it again. I’d rather smear some almond butter on a piece of dark chocolate and call it a day. Oh well! You live and you learn! I’m still happy I tried it.

3. Meyer Lemon

Review: Meyer Lemon was the clear standout. This one was epic.

The tart had a thick, rich, and super lemony filling snuggled gently inside of a hearty yet crumbly crust.

The crust was perfect: nutty, crumbly yet ‘buttery’, and dense but flakey (very similar to the Vanilla Coconut Cream pie crust). It provided a nice contrast to the thick, smooth tangy filling.

Each bite was the perfect combination of smooth and crunchy, tangy and sweet, rich yet light blissful dessert delight that keeps you wanting just one more sliver…until before you know it, the pie is gone!

This pie reminded me a bit of the key lime pie at Peacefood (which is a very high compliment), and I truly believe this dessert could easily be served at a cafe or party and tasters would think it homemade!

Buy Again? YES YES YES! This is a pie I could easily eat by myself in one sitting. It is a treat for the tastebuds!

That’s all for the pies! Read my review of vegan cheeses here, and stay tuned for a full Colorado recap!

Vegan Carrot Cake Banana Bread

Once upon a time I made these chocolate banana penguin things for my Vegan Bites bit on Spoon University’s Insta stories. They were fun. Putsy, but fun.

Loaf Vegan Carrot Cake Banana Bread

In an ideal world, the feet and noses were to be made with orange candies. But I didn’t have any and wasn’t motivated to spend money on a bag of them only to use a few (Spoon doesn’t pay me for VB for the record, and I buy all the materials for cooking with my own money…and as a grad student I have about $40 a week to feed, water and caffeinate myself…so I gotta be selective with where my money goes) so I improvised and used cut carrots.

While eating them and being like wow bananas and carrots frozen together is rather awkward, I had an epiphany that perhaps baked together they’d be delightful. And so, the incident inspired this Vegan Carrot Cake Banana Bread.

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So a few weeks later, I made some. And now I’m going to share it with you. I ended up enjoying the loaf. I think I like carrot cake as dessert with lots of icing and banana bread the regular way the best, but this was a really fun way to mix it up. Truly, if you like carrot cake and/or banana bread, you will probably enjoy this recipe. If you want, you can add a vegan cream cheese icing on top.

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Personally, I wanted it as a not-too-sweet snacking/breakfast loaf, so this is the frosting-less route I went. But you do you. Live your best life.

I made this recipe with shredded coconut, too, and eventually decided it distracted too much from the rest of it and have concluded it is better without it. If you want dem coconut shreds tho, add in about 1/4 cup unsweetened.

Vegan Carrot Cake Banana Bread.

Cheers to 2018, baking new things, and of course, BANANAS!

For regular banana bread, click here.

For dog banana bread, click here.

Vegan Carrot Cake Bread

Prep Time:  1 hour

Bake Time: 30-40 minutes

Yield: 1 loaf

Ingredients:

  • 2 large very-ripe mashed bananas (or 2.5 small)
  • 3/4 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/4 cup vegan butter, softened (or sub neutral oil like canola or vegetable)
  • 1/3 cup brown or coconut sugar
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour (can sub regular whole-wheat, all-purpose or additional oat flour)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 1/2 cup oat flour (made by pulsing rolled oats in a food processor or blender until a flour forms)
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 2 tablespoons ground flax (can sub chia seeds)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup pecans
  • 1/4 cup raisins or golden raisins

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Generously grease a banana loaf pan with softened non-dairy butter or oil.
  2. Mash bananas in a large bowl. Shred carrots, or pulse into small pieces in a food processor. Set carrots aside
  3. Add melted butter or oil, sugar, non-dairy milk, and vanilla to bananas. Whisk together.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine whole wheat flour, almond meal, oat flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, rolled oats and flax in a bowl. Whisk together until combined.
  5. Add half of dry mixture to wet. Fold together. Add remaining dry ingredients, and fold again.
  6. Add walnuts, pecans, and raisins to the mixture. Fold until combined.
  7. Pour into prepared loaf pan and bake 45-60 minutes until fragrant, lightly golden, and a toothpick or fork inserted in the center comes out clean upon insertion and removal.
  8. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Slice and enjoy.

