Blueberry Coffee Cake

Merry Christmas! Also happy Kwanzaa (even though it starts tomorrow) and happy belated Hanukkah! I guess I should probably just say “happy holidays” instead.

I’m going to keep this post short and sweet because I’m about to go celebrate Christmas with my family! My family’s tradition is to wake up relatively early, open gifts at our house, then travel (a few miles) to my grandparent’s house for more present opening, brunch, and family time. This tradition has been going strong since my birth (minus last year). I LOVE it. What is your Christmas day (or other holiday) tradition?

blueberrycoffeecake

One of the foods that makes an appearance at Christmas brunch year after year is blueberry coffee cake made with a recipe from my grandma’s old Junior League cookbook. In years past, I’ve just foregone the [nonvegan] coffeecake and loaded up on fruit. This year, however, my grandma put me in charge of making a vegan version of the coffee cake! The original version called for shortening, egg, milk, and cups upon cups of sugar. I don’t know about you, but I eat so much sugar during the holiday season that I put Buddy the Elf to shame. Because of this, I decreased the amount of sugar in the coffee cake (I also did it so I can justify eating cake for breakfast because now it’s “healthy cake,” which is an oxymoron by the way). This version is also vegan because I’m vegan and I WANT TO EAT CAKE TOO.

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I replaced the shortening the original recipe called for with coconut oil and applesauce so the cake is way more nutritious (and has fewer calories) than the original. I replaced the egg with a trusty “flax egg” and the milk with almond milk (but feel free to use any type of nondairy milk). I hope my family loves this coffee cake as much as I do! I think it tastes like the original non-vegan version, but then again, it’s been a few years since I tried it. The cake is dusted with a cinnamon sugar topping that makes it taste like baby angel wings (well, what I think baby angel wings would taste like).

Make this coffee cake for Christmas brunch (for this year if you are a hardcore procrastinator that can whip out this coffeecake ASAP or for Christmas next year?), for New Year’s day, or make it on a Friday night and enjoy it on a lazy Saturday morning with a cup of coffee (since it is COFFEE cake).  Unless you’re me because I don’t like coffee (although I’ve only ever tried straight black coffee so I can’t say I don’t like all coffee… coffee lovers, what coffee is good that I should try to end my dislike of coffee?).

Grab a drink (of any variety), a plate, a fork, a knife, and cut into this delicious coffee cake!

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Blueberry Coffee Cake

Serves 8-12

Based on the “Huckleberry Buckle” recipe in an old Junior League cookbook (page 53)

Coffee Cake Layer:

  • 1/4 cup coconut oil (unsoftened)
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 flax egg
  • 2 cups flour (1 cup all-purpose, 1 cup whole wheat)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 and ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ cup nondairy milk
  • 2 cups blueberries

Topping:

  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup flour
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
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Batter on the left, topping on the right

  1. Make a flax egg by mixing together one tablespoon of flaxseed meal and three tablespoons of water in a small bowl. Let it sit in the fridge for 15 minutes.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  3. For cake: cream coconut oil, applesauce, and sugar together in a stand mixer.
  4. Add in the flax egg and mix to combine.
  5. Add in a cup of flour, the salt, and the baking powder and mix to combine.
  6. Add in half of the milk (1/4 cup) and mix to combine.
  7. Add in the other cup of flour and mix to combine (do you see a pattern here?).
  8. Add in the rest of the milk (1/4 cup) and mix to combine.
  9. Fold in the blueberries (I used frozen because it’s winter here in MI so there aren’t any fresh blueberries. Cue the tears.).
  10. Spray/ (vegan) butter the bottom of an 8 x 8 inch pan. Add the batter to the pan. The batter SHOULD be thick and blue (the blue color will bake out! *In Bill Nye voice: “Science RULES!”*)
  11. Make the topping by combining all the topping ingredients together. Sprinkle the topping liberally onto the top of the cake.
  12. Put the cake in the oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until the cake and topping are both golden brown and the cake is no longer gooey in the middle.
  13. Let it cool, slice it, and enjoy it!

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Enjoy cake for breakfast today (or any day) with this coffeecake. Merry Christmas!

xo Ellie

P.S.- This is my 100th blog post! Merry Christmas to my blog, I guess this post is its present??

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Apple Crisp

Happy weekend!

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Earlier this week I came home from a long day of school and play practice to find that my mom had made apple crisp. The best part, besides the fact that it was fresh out of the oven? It was vegan! She’d veganized our family’s crisp recipe for me… reason number 7562 why I love her.

I’m going to keep this post brief because I have to go do homework, but I just have to say you NEED this apple crisp in your life!

