Sunday, January 3, 2010

I hate baking (but I love desserts!)

I hate baking.  I mean I like the idea of baking- spending time in the kitchen with sweet stuff- and then in a few hours you have things to share with family and friends that can make their day a little sweeter.  Cooking for others is easy when the food is fresh, but giving others a tupperware full of leftover curry is not as fun as giving a tupperware full of leftover cookies.  However, baking is more difficult for me because I hate to measure things out exactly.  Before I went vegan I had a good idea about the balance of sugar/eggs/flour/fat I needed to make a good cookie or moist cake.  Vegan baking proved to be more difficult- no recipe was the same, some called for vinegar, and no one in the vegan baking community can agree whether banana/flax/tofu/enerG/applesauce is the best egg replacer.  I never felt like I had a grasp on making a vegan baked good from scratch without reading a recipe.  As a natural progression, veganism led me to research a raw food diet and I came across amazing raw dessert recipes that were exactly what I was looking for- mostly glycemic balanced, easy desserts that could be thrown together however I wanted, and the slightest or greatest variance from the recipe wouldn't matter that much- its mostly just fruit and nuts!  A goal of mine for the new year is to avoid sugar and flour based desserts and when I'm craving something sweet, do it up right- raw!

Tonight I made raw pecan snickerdoodles.  They are chewy, moist, and have a nice balance of sweet, cinnamon, and salt, like any good snickerdoodle should.  I didn't cover mine in a dusting of cinnamon and cocoa powder, but you could if you'd like.  

Raw Pecan Snickerdoodles

1.5 cup pecans
.5 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup unsweetened dried coconut flakes
2 tbs flax seeds
10 pitted mejool dates
1 tbs cinnamon
1 tsp salt

In food processor combine and process everything except dates.  When pecans are finely chopped, add dates.  Unbake in the freezer for 10-15 minutes.  

For Christmas I made three types of truffle balls: gingerbread, coconut cacao, and dark orange chocolate.  The first two were raw, and the dark orange chocolate paired some chocolate chips I wanted to use up with some fresh orange zest and juice.  These were fresh from the freezer, so please excuse the frost on the picture.

I've already made my Thanksgiving dinner post and showed a picture of my cranberry cake with coconut icing.  I promised that I'd share the details with a few people from livejournal- and figured this would be the best place for the recipe.  The recipe is actually a perfect base for any fruit and nut cake.  It can be gluten-free simply by using GF flour (I love Bob's Red Mill All Purpose GF Flour), and it easily adapts to whatever sweetener you like without compromising the constitution of the cake.  Use this base with carrots, ginger, nutmeg, and cinnamon and you have the perfect carrot cake...

3 cups flour
1 cup applesauce
1 cup drained crushed pineapple
2 cup cranberries (or carrots or whatever base you're using)
1/2 cup coconut oil
1 cup sugar, or 3/4 cup agave nectar (or skip this if you're not looking for a crazy sweet dessert)
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
pinch salt
1- 1.5 cup of nuts (walnuts or pecans)

Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes.  (If using two 8 inch round cake pans.) This base is so easy to work with that you can't really mess it up.  Good luck and happy baking!


  1. The cake looks amazing! I'm going to try it, but what did you use for the "frosting?" I'm glad I found your blog- it's great!

  2. For icing I use 1/2 coconut oil, 1 cup shredded coconut flakes, 3 cups powdered sugar, 1 tsp vanilla. If you want to make a refined sugar free icing, use 1 cup coconut oil, 1/2 cup agave, 6-10 drops of liquid stevia, 1 tsp vanilla, and 1 cup shredded coconut flakes.