15

Easy Vegan Carrot Walnut Cake

Veganopoulous_Easy Vegan Carrot Walnut Cake

My grandmother used to make a carrot cake I loved. I remember her calling my mum and telling us to go over after she’d baked a cake. When my grandmother died, we found the recipe written, in Greek, on a scrap of paper. This is that recipe though there are a few changes. The original calls for four eggs and 1.5 cups of oil so I had to both veganise it and cut way down on that oil!

My past experiments involved going all out with aquafaba, using the liquid from canned chickpeas but while the cake tasted fine it was kinda a bit too delicate. My grandmother’s cake was really hearty and that’s what I wanted to keep. I also wanted to stay true to her recipe as much as possible but in the end I decided to go with two bananas and using a little oil. I anticipated having to call this cake Carrot Banana Walnut Cake but I was surprised that it still tasted far more walnutty and carrot cakey than banana. My bananas were only slightly ripe though so if you use very ripe bananas the banana flavour will likely be stronger.

I rarely ice cakes at home so this cake lacks a traditional frosting plus my grandmother never iced cakes either. I really prefer this cake plain but of course feel free to frost away with your favourite plant based cream cheese style top!

You can reduce the sugar if you like and I would be happy dropping it by a quarter next time I make this. I especially love the walnuts though and was happy to see the toasty walnut taste came through brilliantly.

A common theme on my blog is how I start mixing up ingredients before realising I’m all out of something halfway through. That’s what happened with this cake, I thought I had enough white spelt flour but ran out and used wholemeal spelt for the rest. The result was actually pretty great so here’s the recipe, mistakes and all!

Veganopoulous_Easy Vegan Carrot Walnut Cake

 

Easy Vegan Carrot Walnut Cake
Print Recipe
A vegan carrot walnut cake using bananas and aquafaba in place of eggs and lots-of-oil. The cake is plain with no icing but feel free to add your own if you prefer. Cooking times may vary due to your oven and size of your cake tin.
Servings Prep Time
12 slices 15 minutes
Cook Time
60 minutes
Servings Prep Time
12 slices 15 minutes
Cook Time
60 minutes
Easy Vegan Carrot Walnut Cake
Print Recipe
A vegan carrot walnut cake using bananas and aquafaba in place of eggs and lots-of-oil. The cake is plain with no icing but feel free to add your own if you prefer. Cooking times may vary due to your oven and size of your cake tin.
Servings Prep Time
12 slices 15 minutes
Cook Time
60 minutes
Servings Prep Time
12 slices 15 minutes
Cook Time
60 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: slices
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to moderate (about 180C). Prepare your favourite cake tin. I used a round 23cm cake tin.
  2. In a large bowl, sift all the dry ingredients (not the carrot).
  3. In a blender, whiz up the bananas, aquafaba and oil until well blended.
  4. Add the blender contents to the dry ingredients and combine without over mixing. Gently fold through the carrots. The batter will be quite thick.
  5. Pour in to your prepared cake tin and bake for approximately one hour, checking at the 45 minute mark. Cooking times may vary so please keep an eye out for the cake browning too much.
  6. Remove when done and leave to cool a bit before turning the cake out on to a cooling rack. Best served once it has cooled down completely.
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10

Vegan Oil Free Chocolate Malt Cake

vegan oil free chocolate malt cake

Malt is one of those flavours I have always loved from childhood but alas, two of my favourite malt products contain dairy which rules them out for me. I’d love a vegan version of Milo, a popular malted milk powder in Australia.

Johanna from Green Gourmet Giraffe is hosting this month’s We Should Cocoa challenge which is run by Choclette of Tin and Thyme. Johanna’s chosen theme is malt. I’ve used the syrupy malt extract before but this time I wanted malt powder. Unfortunately it doesn’t appear to be sold in any supermarket, bulk food or health type stores but I did end up finding the powdered form in the online shops of home beer brewing suppliers. Bad news was that the malt powder I wanted was either out of stock or the shipping was more than the product itself. So I stuck with the liquid version of malt extract.

First I made a malted chocolate banana smoothie, though I went a bit too easy on the chocolate. This smoothie was made with oat milk, banana, cacao powder and a heaped teaspoon of malt. I could barely taste the malt and wonder if the powder form would be more obvious (and I clearly could do with a little more cacao! And a garden rake):

malt cacao smoothie

And then we had our yearly problem where our upright freezer iced up so badly we had to take everything out to defrost it. I found a packet of pear sauce I’d made so my mind turned to chocolate cake made with pear sauce instead of using oil or a vegan butter. When I make cakes or cake-like loaves more for snacks, I prefer to make them oil free or at least quite low in fat.

