Mary Berry-Inspired Vegan Almond Cherry Cake with Lemon Glaze

So. A while back I made this cake. And it was amazing.

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And for some reason, I saved the recipe as a draft, started 2 new jobs at the same time, and forgot about to post it.

But enough with my excuses; it’s time to share the recipe. I actually based this cake recipe from the beloved Mary Berry of the Great British Bake Off. Which btw is the greatest show of all times.

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I requested to follow Mary on Insta months ago and she never accepted. Oh well. I still gave her cake a whirl, and damn she did not let me down.

It’s super moist and delicate thanks to the non-dairy butter and almond meal, and the cherries add a beautiful sweet-tart ness.

Vegan Almond Cherry Cake Mary Berry GBBO Inspired

Cherries are one of my favorite fruits ever, so I loved them in this cake. I used frozen for this cake, although Mary Berry’s version used those syrupy jarred florescent ones. I feel comfortable with my choice. I also veganized the recipe. Sorry, Mary.

Give this cake a whirl, and let me know what you think. Tag me on Insta, or comment below.

Vegan Almond Cherry Cake Mary Berry GBBO Inspired

Vegan Cherry Almond Cake

Prep Time:  minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes, but at least 2-4 hours for chilling
Servings: about 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 3/4 cups flour all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup almond meal
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons chia seeds or flax
  • 1/4 cup non-dairy milk
  • 6 ounces non-dairy butter, softened (can sub neutral oil, like canola with varied results)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • zest of one lemon
  • 3/4 cup diced fresh or frozen/thawed cherries, tossed lightly in flour

For Icing:

  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2-3/4 cup powdered sugar

For garnish:

  • Additional 1/4 cup cherries
  • 1/4 cup diced almonds

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9-inch bundt pan.
  2. Dice cherries and toss lightly in flour to prevent them from absorbing moisture from cake. Set aside.
  3. Combine chia seeds and flax with non-dairy milk. Set aside to congeal as an egg substitute.
  4. Combine flour, almond meal, baking powder, and salt. Mix well.
  5. In a separate bowl, whip sugar into softened non-dairy butter with a whisk or an electric mixer. Add juice of lemon.
  6. Add non-dairy milk and chia seed mix into the non-dairy butter mix. Mix well.
  7. Fold the dry ingredients into the non-butter/sugar mixture.
  8. Fold in floured cherries.
  9. Pour batter into pan and bake for 35-40 minutes until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean upon insertion/removal (that’s what she said?).
  10. While cake is baking, prepare icing by combining juice of one lemon with powdered sugar. Add more or less powdered sugar depending on how thick or thin you like your icing.
  11. Drizzle icing over cooled cake. Garnish with diced almonds and cherries. Enjoy!

 

Cherry Almond Vanilla Granola

Homemade granola makes me so happy. It’s so easy and fast and sounds impressive, but is a super quick thing to throw together and munch on all week long.

Vanilla Cherry Almond Granola. Vegan && Gluten-free

I would categorize granola as something that definitely is worth making at home. There are certain things I think are definitely easier to buy. An example of this would be hummus and almond butter. I try my best, but I can never get the texture as good as the ones from Trader Joe’s. I’ll keep working on this. In the meantime, I’ll keep cranking out granolas by hand, whether they be of the Puppy Chow variety, Nutty Gingerbread Granola, or Carrot Cake Granola. Or, in this case, Cherry Almond Vanilla Granola:

Vanilla Cherry Almond Granola. Vegan & Gluten-free!

But homemade granola is noticeably better than store-bought. First off, it just tastes so darn fresh and wonderful. It’s also easy to customize. I like that I can add a boatload of nuts because I like a  boatload of nuts in my granola. I can also make it extra-cinnamony and not-too-sweet. And it’s wonderful and perfect and has a magnificent crunch and makes the house (or studio apartment) smell absolutely wonderful. It’s actually a staple of mine to snack on and keep around the house, which is why when the Recipe Redux challenge for May was to share a DIY household kitchen staple, I knew I had to share a recipe for granola. Easy to make, more than worth the effort, and always a delightful snack to have on hand. Yums.

Vanilla Cherry Almond Granola. Vegan and Gluten-free

Today I was running very low on maple syrup because my mom used like, all of mine without my knowledge. I try to remind myself that she paid for my food for 18 years of me growing which couldn’t have been cheap. But then I’m usually still sad because I am emotionally attached to all of my foods. Regardless, I ended up trying to use applesauce to replace some of the syrup. I actaully really liked the result. It gives it a nice texture and good clump-age (sounds sexy, right?) and acts as a wonderful binder without giving too much sweetness to the stuff. I’d do it again.

