cinnamon apple cake

Golden Delicious apples are firm, crisp, and often described as “honeyed.” They have a balanced sweet-tart flavor as well as the necessary acid content and stability for baking. So when I was late to the orchard this year and discovered that this was the last variety of apple the farm was picking, I was not disappointed!

Note: This cake freezes well, too, if you manage not to eat it all when it’s freshly baked! Cut it into individual slices first, then seal the slices in an airtight bag or container before freezing.


Cinnamon Apple Cake
 
Golden Delicious apples are firm, crisp, and often described as "honeyed." They have a balanced sweet-tart flavor as well as the necessary acid content and stability for baking. So when I was late to the orchard this year and discovered that this was the last variety of apple the farm was picking, I was not disappointed!
Author:
Ingredients
  • 3–5 Golden Delicious apples (or your favorite baking apple), sliced thinly
  • 3 cups of flour
  • 1½ cups of vegan granulated sugar (I use Florida Crystals)
  • 3 teaspoons of baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • 1 cup of canola oil (or any other neutral oil)
  • 1 cup of orange juice
  • 1½ teaspoons of pure vanilla extract
  • 4 "eggs" made from Bob's Red Mill Egg Replacer (follow package instructions, and please see Notes!)
  • Cinnamon (for dusting between apple layers)
  • Vegan powdered sugar (for dusting finished cake)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare a Bundt cake pan with cooking spray.
  2. Using a stand or hand mixer (or you can do this manually), mix well the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, oil, orange juice, and vanilla extract.
  3. Add the "eggs" to the mixture slowly, mixing/stirring each time you add some, to ensure everything is blended together.
  4. Pour ⅓ of the batter into the Bundt pan. Place one layer of sliced apples, slightly overlapping each other, on top of the batter (see photo). Shake cinnamon on generously over apple layer. Repeat this process two more times (batter, apples, cinnamon; you should end with a layer of apples and cinnamon).
  5. Bake in the middle of the oven for approximately 70 minutes (a toothpick inserted should come out clean).
  6. Remove cake from oven and place on a cooling rack. Allow cake to cool for 20 minutes before inverting it.
  7. Once cake is removed from pan and completely cool, dust with powdered sugar and serve.
Notes
Make sure to check your Bob's Red Mill Egg Replacer to make sure you're not using the gluten-free version of this product. If that's what you have, you'll need to increase the amount of orange juice in this recipe by ¼ cup. Also note that the ingredient measurements for this recipe are based on using this type of egg replacer. I can't guarantee that chicken eggs or any other plant-based egg substitute—such as applesauce or flax "eggs"—will produce the same results!

PS: This cake freezes well, too, if you manage not to eat it all when it's freshly baked! Cut it into individual slices first, then seal the slices in an airtight bag or container before freezing.

 

aquafaba dark chocolate mousse

How do you make light and fluffy dark chocolate mousse without eggs or heavy cream? Aquafaba!
Note: Aquafaba is the viscous liquid in which chickpeas are cooked. America’s Test Kitchen has written a great explainer—check it out here. Just as it does with egg whites, cream of tartar acts as a stabilizing ingredient that improves the structure of whipped aquafaba, so don’t omit it!
Hint: Check out my recipe for savory roasted chickpeas, and get on that when you’re finished making the mousse! 