Here’s a list of reasons why this crisp is great:

It’s…

  • crunchy
  • sweet
  • buttery

AND

  • it has a melt-in-your mouth crumb topping
  • it can be topped with ICE CREAM
  • it’s full of fruit, so it’s healthier than other desserts
  • it’s the perfect way to celebrate apple season

Is this list not enough for you? Here are some more pictures:

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Go to an apple orchard (or the farmer’s market), get a bunch of apples, and use them in this sweet apple crisp! Top with vegan ice cream (I like So Delicious vanilla) and enjoy!

Apple Crisp

Serves 6 (makes one 9 inch pan full)

  • 6 apples, sliced

Topping

  • ½ cup vegan margarine (I use Earth Balance)
  • ½ cup flour
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup oats
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Peel the apples and slice them into long slices. Layer them in a 9 inch square dish/ pan.
  3. Soften the vegan margarine.
  4. To make the topping, mix all the topping ingredients together and mash them with a fork. Generously sprinkle on top of the apples.
  5. Put the crisp in the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the topping is golden-brown and the apples are soft.
  6. Let cool, slice, and enjoy! The crisp is great on its own, but a scoop of vegan ice cream on top makes it even better!

Have a lovely Sunday!

xx Ellie

Strawberry Pie

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Are you sick of strawberries yet? I’m not. In fact, I ate a quart and a half of them today! And I could have eaten a whole quart more… I’m a serious strawberry monster. When I pick berries, I probably eat as many as I pick!

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Oh, how I love to pick eat berries. Unfortunately, though, strawberry season is coming to a close. *sobs* No more strawberry picking until NEXT YEAR! That’s too long of a wait.

But no fear! You can use the rest of your berries in this delicious strawberry pie! And if strawberry season is over for you… don’t worry! You know what you can do? You can swap the strawberries in for raspberries when raspberry season starts next week (HOORAH).

So get in the kitchen and make yummy food with fresh strawberries while you can! Make this pie, then make some jam, then make these muffins!

And don’t forget that vegan ice cream, banana nice cream, or coconut cream are necessary pie toppers!

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HOORAH FOR STRAWBERRIES AND HOORAH FOR PIE (WOW capital letters are fun to use).

Simple Strawberry pie (vegan, can be gluten free)

makes 1 pie

  • 1 quart of strawberries, washed and with stems cut off — half the strawberries will be in the sauce, and half the berries will be cut into slices for the pie filling.
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 6 tablespoons flour (gluten free flour = gluten free pie)
  • a dash of salt
  • 1 of your favorite vegan (/ gluten free) pie crust
  1. Prepare the pie crust as needed. I had to poke holes in my crust and bake it at 350 F for 8-10 minutes (until it was golden-brown).
  2. Cut half the strawberries into small slices.
  3. Add cut strawberries into the prepared pie crust.
  4. Meanwhile, add the remaining strawberries, sugar, salt, and flour into a medium saucepan. Smush the berries as best you can and cook the mixture until thick, stirring constantly. This will take  6-8 minutes. You want it thick enough that it won’t spill all over once you pour it into the pie crust, but you don’t want it too thick that it won’t cover the whole pie.
  5. Pour the “sauce” into the pie crust.
  6. Chill the pie in the refrigerator, overnight or for at least for 6 hours.
  7. Cut and serve with vegan whipped cream, coconut cream, or vegan ice cream!

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XX Ellie

Strawberry Love Cupcakes

I hope that everyone had a great weekend and a lovely Valentine’s Day. I had fun hanging out with friends. We ate these cupcakes and had a dance party. Since we were hanging out on Valentine’s Day, I decided to bring over valentine-inspired cupcakes. I couldn’t find a great pink-colored, strawberry cupcake recipe that non-vegans would also love, so I decided to make my own! I used strawberries we froze this past summer for the recipe since we didn’t have any fresh ones. If you use fresh strawberries, puree them so you get juice to make the cupcakes pink!

My friends loved these cupcakes, and I hope you will too! They’re moist, fluffy, sweet, and mouthwatering.

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Strawberry Love Cupcakes

based on Vanilla Birthday Cupcakes from Chloe’s Vegan Desserts

makes 15 cupcakes

  • 1 and ½ cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup nondairy milk
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup frozen strawberries

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Whisk together all the dry ingredients (flour to salt). In a separate bowl, mix together the wet ingredients (milk to vanilla) and pour into the dry ingredients. Put the frozen berries into a microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 30 seconds, or until the strawberries are unfrozen and juicy. Add the strawberries and their juice in with everything else and whisk until everything is combined. Line cupcake tins, then fill the liners 2/3 of the way full. Pop them in the oven for 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick comes out dry if you stick it in a cupcake.

