Vegan Olive Oil Lemon Blueberry Muffins

I’m not one to tell anyone what to do with their lives but can I tell you that you need to make these muffins? Because you do.

Easy Vegan Olive Oil Lemon Blueberry Muffins

Well, not really. But if you’re looking to increase your daily intake of deliciousness or happiness, I’d strongly urge you to make these muffins.

Vegan Olive Oil Lemon Blueberry Muffins

Why? I believe it’s rather obvious just by looking at the title. First of all, who dislikes muffins? Can you name one single person? Me either.

Delicious Vegan Lemon Olive Oil Blueberry Muffins !

Moving on to what’s inside: olive oil, lemon juice, and fresh juicy blueberries. When I was little my mom used to always serve blueberries with lemon juice and sugar for dessert or as a snack sometimes in the summer. It’s a wonderly simple, refreshing, and easy treat. The lemon juice makes the blueberries sparkle, and the sugar tempers the bitterness of the lemon. Yum.

Vegan Lemon Olive Oil Blueberry Muffins

So the other day I was eating my blueberries with lemon juice and sugar just like I did 20 years ago (omg I’m so old), and I simultaneously wanted a muffin. As you may know, blueberry muffins are my favorite muffins, which I discuss in this post, Vegan Blueberry Flax Breakfast Muffins. And then when it comes to summery treats, I think citrus/sour, so I decided to make a muffin that paired lemon and blueberry together.

Easy Vegan Olive Oil Lemon Blueberry Muffins

When it came to choosing a fat, I went with olive oil. Because this Lemon Olive Oil Coconut Cake is quite literally still one of my favorite things I’ve ever made. These muffins are basically a portable muffin-version of the cake. Aka perfection.

Vegan Olive Oil Lemon Blueberry Muffins

The blueberries add a luscious burst of juiciness and flavor, and a nice textural contrast to the super moist cake. Which leads me to mention that in the world of muffins, I always believe there are two categories: breakfast muffins and desesrt muffins. These are definitely more on the dessert-y muffin side of life. But you can also eat them for breakfast. Because yum.

Easy Vegan Olive Oil Lemon Blueberry Muffins

Hope your summer is going splendidly~! And if you need a little sunshine in your life or in your mouth, make these muffins and cuddle your puppy and have a lovely day. 😀

Vegan Lemon Olive Oil Blueberry Muffins

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Bake Time: 20-25 minutes
Level: easy

Delicious Vegan Lemon Olive Oil Blueberry Muffins!

makes 24 muffins / cupcakes

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/3 cups olive oil
    • can sub up to half with coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups coconut milk or almond milk, unsweetened (can use ‘lite’ canned coconut milk, or out of a fat-free out of a carton, like the kind you put in cereal. both work!)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cider (or any) vinegar
  • zest of 2 large lemons (about 3-4 tablespoons)
  • juice of 2 large lemons (1/4-1/2 cup)
    • *note, you can make this as lemony or as plain as you desire, by increasing or decreasing lemon juice and zest within given ranges
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
    • could also sub 1 cup cake flour & 1 cup all-purpose flour
    • gluten-free: use 2 cups gluten-free flour blend, or oat flour with varied results
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. In a small bowl or measuring up combine almond/coconut milk and vinegar. Allow to sit, at least 10 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine olive oil and sugar and whisk together. Zest lemons and place zest aside. Juice lemons and place juice aside n another small bowl.

3. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk to combine. Add lemon zest and whisk again.

4. Add half flour mixture to olive oil and sugar mixture, and fold gently with spatula. Add half non-dairy milk and vinegar mixture. Repeat with remaining half of flour mixture and remaining half of non-dairy milk mixture.

5. Fold in blueberries

6. Pour batter into lined or well-oiled muffin tins

7. Bake for 18-22 minutes until lightly golden, fragrant, and/or cake begins to pull away from sides of pan, and a toothpick inserted in the center of the pan comes out clean upon removal.

Delicious Vegan Lemon Olive Oil Blueberry Muffins !

