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.

Vegan Chocolate Silk Pie with Coconut Almond Cream

Are you sitting down? Because if not, I think you should for what I’m about to say: this pie was possibly one of the best pies I’ve ever made, let alone eaten. This is a serious statement considering how many pies I’ve sampled and/or birthed in my lifetime. It was that good. Like, need-to-keep-eating-past-uncomfortably-full-ness-good.

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Creamy. Silky. Chocolately. Coconutty. Almondy. A little crunchy thanks to the graham cracker crust and the shredded coconut. Yet fluffy thanks to the whipped topping. Sweet, yet rich and bitter. Delectably chocolately. Thick. Luscious. Smooth. One of those pies where you finish your slice and wonder where it went and proceed to lick your plate and fork and the serving utensils and then go back for another slice. What dreams are made of.

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Here’s a plot twist to make this dessert even more flawless: it’s one of the easiest pies you can possibly make. It’s no bake, minimal ingredients, minimal mess, and few ingredients.

And just when you thought this pie could not be any better, it proves you wrong. It’s like this pie the Beyonce of pies. Okay are you ready for this? It’s ridiculously healthy. And you’d never guess. Ever. I make a lot of “healthier” versions of desserts or meals or snacks and a lot of the times they do taste, well, healthier. I like this, but not all people do. You could feed this to the most anti-health-food glutton and they’d never know it was healthy, let alone vegan, or in a million years guess a main ingredient is tofu. You really really can’t tell. My mom agreed: she said she would have never guess and that it was one of the best pies she’s ever had.

I made this pie spontaneously for Thanksgiving. No it is not a typical Thanksgiving pie. This year, it was only my mom and I for Thanksgiving and so we did our own atypical vegan Thanksgiving and made some traditional food like rolls and Brussels Sprouts and roasted vegetables, and some interesting other random stuff, like an Italian-Asian Braised Boy Choy dish and Rosemary-Infused Cranberry Sauce and tempeh.

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We had already had a “classic” style Thanksgiving meal with all the fixings a few weeks earlier, so this was more our play-time and excuse to try new things.

So since I had already made a pumpkin pie this year (I made a pie inspired by Minimalist Baker’s Vegan Pumpkin Pie and it turned out great), but with graham crust because I love graham crust and have always thought it’d go well with a pumpkin pie. So since pumpkin and apple and pecan pies have already been on my plate in the past few weeks, I wanted to try something else. And yesterday, I really really wanted chocolate. And graham crust. And a layer of fluffy whipped goodness. With coconut. And almond. I wanted all these things. So I combined them into this perfect, precious, beautifully delicious and wonderful pie.

Protein and fiber and B vitamins from the tofu. Extra protein and fiber and flavonoids from the cocoa powder. MUFAs and PUFAs from coconut fat. The almond extract and sugar don’t add much nutritional value, but they add boat loads of flavor and taste, and compliment the rest of this basically-super-food pie. Ugh. Stop being so flawless, pie. I can’t stop staring/eating.

You must make this. Like I said, it’s the Beyonce of pies. Ridiculously delicious. Coincidentally healthy, and vegan, and almost too easy to make to believe. But one bite, and you will believe. And come knocking at my door thanking me for this recipe, which might be one of my favorites to date.

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Enough talking, I need to polish off the remaining sliver of pie currently sitting in my fridge. Wouldn’t want that one piece to be lonely, now would I? And with that, I leave you with this message: EAT ALL THE PIE! 😀

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Prep Time: 10 minutes

Bake Time: 0 minutes, but needs at least 1 hour to set in the refridgerator

Level: Easy

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Ingredients – Crust:

  • 10 graham crackers (about 1 + 1/2 sleeves)
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 6 tablespoons coconut oil, melted

Ingredients – Chocolate Filling:

  • 12 ounce package silken tofu
  • 3/4 cup high quality cocoa powder (I used Godiva)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup almond milk

Ingredients – Coconut Almond Cream:

