Recipes
 
 
 

May 7, 2001

Greetings,

I receive a lot of e-mail from visitors to the Vegan Chef site requesting recipes or asking for suggestions on how to "veganize" some of their favorite recipes. I get requests for appetizers, soups, salads and salads dressings, comfort foods, breads, party and menu ideas. But by far the most popular of all would be desserts, namely cakes, whether it be for celebrating birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, or other festive occasions.

For some reason, people think that when you become a vegan that means you have to forget about having dessert. Well, I'm here to tell you differently. As a vegan who has always loved desserts, I am constantly challenging myself to create new recipes and variations of the old "Betty Crocker" classics that were so much a part of my childhood.

In cooking school, we are taught that baking is like chemistry, in the sense that it's based on formulas and ratios. So when you find a formula (a recipe) that works, play with it to create new variations and flavor combinations. Chemical reactions take place to make cakes rise; this can be done with leaveners other than eggs and dairy products, and I'm here to show you how. So I encourage all of you to put on an apron, roll up your sleeves, and start creating some of your own vegan delicacies.

This installment of recipes features various cake and frosting suggestions - some of which are low fat and others are more of a "special treat" indulgence - to get you started on expanding your own vegan baking repertoire. Also, as a bonus, I'm including a fantastic recipe for a vegan "ice cream" cake that I will be making for my birthday on May 11th. Who says vegans can't have "cake and ice cream" for their birthday! It takes a bit of planning, but the results are worth it, and I hope you will try making it too. As always, be good to one another, and remember... eat your veggies! :-)

 
 

Pepper Divider

 

Vanilla White Cake

1 1/3 cups unbleached cane sugar
1/2 cup Spectrum Naturals Spread or other non-hydrogenated vegan margarine
3 cups unbleached flour
1 T. baking powder
3/4 t. salt
2 cups soy milk, rice milk, or other non-dairy milk of choice
1 T. vanilla
1 t. almond extract

Lightly oil a 9x13-inch pan and set aside. Using an electric mixer or in a large bowl with a hand held mixer, place the sugar and Spectrum Spread, and cream together until light and fluffy. In another bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add dry ingredients into the creamed mixture, alternating with the soy milk, and continuing to beat the mixture well between each addition. Add the vanilla and almond extract and beat the mixture an additional 2 minutes at medium speed. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Serve plain or frost with Vanilla "Buttercream" Frosting (see recipe) or any of its variations, or Fluffy Lemon Frosting (see recipe), or other frosting of choice.

*Note: For a marble variation, reserve 3/4 cups of the batter and add an additional 1/3 cups unbleached sugar, 1/4 cups Spectrum Spread, and 1/4 cups cocoa. Pour the vanilla batter into the prepared pan. Drop the chocolate batter by spoonfuls on top of the vanilla batter, and use a knife to make a swirl pattern.

Yield: One 9x13-inch cake

 

Pepper Divider

 

Veganized Powdered Sugar

2 cups unbleached cane sugar
1/2 cup cornstarch

In a blender or food processor, blend sugar and cornstarch for 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides and blend an additional 30 seconds. Store in an airtight container.

Yield: 2 Cups

 

Pepper Divider

 

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

1/2 cup soy margarine, softened
1/4 cup soy milk, rice milk, or other non-dairy milk of choice
3 cups Veganized Powdered Sugar (see recipe above)
1 1/2 t. vanilla

Using an electric mixer or in a large bowl with a hand held mixer, place the soy margarine and soy milk, and cream them together. Add half of the sugar, and beat well to combine. Add the remaining ingredients and continue to beat the mixture until light and fluffy.

*Note: For a Berry Frosting, add 1/4 cups mashed fresh or frozen berries, such as raspberries, strawberries, or blueberries.

For a Chocolate Frosting, add 1/2 cups cocoa powder or 1/3 cups melted vegan chocolate chips.

For a Coffee Frosting, substitute cold coffee or espresso for the soy milk in the recipe.

For a Mocha Frosting, substitute cold coffee or espresso for the soy milk in the recipe and add 1/4-1/3 cup cocoa powder or 3-4 T. melted vegan chocolate chips.

You can also stir in chopped nuts, chopped vegan chocolate, shredded coconut, or chopped fruit into the basic Vanilla "Buttercream" Frosting recipe to create additional variations.

