Vegan Rosemary Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

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Okay, I know it’s still summer and spice cake certainly is a more Autumn and Winter fare but I couldn’t help myself! You see, I live for Autumn and spend the great majority of my summer wishing and willing an early Autumn to come. I know all of the Summer people are ready to smack me for wishing away the summer but I’m just not one for the sunshine and heat.

Nothing makes me happier than a rainy day or sipping apple cider as I watch the leaves fall from the large Autumn Blaze Maple in my front garden. I love the crisp air, the smell of smoke dancing on the wind, and long for the day when it is cold enough to wear my fuzzy red Canada mittens and my cozy red scarf. I adore heavy coats with knobbly toggle buttons and high brown boots with fleecy socks, there honestly is nothing I don’t love about the colder months.

There is something magical and whimsical in the air from mid-September to the first snowfall, it’s a grounding feeling. I feel rooted and connected to the earth when the leaves start to fall leaving vibrant piles of orange, red, yellow, and gold on the ground.

Part of the Autumn fun is inventing new spicy, warm, and comforting recipes. This spice cake is one of those recipes. This cake was fun to create and has worked beautifully time and time again, with incredible flavour and texture it’s perfect for an afternoon tea with friends or an evening treat while snuggled up with someone you love. As with all of my recipes this cake is completely vegan down to the cream cheese frosting, nothing makes a dessert sweeter than knowing that it’s cruelty-free as well.

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Being that our house is full of kids I never have any shortage of little helpers when baking! As soon as the kids see the apron go on they all battle over who will be lucky enough to get the spoon. Today however as the sun is high in the sky and the paddling pool is set up in the back garden the kids are enjoying an outdoor adventure. I only have this one little munchkin to indulge in my Autumn fantasies with me. My littlest and cuddliest Miss Aston, she is always excited to have Mommy all to herself. Today the spoon goes to her!

 Rosemary Spice Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting (Vegan)

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Vegan Rosemary Spice Cake

Prep Time: 15-20 mins                                                                                                            Serves: 8

Bake Time: 45-60mins at 350 (bake times may vary depending on the pan used and type of oven)

Vegan

Ingredients

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  • 1/2 Cup Vegan Butter softened (I use Earth Balance)
  • 1 Cup Organic Brown Sugar
  • 1 Cup Vegan Butter Milk (any dairy-free milk with 1 tsp of apple cider vinegar or lemon juice added to it)
  • 2 Vegan Eggs (1tbsp ground flax seed to 3tbsp water per egg to substitute, allow to sit for 5 mins)
  • 2 1/2 Cups Flour
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Ginger
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Cloves
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Allspice
  • 1 tsp Ground Nutmeg
  • 1 tsp Finely chopped fresh Rosemary
  • 1/4 tsp Sea Salt

Method

  • In a mixer cream Brown Sugar and Butter.

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  • Add Vegan Butter Milk and Vegan Eggs to the Brown Sugar and Butter mixture and mix until creamy.

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  • In a separate bowl mix Flour, Baking Soda, Cinnamon, Ginger, Cloves, Allspice, Nutmeg, Fresh Rosemary, and Sea Salt. Mix until combined evenly.

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  • Add dry mixture to wet mixture in mixer and mix until smooth (for a lighter cake you can add more Vegan Butter Milk if you like).

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  • Pour Mixture into a greased cake pan (I used an 8″ Spring Form pan for mine as I wanted a smaller, but taller cake).

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  • Place in oven for 45-60 mins at 350, you will know its done when you stick a tooth pick into the centre of the cake and it comes out clean with no batter attached.
  • Place cake on cooling rack and allow to cool completely before frosting.

 

Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting

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Prep Time: 2 mins                                                                             Serving: Frosts one large cake.

Vegan

Ingredients

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  • 1/2 Cup Vegan Butter (I use Earth Balance)
  • 2 Cups Organic Icing Sugar
  • 1 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar

Method

  • Allow Butter to completely soften.
  • With a mixer or whisk mix the Vegan Butter and Icing Sugar until light and fluffy.

