Category Archives: Desserts

Vegan Pineapple Upside Down Cupcakes with Passion Fruit Cream Cheese Frosting

Imagine a triple attack on your taste buds… caramelized fruit – rich vanilla – tangy topping… well let me show you how! There is a show on the Food Network channel called The Best Thing I Ever Made. One episode featured Elizabeth Falkner making her favorite treat, Pineapple Upside Down Cupcakes with Passion Fruit Frosting. Now I LOVE pineapple upside down cake so I got to thinking how I could recreate this treat but also make it vegan as I had a vegan friend coming over for lunch the next day. The show offered no recipe so I went about making my own. Borrowing my pal Melissa‘s vegan vanilla cupcake recipe was a good start. I also decided to make the frosting a cream cheese based one – because cream cheese makes everything taste better – right? I suppose you could use canned pineapple but I recommend fresh as it has a totally different flavour than the canned. You could un-veganize this buy simply replacing all vegan ingredients with the regular stuff. I’ve had several people now tell me these are the best cupcakes they’ve ever had… I’d say give these a go next time you need to impress!

Vegan Pineapple Upside Down Cupcakes with Passion Fruit Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients:

Cupcakes: (makes 12)
1 cup soy or almond milk
1 teaspoon vinegar
1 1/4 cup flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup canola oil
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons real vanilla
1/4 of a fresh pineapple diced into centimeter size pieces
1/2 cup? brown sugar

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pan with cupcake papers and put pineapple in the bottoms. sprinkle with brown sugar (about a tbsp each).

Mix vinegar and milk and allow to curdle for a few minutes.

Cream oil and sugar in a medium bowl. Add vanilla, cream a bit longer then add milk. Mix all dry ingredients well and add to your wet. Do NOT over mix, just until the lumps are gone.

Fill with batter and bake at 350 for 20 minutes.

Passion Fruit Frosting
(This recipe is doubled. You can freeze the other half and pull it out when needed for your next batch. Great time saver!)

250 grams cream cheese (use tofuti to be vegan)
1/4 cup vegan butter
1 teaspoon real vanilla
1/4 passion fruit pulp
4+ cups of icing sugar

Cream cheese and butter, add vanilla and the passion fruit pulp. Add in icing sugar, one or two cups at a time until frosting has nice firm peaks. Frost cupcakes after they have cooled and try not to eat two of them!

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Sugar Free, Gluten Free Pumpkin Pudding Pie – SCD

Due to the fact that Vancouver switched off summer last week and turned on Autumn, I’ve started hunting the shelves of the store for pumpkin pie to no avail. I mean you can already get a Halloween costume and fruit cake so why not pumpkin pie? And no, I don’t have a Costco card. As I’ve mentioned before my father struggles with some serious health issues when it comes to what he’s able to eat (see previous post) and year after year my dad sits there at the Thanksgiving table watching as we all down our big slices of pumpkin pie. Sadly I watch him eat a bowl of plain yogurt and fruit and I must admit I’ve snuck him the odd bite or two when mum’s not looking.

My SCD carrot cake seems to be a big success when I see how many hits that recipe gets every day. I decided that I would try a decadent pumpkin pie for those of you out there struggling with SCD who are looking for something tasty in this upcoming season. This pie has a thick pudding like filling and a crispy almond crust. Enjoy!


Sugar Free, Gluten Free Pumpkin Pudding Pie – SCD

Ingredients:

3/4 cup almond flour
3/4 cup coconut flour
1 cup finely shredded zucchini
1 can of organic pumpkin puree
1/2 orange zest
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup butter softened
1 egg
1/2 cup honey or agave
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon cloves


Blend butter till smooth and creamy. Add honey and egg to butter and blend well.

Mix all dry ingredients in a separate bowl. In three parts SIFT in the mixture, blending in just till incorporated.

Add zucchini and pumpkin. This cake has a long bake time as it is quite dense. Put into a well greased 8 inch square pan, or grease round 9 inch cake pan. Bake 350 F for 45 to 60 min. Just keep checking as you don’t want it to go too dark on top. 55 minutes has worked for me.

After cake has cooled, with a fork and clean hands begin to break apart the cake into small crumbs. Mix it all around so the consistency is even. Set aside.

Gluten Free SCD Pie Crust

Ingredients:

2 cups almond flour
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons butter, melted

Preheat you oven to 350 degrees.
Light mix egg, vanilla and honey. Add almond flour and then the melted butter.

Place into a pie plate and evenly press the crust around. Get it as even as possible and don’t spread it too thin on the upper crust as it will burn.

Place in the oven for 10-12 minutes. Remove and let crust cool for 10 minutes.

Scoop pumpkin mix into the crust and softly spread it around and then press it down firmly with the backside of a spoon.

And that’s it! you could preheat it in the oven for 10-15 minutes covered with foil just before eating… I drizzled mine slice with a little honey. Delicious!

PS. This is my new cooking sidekick Jonah. She’s just over 5 months old now and loves watching me cook!

