Although I’d wanted to become a vegan for a long time, it took me three separate tries until I finally got there. So I understand it can be scary for some people to make such a drastic change. Growing up, I can’t remember having had a single meal without meat, dairy products, or eggs. While I wanted to become vegan, I felt like there wasn’t anything I could cook and eat that doesn’t contain these animal foods.
Fortunately, I was persistent enough to do the necessary research and to experiment with different recipes. And now, I can proudly say that I enjoy every single moment of being a plant-eater.
Being a huge sweet tooth and a bit of a baker, one of the biggest challenges I’ve had to face was learning how to make perfect vegan cakes. I’m happy to inform you that this is another item I can cross off my list. I’m going to share with you some of the most delicious recipes I’ve tried.
For as long as I remember, my mother made a cheesecake every year for my birthday. It was always my favorite. I carried on that tradition when I moved away, and all my friends knew there will always be cheesecake for my birthday. But then, I decided to go vegan, which meant saying goodbye to the tradition…or did it?
Well, it took me some time to figure out the right recipe, but I have found it, and I think it is even more delicious this way. Here are the detailed instructions so you can try it and see for yourself.
Prep time: 6 hours
Cook time: 1 hour and 30 minutes
8 ounces vegan cream cheese
1 cup coconut cream
½ cup raw cashews
½ cup raw macadamia nuts
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 cup maple syrup (I like it sweet, but you can use a little less)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 tsp lemon zest
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp melted coconut oil
A pinch of sea salt
¾ cup raw almonds
¾ cup gluten-free rolled oats
4 tbsp melted coconut oil
2 tbsp coconut sugar
¼ tsp sea salt
1. Add raw cashews and macadamia nuts to a bowl and cover with hot water (boiling would be the best). Leave uncovered for one hour, and then drain.
2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line an 8×8 inch baking dish with parchment paper.
3. Add almonds, oats, coconut sugar, and sea salt to a high-speed blender and blend on high until the mass is consistent. Then pour the melted coconut oil and pulse on low until the dough is formed. If you feel it’s too dry, add some more oil.
4. Transfer the mixture onto the baking dish and spread evenly.
5. Bake for 15 minutes, then raise the heat to 375 F and bake until the edges are golden brown.
6. Once the cashews and macadamia nuts are drained, mix them with all the filling ingredients in a high-speed blender until it’s creamy.
7. Pour the mixture over the crust and spread evenly.
8. Bake for 50 minutes, until the edges are slightly dry.
9. Let rest at room temperature for 10 minutes, then transfer to the refrigerator uncovered to let cool completely. When the cake is cooled, cover it and refrigerate overnight.
Avocado banana cake
Banana bread is another tradition in my family, and you can’t imagine my joy when I found out that it’s possible to use avocado instead of butter to make this perfect light dessert. Additionally, avocado brings many nutritional benefits and a sense of fullness quickly. Here’s how I do it.
Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour and 15 minutes
2 cups white whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp sea salt
3 ripe bananas
1 ripe avocado
¾ cup sugar
¼ cup unsweetened almond milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 tbsp arrowroot powder
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and sea salt in a bowl, then whisk it all together.
3. Mash the bananas in a separate bowl.
4. Process avocado in a food processor until it’s nicely pureed. Add it to the banana and mix with the other ingredients, while gradually adding flour.
4. Pour the batter into a loaf pan coated with baking parchment or cooking spray.
5. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
6. Cool for 15 minutes in the pan and then let it cool off completely on a wire rack.
This is a pretty basic version of the cake, but you can try countless varieties, such as this banana avocado cake with coffee or chocolate.
Oh, Lemon cake, the favorite dessert of the Queen of the North, and therefore, my traditional choice for binge-watching Game of Thrones. It is light, zingy, and utterly marvelous. The vegan take on this classic dessert is quite simple.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
2 cups self-raising flour
3, 5 ounces vegetable oil
1 cup brown sugar
1 lemon, zested
½ lemon, juiced
1 tsp baking powder
¾ cup icing sugar
½ lemon, juiced
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Oil a loaf tin (medium-sized), and line it with baking parchment.
Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl. Add the wet ones and a ¾ cup of cold water, then mix until smooth.
Pour the mixture into the loaf tin, then bake for 30 minutes.
Cool for ten minutes, then remove from the loaf tin and transfer to a wire rack.
While the cake is cooling, mesh the icing sugar into a bowl. Mix in lemon juice to make a thick mass. Pour over the cake.
Let them eat cake!
So, that’s three of my favorite vegan dessert recipes. Maybe you’ll find something else that suits your taste better, but the bottom line is that the transition to a vegan diet doesn’t have to be difficult – not even for the most enthusiastic cake lovers out there. There are a bunch of recipes you can find for creamy, delightful vegan chocolate cakes, and not to mention the carrot cakes which are made to be vegan in the first place.
Do you have a cake recipe you would like to share? I’m always willing to learn new things, especially when it comes to desserts!
Photo: Anita Austvika on Unsplash