Vanilla Cherry Almond Granola. Vegan and Gluten-free!

So in a way it ended up being a good thing that I was low on maple syrup. Except then I ended up at Trader Joe’s on an off day (again) which is getting embarrassing. Sometimes a girl just needs to get her homemade granola fix.

Vanilla Cherry Almond Granola. Vegan && Gluten-free

So here we go with this Cherry Almond Vanilla Granola. It’s a great combination of flavors. I really love almonds and cherries and they pair together quite well. Vanilla adds a warmth and sweetness to tie it all together.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Bake Time: 30 minutes
Level: Easy

makes about 4 cups granola

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cups almonds  (I used slivered, because it was what I had, but you can use whatever)
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup apple sauce
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup (can sub honey)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. In a large bowl, combine oats, optional coconut shreds, and salt. Mix well.

3. In a small bowl, combine coconut oil, apple sauce, brown sugar, vanilla and maple syrup. Mix well.

4. Pour wet mixture over dry mixture and mix until well combine. The oats should all be a little wet. Transfer to a parchment-lined or nonstick baking sheet. Place into the oven for 30-35 minutes until nuts and oats have browned. Add cherries and almonds about 15 minutes into baking and mix well (this is optional, if desired you can add them from the get-go, I just prefer my nuts and dried cherries a little less toasted, especially if the nuts are slivered, but you can easily add them before baking). When it is done, it will still be sticky. Take it out of the oven anyways. It will harden as it cools. Enjoy 🙂

Vanilla Cherry Almond Granola. Vegan & Gluten-free!

For more DIY Kitchen Staples from fellow Recipe Redux members, click around below:

Cherry Oatmeal Breakfast Cookie Sandwiches with Healthy Ganache Filling

So. How do you explain this situation: you are standing outside at 6:55am wearing an oversized NYU hoodie and periwinkle blue leggings, accented by mismatched socks peeping through 6-year-old Birkenstocks, with a plate full of breakfast cookies before you, and  your giant camera, simultaneously eating the cookies while taking pictures of them, when suddenly the lawn service guy who is roughly your age comes around with a weed whacker and scares the daylights out of you???

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Answer: you don’t. You do not even try to explain the situation. You and your camera, dangling from your neck, run back inside and feel super awkward. Then you realize 2 minutes later you don’t care and go back outside and continue taking photos in peace, totally ignoring the weed whacking going on within your 4 foot radius. You finish the cookies and you head back inside, settling upon the fact that there is no quality explanation of this behavior, and that life is going to go on as usual because you have delicious breakfast cookies to eat.

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COOKIES FIX EVERYTHING! And these babies are simply scrumptious. It’s no secret that I’m crazy about oatmeal (in fact, my first EVER food-related article was written about a restaurant called OatMeals in NYC) and it’s also no secret that I love cookies. Lastly, it’s kind of fun for me to make baked goods that are normally not-so-nutrious good for you. Like these. Packed with whole grains and fiber, the cookies are great on their own or enhanced with a yogurt-based ganache (easily made vegan or not)- which is honestly as creamy and thick and rich and delicious tasting as any frosting you come across without being so nasty. The cocoa powder adds thickness and chocolatelyness because that’s what cocoa powder does. #foodsciencelessonoftheday

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Overall, these babies make for a satisfying breakfast, snack, or even dessert. They are nice and chewy. And also hearty with chunks of nuts. And sweet, but not too sweet. All things, I personally, look for when I’m in the mood for a specifically healthy-but-sweet-tasting-chewy craving. But most importantly, Millie approves. She even got a lil fiesty begging for these. Look at that sass. She just loves food. So do I. Sometimes, I swear we’re actually related. #family

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Prep Time: 20 minutes

Bake Time: 10-12 minutes

Level: Easy

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup dates
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 1/4 cup dried cherries
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • dash of salt
  • 1 cup Soy or Greek yogurt
  • 3-4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon sugar or agave (optional)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Meanwhile, place dates in a bowl of water and allow to soften for about 10 minutes.

2. Take one cup rolled oats and whirl in a food processor until a fine powder forms. This is your oat flour. Empty it from the food processor and set aside in a large mixing bowl. Add remaining 1 cup rolled oats.

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3. Place softened dates into the food processor along with the mashed, ripe banana and 1/4 cup of the almonds into the food processor. Blend until a play-dough like paste forms. Remove from the food processor and add to the large mixing bowl with oat mixtures.