Aquafaba Dark Chocolate Mousse
 
Aquafaba is the trick to light and fluffy dark chocolate mousse without eggs or heavy cream!
Author:
Ingredients
  • 5 ounces vegan dark chocolate, coarsely chopped OR vegan semisweet chocolate chips
  • 4 very full tablespoons macadamia nut milk (or almond milk)
  • ¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 ounces aquafaba from can of no- or low-sodium chickpeas, at room temperature (simply drain the chickpeas using a fine mesh strainer and hang onto them for another recipe)
  • ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar (do not omit; see Notes!)
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1½ teaspoons vegan sugar
 (I use Florida Crystals)
  • Garnish (berries, mint leaves, coconut, chocolate shavings, etc.) of your choice (optional)
Instructions
  1. Using a double boiler, warm the chocolate until it’s soft. (If you don’t have a double boiler, make one: Fill a medium saucepan with a few inches of water and place it over medium–low heat. Place the chocolate in a bowl that fits over the opening of the saucepan.)
  2. In a small bowl, combine the macadamia nut milk (or almond milk) with the vanilla extract and warm.
  3. Once the chocolate is soft, whisk in the warmed milk-and-vanilla mixture until well incorporated. Remove from the heat and let stand.
  4. Place the aquafaba in the bowl of a stand mixer or hand-held electric mixer. Sprinkle in the cream of tartar. Using a whisk attachment, start on a low speed until the aquafaba begins to get frothy, then increase to high speed. With the motor running, gradually add the sugar—this should take about 4–6 minutes, so have patience!—to form a glossy meringue with firm peaks.
  5. Use a flexible spatula to gently fold half of the aquafaba meringue into the cooled chocolate mixture. Once the meringue is almost fully incorporated, fold in the remaining meringue until just combined.
  6. Divide among the individual ramekins, smoothing the tops. Cover with plastic wrap, avoiding direct contact with the mousse, and refrigerate for an hour (or overnight).
  7. Uncover and garnish each ramekin with whatever you like (or skip this part), and serve immediately.
Notes
Aquafaba is the viscous liquid in which chickpeas are cooked. Just as it does with egg whites, cream of tartar acts as a stabilizing ingredient that improves the structure of whipped aquafaba, so don't omit it!

 

coconut peach tart

This is going to be your new go-to peach dessert. Promise. (Adapted from Amanda Hesser’s Peach Tart recipe.)
Note: This peach tart only has a hint of coconut, most notable in the crust. If you’re not a coconut fan, you can substitute vegetable or canola oil for the coconut oil and omit the shredded coconut from the topping. 


Coconut Peach Tart
 
This is going to be your new go-to peach dessert! It has just a hint of coconut, most notable in the crust. But if you're not a coconut fan, you can substitute vegetable or canola oil for the coconut oil and omit the shredded coconut from the topping.
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup plus 1 teaspoon turbinado cane sugar (I use Sugar In The Raw)
  • 3 tablespoons shredded unsweetened coconut plus more for garnish
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons soy milk
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons plant-based butter (I use Earth Balance)
  • 3–5 small ripe peaches, pitted and thickly sliced (about ½-inch wide). Note: I don't peel the peaches. You can if you want to, but I don't think it's necessary since the skins soften so much that you can't tell you're eating them and the color makes for a pretty tart.
Instructions
For the crust:
  1. In a mixing bowl, stir 1½ cups flour, ½ teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon sugar, and 3 tablespoons coconut together.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the canola oil, coconut oil, soy milk, and vanilla extract. Pour liquid mixture into the flour mixture and mix gently with a fork, just enough to make flour mixture wet. Do not overwork the mixture or crust will be tough.
  3. Transfer the dough to a tart pan (I use a 9-inch, but you can use up to an 11-inch). Pat out the dough so it covers the bottom of the pan, making sure to push the dough up the sides to meet the edge. It should be about ⅛-inch thick all around. Set aside.
For the filling:
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. In a bowl, combine ¾ cup sugar, 2 tablespoons flour, ¼ teaspoon salt, and the plant-based butter. (Overly juicy peaches? Add 1 tablespoon of additional flour.)
  3. Using your fingers, pinch the plant-based butter into the dry ingredients until crumbly. Do this quickly so the mixture stays crumbly and the heat from your hands doesn’t melt the butter.
  4. Starting on the outside, arrange the peach slices overlapping each other in a concentric circle over the pastry you've pressed into the tart pan; make sure the peaches are snug. Sprinkle the entire crumble mixture on top; it will mostly cover the peaches.
  5. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, until thick bubbles begin enveloping the fruit and the crust is lightly browned.
  6. Cool on a rack, resisting the urge to cut it immediately; the filling needs time to set! Garnish with a little shredded coconut. Serve warm or room temperature with coconut whipped cream or coconut-milk ice cream.