 

Pepper Divider

 

Lemonilla Cake

3 cups unbleached flour
1 1/2 cups Florida Crystals unbleached cane sugar
1 T. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1 cup water
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup safflower oil
3 T. vanilla
1/2 t. lemon oil (optional)
2 T. cider or white vinegar

Lightly oil a 9x13-inch pan and set aside. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. In another bowl, place the water, lemon juice, oil, vanilla, and lemon oil (if using), and whisk well to combine. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and whisk well to combine. Drizzle the vinegar over the top of the batter and whisk quickly to thoroughly incorporate. Pour batter into the prepared springform pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Serve plain or frost with Fluffy Lemon Frosting (see recipe) or Vanilla "Buttercream" Frosting (see recipe) or other frosting of choice.

Yield: One 9x13-inch cake

 

Pepper Divider

 

Fluffy Lemon Frosting

1/2 cup soy margarine, softened
3 oz. tofu cream cheese, softened
2 T. soy milk, rice milk, or other non-dairy milk of choice
4 cups Veganized Powdered Sugar (see recipe above)
1 T. lemon juice
2 t. lemon zest
1 t. vanilla

Using an electric mixer or in a large bowl with a hand held mixer, place the soy margarine, tofu cream cheese, and soy milk, and cream them together. Add half of the sugar, and beat well to combine. Add the remaining ingredients and continue to beat the mixture until light and fluffy.

Yield: 3 Cups or enough for two 9-inch layers or a 9x13-inch cake

 

Pepper Divider

 

Sugar-free Carrot Cake

2 cups whole wheat flour
1 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
1 1/4 cups water
1 1/4 cups dates, chopped
1 cup raisins
1 t. cinnamon
1 t. ground ginger
1/2 t. ground cloves
1/2 t. ground nutmeg
1/2 cup carrot, shredded
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/3 cup frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed

Lightly oil a 9-inch springform pan and set aside. In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, and set aside. In a small saucepan, combine the water, dates, raisins, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 5 minutes. In a large bowl, place the shredded carrots, pour the hot liquid mixture over the top, and allow to cool completely. Add the walnuts and orange juice concentrate to the carrot mixture and blend well. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir well to combine. Pour the batter into the prepared springform pan. Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Serve plain or frost with Tofu Cream Cheese Frosting (see recipe), or Fluffy Lemon Frosting (see recipe), or Vanilla "Buttercream" Frosting (see recipe), or other frosting of choice.

*Note: Double the recipe if using a Bundt pan or to make a two layer cake or 9x13-inch cake.

Yield: One 9-inch cake

 

Pepper Divider

 

Tofu Cream Cheese Frosting

8 oz. tofu cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup Spectrum Naturals Spread or other non-hydrogenated vegan margarine
3 cups Veganized Powdered Sugar (see recipe above)
1 t. vanilla
1/2 t. almond extract

Using an electric mixer or in a large bowl with a hand held mixer, place the tofu cream cheese and Spectrum Spread, and cream them together. Add the sugar, vanilla, and almond extract, and continue to beat the mixture until light and fluffy.

Yield: 2 1/2 cups or enough for two 9-inch layers or a 9x13-inch cake

 

Pepper Divider

 

Low-Fat Chocolate Cake

1 1/2 cups unbleached flour
1 cup unbleached cane sugar
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
2/3 cup water
1/2 cup cold coffee or espresso
3 T. safflower oil
1 t. vanilla
1 T. cider vinegar

Lightly oil a 9-inch springform or cake pan and set aside. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt, and set aside. In a measuring cup or small bowl, whisk together all of the wet ingredients, except the cider vinegar. Add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, and whisk well to combine. Drizzle the cider vinegar over the top of the batter and whisk quickly to incorporate. Pour batter into the prepared springform pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool on a rack for 10 minutes, loosen edges with a knife, remove the ring, and allow cake to cool completely. Serve plain, glaze with After Midnight Chocolate Glaze or Vegan Chocolate Ganache, or frost with Tofu Cream Cheese Frosting, Creamy Tofu Fudge Frosting, or Vanilla "Buttercream" Frosting (see recipes on this page), or other frosting of choice.

*Note: Double the recipe to make a two layer 9-inch cake or 9x13-inch cake

Yield: One 9-inch cake or 12 pieces

 

Pepper Divider

 

Creamy Tofu Fudge Frosting

1 - 12.3 oz. pkg. Mori-Nu silken style tofu, extra firm
3/4 cup maple syrup
2/3 cup almond or cashew butter
1/2 cup cocoa powder or carob powder
1 T. vanilla or flavoring of choice

In a food processor, combine all ingredients and puree until smooth and creamy. Store any unused portion in the refrigerator.