This cake was a mish mash kindof experiment where I crossed my fingers and hoped it would all turn out okay and surprisingly, it did. This worked well for the kids to have as a snack (and my kids have that radar thing where as soon as I sit down with a cup of tea they come up asking for food). The malt flavour is quite strong and the kitchen smelled pretty good.

It’s a simple cake, nothing mind blowing, but it was nice to have something that was both chocolatey and malty. Next time though, I’d love to try the powdered malt extract. I used coconut sugar as that’s what I had on hand, but brown sugar would work too. Any sugar really!

And here’s my favourite malt-like thing of all, our cat Maltesers. This week marks two years since Maltesers and his brother Punky came to live with us via Melbourne Animal Rescue. Both kids got to choose a name each, one was in to watching Punky Brewster at the time, the other chose the name of his favourite chocolate (and I wish Maltesers were vegan because I loved those too). It’s really funny how they really seem to match their names. I mean sure, if we’d chosen other names they’d match those too, but you know what I mean.

lazy cat on a hot day

Vegan Oil Free Chocolate Malt Cake
Print Recipe
This chocolatey malt cake is made oil free and lower in fat by using pear puree in place of oil or dairy free butter.
Servings Prep Time
12 pieces 10 minutes
Cook Time
45 minutes
Servings Prep Time
12 pieces 10 minutes
Cook Time
45 minutes
Vegan Oil Free Chocolate Malt Cake
Print Recipe
This chocolatey malt cake is made oil free and lower in fat by using pear puree in place of oil or dairy free butter.
Servings Prep Time
12 pieces 10 minutes
Cook Time
45 minutes
Servings Prep Time
12 pieces 10 minutes
Cook Time
45 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: pieces
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to a moderate temp (about 180C). Prepare your preferred cake tin, I used a bundt style tin.
  2. In a blender (or whisked by hand), blend the milk, pear sauce, malt extract and sugar. Sift the dry ingredients in to a bowl then mix in the blended liquids, taking care not to overmix.
  3. Bake for about 45 minutes, checking with a toothpick or skewer. When done, turn on to a cooling rack. Dust with icing sugar if you ah, slightly burn it like I did.
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4

Super Simple Peachy Melba

vegan Simple Peachy Melba

Did you know it’s Peach Melba Day today? That’s according to the highly official website http://www.daysoftheyear.com. Peach Melba is a great summer dessert– peaches, raspberry sauce and vanilla ice cream. At school camps we had the somewhat stripped down version which was a tin of diced peaches plopped on some cheap nasty icecream.

 

The Peach Melba was created by French chef Auguste Escoffier at London’s Savoy Hotel in 1892 or 1893, in honour of the Australian soprano Nellie Melba. Auguste also created the Melba Toast when Nellie was very ill.

vegan Simple Peachy Melba

I wanted to create a simple version for the kids, just to keep it more wholefoods based and also ridiculously easy. In the traditional recipes, the peaches are poached in a sugar syrup (or poached in water then simmered in the syrup). Here I’ve simply halved and grilled the peaches and made a quick basic raspberry sauce . The ice cream isn’t exactly like the traditional recipe, it’s ah, regular banana nice cream with vanilla but feel free to use whatever ice cream you like. On stinky hot days like today (41C/105.8F) I often break out some banana nice cream, made by whizzing up chopped up frozen bananas in my blender with some cinnamon.

We always have a stash of frozen bananas in the fridge so this came together quickly. The raspberry sauce was the most time consuming part, but really it was just standing there stirring the puree in the sieve to get out all the bitty bits.

vegan Simple Peachy Melba

Like the title says, super simple (to the point where I feel a bit embarrassed to even be including it as a recipe on the blog).

And here’s the bonus round! If you have leftovers or just don’t like it (like my kids… they only ate a bit)? Stick it all in a blender for a Peachy Melba smoothie! That’s my breakfast tomorrow.