4. Add cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt to the large mixing bowl. Mix all until well combined.

5. Chop remaining 1/4 cup almonds and 1/4 cup dried cherries and add to the bowl. Mix again.

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6. Scoop golf-ball sized balls of cookie dough from the bowl onto a nonstick baking sheet. Press the cookies down slightly with your palm to flatten a bit, and bake for about 10-12 minutes, until the oats begin to brown.

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7. Remove cookies from baking sheets and allow to cool completely. While the cookies are cooling, assemble the ganache: mix yogurt, cocoa powder, and sugar to taste in a small bowl. You can play with the amounts of chocolate and sugar you use in the ganache. The more cocoa powder you add, the thicker it will be. You can also make the ganache as sweet as you desire by adding more cocoa powder.

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8. Using a knife, spread 3 tablespoons of the ganache on each cookie. Eat cookie. Or assemble two cookies with some ganache into a nice little healthy cookie sandwich. Or you can dip the cookies straight into a bowl of ganache, basically using the cookie as a vessel for the ganache (it’s really thick and tasty!). The possibilities are endless and delicious! Enjoy.

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Cherry Chia Muesli Bread

We’ve been out of bread for like, 52 hours in this house. Which is, in my humble opinion, an emergency. I’ve been picking up whole grain bagels from Panera on the daily to get through these rough times. But last night, when I found myself unable to bear the thought of waking up to a bread less morning, I decided the store was too big a hassle (read: did not want to put pants on) so I dug deep into my dwindling pantry and decided to whip some up to bake in the morning.

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IMG_9441  IMG_9514  sorry for the excessive bread porn..

I was inspired by these weird Muesli rolls I grew quite found of when I studied abroad in Paris. This Monoprix grocery store right by school sold them $0.60 and when paired with some fresh fruit it made for the perfect little breakfast to eat before class (b/c eating IN class was a no-no in Franceland).

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Another no-no in France was iced coffee. It was like finding a nice, straight, actually decent non-pig boy at NYU. Basically impossible. I spent a gross amount of money and endured a lot of snickers from Starbucks cashiers who served me my iced Americanos, as they seemingly always enjoyed pointing out their appropriate names.

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So in Paris, not as much iced coffee. But great muesli rolls I’ll remember forever. Win some, loose some. Overall one of best experiences of lyfe.

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Back to bread: it’s the BEST. Especially when it’s homemade. Like this stuff. I didn’t have raisins like the muesli rolls I ate in France so I used dried cherries which I diced up. I also didn’t have millet seeds (which are GREAT in breads like this) so I used some chia seeds.

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The result was frickin’ delicious and a true treat to wake up to baking this morning and eat as a second breakfast because let’s be honest I need to eat within 10 minutes of getting out of bed or I punch people. So it baked as I downed my berries and oatmeal and served as a delicious mid-morning snack-attack buster.

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It’s really great warm. Or toasted. Or with almond butter. Would also pair nicely with goat cheese. Or cheddar. Or as part of a sandwich. Sweet or savory. Or just plain. Okay I really like this bread. Go bread. BREAD!! #carbs5ever

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Prep Time: 4 hours (including rising – if left overnight will be longer)

Cook Time: 22-35 minutes

Level: Easy

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups warm water
  • 1 packet yeast
  • 1 tablespoon sugar (to feed the yeast! nomnom #betterrising)
  • 2 cups whole-wheat flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats, divided half
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup mixed nuts, chopped (I used almonds, pistachios and cashews. and tbh this was because I bought an individual bag of these nuts at Walgreens earlier in the day and they were what was around. walnuts would work great. use what you have, always!)
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons chia seeds

Directions:

1. Heat water to 110-115 degrees and sprinkle yeast and sugar into the bowl. The sugar is for the yeast to eat. This will help it activate and your dough to rise. <–this is your mini food science lesson of the day.

2. Let the water/yeast sit for 5-10 minutes until it smells yeasty and looks foamy. Yum. Add flours, salt, and 1/4 cup rolled oats and mix.

3. If using a stand mixer, attach the dough hook and let it work its magic for about 5 minutes. If doing it by yourself (bless your soul) kneed on a floured service for about 10-14 minutes.

4. Place dough in an oiled bowl and allow to rise/double in size. Two or three hours is minimum. I did overnight.

5. Punch down dough. This redistributes the yeast (#foodscienceminilesson2) and transfer dough ball to a lightly floured surface. Knead a few times and use a rolling pin or hands to flatten.