Vegan Lemon Olive Oil Coconut Cake

Before yesterday, I had never in my life gotten a car wash. True fact. It was something someone always did for me in high school, and then when I was in college, I rarely drove because that’s just not something that happens at NYU. I actually used to chuckle when people asked me if I had a car “out there.” I’d be like HECK NO and I don’t want one.

Easy Lemon Olive Oil Coconut Cake Vegan kbaked

I’ve just never been a fan of driving, nor have I ever been particularly good at it.  Some people enjoy it; it not my piece of cake. Cake is my piece of cake, thank you very much.

Lemon Olive Oil Cake Vegan Coconut

Back to the carwash. So, I finally get my car washed for the first time EVER at the ripe age of 24 and feel super adult and whatnot, and manage to somehow almost die and get my car totaled in the process. During a carwash. I kid you not. It was a highly stressful two minutes full of James-Bond worthy car-escape-ism, fast running, dramatic yelling of “STOP IT’S AN EMERGENCY” and returning to my car and saving my cute little car’s butt just in the nic’o time. It was a stressful two minutes, to say the least.

Lemon Olive Oil Coconut Cake Vegan

Anyways I decided to listen to “Shake it Off” like a basic bitch, go to Target to walk around, space out and calm down. I even treated myself to an iced coffee with soy milk, just to prove how basic I could be, in case anyone had doubts. I proceeded to realize it was beautiful out, and took my dog to froyo. Any time life feels a bit off, I look at my dog and feel like life is going to be okay because she’s so damn cute.

The nice weather had sunny vibes had me craving spring. The stress of the day had me craving sugar. I wanted something fresh and light. I wanted an old favorite, Lemon Olive Oil Coconut Cake. This was the cake I made for my sister’s bridal shower. *excuses self for nostalgic moment/sigh* She digs it. So do I. Somehow it’s still one of my most “viewed” recipes according to stats. Probably because it’s darn tasty.

Lemon Olive Oil Coconut Cake Vegan

Lately I’ve been on such a kick of making new things that I haven’t made this old favorite in quite some time. But yesterday felt like the day. And so, I revisited my old recipe, revamped it a bit, and veganized it, which was super easy to do because the only thing that needed changing was nixing/replacing the eggs. It’s as light, luscious, fluffy and lemony as ever, and a seriously good recipe to place in your arsenal for crowd-pleasing entertainment, especially in the spring and summer months.

kbaked Lemon Olive Oil Coconut Cake Vegan

I made this cake two ways yesterday, to make sure I gave you guys the best vegan-ized recipe possible. My result was that both cakes were delicious. And then I had two cakes. Because kitchen experiments are my piece of cake. And for those of you love driving, I’ll leave that to you, and stick to cookies. Peace out gurlscouts. Happy Spring/Easter/Passover, etc. 😎

Lemon Olive Oil Coconut Cake Vegan

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Bake Time: 30-40 minutes
Level: easy

makes 2 9″-inch round cakes, 2 9×9″-inch square cakess, or one 9×13″ sheet cake

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/3 cups olive oil
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups coconut milk or almond milk, unsweetened (can use ‘lite’ canned coconut milk, or out of a fat-free out of a carton, like the kind you put in cereal. both work!)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cider (or any) vinegar
  • zest of 2 large lemons (about 3-4 tablespoons)
  • juice of 2 large lemons (1/4-1/2 cup)
    • *note, you can make this as lemony or as plain as you desire, by increasing or decreasing lemon juice and zest within given ranges
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
    • could also sub 1 cup cake flour & 1 cup all-purpose flour
    • gluten-free: use 2 cups gluten-free flour blend, or oat flour with varied results
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/3 cup shredded coconut
  • whipped cream, powdered sugar, and/or fresh berries for serving (optional)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. In a small bowl or measuring up combine almond/coconut milk and vinegar. Allow to sit, at least 10 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine olive oil and sugar and whisk together. Zest lemons and place zest aside. Juice lemons and place juice aside n another small bowl.

3. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk to combine. Add lemon zest and whisk again.