Baked Buffalo Tofu Bites

Look! A recipe that isn’t dessert! Oh JOY!

EASY vegan BAKED tofu buffalo bites

Haha I’m not sure why I wrote that…I’ve posted many non-desesrt or non-baked good recipes in my day. It just seems like lately desserts have been the kbaked.com trend (other than these nom nom baked plantains).

tofu prep

Back to the topic at hand: Baked Buffalo Tofu Bites. I made these after mentally toying with the idea for a few weeks now. Personally, I love any food or dish that is essentially a vehicle to eat an excessive amount of hot sauce. And while I do love cauliflower wings, I wanted to play around with buffalo sauce + tofu.

buffalo tofu

Anyone else just really love tofu? My theory is that if you don’t like tofu, you haven’t had it prepared well.I love it so much I can literally eat it plain with salt. That’s a little extreme for most people, but I am a tofu fiend for sure.

buffalo tofu marinating

The tofu and hot sauce lover that I am, I finally decided to pair them together. The result was stellar. So good, in fact, after testing only once, I immediately declared them blog-worthy, grabbed my camera, and just a few hours later here we are.

Vegan Baked Tofu Bites

These bites are blissful. Crispy on the outside, soft and creamy on the inside. And oh, so tangy and good!

Vegan Dipping Sauce for buffalo wings

To get the texture and flavor I desired, I first drained and pressed the tofu for about 4 hours before marinating overnight. This is optional and something I only did because I happen to be on break from school and have more time than usual on my hands.

EASY Vegan Baked Buffalo Tofu Bites

Skipping pressing the tofu and marinating for an time longer than an hour will totally work. You could even skip marinating all together if you wanted to, and simply drench the baked tofu in the marinate after baking.

marinating buffalo tofu

Another new tofu technique I toyed around with for these was the addition of a coating of cornstarch on the tofu cubes. I had read that lightly coating tofu in cornstarch enhances the crispness of the tofu’s exterior. What I read was correct. Highly recommend this technique if you’ve never tried it.

Easy VEGAN buffalo tofu bites

I also used what I had on hand to whip up a quick, cooling dipping sauce by combining plain unsweetened vegan yogurt (I used KiteHill Greek Style unsweetened yogurt) + some seasonings. You could also simply use vegan bottled ranch or regular ranch if you’re not vegan. Or a blue cheese dip. I personally hate blue cheese-flavored things, but you do you.

Easy Cool Vegan Dipping sauce

If you like hot sauce, even just a little bit, you should really give these a whirl. They are so, so easy, and so SO good. Crispy, tangy, chewy, creamy, spicy, addicting little bites of heaven!

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Easy Baked Buffalo Tofu Bites

Prep Time:  1 hour
Bake Time: 30-40 minutes
Servings: 2 people

Ingredients:

Buffalo Bites:

  • 1 16-ounce container firm tofu (I used Organic firm from Trader Joe’s – the one in the pink package)
  • 3/4 cup Frank’s Red Hot Buffalo Sauce, divided
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon vegan butter, divided
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch

Dipping Sauce (OR sub Vegan Ranch):

  • 6 ounces unsweetened Greek-style non-dairy yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon seasoning blend like Ranch seasonings (I used Trader Joe’s 21 seasoning salute)

Method:

  1. Remove tofu from package and drain excess liquid.
  2. If pressing, place tofu block between two plates and place 2-3 cans on top. Place in refrigerator for 3-4 hours and drain additional water. You can skip this step if short on time.
  3. Cube tofu into 1 inch cubes and place in a Tupperware container or baking dish large enough that cubes are close but not stacked.
  4. Prepare marinade by combining 1 tablespoon melted non-dairy butter with 1/2 cup hot sauce + 1/4 cup water. Mix. Pour over tofu. Cover tofu.
  5. Place tofu in the refrigerator for 1-8 hours (or overnight).
  6. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove tofu from refrigerator and transfer to a bowl. Add cornstarch and gently toss until all tofu is lightly coated.
  7. Line a baking sheet with a Sil-pat or parchment paper. Transfer tofu to baking sheet, spaced evenly.
  8. Bake tofu for 30-45 minutes, until crispy on the outside, flipping halfway through.
  9. Meanwhile, combine remaining 1/4 cup hot sauce + 1 teaspoon melted non-dairy butter. Use to drench tofu immediately after removing from the oven.
  10. Serve immediately.