Yield: 3 Cups

 

Pepper Divider

 

Vegan Chocolate Ganache

3/4 cup soy milk, rice milk, or other non-dairy milk of choice
1/4 cup soy margarine
12 oz. vegan chocolate chips (or chopped vegan chocolate)

In the top part of a double boiler, place the soy milk and margarine, and heat together until the margarine melts. Add the vegan chocolate chips, continue to cook while stirring constantly until the vegan chocolate chips have melted completely and the mixture is very smooth. Use the ganache, warm, as a glaze for cakes or use as a dip or coating for fruit or nuts, or when cool, use as a filling for cakes and desserts. Store any excess in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It can be reheated in a double boiler as needed.

Yield: 2 Cups

 

Pepper Divider

 

Hawaiian Islands Cake with Pineapple-Coconut Tofu Frosting

Cake:

3/4 cup macadamia nuts
1/2 cup shredded coconut
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 T. cornstarch
2 t. baking powder
2 t. baking soda
3/4 cup dates, pitted
2/3 cup water, divided
1 cup frozen pineapple-orange juice concentrate, thawed
2 T. safflower oil
1/2 t. coconut extract
1/4 t. almond extract
1/4 t. rum extract
1/3 cup crushed pineapple

Pineapple-Coconut Tofu Frosting:

1 - 12.3 oz. kg Mori-Nu silken style tofu, extra firm
1/2 cup frozen pineapple-orange juice concentrate, thawed
2 T. maple syrup
1/2 t. cider or white vinegar
1 T. cornstarch
1 T. water
1/2 t. rum extract
1/8 t. coconut extract

Begin preparing the cake by placing the macadamia nuts and shredded coconut on separate non-stick cookie sheets, and bake them at 325 degrees for 3-7 minutes or until lightly toasted and fragrant. Allow the macadamia nuts to cool and then roughly chop them. Transfer 3 T. each of the chopped macadamias and shredded coconut to a small bowl and set aside for garnishing the frosted cake. Place the remaining chopped macadamias and shredded coconut in another small bowl and set aside. Lightly oil a 9-inch springform pan and set aside. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and baking soda, and set aside.

In a small saucepan, place the dates and 1/3 cups water, and cook over medium heat for 8 minutes or until dates are soft and most of the liquid has been absorbed. Remove them from the heat and set aside to cool for 2 minutes. Transfer the slightly cooled dates and any remaining cooking liquid to a food processor or blender. Add the pineapple-orange juice concentrate, remaining 1/3 cups water, safflower oil, coconut, almond, and rum extracts, and puree for 2 minutes or until smooth. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and whisk until smooth. Add the reserved macadamia nut-coconut mixture (larger amount) and crushed pineapple and gently fold them into the batter. Pour the batter into the prepared springform pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown and an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool on a rack to cool for 20 minutes, remove the ring, and allow the cake to cool completely before frosting it.

To prepare the frosting, begin by pressing the silken tofu. To do so, place a colander over a bowl, place a natural unbleached coffee filter in the colander, place the block of tofu in the coffee filter, cover the tofu with another coffee filter, place a plate on top of the filter, and place a large can or other heavy object on top of the plate. Place the colander in the refrigerator for 1 hour (or overnight) to drain. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, place the pineapple-orange juice concentrate, maple syrup, and cider vinegar. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 5 minutes. In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and water. Whisk the cornstarch mixture into the simmering juice mixture and continue to cook, while whisking constantly, until the mixture thickens. In a food processor or blender, place the pressed silken tofu, thickened juice mixture, rum and coconut extracts, and puree for 1-2 minutes or until very smooth and creamy. Spread the tofu frosting over the top only of the cooled cake and then sprinkle the remaining reserved macadamia nut-coconut mixture over the frosting. Using a warm knife, cut the cake into 12 pieces before serving.

Yield: One 9-inch cake or 12 pieces

 

Pepper Divider

 

Chocolate Mint Chip Cake

1/2 cup soy milk, rice milk, or other non-dairy milk of choice
1/2 cup Mori-Nu silken style tofu, extra firm
1 cup water
1 2/3 cups unbleached cane sugar
1 1/2 cups unbleached flour
3/4 cup soy flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 t. baking powder
1 1/4 t. baking soda
1 t. salt
1/2 cup applesauce
2 t. vanilla
1/2 t. peppermint extract
1 cup vegan chocolate chips

Lightly oil two 8-inch round cake pans and set aside. In a food processor or blender, place the soy milk and tofu, and blend for 1 minute. Add the water and blend an additional 30 seconds. In a medium bowl, sift together the sugar, flour, soy flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the food processor and blend for 1 minute. Add the applesauce, vanilla, and peppermint extract, and blend an additional 30 seconds or more to combine. Add the chocolate chips and pulse 2-3 times to incorporate. Divide the batter evenly between the two pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Place the cakes on a rack to cool for 5 minutes. Then invert the layers on to a rack, remove the pans, and allow to cool completely before frosting with frosting of choice, if desired.