4. Add half flour mixture to olive oil and sugar mixture, and fold gently with spatula. Add half non-dairy milk and vinegar mixture. Repeat with remaining half of flour mixture and remaining half of non-dairy milk mixture. Pour into 2 9″-inch round pans, 2 9×9″-inch square pans, or one 9×13″ pan.

5. Bake for 25-35 minutes until lightly golden, fragrant, and/or cake begins to pull away from sides of pan, and a toothpick inserted in the center of the pan comes out clean upon removal.

6. Serve with powdered sugar, whipped cream, and/or fresh berries.

Lemon Olive Oil Coconut Cake Vegan whipped cream

Adapted from my original Lemon Olive Oil Coconut Cake, circa July 2013.

Olive Oil Grape Cake

Once upon a time a few years ago I randomly saw someone on TV make a grape cake. It was a quick, mini-cooking segment on a morning talk show. I can’t even remember who was hosting the show, who made the cake, or where I was when I watched it. All I can remember is that for years, the idea of making a cake with grapes has appealed to me. <— [unintentional pun]

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This happens a lot. I have a hugeee baking bucket list. I’ll want to make something for years sometimes before it actually happens. For example, I wanted to make rainbow cookies for probably 3 year before it actually happened. But then it did. And it was awesome.

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Anyways back to grape cake. It’s been on my baking bucket list for years. I believe the original one that I saw had ricotta and eggs and stuff. But I wanted a light, fluffy cake you could eat for breakfast. So I did my own lil twist on the grape cake by adding the lovely flavor of ALMONDS.

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I added almond extract, which I believe was a solid idea. In fact, I think this makes the cake. I went a step further by adding some leftover almond flour I had. This gave it a heartier texture of sorts. I dug it. If you’re not really into almonds, don’t have almond flour, or just want a plainer, simpler cake, feel free to omit either the almond extract, flour, or both. For those of you who are as nuts about nuts as I am and want them in this cake, go ahead and add.

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The grapes in the cake were very interesting. They got all cooked and juicy and played the same textural component chunks of apples do in apple cakes. Except it was a nice different surprise with a grapey flavor. Warm grapes are delicious, as it turns out (at least they were when I ate this fresh out of the oven and/or when I heated the cake up in the microwave later. Another thing I highly recommend).

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Instead of butter or non-dairy butter, I decided to use olive oil as my fat, to give it a luscious flavor and super moist texture. One of my favorite cakes ever is this Lemon Olive Oil Cake I made a while back for my sister’s bridal shower. Fun fact that post is my most-viewed post on kbaked.com. Dang now I want that cake. [Whispers to self, “Soon, my pet, soon.”] <—-did I just talk to myself on my blog? #awkward.

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In other news, you can and should make this cake. As far as cake-making goes, it’s super fast and easy. And it’s something different. Like DQ. Except DQ isn’t really that different. In fact, it’s pretty commercial and standard. Still delicious though. But not as #trendy or fun to talk about or healthy as this cake.

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Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Level: Easy

makes one 9 inch round cake

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup almond milk
  • 3 tablespoons orange juice or lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar (any kind will do)
  • 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup almond flour (can make in food processor with raw almonds) or 3/4 cup more all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons almond extract (optional)
  • 1 cup fresh grapes
  • powder sugar for dusting as garnish (optional)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. In a small bowl, combine almond milk and vinegar. Allow to curdle for at least 10 minutes. This is your pseudo-buttermilk.

3. In a large bowl, whisk olive oil and sugar. Set aside.

4. In another bowl, combine flours, salt, and baking powder. Whisk together until well combined. You can also sift if you’re fancy / your heart desires.

5. Add half of the flour mixture to the bowl with the olive oil & sugar mix. Fold in gently. Add half almond milk + vinegar mixture, orange or lemon juice, and almond extract. Fold gently until well combine. Add remaining half flour mixture and mix again until just combined.

6. Wash and dry grapes well. Pick them off the stem. I suppose you could leave them on the stem, but that would be a hassle later on.