 

vanilla-almond roasted peaches with sweet cashew ricotta, pecans, and basil

This lovely peach dish is juicy and tangy and sweet and creamy and crunchy. Plus, that summer basil!

Vanilla-Almond Roasted Peaches with Sweet Cashew Ricotta, Pecans, and Basil
 
Author:
Ingredients
For the sweet cashew ricotta
  • ½ cup raw cashews
  • 6 ounces firm tofu
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon salt
For the peaches:
  • 4 large peaches
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of nutmeg (optional)
  • Pinch of salt
For the garnish:
  • Chopped pecans
  • Chopped fresh basil leaves
Instructions
Prepare the sweet cashew ricotta:
  1. Blend cashews, tofu, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, maple syrup, and ½ teaspoon salt in a food processor until smooth.
  2. With a spatula, scrape into a bowl and set aside.
Prepare the peaches:
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. 
Lightly grease a casserole dish with plant-based butter or cooking spray.
  2. Pit the peaches and slice them into eighths.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the peaches, brown sugar, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, vanilla extract, almond extract, cinnamon, nutmeg (if using) and salt.
  4. Transfer the peaches to the casserole dish. 
Roast 12–15 minutes or until peaches are cooked through.
Assemble:
  1. Spoon peaches into individual bowls.
  2. Top with sweet cashew ricotta, and sprinkle with chopped pecans and chopped basil. Serve warm.

 

spring strawberry cake

I wait all year to make this so I can use strawberries fresh out of the field!
Note: This is delightful with tea or coffee, but becomes more decadent served with cashew-cream ice cream or coconut whipped cream!


Spring Strawberry Cake
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • Coconut oil nonstick cooking spray
  • 6 tablespoons butter (at room temperature)
  • 2½ cups + 3 tablespoons cake flour
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cups raw sugar + 2 tablespoons (reserved)
  • 1 large flax egg (to make: slightly heaping tablespoon ground flaxseed + slightly more than 2 tablespoons water; mix and allow to gel)
  • ½ cup soy milk (or other plant-based milk)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 pound strawberries, washed, hulled, and halved
  • Vegan powdered sugar (for dusting)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 10-inch removable-bottom tart pan or a 9-inch deep-dish pie pan.
  2. Whisk cake flour, baking powder, and salt together in a small bowl.
  3. In a larger bowl, beat plant-based butter, ¾ cup sugar, flax egg, soy milk, and vanilla with a mixer on high speed for 4 minutes. Add dry mixture in gradually, and continue beating with mixer on lower speed just until smooth.
  4. Pour batter into prepared pan. Arrange strawberries, cut side down, on top of batter in a single layer (see photo). Note: You may not be able to fit the entire pound of berries, but come as close as you can! Sprinkle remaining 2 tablespoons raw sugar over strawberries.
  5. Bake cake for 10 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 325°F and bake until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean (about 55 minutes).
  6. Let cool in pan on a rack. Dust with vegan powdered sugar. Cut into wedges and serve.

 

pumpkin chocolate chip cookies

The pumpkin not only acts as an egg replacer, but it also creates a depth of flavor in these crowd-pleasing cookies, explains Kristy Turner, author of this recipe and the book But I Could Never Go Vegan!
Photo by APB: Eats

 

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
 
The pumpkin not only acts as an egg replacer, but it also creates a depth of flavor in these crowd-pleasing cookies, explains Kristy Turner, author of this recipe and the book "But I Could Never Go Vegan!"
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1¾ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon flaxseed meal
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • ½ cup vegan butter, melted
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • ⅓ cup vegan brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted smooth almond butter or whatever nut butter you have
  • 1 cup vegan chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk together the flour, flaxseed meal, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, salt, nutmeg, and cardamom in a large bowl. Set aside.
  3. Use a hand mixer (or whisk very quickly) to mix the pumpkin puree, vegan butter, maple syrup, brown sugar, and almond butter. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until just combined. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  4. Use a tablespoon or ice cream scoop to scoop roughly 2 tablespoons of dough and place on the prepared baking sheets about 2 inches apart. Wet or lightly grease the bottom of a measuring cup and gently press down on each cooking to flatten. If you want them more evenly shaped, wet your fingers and gently form them into circles.
  5. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until firm with lightly browned edges. Cool on the baking sheet for 2 to 3 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. Let cool completely before serving (or not -- they're too good to wait)!