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  • Add Apple Cider Vinegar and mix (for a more cream cheesy taste add more vinegar until you are happy with the flavour)
  • Place in the fridge until the cake has completely cooled.
  • Frost the cool cake how ever you choose, I like to frost the top and add a sprig of Rosemary as a garnish.

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A little taste of Autumn at the end of a long hot summer! Hopefully my wishes for Autumn to hurry along will be answered, but for now I can enjoy this spicy treat to carry me over the last few weeks of summer. I hope you will love this seasonal cake as much as I do! It pairs lovely with coffee, tea, or as my adorable Husband pointed out it goes well with a pint of Guinness which is now vegan WOOHOO! Aston gives this cake a 10/10, I couldn’t have asked for  more enthusiastic taste tester!

Enjoy,

Holly

 

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Earl Grey Lemon Shortbread Cookies

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One of my favourite things about visiting Ireland is that no matter what time of day it is always an acceptable time for tea and biscuits (or cookies as we call them in North America). The food in Ireland is outstanding!! The vegetables have this beautiful earthy taste and the breads are hearty and flavourful. It’s impossible not to indulge when you have so many beautiful things to eat.

I remember returning home to Canada after my first trip and saying to my husband Mark that everything tasted like cardboard at home. He, being from Ireland would laugh and agree! He has always raved about the amazing food and the rich and raw flavour of the fresh produce. Everything you eat tastes as if it were just pulled from the earth or plucked from a branch or vine.

In preparation for my first trip over my Dad who also happens to be from Ireland asked me what on earth I was going to eat over there. From what he could recall from his childhood everything was smothered in butter and came with meat. I assumed I’d be eating salad most of the trip and had prepared myself for that, after all it was a small price to pay for the amazing scenery and culture of the country.

I was absolutely delighted to find that Ireland was a great place for a vegan to travel and there were many options available. A plate of roasted veggies was an absolute delight and there were many unique restaurants that had fantastic vegan options available in Dublin in particular. But at the end of the day it was always tea time that was my favourite, unfortunately vegan cookies and biscuits weren’t plentiful.

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So in the spirit of my trips to Ireland and my love of tea time I’ve created a vegan tea cookie for you to enjoy. With its soft lemon flavour and the hint of Earl Gray tea, it is sure to delight the taste buds. The only problem with these easy to make delicious cookies is that they don’t last long because they are so so good!

My kids go mad for these cookies and with five daughters, tea parties are a common occurrence in our house. They love to dress up and pull out the pretty mugs with a pot full of Strawberry Tea. I love to watch them get into deep conversations and share stories about their week, I’d like to think they will still be chatting over tea as adults.

From me and mine, to you and yours! Enjoy my Earl Gray Lemon Short Bread Cookies, please comment if you have a questions about the recipe and let me know how they turned out for you!

Warmest Regards Natasha

Earl Gray Short Bread Cookies

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Prep Time: 10 mins    Bake Time: 20 mins at 350                                              Makes:12

Vegan

Ingredients

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  • 1 3/4 Cup of Flour
  • 1/2 Cup of Organic Cane Sugar
  • 3/4 Cup of Vegan Margarine (I use Earth Balance)
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1 Tbsp of Loose Earl Gray Tea
  • 1/4 Tsp of Sea Salt
  • 1/2 Tsp of Vanilla
  • 1-2 Tbsp Dairy Free Milk

Method

  • In a mixer cream Sugar, Margarine, Vanilla, Lemon Juice and Salt until combined and smooth.

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  • With a Motar and Pestle grind the Loose Earl Gray tea leaves into a powder.

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  • Add Flour and ground Tea to wet mixture and combine until dough becomes pebble-like.

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  • Add 1-2 Tbsp of Dairy Free Milk to bring the dough together until the dough comes together and holds its shape.

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  • Remove from mixer and place on a parchment sheet, form the dough into a log and roll in the parchment paper.

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  • Refrigerate for 15 minutes or until firm enough to cut.

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  • Slice the log into 1/2 inch rounds and place on a cookie sheet.
  • Bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until lightly brown on the bottom.