7. Pour batter into one round 9 inch pan. Sprinkle 3/4ths cup grapes evenly on top of batter, leaving the other 1/4 cup aside. Place in the oven for 20. Add remaining 1/4th cup grapes by gently pressing them into semi-cooked batter. This step is optional, but will give you some grapes peeking out of the cake instead of having all of them sink. If you want them all to sink, that’s cool too. All up to you!

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8. Bake for another 10-12 minutes, until the cake is fragrant, has browned, and a toothpick comes out clean upon removal from the center of the cake.

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9. Dust with powdered sugar if you’d like. Eat and enjoy the grapey olive oily goodness !

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pea pesto

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this is a modified recipe from one of my favorite television chefs, Giada DeLaurentiis. its fairly simple, does not require many ingredients, and is always a huge hit at parties.

traditionally, as giada does, it is served on crostini (bread toasted in the oven with olive oil and garlic), but personally i think it makes a great addition to sandwiches, store-bought ravioli, or in place of hummus as a veggie/cracker/bread dip. 

it doesn’t matter how you want to eat it, but do eat it. the peas are sweet and flavorful (not to mention high in fiber), and when pungent garlic and parmesan temper the sweetness, you get a complex, addictive, blissful dip that you’ll want to eat with a spoon. 

pictured above on oven toasted baguette that was brushed with extra virgin olive oil and rubbed with a garlic clove. halved cherry tomatoes were added to compliment the sweetness of the peas, and leftover shredded parmesan added a decorative and delicious finishing touch. 

 

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for the pea pesto:

  • one thawed 10-ounce package frozen peas
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • dash of pepper
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

directions:

  • thaw frozen peas by leaving them at room temperature or on low heat in the microwave in a microwave-safe bowl
  • peel and mince the garlic clove
  • in a food processor, pulse together the peas, garlic, cheese, salt, and pepper
  • with machine running, drizzle in olive oil slowly and keep the processor running until the mixture is even and smooth
  • serve on crotini, or in place of hummus with crudités, crackers, and bread

for crostini:

  • preheat oven to 300 degrees
  • slice baguette style bread diagonally or cut sliced loaf bread in half or into triangles
  • brush bread lightly with olive oil using a pastry brush or with an olive-oil moistened folded paper towel square
  • cut a garlic clove in half and rub the freshly cut surface of the garlic onto the oiled bread
  • bake for 5-10 minutes until lightly toasted

there you have it! happy eating 🙂 

 

Watermelon Arugula Feta Salad with Mint

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This just might be my favorite salad of all times. Which is a bold statement, considering I eat and love a lot of salads.

If while reading the title of the recipe you felt a slight bit of skepticism, I don’t blame you. The first time I saw this on a menu at my beloved Le Pain Quotidian,  I was a bit hesitant to order it myself. Would the feta and watermelon work together? And with balsamic? I wondered. It seemed like a rather odd mash up of flavors. Luckily, my curiosity over-rid my timidness, and I selected the salad as my lunch entree.

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From the first forkful of watermelon and feta together, I couldn’t get enough of the pairing. Watermelon, sweet and lusciousness, physically and literally attracts dry, tangy, crumbly feta, and the two stick together to deliver a wild flavor explosion to the senses. What is extreme in each is balanced beautifully by the other, and the addition of peppery arugula, and a surprise element of fresh mint, add add up to a salad that with each bit leaves you eager for another, desperate for a change to figure out what dance of flavors is going on in your mouth.

Easy to assemble, this is a perfect summer salad for entertaining, even for a hesitant guest. Best made in summer when watermelon is in season, I served this at my sister’s bachelorette brunch this Saturday, but it makes a welcome and bold addition to any summer gathering, or a perfect solo lunch dish.

For the salad (below serves one as an entree; double for four people as a side dish)

  • 2 cups arugula
  • 3/4 cup watermelon, cubed
  • 1/4 cup feta
  • handful of fresh mint
  • optional: a quarter of a thinly sliced cucumber
  • optional: half a sliced heirloom tomato

Getting dressed:

  • one part (2-3 tablespoons) extra virgin olive oil
  • one part balsamic
  • salt and peper to taste

Directions:

  1. Combine arugula and watermelon cubes. Crumble feta over the two.
  2. Chop fresh mint, mix.
  3. If adding cucumber and tomato, chop and add to salad.
  4. Mix olive oil and balsamic in small separate bowl. Pour over salad.
  5. Add salt and cracked pepper to taste.
  6. Go to flavor heaven.