 

 

chocolate-chip walnut biscotti

Biscotti are Italian cookies that are twice baked, which of course means they’re twice as good.
Note: This recipe makes roughly 30 pieces of biscotti.


Chocolate-Chip Walnut Biscotti
 
Biscotti are Italian cookies that are twice baked, which of course means they're twice as good. This recipe makes roughly 30 pieces of biscotti.
Author:
Ingredients
  • 2 flax eggs (2 tablespoons ground golden flax seed + around 5 tablespoons water)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons non-dairy butter (I use Earth Balance Soy-Free Spread)
  • 1 cup vegan granulated sugar (I use Florida Crystals Raw Cane Sugar)
  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped
  • ¾ cup semisweet vegan chocolate chips
  • 1 to 2 tablespoon confectioners' sugar (I use Florida Crystals Organic Powdered Raw Cane Sugar)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a small bowl, combine ground flax seed and water. Stir well and let rest. Mixture will become goopy like an egg within a few minutes. Set aside.
  3. In a bowl, sift (or whisk) together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.
  4. In a separate bowl using an electric mixer, beat butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy. Add flax eggs and beat until mixture is well combined.
  5. With a wooden spoon, stir flour mixture into butter mixture until a very stiff dough is formed. (Don't be alarmed at how stiff the dough is!) Stir in chopped walnuts and chocolate chips.
  6. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Using your hands, form dough into 2 slightly flattened logs (make each log around 12 inches long and 2 inches wide, and you'll have it right). Using a sifter, dust each log with confectioners sugar.
  7. Bake logs for 30-35 minutes (they should be slightly firm to the touch). Remove from oven (but do not turn oven off!) and cool on the baking sheet for around 5 minutes.
  8. Gently slide the biscotti logs onto a cutting board. Using a serrated knife, gently cut them diagonally into ¾-inch slides being careful not to let them break. Place the biscotti, cut sides down, back on the baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes (until they're crisp).
  9. Cool biscotti on a rack. Keep in an airtight container (or freeze them if you won't eat them all in about a week).

 

chocolate-dipped italian cornmeal cookies (with or without sea salt!)

It’s like a piece of cornbread married a shortbread cookie and they went skinny dipping together in chocolate.
Recipe adapted with modifications from Once Upon a Chef.

chocolate dipped cornmeal cookies

Chocolate-Dipped Italian Cornmeal Cookies (With or Without Sea Salt!)
 
It's like a piece of cornbread married a shortbread cookie and they went skinny dipping together in chocolate.
Author:
Ingredients
  • ½ cup + 3 tablespoons plant-based butter (I use Earth Balance Soy Free Spread)
  • ½ cup vegan granulated sugar (I used Florida Crystals)
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 flax eggs (2 tablespoons ground golden flax seed + 6 tablespoons water)
  • 11/2 cups + 3 level tablespoons cake flour
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup semisweet vegan chocolate chips (I use Ghirardelli)
  • 2 teaspoons coconut oil or vegetable oil (note: if you don't want your cookies to have the faint taste of coconut, go for the flavorless vegetable oil)
  • Sea salt (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. In a small bowl, make your flax eggs by combining the ground flax and water. Set aside; the mixture will become goopy like an egg within a few minutes (you may need to stir once or twice).
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the vegan butter and sugar together for several minutes until the mixture becomes pale in color, creamy, and almost fluffy in appearance. Use a spatula to wipe down sides of bowl as necessary.
  4. Add the vanilla and flax eggs, and beat for another minute until everything is combined.
  5. In a separate bowl, sift together the cake flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt. (If you don't have a sifter, use a whisk.)
  6. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture. Beat on a low speed until just combined.
  7. Cover the dough and refrigerate for one hour. (If you leave the dough in the fridge longer than this (or even overnight), make sure to take it out and let it come down a bit in temperature. You want the dough to be cool enough to handle but not so cold that the cookies won't spread in the oven.)
  8. Scoop out heaping tablespoons of dough, and roll into balls. Place balls on parchment-paper-lined baking sheets and flatten into disks with your hand. Bake for 14 to 16 minutes, until cookies are pale on top and lightly golden on the bottom. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool.
  9. Line a cold baking sheet with parchment paper.
  10. In a double boiler over a medium heat (or in the microwave in 40-second intervals), melt the chocolate chips and your oil of choice together. Dip cookies about halfway into chocolate and transfer to the baking sheet.
  11. Sprinkle cookies with a bit of sea salt (if desired; to please everyone, I like to do half with sea salt, half without), and transfer entire baking sheet to refrigerator so the chocolate will harden and cool quickly.
  12. Store cookies in air-tight container, preferably in the fridge (particularly if it's warm in your home).
Notes
These cookies are extremely versatile. You can add mini vegan chocolate chips to the batter if you prefer that to dipping them after they're baked. If you're not a chocolate fan (gasp!), leave it off and enjoy them plain. You can try dipping the cookie-dough disks into a mixture of cinnamon and sugar before baking for a snickerdoodle-esque twist. Or, try throwing some wild blueberries into the batter. Weeee!