Super Simple Peachy Melba
Print Recipe
A quick, simple veganny (the ice cream!) take on the classic Peach Melba.
Servings
4 people
Servings
4 people
Super Simple Peachy Melba
Print Recipe
A quick, simple veganny (the ice cream!) take on the classic Peach Melba.
Servings
4 people
Servings
4 people
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Preheat a grill pan to hot. Brush your halved peaches with a little oil. Place cut side down on the hot grill and cook until they soften slightly and have the pretty grill marks.
  2. While the peaches are grilling, start your raspberry sauce. Put the raspberries in a small to medium sized pot with the vanilla pod seeds, the cinnamon stick and the optional sweetener. Cook on a low heat until the berries break down and release their juices (roughly five minutes). Strain the berries through a fine sieve, pushing down with a spatula or stirring gently and pressing with a spoon (as I did). Discard the bitty seed bits.
  3. For the nice cream, simply add the chopped bananas to a blender (capable of doing this!) with the ground cinnamon. You can add a dash of vanilla extract too. Whiz it all up, stopping and scraping down the sides if necessary, until you get a smooth creamy consistency.
  4. To assemble, divide the banana nice cream among four serving dishes. Drizzle over some raspberry sauce then place two peach halves on top. Sprinkle with flaked almonds if you like, and enjoy!
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12

Vegan Black Coconutty Forest Chocolate Ripple Cake

Veganopoulous black forest coconut ripple cake

Happy New Year! Here’s a simple and delicious festive treat you can enjoy any time (that includes breakfast, sssshhh).

Chocolate ripple cake is one of those welcome fixtures at maaaany an Australian party. It’s the easiest cake to make, always delicious and always a favourite. Chef Google tells me the American equivalent is an icebox cake. A chocolate ripple cake is simply getting a packet of plain chocolate biscuits (cookies) and sandwiching them together with whipped cream in (usually) a log shape. Cover the finished log with cream, stick it in the fridge overnight and it’s done. Easy!

Veganopoulous black forest coconut ripple cake

In Australia, we have chocolate ripple biscuits that are, of course, the default biscuit for this cake. In the past I’ve changed it up and used gingernut biscuits and I think you can pretty much use any plain biscuit that is quite a tough cookie (BAM!) and not wafer thin kinda fragile jobbies. Chocolate ripple biscuits happen to be vegan as well.

I had a packet of these biscuits that were gifted to me and had been saving them for a special occasion, but I wanted to do something different for Christmas last week. My Dad likes Black Forest Cake and cherry-coconut kinds of chocolates so I made this Black Forest inspired version with coconut cream. I also wanted to avoid the traditional log shape because I was using cherries, so I used these individual serve trifle glasses instead to make it more a layered chocolate ripple cake.

Veganopoulous black forest coconut ripple cake

This was so easy to make. You just chill a couple cans of full fat coconut cream in the fridge for a day or two and scoop out the more solid cream bits, whip it up with some cacao powder and sweetener of your choice (I used maple syrup) and then layer the biscuits with the cream and some pitted cherries (I used bottled).

I actually toasted some shredded coconut and had chocolate flakes to serve on top but I stupidly forgot all about them when I was taking photos. Gah!

I’ve said four servings in the recipe but they’re large-ish serves so if you have smaller glasses, you could make six. Or you can layer this in a bowl that suits a trifley dessert. Up to you!

 

Black Coconutty Forest Chocolate Ripple Cake
Print Recipe
An easy Black Forest meets Cherry-Coconut biscuit based cake. Be sure to have your cans of coconut cream chilled! Makes four serves, though it can also depend on the size of your serving bowls/glasses or how much cream and biscuits you want!
Servings
4 servings
Servings
4 servings
Black Coconutty Forest Chocolate Ripple Cake
Print Recipe
An easy Black Forest meets Cherry-Coconut biscuit based cake. Be sure to have your cans of coconut cream chilled! Makes four serves, though it can also depend on the size of your serving bowls/glasses or how much cream and biscuits you want!
Servings
4 servings
Servings
4 servings
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Open your cans of chilled coconut cream. Put the solids in a mixing bowl and keep any remaining liquid in case you need to thin the cream out a little. Add the cacao powder and maple syrup in tablespoons amounts and taste to see if you need to add more-- beat everything with electric beaters then taste. Add the remaining cacao and maple syrup and whip it good. My cream mixture was very thick so I added a tablespoon of the reserved liquid from the can of coconut cream.
  2. Take your serving glasses and put down a thin layer of coconut cream. Press a chocolate biscuit in the middle. Depending on the size of your glasses, you may need to crumble some more biscuit (as I did) and place the crumbs down to make an even layer of biscuits. I also crumbled a second biscuit and layered in on top as I wanted a thick biscuit layer.
  3. Repeat the cream biscuit layer. Now add a layer of the pitted cherries on top of the biscuit layer (so you should have cream-biscuit-cream-biscuit-cherries). Cover the cherry layer with cream.
  4. Cover your glasses and place in the fridge overnight or at least 8 hours. When done, decorate your way! I used fresh cherries and mint leaves (and I forgot the the toasted coconut and chocolate flakes).
Recipe Notes

The thickness or order of your layers may be different to mine, depending on what glasses you're using. Basically you want to have a pretty even layering system going on. Don't worry if you think it looks bad, it will taste fantastic! I thought mine looked blergh and regretted not taking more care but nobody noticed! I even screwed up the layering with one or two of the glasses, try spot the glass with the cherries out of order in the pics...