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Banana Tarte

I had my old pal Chris over the other night and I decided to try this recipe out for dessert. It is originally from Jamie Oliver (whom I love) but I halved the recipe an added a little nutmeg. I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I am new to using puff pastry (the frozen stuff from the store) but it is SO EASY to use. Do NOT be afraid. Make this… it’s so easy and tastes amazing.

Banana Tarte

Ingredients:

5 tablespoons of sugar
2 tablespoons of butter
3 bananas sliced
pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg
1/2 pack of Tenderflake puff pastry (around 200g)
1/2 orange zest
flour for dusting

Preheat oven to 350 Degrees.
IF you remember – take puff pastry out and let it thaw well in advance. You also want to keep it cold. I have had great success with popping it in the microwave on defrost for like 15 seconds (maybe more depending on your microwave) and then popping it back into the freezer to firm up again before rolling it out).

On medium heat in a cast iron skillet melt butter and add sugar.

Let it sit until it goes golden brown and caramelized (5 mins and I gently stirred mine every minute).

Once done remove from heat, arrange sliced bananas and sprinkle with spices and orange zest.

Roll out cold puff pastry on a floured surface. Make it as round as you can and around an inch bigger than the pan. Lay over top and then tuck in edges. Try to get a bit of them under the bananas. Poke a few holes in the top and slide into the over for 30 minutes or until golden brown.

Remove from the oven and as SOON as possible grab a big enough plate, place over the top (with oven mits on) and flip the tarte onto the plate. If it sticks a bit you may have waited to long. Just pry off the bananas and rearange them back onto the tarte.

Serve with vanilla ice cream and another glass of whatever it is your having…

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Sugar Free, Gluten Free & Vegan Carrot Cake – SCD

For Father’s day this year I decided to make a my dad a treat. He struggles with SCD or Specific Carbohydrate Diet due to long term digestive problems. It is a very strict diet. From the book Breaking The Vicious Cycle… “Some general guidelines are, no grains (i.e. rice, wheat, corn, oats, etc.), no processed foods, no starchy vegetables (i.e. potatoes, yams, etc.), no canned vegetables of any kind, no flour, no sugar, no sweeteners other than honey and saccharin, and no milk products except for homemade yogurt fermented for 24 hours, prepared according to the instructions in the book.” These guidelines make it pretty darn hard to make anything decadent and sweet for a special occasion… or does it? This recipe is one I have adapted from the book. It is beyond moist and sweet and is easily made vegan (except the frosting). It holds together pretty well as gluten free cakes usually crumble apart. Perfect for those struggling with Crohn’s disease, SCD or Celiac disease. One note: making it vegan I found it to be much more crumbly. It’s very hard to get anything gluten free to not fall apart. Still tasted good though. If your diet allows it, add 1 teaspoon of xanthum gum and that should help.

Sugar Free, Gluten Free & Vegan Carrot Cake

Ingredients:

3/4 cups almond flour
3/4 cups coconut flour
1 3/4 cups finely shredded carrots
1 ripe banana mashed
1/2 – 3/4 cup honey (1/2 cup agave for vegans)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup butter (vegans use vegan margarine)
1 egg (vegans use 1 1/2 tbsp egg replacer with 2 tbsp warm water)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cloves
pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla

Blend butter till smooth and creamy. Add honey and eggs to butter and blend well.

Mix all dry ingredients in a separate bowl. In three parts SIFT in the mixture, blending in just till incorporated.

Add carrots and banana. You can add raisins, and nuts if you like as well. This cake has a long bake time as it is quite dense.Put into a well greased 8 inch square pan, or grease round 9 inch cake pan, line the bottom with parchment paper for easy removal.

Bake 350 F for 45 to 60 min. Just keep checking as you don’t want it to go too dark on top. 55 minutes has worked for me.

Sugar Free Frosting

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups of fresh homemade yogurt
honey to taste (a few tablespoons)
vanilla bean
1 tablespoon coconut butter
1 teaspoon coconut flour

This must be started the day before making the cake.

Take a sieve and double line it with paper towel or cheese cloth. Place sieve over bowl and pour the yogurt in. Cover and let sit in your fridge overnight to drain. You will find the next morning a thick dense sour cream in the morning.

Melt the coconut oil and let it cool a bit before adding to the yogurt along with the honey and scrapings of the vanilla bean (you could use 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla). Pop this mixture back in the fridge. The coconut oil with firm up as it cools down.

Frost the cake just before eating it. Yum! My dad loved it and I love my dad… xox *d

(This frosting is obviously not vegan. I’m not sure if soy yogurt would work but it could be worth a try.)

