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 Raspberry Coconut Muffins

Veganopoulous Vegan Oil Free Raspberry Coconut Muffins

Frozen raspberries were on sale last week so I picked up a big bag, got home and found another big bag in the freezer I’d forgotten about. Whoops. But when the freezer gives you frozen raspberries, you make raspberry baked goods.

I’m all for muffins because my kids are (so they claim) in a state of perpetual hunger. Like, the instant I sit down with a cup of tea they’re excavating the fridge. And I’m all KEEP THE FRIDGE CLOSED! from the other end of the house, because I have eyes in the back of my head and extendable ears. And then I hear all the kitchen cupboards opening and some anxiety-inducing rustling. So I figure a container of muffins on the kitchen table will at least spare me the whole “someone’s gonna drop my big jar of blackstrap molasses from up high and I’m gonna be pissed” feeling of foreboding. Veganopoulous Vegan Oil Free Raspberry Coconut Muffins

Okay, so enough backstory. These muffins are oil free (as in, I don’t add oil as an ingredient) which is the way I like to bake for snacks at home. I used aquafaba, taken from canned chickpeas. I wanted something quick, oil free and tasty that my kids could eat between meal times if they were staaaarving, with a piece of fruit or smoothie. Plus we’re going out tomorrow and these will be great for the lunchboxes. They’re nice and coconutty and would be even more so if you use coconut milk as your non-dairy milk of choice. You can also do that thing where you heat one up then have it with ice cream. Instant pudding!

Veganopoulous Vegan Oil Free Raspberry Coconut Muffins

 

 

Vegan Oil Free Raspberry Coconut Muffins
Print Recipe
An oil free vegan muffin perfect for lunch boxes. Aquafaba is used in place of oil or melted butter, making this a healthier alternative if you're watching your oil consumption!
Servings Prep Time
12 muffins 10 minutes
Cook Time
22 minutes
Servings Prep Time
12 muffins 10 minutes
Cook Time
22 minutes
Vegan Oil Free Raspberry Coconut Muffins
Print Recipe
An oil free vegan muffin perfect for lunch boxes. Aquafaba is used in place of oil or melted butter, making this a healthier alternative if you're watching your oil consumption!
Servings Prep Time
12 muffins 10 minutes
Cook Time
22 minutes
Servings Prep Time
12 muffins 10 minutes
Cook Time
22 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: muffins
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to moderate (about 180C). Prepare your favourite muffin cups or tray. I used both silicon cups and a metal tray (when I ran out of cups) sprayed lightly with coconut oil.
  2. In a large bowl, sift the dry ingredients. In a separate smaller bowl, mix together the wet ingredients. My brown sugar was lumpy so for this instance I mixed the sugar with the liquids to break it all up.
  3. Combine the wet and dry ingredients but don't overmix-- just do the bare minimum to get everything combined.
  4. Gently fold through the raspberries. Fill the muffin cups/tray (you can sprinkle on some sugar if you like).
  5. Bake for around 20-22 minutes, checking at the 18 minute mark. My oven took 22 minutes. Remove to a cooling rack and enjoy!
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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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10

Vegan Oil Free Almond Pear Muffins

Veganopoulous Blog oil free almond pear muffins

I am linking this recipe up with Healthy Vegan Fridays, hosted by Kimmy over at Rock My Vegan Socks.

This is one of those recipes that came about because I was cleaning out the freezer and found stuff that needed to be used: pear sauce I’d made slightly too long ago in the past, just by stewing pears in a little water then pureeing without sweetener, and some almond meal.

When I bake muffiny kinds of snacks for the kids, I prefer to dial the oil way down and often omit it entirely. I’m not a fan of using margarines or the vegan butters in my cooking, instead opting for aquafaba or a pureed fruit.

The problem with this, sometimes, is that the resulting baked goods have Health Food Taste. And often, Health Food Texture. You know what I mean? Of course there’s nothing wrong with ‘health food’ but hhhnnngggghhhh if I was to be making muffins or cakes for guests I wouldn’t be using my oil free variations unless they were specifically requested!

Now, that’s not to say oil free baking sucks across the board. It doesn’t! And I’m pleased to say I was mighty happy with these oil free almond pear muffins. They’re nice and light with a bit of substance and are perfect snacks for my kids who are always hungry.

Veganopoulous Blog oil free almond pear muffins

Making the pear sauce was really easy. Get the overripe pears that you bought with every intention to eat but never did so now they have to be used TODAY. Peel, core and dice them, put them in a pot with a good splash of water, stick a lid on the pot and let them stew over a low to medium heat until softened. Let them cool a bit and puree.

Veganopoulous Blog oil free almond pear muffins

And that’s really it! Of course you can swap flavours around or use apple sauce instead, or whatever fruit puree floats your fruity boat 🙂

Vegan Oil Free Almond Pear Muffins
Print Recipe
An oil free vegan muffin perfect for breakfast or a light snack. Pear sauce is used in place of oil or melted butter making this a healthier alternative if you're watching your oil consumption!
Servings Prep Time
18 mini muffins 15 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
18 mini muffins 15 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Vegan Oil Free Almond Pear Muffins
Print Recipe
An oil free vegan muffin perfect for breakfast or a light snack. Pear sauce is used in place of oil or melted butter making this a healthier alternative if you're watching your oil consumption!
Servings Prep Time
18 mini muffins 15 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
18 mini muffins 15 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: mini muffins
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to a moderate temperature (about 180C).
  2. In a small bowl or mug, combine the ground flaxseed with the 3 tablespoons of water and set aside.
  3. Sift the flour in to a large bowl. Sift in the salt, baking powder, cinnamon. Add the almond meal and coconut sugar, sifting if you have lumps.
  4. In a separate smaller bowl, mix together the pear sauce and plant milk. Whisk in the flaxseed mixture so everything is evenly mixed through.
  5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir to combine without overmixing. Spoon in to your muffin containers and top with some oats (or coconut or flaked almonds-- whatever you like).
  6. Bake at 180C (a moderate oven temperature) for approximately 20 minutes. Cool before eating! I used silicon cups and had to wait until they had cooled significantly, otherwise the muffins may split when removing from the cups.
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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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