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  • Allow to cool on a cooling rack for 10 mins.
  • Enjoy!

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These tea cookies are the perfect addition to your tea party, beautiful texture, light lemon and tea flavour! I hope you enjoy these cookies as much as my family and I do.

Warmest Regards Holly

 

Black Forest Cake Macaroons

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I have a confession to make, I’m a major sweets junkie! One of the biggest challenges for me when I decided to make the change to a Plant-based lifestyle was letting go of milk chocolate and creamy desserts. I felt like a fish out of water as the majority of my staple baking ingredients like milk, butter, and eggs I could no longer use. I resigned myself to the fact that my creative baking days were over and that I would live a life where the only dessert I could enjoy was dark chocolate.

How wrong I was! After a few months I decided to start researching more into what alternatives I could use in place of the ingredients I made the choice to exclude from my diet. I was delighted to find that not only did I have a great Plant-based alternative for every ingredient I needed but that they were actually more cost effective and delicious!

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So off I went to re-learn how to bake. What started out as feelings of confusion turned into a great and very fun adventure into recipe creation! Since my family and I made the change I have been busy creating and experimenting with original recipes that would be tasty and that the kids would love!

Gone are the days of worrying about salmonella poisoning from cookie dough, my kids are as grateful as I am for that! The down side is we tend to indulge on the cookie dough a little too much making for less cookies; which isn’t really a problem as I prefer the dough!

After mastering cookies and cakes I decided to try my hand a macaroons as from time to time we have guests in our house who are on a Gluten Free diet. I spent months trying to figure out the correct combo to make a delicious macaroon worthy of swooning. The kids weren’t much help in the process because even the failed macaroons still taste pretty good. The goal was to create a great tasting macaroon with a nice texture that would hold its shape.

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Finally I got the combo right for a basic macaroon and thought I could take it one step further with some creative flavour combos. That was when I happily by accident made my first Black Forest Cake Macaroon! How I had missed a good slice of Black Forest Cake and this macaroon took me back to the birthday cakes my Oma would bake for my Mother every year when I was young.

I am so very excited to share this recipe with you today! One of my favourites and one I am quite proud of that I’m sure you and your family will enjoy. The best part is they are super easy to make, minimal mess, and a quick treat to whip up for last minute guests. Enjoy!

 

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Prep Time: 20 mins                                                                      Makes: 14, in a baby muffin tin.

Vegan, Gluten Free

Ingredients List

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  • 1  1/2 Cup of Unsweetened Shredded Coconut
  • 1 Cup of Ground Almonds
  • 1/4 Cup of Cocoa or Cacao Powder
  • 1/4 Tsp of Himalayan Pink Salt or Sea Salt
  • 1/3 Cup of Pure Maple Syrup
  • 2  1/2 Tbsp of Melted Coconut Oil
  • 1/2 Tbsp of Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1/4 Cup of Dairy Free Chocolate Chips
  • 1/4 Cup of Dried Tart Cherries

Method

  • Add Unsweetened Shredded Coconut, Ground Almonds, Cocoa Powder, and Salt to a Food Processor. Process until combined evenly. Blog 011
  • Add Maple Syrup, Vanilla, and Coconut Oil to Dry Mixture. Process until combined and a ball has formed.

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  • Add Chocolate Chips and Sour Cherries to the Food Processor. Combined everything evenly.

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  • Line a baby muffin tin with plastic wrap, spoon enough mixture into each form until full and press down evenly making sure the top is smooth.

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  • Cover the pressed macaroons with the remaining plastic wrap and place muffin pan into the refrigerator for 20-30 mins until the macaroons have set. 5-10 minutes in the freezer if you’re in a rush.

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  • Unwrap and enjoy!

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These macaroons will stay quite fresh for up to a week if sealed in a container in the fridge. They can be left at room temperature but be aware if you are in a warmer climate that they could lose their shape or melt if it’s too warm.

I hope you enjoy my Black Forest Cake Macaroon recipe! Please feel free to ask any questions in the comments and I will happily answer them. Let me know how they turned out for you!

Warmest Regards Holly