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Filed under Desserts, SCD Gluten & Sugar Free, Vegan, Vegetarian

Lemon Squares

Why do we only make lemon squares around Christmas time? They are too tasty to devote to only one season. Here’s a quick and east dessert that leaves you wanting another bite… just a little one… just one more…

Lemon Squares

Ingredients:

Crust:
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar, extra for dusting
3/4 cups butter, cut into pieces

Filling:
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup flour
2/3 cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
(add the juice of the lemon as well)
1 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Crust: In a bowl, combine 1 1/2 cups of the flour with 1/2 cup of the powdered sugar. Cut in the butter into the mixture until it resembles fine crumbs. Press in an even layer into the bottom of the pan (9 x 13 but I used a 9 x 9 and baked it longer) and bake until pale tan, around 20 minutes. Pull it out and reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees F.

Filling: While the crust is baking, prepare the filling. In large bowl, beat the eggs and granulated sugar until pale yellow and frothy. Add the remaining 1/4 cup of flour, lemon juice, zest, baking powder and salt and whisk to combine.

Pour over the warm crust and bake until set, 20 to 25 minutes – 30 – 35 minutes if you use a 9 x 9.

Cool completely on a wire rack and then dust with powdered sugar before cutting with a thin, sharp knife into squares. Tasty!!

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Vegan Chocolate Chunk Orange Ice Cream

I don’t know how many years it took me to figure out I was lactose intolerant, but when I finally did, it changed my life. That big bowl of cereal with extra milk, or better yet that big bowl of ice cream – would never be apart of my diet ever again – but neither would the INSANE pain that came 20 minutes after said dairy consumption. Luckily I can still eat most cheeses and yogurt, but fresh milk and ice cream KILL ME. I have to admit I haven’t really missed ice cream that much as it was the one that hurt the most. However! Being pregnant right now I’m craving it (most likely because I need the calcium). After consulting a close vegan friendly pal of mine I decided to use coconut milk as my base and though I don’t have an ice cream maker (who the hell does? Oh wait – my friend does) I will be pulling it out of the freezer as it solidifies and remixing it to keep a creamy consistency till it’s firm. Lets see how this goes!

Vegan Chocolate Chunk Orange Ice Cream

Ingredients:

1 can coconut milk
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoon cocoa
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon orange extract
1/2 teaspoon ginger
2 chunks of your favorite dark vegan chocolate minced
1 teaspoon grated orange peel
dash of salt

Place a medium size bowl in your sink (it gets messy!) and pour your can of coconut milk in. With a handheld mixer give it a good mix as the fat often separates from the milk. Add sugar, vanilla, orange extract and cacao. Mix well.

With a spoon fold in chocolate chunks and finely grated orange rind.

Pour into a freezer friendly container with cover and place in freezer for 30 minutes. Remove and blend for 20 seconds and place back in freezer.

As it freezes it will start looking like cake batter. Repeat several times, first checking to see that the mixture has started to freeze up.

When mixture becomes quite firm and hard to mix, leave it alone to completely freeze. Scoop out and enjoy!

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Strawberry Banana Raw Vegan Cheesecake

At one point in my father’s life he became quite quite sick. At the time I was attending Fashion Design school and found going to class quite stressful as weeks went by waiting for test results on my dad’s pending diagnosis. The word cancer was thrown around and this scared all of us. With a stroke of luck cancer was not the culprit – but 2 pots of coffee a day for the last 20 or so years was. He was put on a very VERY strict diet and has been on it for the past 6 or 7 years now with great success. There is an extensive list of things he is unable and able to eat. My mother keeps him on the straight and narrow and he is healthy and active and should last around 2 more years… Just kidding… he’ll last forever now. 😉

At family events and parties my dad is given a bowl of what appears to be the only thing my mum has figured out he can have for dessert, and though it is quite tasty I would go INSANE if that’s the only thing I ever got as an after dinner treat for the rest of my life. Yesterday I did some research and found a few raw vegan cheesecake recipes. I have had to alter them for my dad as he can have no type of sweetener aside from honey. He is also unable to have soy and wheat (and a million other things). This recipe is also great for the lactose intolerant (like myself). I can’t believe how much this tasted like cheesecake. Definitely a healthy version of one – but for being made purely out of nuts and fruits I am truly impressed!… This cakes for you dad!

Raw Banana Strawberry Vegan Cheesecake
Recipe adapted from here.

Ingredients:

Crust:
1 cup walnuts
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/3 cup of pitted dates
3 to 4 tablespoons cocoa (optional)

Filling:
1 cup raw cashews soaked overnight
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 fresh or frozen banana mashed
3 strawberries (more for garnish)
pinch of salt
2 tablespoons of agave (honey for my dad)
1/2 lemon juiced (1 tsp)

Crust: Blend all ingredients in food processor. You don’t want any large nut or date chunks. Pour into 8 inch cake pan and press down evenly.

Filling: The cashews must be soaked overnight. Blend all ingredients in food processor or blender (I should have used our blender for a smoother consistency).

Pour on top of crust and spread evenly. Place in the fridge for several hours or the freezer (freezes very well) and let thaw 20 minutes before eating.

Garnish with fresh fruit and enjoy!

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Filed under cheese, Desserts, Vegan, Vegetarian