  • 1 can full-fat coconut milk, left in refrigerator overnight (if you’re short on time and/or not vegan, using a container of regular or non-dairy cool-whip topping would also work well)
  • 2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 1/2 cup coconut shreds, divided (1/4 cup for topping, 1/4 cup for garnish)
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar (omit if using cool-whip topping)

Directions:

1. Break graham crackers into small pieces and create crumbs from the crackers by either pulsing them in a food processor or mashing them with a large spoon in a plastic zip-lock bag. I like to leave mine a little crumbly, instead of pulsing to a fine powder. I dig texture/the crunch. But you can do what you want. Dump graham crumbs into a small bowl. Melt coconut oil for a few seconds in the microwave and add to the graham crumbs. Add sugar, and mix until all crumbs are moist and the mixture adheres to itself. If you need to add more melted coconut oil, go for it.

2. Press crumb crust mixture into a lightly oiled pie pan, covering the bottom and the edges. Set aside.

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3. In a food processor or blender, combine tofu, cocoa powder, sugar, and almond milk. Puree until smooth. Pour into pie pan on top of crust. Cover and set in the refrigerator.

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4. Open can of coconut milk. Drain off top half and save for another use (great for smoothies, stir-frys, on oatmeal, etc). There should be a solid mass at the bottom of the good fatty stuff. Remove this and place in a bowl. To this, add almond extract and powdered sugar. Whip with electric beaters until light and fluffy. Fold in 1/4 cup coconut flakes. Spread fluffy mixture all over chocolate pie. If you are using a cool-whip substitute instead of coconut milk, simply fold in 1/4 cup coconut flakes and almond extract. This option will also be tasty.

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 5. Garnish with remaining 1/4 cup coconut shreds, and extra shredded chocolate if desired. Eat pie. Try to remember to breathe. Eat more pie. Enjoy life. 🙂

Sweet Potato [Turkey Shaped] Bread

This month’s challenge for The Recipe Redux was to re-do a recipe that we remember as a traditional Thanksgiving dish, but make it a little healthier. At first, I had a hard time thinking of anything that specifically stuck out to me as “special” or specific or in need of a re-do. When I had Thanksgiving at one side of the family’s house when I was little, I couldn’t think of anything out of the ordinary that stuck out as a unique dish. Then, when we had it at the other side of the family’s, everything was Italian-ish and already super healthy (like roasted veggies and salads).

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Hmm, sigh. As I’m normally such a nostalgic human, I was a bit shocked that nothing immediately stood out to me. Then, out of no where, I remembered TURKEY BREAD and could not believe that I had forgot this beloved carby pillowy fluffy wonder of the world. This is something my mom would make with us when we were little almost every.single.year. I can recall once in high school hearing there were no plans of turkey bread on the menu and being a demanding little diva and insist it got made. It did. (insert emoji hand flip girl here).

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So what is turkey bread, exactly? Well, I feel like I should preface that there is no turkey or traces of turkey in this bread. It’s a brioche-type soft, fluffy bread that we always shaped into a turkey, you know, to be festive. [Read: my mom said we were driving her crazy and wanted to give us a hands-on project]. But now vegetarians and vegans can have a piece of turkey (bread), too ;-).

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This version of the bread is made healthier and even more festive via use of a sweet potato to provide softness and tenderness that was provided in the original recipe by egg yolks. So yes, I made brioche-inspired bread with no egg yolks, eggs, or butter, and yes, it turned out soft and fluffy and wonderful. In fact, I enjoyed the additional sweetness the sweet potato provided.

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This bread is super fun to make and serve and everyone will love it. As long as you plan ahead with ample time to let the dough rise, it’s pretty easy to make, as well. The assembly is also much easier than it looks if you glance at the directions. Honestly the easiest way to do it is to just look at the picture and try to copy the shape. It seems to work best. Or make your own shape! It’s really up to you; I just hope you do make it and enjoy it!

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I genuinely hope you have a terrific Thanksgiving and long weekend! It’s honestly one of my favorite times of year because matter your religion or background, everyone comes together to celebrate delicious food and family. What is better than that? Have a good one and eat all da noms ! :-).