Vegan Hazelnut Cake with Chocolate Buttercream

For Christmas this year, I really wanted to make a special kind of cake. Something that screamed celebration or occasion. I went back and forth over what to make. A Bouche de Noel? A fruit torte? An apple cinnamon spice cake with cream cheese icing? So many options, so few people (at least, at our holiday gathering) to feed.

delicious vegan hazelnut cake chocolate buttercream

Eventually, I settled upon the idea of a nut cake. I love a hearty, dense, nut-meal cake. It reminds me of holidays. Growing up I used to always go to my friend Michelle’s house and her mom would always have these delicious walnut cookies covered in powdered sugar and I could.not.get.enough. of them. I LOVE anything made with ground nuts.

Vegan Gluten-free Hazelnut cake with chocolate buttercream

I set out of to make a hazelnut cake with a the very clear idea in my mind that it would be a nut-meal cake. And to my surprise, recipes were hard to come by. I did some extensive googling and found many ‘hazelnut cakes’ made with hazelnut liqueur…not ground hazelnuts. Or regular cakes that had hazelnuts on top…or hazelnut liqueur in the frosting.

Easy Vegan Hazelnut Cake with Chocolate buttercream

Those might be all fine and well and good but those were not what I had in mind for my holiday hazelnut cake. I very specifically wanted a cake that contained quite a bit of ground hazelnuts.

Vegan Hazelnut Cake - Gluten-free, Chocolate frosting

My mom also speaks highly and frequently of a hazelnut-meal cake her Italian great aunt used to make, the dense cake made from hazelnuts all grated by hand. That’s what I wanted. No regular cake with liqueur for this gal (also, I hate liqueur).

Vegan Hazelnut Cake - Gluten-free

Lucky for me, hotforfood had a recipe that was sort of what I was looking for. I based the base of the cake loosely off her recipe, tweaking it to my liking and going a different direction with the frosting. Also lucky for me, food processors now exist and I didn’t have to grind hazelnuts by hand.

Gluten-free Vegan Hazelnut Cake

This cake turned out delicious. Rich, light, and dense, fluffy, sweet and nutty, all at once. The frosting pairs oh-so-perfectly with the cake.

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This is not the fastest easiest cake you will ever make. It requires prep work and planning ahead, but I assure you it is worth it. The nutty hazelnut cake offers a rich hazelnut flavor, the dense texture of the nut meal lightened by the oat flour. The ultra-rich deeply chocolatey buttercream elevates the cake from special to spectacular, the flavors reminiscent of Nutella, with far more finesse.

Vegan Chocolate Hazelnutcake_With_Chocolate_Buttercream

This is most definitely a special occasion cake. It feels festive and delicious. The recipe below with give you two layers, and enough buttercream to cover them both. The photos you see are of a cake that only had one layer, made into two, due to a dropped cake incident and making do with what was available. Didn’t matter tho, still tasted delicious!

Vegan Hazelnut cake with chocolate buttercream

I hope you make this and I hope you love it. If you do give the recipe a whirl, be sure to take me on Insta (@katherinebaker4). I love seeing what y’all make!

Happy 2018 everyone!

Vegan Hazelnut Cake with Chocolate Buttercream

Prep Time:  1 hour
Bake Time: 20-30 minutes
Servings: 6-8 people

Ingredients:

Cake:

  • 2 cups hazelnuts
  • 2 cups oat flour (or sub all-purpose)
  • 3 tablespoons flax
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk
  • aquafaba (liquid) from one can of chickpeas
  • 1 teaspoon real vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract (sub additional vanilla if you don’t have it)

Chocolate Buttercream:

  • 1 cup vegan butter, softened (I like Earth Balance baking sticks for frosting)
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 3 cups powder sugar, more as needed
  • 2-3 tablespoons non-dairy milk, as needed