Strawberry Glaze (to top the cupcakes)

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons of strawberry juice (from frozen strawberries)

Melt about a 1/4 cup of frozen strawberries (the “how to” is in the cupcake directions). Add the juice from the strawberries, powdered sugar, and vanilla together in a bowl. Whisk them together, then pour a tablespoon or so over each cupcake! I also topped the cupcakes with chocolate chips. Feel free to top them with chocolate chips, strawberry slices, or whatever else you’d like! P1240751 P1240776

Enjoy and spread love through cupcakes!

xx Ellie

Banana French Toast Cupcakes (v)

I can’t stop thinking of cupcakes!!! I guess I’ve been watching too many episodes of Cupcake Wars.

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Cupcake Wars is such a fun show to watch! Four bakers come together in Los Angeles, CA. They are given certain challenge ingredients that they have to make a cupcake with in 45 minutes. If they advance, they make 3 kinds of cupcakes in 90 minutes. For the final round, they have to make an 1000 cupcake display for whatever event the episode centers around. These events are typically big, famous, themed parties that bakers are making the cupcakes for. Their cupcakes are judged on flavor and presentation. Watching the show has given me loads of cupcake inspiration!

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Naturally, I wanted cupcakes after watching a few episodes. One baker made a banana nut cupcake, and it prompted my mom and I to create these sweet suckers.

These cupcakes would win Cupcake Wars. They are sweet, nutty, and taste like french toast! Really! Try them out as you watch Cupcake Wars and you will be happy.

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Banana French Toast Cupcakes

makes 12

adapted from these Bake and Destroy cupcakes

Cake

  • 1/2 cup banana (1 huge banana), mashed
  • 1 & 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 and ½ tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 2/3 cup nondairy milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1/4 cup pecans, chopped

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.Toast the walnuts and pecans for 4-5 minutes. Mix together flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and sugar in a large bowl. Mash the banana in a mixer / blender / food processor, etc. Transfer it into a small bowl, and mix it with the oil, nondairy milk, and vanilla. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry. Fold the walnuts into the batter. Line and fill cupcake tins 2/3 full. Bake for 20-22 minutes. Let the cupcakes cool, then frost them!

Frosting

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 6 tablespoons Earth Balance
  • 6 tablespoons non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening
  • 2 tablespoons + 1/2 tsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Beat everything together until it’s light & fluffy. It will take 2-3 minutes. Frost the cupcakes and enjoy!

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These cupcakes are seriously the bomb. My mom gave them a 10/10. The frosting was so good that I ate it with a spoon! They make my mom and I happy. We hope they make you happy, too! Enjoy!

xx Ellie

Thanksgiving Feast: What I Ate + A Recipe

I hope that everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

I sure did because I ate scrumptious food, walked the COLD beach near my cottage and found pretty rocks, and saw Mockingjay Part 1!

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The Rocks

Mockingjay was great! Great actors (I ♥ Josh Hutcherson), wonderful and über tech-y but realistic sets, cool cinematography… and it’s all based on a series that I adore! But back to the food. That was the REAL star of the day.

Most Thanksgiving meals center around Turkey. Not at my house! The boys (both the meat-and-potato type) stuffed themselves on ham (eeew) and potato (See? Meat and potatoes). On the other hand, my mom and I ate a bounty of delicious vegetables. They rocked. The recipes are below.

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We ate on paper plates because we didn’t have warm running water at the cottage on Thanksgiving (so it was difficult to wash dishes!)!

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For dessert, I broke the caramel apple pie tradition and made and finally tried pumpkin pie for the first time!!! It was pretty tasty. I made it using a Chocolate-Covered Katie recipe.

Below are the recipes for what I ate for Thanksgiving dinner. They all highlight fall veggies and their delicious flavors! All of them are super duper scrumptious. Try them out and you shall see! My favorite dish was the butternut squash and kale, but I also looooooved the maple cinnamon sweet potatoes. What is great about these dishes is that they can be eaten for lunch or dinner. A typical dinner or for a holiday. They can serve one person or many (you may just have to double or triple the recipe!). Yay for options!

              Bon Appétit!