 

gingersnap cookies

The classic (and perfect) holiday cookie to serve with coffee or tea.

gingersnaps

Gingersnap Cookies
 
One of the best holiday cookies to pair with coffee or tea.
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 cup brown sugar (I use certified-vegan Florida Crystals Organic Brown Sugar)
  • ¾ cup non-hydrogenated shortening (I used Earth Balance Vegan Shortening)
  • ¼ cup molasses
  • 1 flax egg (1 tablespoon ground flax seed + 3 tablespoons of water; mix and let stand a few minutes until goopy like an egg)
  • 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Granulated sugar (I used certified-vegan Florida Crystals Organic Cane Sugar)
Instructions
  1. Beat brown sugar, shortening, molasses, and flax egg in a stand mixer or handheld electric mixer on medium speed (this can be done by hand with a spoon but is much easier with a mixer). Make sure ingredients are thoroughly creamed; as they are beaten, the mixture will turn lighter in color.
  2. Stir in all remaining ingredients except granulated sugar until mixture is completely blended. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  3. Heat oven to 375 degrees F and lightly grease baking sheet.
  4. Shape 1 to 2 teaspoons of cookie dough (1 teaspoon for an adorable bite-sized cookie, 2 teaspoons for a larger cookie) into balls. Dip the tops and sides into granulated sugar, leaving only the bottoms uncoated.
  5. Place cookie-dough balls, sugared sides up, about 3 inches apart on baking sheet.
  6. Bake 9 to 11 minutes or just until cookies set. (It's important not to overbake cookies; they may seem very soft when you take them out of the oven, but they'll continue to harden as they cool.) Transfer baking sheet from oven to wire rack for 3 minutes or so to allow cookies to firm up, then transfer cookies from baking sheet to wire rack. Cool completely.
Notes
As a rule, it's best to place cookie dough onto a cold baking sheet. I suggest turning your baking sheets upside down and running cold water on the undersides of them in between their trips into the oven so that each batch of cookies comes out perfectly. This recipe will make 40-50 cookies, depending on the size ball your roll.

 

date-caramel chocolate turtles

Decadent, chewy, chocolate caramel candy with health benefits? Yep. Dates are a whole food — they’re rich in fiber, packed with vitamins, and a great source of potassium and calcium.
Note: You or someone you know doesn’t like dates? I have yet to meet a date-hater who didn’t love these! This recipe will make around 15 turtles — my bet is you’ll want to double it!