6. Chop nuts and dice dried cherries. Add sunflower seeds, chia seeds, and remaining 1/4 cup rolled oats together. Mix nuts, seeds, and chia together to make muesli.

7. Sprinkle about half of muesli onto flattened dough and then fold dough in half so the muesli is on the inside. Give it one knead then roll out then flatten the dough once more, sprinkling 1/4 of the muesli mix (half of what’s remaining) here and there. Next fold and knead the dough into  a round ball orby thing. Honestly I think when it looks a little imperfect it looks more beautiful.

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8. Sprinkle what’s remaining of the muesli on top of the dough and allow to sit (shaped) on a gently oiled baking sheet for an hour. This is the second rising aka the “proof”. It’s actually more important than the first. (#foodscienceminilesson3) Don’t skip this step. The proof is in the puddin’ LOL. sorry.

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9. While the dough is proofing, relax for a while. Walk your dog. When there are about 20 minutes left in your proofing time, preheat the oven to 450 degrees and place an empty baking sheet on the lowest rack. This has a purpose I promise. Give the dough ball a slash or two (or three) with a knife.

10. When the oven is preheated and dough is proofed, place bread in the oven on its baking sheet. Pour a large cup of water onto the lower empty baking sheet to create steam which will help your bread brown and develop a beautiful crust. You can also spritz it a few times with a spritz bottle full of water, but this seemed more complicated at the time.

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11. Allow bread to bake 22-30 minutes until fragrant and golden and delicious. When it is done, should should hollow when you tap it on the top.

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12. Allow it to cool (if you can wait) and slice with a serrated knife. Enjoy plain or with literally any topping because it is so good you can do no wrong. Like, it’d even taste good with ice cream and pickles on top. Probably. Maybe. Anyways, eat up.

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Black Rice Pudding with Coconut, Vanilla, and Tart Cherries

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Yes I know I just posted a black rice salad recipe. But when I like something, I really like it and tend to get a little over enthusiastic about it (hence why I filled up like 6 Big Gay Ice Cream frequent buyer punch cards this year). At this moment I can’t get enough black rice. It’s probably my favorite grain of the moment, right next to my beloved oat, which I hold highly on a pedestal. Black rice has topped quinoa, barley, brown rice, etc on my list. I. can’t. get. enough.

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No, I didn’t invent black rice pudding. Apparently it’s like a common dessert in Thailand. Way to go Thailand. You guys are brilliant.

I browsed a lot of recipes on the web for black rice pudding around 5:50 this morning after I finally gave up trying to sleep through my darling dog barking at a thunderstorm. I think she thought the loud crashes of thunder were intruders. Silly nugget. I shall forgive you because while sipping coffee in the wee hours I did a lot of black rice pudding research, took what I wanted from different recipes, and eventually came up with this. And it’s fantastic. So thanks, Millie, I owe ya for this one 😉

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This morning I added some vanilla, walnuts, coconut shreds, and tart dried cherries to it. These were conveniently in my (read: my mother’s) pantry so I went with them. But you can add whatever you like. But this pudding could be great just plain and simple, with chopped mango or blueberries or whatever your heart desires. It makes a lovely breakfast, snack, or dessert. You go black rice.

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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: about 1 hour
Level: Easy

Ingredients:
(can easily be doubled, but hey, I’m just one human and was experimenting with a new recipe so I made a smaller batch):

  • 1/2 cup black rice
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla (use real stuff not imitation or I will h8 u and so will your taste buds)
  • dash of salt
  • 1/2 cup canned coconut milk (if desired, you can nix the almond milk and use all coconut, but I wanted something a little lighter for breakfast)
  • 3/4 cup almond milk
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons dried cherries or other topping (if desired)
  • 3 tablespoons coconut shreds (optional)
  • almond milk or honey to top

Directions:

1. Place black rice, water, vanilla and salt in a small saucepan and *~*simmer*~* over low heat for 30 minutes. I like the word simmer. It reminds me of Professor Snape for reasons beyond my explanation.

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2.Once the rice is mostly cooked, add the coconut milk, almond milk, and sugar. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to *~*simmer*~* for another 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally until a desired consistency is reached. You may need to add more coconut and/or almond milk as needed to achieve your desired final product.

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3. Mix in dried cherries and coconut shreds (if desired).

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5. Spoon into a bowl, allow to cool (if desired, or not if you’re impatient like me), and top with your choice of goodies.

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6. Enjoy!

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