Blueberry Apple Coffee Cake! (Gluten-free Option)

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Vegan Blueberry Apple Coffee Cake:

Ingredients

2 tbsp ground flax
6 tbsp hot water (or 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp)
1 1/3 cup sweetener of your choice.*
Zest of one lemon (optional)**
1 tbsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup melted coconut oil or vegetable oil
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3 cups unbleached white flour
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 granny smith apple, core removed, diced
1 cup blueberries

First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 5 x 9 loaf pans.

Next, make your flax seed “eggs” or gel. Mix the ground flax with the hot water, whether boiled or straight from the tap. Whisk together and let sit for a few minutes while you gather the rest of your ingredients.

In a large bowl, add sugar, flax gel, oil, lemon zest and vanilla. Mix together. I whisk these particular ingredients, but once I get to adding the flour, I fold it in with a spatula. I find I get a much fluffier baked good by doing this with all of my cake-like treats.

Next, add baking soda, flour cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir, whisk or fold until all dry ingredients are incorporated. Lightly fold in apples and blueberries. I used frozen blueberries and added them straight from the freezer. No matter fresh or frozen, be very gentle as to not break them. (A little breakage will most likely happen.)

Place batters evenly in two loaf pans, or even in muffin tins if you so desire! Bake for about 50 minutes, but check at the 40 minute mark. You will know if your cake is done if when you insert a toothpick, the pick comes out clean, the sides of the cakes start pulling away from the pan or it springs upward at a light touch of your finger. The toothpick trick is probably your best bet!

Streusel Topping: I don’t think coffee cake or muffins are complete without a sugary streusel top! I like the streusel finish on this particular cake because the cake itself is not very sweet. It makes the cake or muffins a little bit more special! I make mine from instinct, but here is a plethora of recipes for you to choose from! Mine is made with vegetable shortening, brown sugar, flour and cane sugar. When I made a gluten-free version, I omitted flour altogether, even a gluten-free one (though I’m sure the mild tasting rice flour would work great), and it was fine.

Gluten-Free Option: I made a gluten-free version of this cake, which I LOVED, by using 1 1/2 cups garfava flour and 1 1/2 cups Trader Joe’s gluten-free all purpose flour. I also added 3/4 tsp xanthan gum. However, you may not need to add the gum, as Caroline did not and her muffins were fine.

*I like to use brown rice syrup or agave syrup, but cane sugar, maple syrup, or brown sugar will all suffice!

**Lemon brings out the flavor of berries.

This coffee cake recipe is a veganized version of this zucchini bread recipe.

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Gluten free zucchini bread muffins

The vegan zucchini bread is a success, with regular flour or a gluten-free mix!

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One of my dearest friends, Jenny Bradley (@jennybradley), happens to be a vegan baker (again, I struck gold in the friend department). She is my go to source when I have questions about baking (or need a shoulder to cry on about my latest dating drama), and she recently started a blog just for that: Askaveganbaker.com.

She posted a zucchini bread recipe, so of course I had to try making it. I was in what I deemed an “emo” headspace (aka “why hasn’t he called me back?!), so I popped on (Spotify) some Built to Spill, a la 1994, and got to baking. I find that cooking and baking is a great creative outlet to put my energy towards when I’m having an off day, and at the end of the process I get to eat! Bonus!

Jenny had used this recipe as a base to…

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What about eggs in cookies?

When in doubt (or just as a rule), use Egg Replacer in cookies. It’s great and it works.

I imagine the flax seed “egg” would work well too, but the thing is, I don’t like nuts in my cookies so I don’t want the nutty, healthy flavor that flax produces.

Flax seed “egg”, equivalent of one chicken egg:

1 Tbls ground flax
3 Tbls hot water

Whisk and let sit for a couple minutes until a gel forms.

 

Vegan Buttercream Frosting!

Today I was asked by the lovely Holly, over at Pink Traveling Lips, about a vegan buttercream frosting recipe. It just so happened that at the time, I was covered in frosting (powdered sugar) at work, because I was making a vat of it!

Frosting is a big deal to me. I usually only eat cake as a vehicle for frosting, and when I’m decorating cakes for customers I have to remind myself not to go overboard with the amount I use. My dad was the kind of guy who would scrape the frosting off of his piece of cake, into the sink, while my mom, sister and I looked on in absolute horror.

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Wholesome Chow chocolate cake with coffee frosting and a chocolate trim.

I have worked at many a bakery in the last ten years, and I’ve done my best to veganize the traditional (albeit unhealthy, but it’s dessert!) vanilla buttercreams I’ve made. What I love about this frosting is that it stands well on it’s own, but can also be used as a canvas to adding more flavors. At work, and home, I add extracts, fruits, sometimes alcohol (Frangelico, Creme de Menthe) — whatever the taste-buds fancy.

Here is my vegan buttercream recipe, on Vegansaurus. In my own personal experience, you can use all shortening, but not all Earth Balance. However, today Holly did just that. She had no shortening on hand, so she used vegan margarine. Her cake looked awesome; I hope she writes a post about it soon! I think the difference is that shortening will give you a fluffy buttercream, and margarine will give you more of glaze.

Happy decorating!