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10

Aquafabulous Pecan Tahini Sweet Potato Banana Bread

Aquafabulous Pecan Tahini Sweet Potato Banana Bread by Veganopoulous

This banana bread (with a whopper of a title…sorry) was a bit of an experiment– in other words, I had stuff I needed to use up like aquafaba (the liquid from canned chickpeas), bananas, wholemeal flour and a sweet potato I’d roasted a few days ago. Whenever I have bananas getting overripe, I always go for a banana bread but this time I wanted to just throw stuff in to a bowl and see how it worked out, without following a recipe. Maybe with a touch more fancy in it. Fortunately it didn’t end up being a recipe for disaster and instead I ended up with a banana bread that is really pretty ace.

I did plan on making it with wholemeal spelt flour but urgh, had none in the cupboard. That’s when I spotted some wholemeal flour next to the plain flour. I don’t cook much with wholemeal flour but if I do, it’s usually mixed with another lighter flour. Because I only had plain flour (all purpose) I went with that. In the future I’ll try this with gluten free flours like buckwheat, maybe some millet though my previous gluten free banana bread attempts have been a bit forgettable.

If you’re a lazy cook like me, you might like the use of the blender. Mashing banana by hand always leaves me with a layer of banana at the bottom of a cake no matter how much I mash. Problem solved with the blender!

The inclusion of the roasted sweet potato probably isn’t that necessary (it can be boiled or steamed), or you can add in extra banana instead of the sweet potato. Do roast the pecans beforehand though, it adds a lovely flavour and lets you tick a fancy-cake checkbox.

My tahini is one with a lot of oil on the top, so if you have a drier tahini you may want to consider adding a little oil of your choice if you think the bread will be too dry. I like to avoid adding oil where possible so if I had to use a drier tahini, I probably wouldn’t add any oil but that’s all down to personal preference!

You can play around with the recipe– want a stronger tahini flavour? Add more! Use walnuts instead of pecans. Take half the batter and mix some raw cacao through it to make a chocolate batter, then make a marbled loaf. Add chunks of store bought halva (that’s what I’m doing next). Make a marbled loaf with chunks of halva. Etc etc etc!

Check out the official Aquafaba website, or head over to the Vegan Meringue Hits and Misses Facebook group where people continue to come up with all kinds of amazing stuff. Do that while you’re eating a piece of this bread that’s thickly coated with tahini!

Aquafabulous Pecan Tahini Sweet Potato Banana Bread by Veganopoulous

 

 

 

 

Aquafabulous Pecan Tahini Sweet Potato Banana Bread
Print Recipe
A vegan banana bread using aquafaba that's taken up a notch with the addition of tahini, roast pecans and roast sweet potato. I've listed 10 slices as the serving size but of course that's up to you 😉
Servings Prep Time
10 slices 15 minutes
Cook Time
60 minutes
Servings Prep Time
10 slices 15 minutes
Cook Time
60 minutes
Aquafabulous Pecan Tahini Sweet Potato Banana Bread
Print Recipe
A vegan banana bread using aquafaba that's taken up a notch with the addition of tahini, roast pecans and roast sweet potato. I've listed 10 slices as the serving size but of course that's up to you 😉
Servings Prep Time
10 slices 15 minutes
Cook Time
60 minutes
Servings Prep Time
10 slices 15 minutes
Cook Time
60 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: slices
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 180C (moderate oven temperature).
  2. In a bowl, sift together the plain flour, wholemeal flour, baking powder, baking soda, ground cinnamon and salt. Add in the pecans and stir to combine.
  3. In a blender, whiz up the non-dairy milk, unbeaten aquafaba, tahini, bananas, sweet potato and raw sugar. Whiz until the liquid is smooth and free of lumps.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and give it a good stir but don't overmix.
  5. Pour the batter in to a loaf pan. Mine is a silicon loaf pan that measures 22cm x 12cm (8.5" x 4.75") on the bottom. There was a lot of batter and the loaf pan spread out a bit. If you're using a metal tin, you may want to line the sides with sticking-up baking paper just in case.
  6. Cook in a moderate oven (about 180C) and check at the 45 minute mark, then keep checking. All up mine took about one hour to bake until a skewer came out crumb-free (it had a little moisture which was fine). Leave the bread to cool a while on a cooling rack before slicing.
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