Maple Cinnamon Sweet Potatoes from Oh She Glows

Roasted Butternut Squash with Kale and Almond Pecan Parmesan from Oh She Glows

Brussels Sprouts with Caramelized Onions and Nuts (recipe below)

Crustless Pumpkin Pie from Chocolate Covered Katie

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Brussels Sprouts with Caramelized Onions and Nuts

Serves around 10 people as a side

  • around 4o brussels sprouts
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt to taste
  • 2 yellow onions, sliced thinly
  • 1 tablespoon Earth Balance or another vegan “butter”
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • ½ cup nuts (1/4 cup walnuts, 1/4 cup pecans)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large pan, coat the brussels sprouts with olive oil. Sprinkle with sea salt. Put the pan in the oven and let the sprouts cook for around 30 minutes. Several times during this 30 minute period, stir the brussels sprouts around so they cook evenly. Take the sprouts out of the oven when they are crunchy and brown.

Cook the nuts in the oven for 5 to 10 minutes, or until they are dark brown and crunchy.

While everything else is cooking, melt the butter in a pan on the stovetop. When it is melted, add the onions and  sauté (stirring occasionally) until the onions are golden-brown. This will take about 30 minutes.

Once everything is cooked, throw it all together in a large bowl and serve! Enjoy!

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and long weekend! Have a happy day!

xx Ellie

This post is part of A Vegan Holiday, a collaboration among vegan and veg-friendly bloggers. Follow along on social media with #AVeganHoliday. Want to learn more or become a contributor? Find out more here or here

Caramel Apple Pie

 Happy (almost) Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving is a tradition. Our Thanksgiving tradition is a trip up north to our cottage for Thanksgiving. On Thanksgiving day, my immediate family and I eat an early dinner and then go see a movie. That tradition started two years ago when the power at my cottage went out on Thanksgiving morning. The power runs electricity, but also heat and water. This meant that we ate Thanksgiving dinner by candle and flashlight! Our dinner included raw veggies, half-cooked sweet potatoes, and cold ham (which I didn’t eat), and water bottles. It was actually a really fun adventure! To get warm and to use running water (aka go to the bathroom), we decided to go to the local movie theatre to see Life of Pi. Thus, a tradition was born. This Thanksgiving evening, we’re going to see Mockingjay Part 1, which I am so excited about!

Another tradition I love is making and eating caramel apple pie.

100_3326 Caramel apple pie with a crumb topping has always been a Thanksgiving tradition at my house. Instead of eating pumpkin pie for dessert on Thanksgiving, we eat caramel apple pie. In fact, I’ve never had pumpkin pie before because I eat apple pie instead! Crazy, right!? One of these days I will make and try a vegan version, but for now I am happy with caramel apple crumble!

My family has always made the pie with a store bought crust and with non-vegan caramel. I figured that with Thanksgiving coming up, it was high time to make a healthier vegan version!

This version has a much healthier, protein-packed crust, a yummy date caramel, slices from local apples, and a vegan crumb topping!

Make and enjoy it for Thanksgiving or whenever you are craving an all-American apple pie.

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Caramel Apple Crumble

by Ellie Haun

makes 1 pie

Crust

  • 1 cup oats
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • 1 and 1/4 cup dates
  • a tablespoon or two of water if needed

Blend everything together in a food processor. You’ll have to blend it for a few minutes in order for everything to stick together. If the mixture isn’t quite sticking, add a tablespoon or two of water as a binder. When the mixture is sticky, place it in the bottom of a prepared pie pan (parchment paper the bottom or spray the bottom with cooking spray beforehand). Shape the mixture into a pie crust by covering the pan with it. Place in the fridge to set.

Caramel

(based off the caramel from this recipe)

  • 17 dates
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup milk of choice

Blend the dates in a food processor to break them into small pieces. Add everything else and blend until the sauce is completely smooth.

4 medium apples, skinned and sliced

Crumble Topping

  • 1/4 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup raw cane sugar
  • 1/3 cup Earth Balance (vegan butter substitute)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Mix everything together. Use a fork to mash the butter.

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To assemble the pie:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Make the crust.
  3. Skin the apples and cut them into pieces.
  4. Add the apple slices into the pie. Add some caramel to the top after an apple’s worth of slices is in the pan. Do this after each apple until all of the caramel is gone and the pie is full.
  5. Add the crumb topping to the top.
  6. Put the pie in the oven for about 50 minutes.
  7. Take it out of the oven and let it cool for 15 minutes or so.
  8. Serve the pie! Enjoy the pie by itself, or top it with more apples and/ or vegan vanilla ice cream!

100_3328Have a lovely Thanksgiving holiday!

xx Ellie

P.S.: Look at how cute the top of the pie pan I used is!100_3337

This post is part of A Vegan Holiday, a collaboration among vegan and veg-friendly bloggers. Follow along on social media with #AVeganHoliday. Want to learn more or become a contributor? Find out more here or here