Simple as that. Serve among chewy fresh bread and enjoy what is to be your favorite summer dish.

xoxo,

-KBakes

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lemon olive oil coconut cake

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When i read the title of this cake, my immediate reaction was something like this: omg i love all of that those things they  can only be better together.

Turns out, after making the cake a few times, that  I’m far more instinctual than I give myself credit for.

This cake is good. Really good. Like, you’ll keep going back for just a leeeetle more until suddenly you realize all those “slivers” you were “just nibbling” on added up to half the damn cake. But it could be worse – while it’s certainly not low in fat or calories, this cake is decently healthy compared to many others, especially those pre-made crappy grocery store cakes that don’t even taste good and are full of hydrogenated-artery-clogging goo.

Speaking of arteries and goo and health-related matters, I actually got the inspiration for this recipe from an article of People Magazine while sitting in a doctors office for a sinus infection (see – even good things come of sinus infections!) The blurb included a mini-interview and recipe from Kristen Kish, the most recent winner of  Top Chef. An avid watcher of Top Chef, I was on team-Kristen since day one, and was super excited when, despite the obstacle of getting wrongly eliminated too early, earning a spot back in the finals and being crowned the winner. I always really liked her – she just seems so cool and laidback, with a bad ass edginess. This cake kind of reflects her whole disposition –  it’s  unassuming but it kicks ass.  Its fluffy and flavorful in a bold, yet unique way. It makes me wanna be Kristen even more than I already do.

I did extensive googling but couldn’t find the recipe on the interwebs. Momentarily discouraged, I applied my savvy googling elsewhere: I began looking at similar recipes on epicurious and other blogs and came up with this little ditty which combines several.

Today I’m bringing this to my lovely sister’s bridal shower. Joining the cake will be freshly whipped heavy-whipping cream and some sliced berries. But this cake can stand alone, too, for breakfast , snack, or dessert.

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Kristin, I hope this does you justice. Also we should chill sometime.

For the Cake:

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • zest of two or three lemons (depending on how lemon-y you like things)
  • juice of two lemons (you can use the same two lemons you zested lol)
  • 1 1/3 cup whole or 2% milk
  • 1 1/3 cup shredded coconut flakes (sweetened)

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Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Combine first four ingredients in a large mixing bowl and whisk until combined. You can even sift it if you’re fancy.
  3. Zest the lemons. This can provide great stress relief if you’re having a rough day. Then slice them in half and juice. To make juicing a little easier, try pressing and rolling them against a counter top.
  4. In another large mixing bowl, mix olive oil and sugar. Add lemon zest and lemon juice.
  5. Whisk eggs and add to olive oil mix.
  6. Add olive oil egg/mix in two or three parts to the flour mix, folding in with a spatula as you go. Don’t over mix! Be gentle.
  7. Add the milk in 2-3 parts. Mix again.
  8. Fold in coconut shreds.
  9. Pour into two 9×9 pans or one 13×9.
  10. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until fragrant and lightly golden brown.
  11. Cool (actually important for this baby, the flavors need to mellow and marry)

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*A rule of thumb for cake and cupcake baking: 

If you know me, it should come as no surprise that I basically NEVER remember to set a kitchen timer or look at the time I put baked goods in the oven. Like ever. But in the grand scheme of things I forget (like my keys…for the tenth time…) this is a relatively minor problem. I’ve learned through experience that once you can smell the cake and its flavor waifing into your nose and dancing on your olfactory receptors and triggering all those sensory experiences in your brain – that is when your cake is nearly done.

In short: when it smells good, go check on it. It’s probably ready to come out of the oven.

Enjoy! Happy Monday. And if you’re having a rough day, please look at this photo of my dog after she took my purse off my doorknob and somehow got it around her neck:

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