*Note: This cake can also be prepared in a 9x13-inch pan for 20-25 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Yield: Two 8-inch layers

 

Pepper Divider

 

Peppermint Chocolate Chip Frozen Dessert

1 Quart soy milk, rice milk, or other non-dairy milk of choice
2 cups brewed peppermint tea, cold
1 cup maple syrup
3 T. agar-agar flakes
1 T. vanilla
1 1/2 cups chopped vegan chocolate bar or vegan chocolate chips

In a large saucepan, place all of the ingredients, except the chopped chocolate bar, and simmer over low heat for 5-7 minutes to thoroughly dissolve the agar-agar flakes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool. Freeze the mixture in an ice-cream maker per machine instructions. Transfer to an airtight container, fold in the chopped chocolate bar, and allow to freeze 20 minutes or more before serving.

Or if you don't have an ice cream maker, pour the mixture into a large shallow pan, and place in the freezer. Stir the mixture every hour or so to give it a smooth texture. When completely frozen, remove it from the freezer, and allow it to sit at room temperature for 15 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a food processor and process until smooth. Transfer the mixture to an airtight container and fold in the chopped chocolate bar. Return the mixture to the freezer and freeze until solid. Serve as an accompaniment to cakes, pies, desserts, or as a refresher.

Yield: 1 1/2 Quarts

 

Pepper Divider

 

After Midnight Chocolate Glaze

1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup cocoa powder, sifted
1/4 cup water
1/4 t. cider vinegar
1/8 t. salt
1 T. coffee liqueur (optional)
2 t. vanilla

In a small saucepan, place the maple syrup, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, whisk in the cocoa powder, water, vinegar, and salt, and cook the mixture an additional 3 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat and whisk in the coffee liqueur (if using) and vanilla. Set aside to cool for 5-10 minutes to slightly thicken. Use as a glaze over cakes, desserts, fruit, or non-dairy frozen desserts.

Yield: 3/4 cup

 

Pepper Divider

 

Chocolate and Peppermint Chip Frozen Fantasy

1 recipe Chocolate Mint Chip Cake, (see recipe above)
1 recipe Peppermint Chocolate Chip Frozen Dessert (see recipe above)
1 recipe After Midnight Chocolate Glaze (see recipe above)

Begin by placing the two layers of cake in the freezer, and freeze them for 2 hours. Twenty minutes before the 2 hour cake freezing time elapses, remove the Peppermint Chocolate Chip Frozen Dessert from the freezer to allow it to soften slightly. Place one layer of the frozen cake in the bottom of an 8-inch springform pan. Carefully and evenly spread the softened Peppermint Chocolate Chip Frozen Dessert over the top of the layer of cake. Place the remaining frozen cake layer on top of the frozen dessert and press down gently to sandwich the layers together. Cover the cake and return it to the freezer for several hours or overnight to freeze completely.

If the After Midnight Chocolate Glaze was previously made, place it in a small saucepan, and warm it over low heat. Remove the frozen cake from the freezer and remove the ring from the springform pan. Transfer the frozen cake to a rack and place the rack over a cookie sheet. Slowly drizzle half of the warmed glaze over the top of the cake, allowing it to run down the sides, covering it completely. Allow it to set for 10 minutes and then drizzle the remaining glaze over the cake, covering it completely and evenly. Allow the cake to set for 20-30 minutes or until no longer "tacky" to the touch (can also be refrigerated to speed up the process).

Using two long spatulas, carefully transfer the glazed cake to a platter for service. Fill a deep glass or pitcher with warm water, and place a long knife to warm in the water. Wipe the knife on a clean towel to remove the moisture and cut the cake in half. Dip the knife back into the water, wipe it on the towel again, and continue this procedure while cutting the cake into 12 pieces. If not serving all of the cake at once, cut only one half of it at a time. To store the cake, place a few toothpicks in the top of the cake, leaving them to stick out of the cake by an inch or more. Carefully, place plastic wrap over the toothpicks to make "a tent" over the top of the cake, and wrap it over the edge of the platter. Repeat the wrapping technique until the cake is covered completely. If you have a large airtight container that will hold the cake, place it in that as well. Store the cake in the freezer. Allow it to thaw for 15-20 minutes before cutting and serving.

*Note: You can also substitute an equal amount of another flavor of non-dairy "ice cream" (see recipe archives) or store bought non-dairy frozen dessert for the Peppermint Chocolate Chip Frozen Dessert in the recipe.

Yield: One 8-inch cake or 12 pieces

 
 
 

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