turtles

Date-Caramel Chocolate Turtles
 
Decadent, chewy, chocolate caramel candy with health benefits? Yep. Dates are a whole food -- they're rich in fiber, packed with vitamins, and a great source of potassium and calcium.
Author:
Ingredients
  • 8 ounces (1/2 pound or about 1 cup, packed) soft Medjool dates, pitted (be sure your dates are sticky and moist)
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt, plus more for topping
  • Heaping ¾ cup of non-dairy semisweet or dark chocolate chips (I use Ghirardelli Semi-Sweet Chocolate Baking Chips)
  • 1½ teaspoons coconut oil or vegetable oil (coconut oil will, predictably, give them a faint coconut taste, so go with vegetable oil if you don't want that)
  • 1 cup pecan halves
Instructions
  1. In a food processor, blend the pitted dates until a sticky ball starts to form (patience -- this could take a few minutes and several times scraping down the sides of the food-processor bowl with a spoon to keep things moving)! If your dates are sticky and moist, you should have no problem, but if necessary, add a ½ to 1 teaspoon of warm water while pulsing.
  2. Once you have a paste starting to form, add the ¼ teaspoon of salt and continue to pulse until everything is well combined (it's okay if it's not perfectly blended and creamy). Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
  3. In a double boiler over a medium heat (or in the microwave in 40-second intervals), melt the chocolate and your oil of choice together.
  4. On a parchment-paper-lined baking sheet, arrange pecan halves in groups of four (these are your turtle's four legs -- you can add additional pecan pieces if you're a stickler for anatomical accuracy and want to represent the head and tail, but I find four work best).
  5. Scoop a heaping teaspoon of date caramel into a mound in the middle of the pecans to make the body of the turtle. Push down on the date-caramel mound so that it holds the pecans in place.
  6. Using a spoon, coat the whole fellow in melted chocolate, leaving the ends of the pecans uncovered.
  7. Top turtles with a sprinkle of sea salt. I don't recommend skipping this step -- it's the salty/sweet contrast that makes these so decadent.
  8. Transfer baking sheet to refrigerator for 30 minutes to allow turtles to set up. Serve turtles taken directly from fridge, or let them come to room temperature if preferred. Store in container in freezer or fridge.

 

mom’s pie crust recipe

Credit where credit is due:  My mom’s got skills!
Note: This makes three pie crusts. If you only need one, you can freeze the rest of the dough for later — because soon you’ll want more pie. 

pie crust

Mom's Pie Crust Recipe
 
This recipe makes three pie crusts. If you only need one, you can freeze the rest for later!
Author:
Ingredients
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus a few tablespoons more as needed
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup nonhydrogenated vegan shortening, cold -- not room temperature (I use Earth Balance)
  • ½ cup almond milk
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, combine 2 cups of flour and salt.
  2. Add the shortening to the flour mixture in chunks, cutting it in until the dough is crumbly. You can do this with two knives or with your fingertips.
  3. Add the almond milk, and with a wooden spoon, gently mix everything together. If necessary, you may add another tablespoon or so of flour -- just enough so that you can form the dough into a ball that's not sticky and wet.
  4. With your hands, gather the dough into a ball and knead gently several times so that it holds together.
  5. Sprinkle a clean work surface and your rolling pin with flour.
  6. Divide the dough into three equal portions
  7. Roll one portion of the dough into a 11- to 12-inch circle, about 1/16-inch thick.
  8. So that the pie crust is easier to pick up and doesn't tear, carefully bring the top half of the pie crust over the bottom half. Then, gently pick up the pie crust and place it into the lower half of a 9-inch pie pan. Flip the top half back over the other side of the pan.
  9. Gently ease the pie crust in to fit the form of the pan. Using the palms of your hands, gently press the pie crust around the edge of the pan to trim off the excess dough. Add this excess dough to one of your remaining two chunks of dough.
  10. Use your thumb and forefinger to go around the circumference of the pie crust to make a decorative edge (or press the edge with the tines of a fork).
  11. You'll have two pie crusts remaining. If you're making a pudding, pumpkin, or other type of custard pie, you won't need a pie crust for the top. If you're making a fruit pie, however, and want a top crust, simply roll out one of the remaining chunks of dough to place over your fruit filling.
Notes
Pie crusts can be made ahead of time! If you're not using the dough immediately, stop at Step 6. Wrap the three chunks of dough in plastic wrap and place in refrigerator, or place in freezer bags and store in freezer until ready to use.