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. If aquafaba is not cold, place in the fridge to chill.
  2. Spread hazelnuts on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a Silpat. Toast for 8-10 minutes until lightly toasted brown. Remove from oven and rub hazelnuts with a paper towel or clean towel to remove skins. If you can’t remove them all, that’s okay. Just do your best.
  3. Allow hazelnuts to cool completely. Meanwhile, lower oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease two 9-inch round cake pans generously with oil or melted vegan butter.
  4. Combine oat flour, flax, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Once hazelnuts have cooled, pulse in a food processor until a flour/fine-ish meal forms. Some chunks are okay. It adds texture.
  5. Add hazelnut meal to dry mixture. Whisk well.
  6. Whip aquafaba with an electric mixture until stiff peaks form. Set aside.
  7. In a small bowl, whisk together oil, non-dairy milk, sugar, vanilla, and almond extract. Stir into dry ingredients until just combined.
  8. Fold aquafaba into mix until just combined. Pour batter into prepared pans. Place in the oven for 20-22 minutes until lightly golden browned and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean upon insertion and removal. Once baked, allow to cool completely.
  9. Meanwhile, prepare frosting: combine softened vegan butter with cocoa powder and powder sugar. Use an electric hand or stand mixer to beat until light and fluffy. Add non-dairy milk if a thinner texture is desired. Add more cocoa powder and/or powder sugar (up to 1 additional cup) if thicker texture is desired. Personally, I added no non-dairy milk because I wanted a super rich thick and fudgy icing. But if you want something a bit thinner and fluffier, add non-dairy milk, one tablespoon at a time, until desired consistency is achieved.
  10. Frost cooled cake, top with hazelnuts, and serve!

Giant Vegan Peanut Butter Cup

I have ALWAYS wanted to make one of these. Ever since I saw the half pounders at Target around the holidays, the urge to create my own ginormous peanut butter cup has festered deep inside me.

Peanut butter cup - Giant and Vegan

Yesterday, I scratched that long-time itch on my baking bucket list by making a real life giant peanut butter cup.

GIANT easy vegan peanut butter cup

I made it for a friend’s bday (hey Sarah, if you’re reading). I also made these Vegan Salty Chocolate Chunk cookies. I was honestly sort of insistent on the whole thing.

broken giant vegan peanut butter cup

Sometimes people are like “oh, you don’t have to bake me anything,” and I’m like “Please just let me I live for excuses to bake.”

Easy vegan giant peanut butter cup

So here we are. I halved the recipe below and put it in a mini pie dish since Sarah is leaving to go back to China tomorrow.

Vegan giant peanut butter cup

I am sad to see Sarah off. I have a lot of friends (well, not really but let’s pretend) from all different stages of life but there is just something about those friends you did stupid shit with in basements and backseats of mini-vans high school.

Vegan peanut butter cup - giant

The filling is more than ordinary peanut butter. Since true Reece’s have more of a frosting-like filling, I tried to channel my inner candy maker and copy it. You can totally just fill it with regular peanut butter if you’d like. That works too.

broken stacked vegan giant peanut butter cup

This broke coming out of the pan (hence the broken pics; do me a favor and pretend it’s artsy, okay? thanks). So grease that puppy good and allow it to come to room temp before trying to remove from the pan.

egan giant peanut butter cup bite

Without further adieu…I give to you…

Giant Vegan Peanut Butter Cup

Prep Time:  10 minutes
Chill Time: 20-30 minutes
Servings: 10-12 people

Ingredients:

  • 18 ounces dark chocolate or non-dairy chocolate chips (I used Trader Joe’s)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil (optional)
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup non-dairy butter, softened
  • 1-1 1/2 cups powder sugar
  • sea salt (optional)

Method:

  1. Grease a pie dish. Set aside
  2. Combine peanut butter and non-dairy butter and whisk together (or use an electric mixer) until smooth. Melting the non-dairy butter may help. Using a hand whisk or electric mixer (preferred) whip in powdered sugar. Use as much or as little as desired until a frosting-like consistency is achieved. If you want it looser, use less powdered sugar. If you want it thicker, use more.
  3. Melt chocolate in a microwave safe bowl in 30 second increments until melted, stirring between each increment. When melted, stir in the coconut oil.
  4. Pour a layer of melted chocolate in the pie dish.
  5. Layer peanut butter frosting in the center of the pie dish. Spread.
  6. Pour remaining chocolate over the peanut butter layer.
  7. Place in the freezer to set, at least 20 minutes. Allow to adjust to room temperature slightly before cutting.