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Prep Time: At least 4 hours (to allow ample time for yeast to rise)

Bake Time: 20-30 minutes

Level: Medium

Yield: 1 medium-sized turkey bread that would probably be enough to serve as a side for 4-6 people

Ingredients:

  • 1 large sweet potato (about 1/2 a pound or 8 ounces)
  • 4 tablespoons coconut oil (can also use other vegetable oil, or non-dairy spread or butter)
  • 1 cup almond or soy milk
  • 1 1 1/4-oz package dry active yeast (~2.5 teaspoons)
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups whole wheat pastry (can sub all all-purpose flour or oat flour if desired)

Directions:

1. Cut sweet potato into small cubes (about 1 inch pieces) and place in a small sauce pan. Cover potato cubes with about 1″ water above the potatoes. Bring to a boil then reduce and simmer until the potato cubes are tender, about 15-18 minutes.

2. While potato is cooking, melt coconut oil in a second small saucepan and add almond milk and stir for about one minute.

3. Remove potato from heat. Strain the potato cubes, but KEEP THE POTATO LIQUID aka the water the potato pieces cooked in. I repeat, do not throw it away. Set it aside. This water has starch in it and you will use it to make your bread extra luscious and soft. Also, it’s basically #reclycing. #ecofriendly.

4. Take potato pieces and place in a medium sized bowl. Mash it and add stir in milk mixture and 1 tablspoon sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Take 1/3 cup potato water and place in a microwave safe bowl or pyrex and heat to 105-110 degrees Fahrenheit. Actually take the time to use a food thermometer and check to make sure you’re in this range, or you can kill or under-activate the yeast and all your efforts will be lost! Once it’s in this range, add 1 tablespoon sugar and the sea salt and allow to sit until foamy, at least 10 minutes.

5. When foam is formed, transfer yeast mixture to potato mixture and stir. Add all the flours and mix with a wooden spoon until a sticky dough has formed. Knead for 5-10 minutes until dough is elastic-y and you have all your frustrations worked out. Then transfer to an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a towel and place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.

6. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cover a rolling surface with a small amount of flour or plastic wrap and grab a rolling pin. Punch down the dough (this redistributes the yeast #foodscience) and give it a few good kneads. Then, remove about 1/5th of the dough to make the bird’s body. Set this aside. Roll the rest of the dough into a ball, and flatten with a rolling pin into a giant circle.

7. To make the feathers: cut the dough like you would a pizza into small triangles. Flatten each triangle with a rolling pin, and roll, from narrow tip to thick side (if each were a pizza crust, from the tip to the crust) to form rolled cylinders. They can and should vary in size, as they are wings, and you need a variety of sizes!

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8. Take the 1/5th of dough you set aside. Roll about 80% of that into a small ball for the body of the turkey. Roll out the other small piece into a cylinder, and twist and shape one end of it into a head, with a beak, and add a small bead for an eye. Place onto the body of the turkey, and wrap the neck as desired. Move body onto parchment paper on a baking sheet and begin to assemble.

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9. Assemble feathers onto body by gently pressing the cylinders you rolled out into the body from behind. Place shorter cylinders towards the end, and the longer ones on top. If you need to cut and shape and re-roll a few, do it. Honestly this whole thing is easier to just look at the pictures and try to recreate the shape. Just pretend the dough is delicate play-doh I guess. Okay I spend too much time working with children and playing with play-doh.

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10. Cover turkey with a towel and allow to proof for at least an hour. Don’t skip this step. According to everything I learned in food science, the second rising is more important than the first.

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11. Place baking sheet into the oven and bake for 22-28 minutes, or until golden brown around the edges and puffed. When you lift the bread’s edges, the bottom should be slightly browned. And/or tap on the bread, and it should sound hollow. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

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12. Serve alongside your other favorite Thanksgiving noms and enjoy! Happy Thanksgiving :-D.

For more healthy takes on classic Thanksgivng dishes, click around below for awesome ideas from fellow members of The Recipe Redux !