old-fashioned apple dumplings

A little package of apple love.
Note: Nutrition goes off the rails here. You might want to save this one for a holiday or a special occasion. Just sayin’…

apple dumplings

Old-Fashioned Apple Dumplings
 
Little packages of apple love.
Author:
Ingredients
For the dough:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
For the sauce:
  • ½ cup + 3 tablespoons Earth Balance spread
  • ⅔ cup plant-based milk (almond, coconut, soy -- whatever you like)
  • 1 cup vegan-certified granulated sugar
  • 3 cups water
Other ingredients:
  • 2-3 large apples (such as Golden Delicious, Honeycrisp, Jonagold, or Granny Smith)
  • Cinnamon, to taste
Instructions
For the dough:
  1. In a large mixing bowl, gently whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  2. Add the ½ cup of Earth Balance spread to the flour mixture. Toss the flour over the Earth Balance spread to fully coat it. Use your fingertips (not your palms) to quickly and lightly cut in the Earth Balance. (You don’t want to do this for too long, nor do you want to use the palms of your hands; the goal is to keep the fat from melting.) Do this until the Earth Balance is evenly distributed; the mixture should be crumbly.
  3. Add the plant-based milk to the mixture and stir together with a wooden spoon. With floured hands, form a ball with the dough, making sure to get a light coating of flour onto the dough.
  4. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill the ball of dough for at least 30 minutes. (Note: This dough can be made days in advance and kept in the fridge until you're ready to make the dumplings.)
For the sauce:
  1. In a medium saucepan, bring sugar, water, and 3 tablespoons of Earth Balance spread to a boil so that sugar and Earth Balance melt.
  2. Remove from heat and set aside. This will be your sauce; it will thicken as it bakes.
For the dumplings:
  1. Peel and core 2 apples to start (I don't always need a third apple -- it depends on their size).
  2. Slice into ¼-inch-thick pieces and place apple pieces in a mixing bowl. Coat with cinnamon (go as heavy as you like -- I coat them heavily!).
  3. Remove the chilled dough from the refrigerator. On a floured surface, roll out the dough into a large rectangle (roughly 24 inches x 16 inches). Cut the dough into 6 squares.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  5. Place a pile of cinnamon-coated apple pieces on each square of dough. With slightly wet fingertips, bring one corner of a square up to the top of the apple pile, then bring the opposite corner up and pinch together. Bring up the remaining two corners and seal. Make sure the apples are sealed in tightly by pinching up all sides -- they don't have to look perfect! Repeat with the remaining five squares.
  6. Place the dumplings into a prepared 13" x 9" baking dish. Carefully pour the sauce over the dumplings. (They'll appear to be swimming in liquid, but magic will happen in the oven.)
  7. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes (until tops are golden).
  8. To serve, place one dumpling in a bowl and spoon some of the sauce on top (and don't forget the coconut-milk (or other dairy-free) vanilla ice cream)!

 

pumpkin pie pudding

Six ingredients and three minutes until you’re enjoying pudding that tastes like pumpkin pie filling.
Tip: Even better served with a dollop of homemade coconut whipped cream.

Pumpkin Pie Pudding
 
Six ingredients and three minutes until you're enjoying pudding that tastes like pumpkin pie filling. Don't forget the coconut whipped cream!
Author:
Ingredients
  • 2 cups pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup raw macadamia nuts or raw cashews
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (or make your own, and use 1 teaspoon of it: 1 teaspoon cinnamon + ¼ teaspoon nutmeg + ¼ teaspoon ginger + ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • ½ cup almond or coconut milk
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients into a high-speed blender or food processor and blend for 2-3 minutes (or until smooth and creamy). Stop and scrape down the sides of the blender or food-processor bowl as necessary.
  2. Refrigerate pudding for an hour or two before serving so it stiffens a bit (unless you can't wait...)

 

coconut whipped cream

In your mind you’re already licking the bowl, right?
Tip: Coconut whipped cream makes a delicious topping for a cup of hot chocolate, chocolate avocado puddingpumpkin-pie pudding, all kinds of pies, and probably about a thousand other things. It’s high in fat and sugar (obviously), but a little dollop goes a long way.

coconut whipped cream

Coconut Whipped Cream
 
In your mind you're already licking the bowl, right? Coconut whipped cream makes a delicious topping for all kinds of desserts. It’s high in fat and sugar (obviously), but a little dollop goes a long way.
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 14-ounce can coconut cream or full-fat coconut milk, chilled overnight (this step can't be skipped; please read the first line of the instructions before you begin!)
  • ½ cup to 1 cup powdered sugar (this is to taste; if you're not sure how sweet you'll like it, start with ½ cup and increase until desired sweetness is reached)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
Instructions
  1. Chill a can of coconut cream or full-fat coconut milk overnight. Note: I recommend chilling 2 or 3 cans; you'll only be using one can for this recipe, but having a few ready to go means you have some insurance if the first can you open is a dud -- that is, it doesn't have enough fat in it to whip. What can I say -- it happens! Three critical points: 1) the coconut cream or milk must be chilled overnight or you'll have a watery mess; 2) don't use light coconut milk; you're going to be whipping the thick cream, so light milk won't work; and 3) be sure not to shake, tip, or flip the can upside down once you've put it in the fridge; you want the liquid to separate from the cream and stay that way!
  2. The following day, chill your mixing bowl for 15 minutes before you start.
  3. Remove the can of coconut cream or milk from the fridge without tipping, shaking, or turning it upside down. Remove the lid, and spoon out only the thick cream into your chilled mixing bowl. (I reserve the remaining liquid for my next smoothie!)
  4. Beat in a stand mixer or with a handheld mixer for 60 seconds. Add vanilla and powdered sugar and continue whipping for another couple minutes until creamy and smooth. Use immediately, or refrigerate for a few hours if you'd like it to set up/stiffen a bit.

 

chocolate avocado pudding

Rich, flawless chocolate pudding sans dairy and eggs because… avocados!
Tip: Experiment (if you’re so inclined)! There are so many possibilities with avocado pudding, so play around with ingredients and toppings (think shredded coconut, peanut butter, cinnamon, banana, non-dairy chocolate shavings, toasted walnuts, or coconut whipped cream).

Chocolate Avocado Pudding

Chocolate Avocado Pudding
 
Rich, flawless chocolate pudding sans dairy and eggs because... avocados!
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 avocado
  • ¼ cup almond, coconut, or hazelnut milk, plus more for thinning if necessary
  • ¼ cup raw cacao powder, plus more to taste
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup, plus more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients into the most powerful high-speed blender or food processor you have and blend until creamy and smooth. Add more coconut or almond milk to thin out mixture or help blend if necessary. Add more raw cacao powder for a richer chocolate flavor. Add more maple syrup if you prefer it sweeter.
  2. Experiment (if you're so inclined)! There are so many possibilities with avocado pudding, so play around with ingredients and toppings (think shredded coconut, peanut butter, cinnamon, banana, non-dairy chocolate shavings, toasted walnuts, or coconut whipped cream).

 

raw vanilla-espresso cream pie with chocolate-pecan crust

Step away from the oven — it’s totally raw.

Raw Vanilla-Espresso Cream Pie with Chocolate-Pecan Crust

Raw Vanilla-Espresso Cream Pie with Chocolate-Pecan Crust
 
Step away from the oven -- it's totally raw.
Author:
Ingredients
For the crust:
  • 1 cup raw pecans
  • 1½ cups of Medjool dates (plus an extra few if necessary), pitted and cut in half
  • 2 tablespoons raw cacao powder (or substitute regular cocoa powder for an almost-raw pie)
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
For the filling:
  • 4 cups raw cashews, soaked in water at least two hours (water discarded when finished soaking)
  • 2 tablespoons raw vanilla extract (or substitute regular vanilla extract for an almost-raw pie)
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • 6 tablespoons melted coconut oil
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup brewed espresso (reserve ⅓ cup)
  • Optional: For a stronger coffee flavor, shake in some additional espresso powder (I recommend!)
Toppings:
  • Coffee beans, vegan chocolate chips, pumpkin seeds, raw pecan pieces
Instructions
For the crust:
  1. Place pecans, raw cacao powder, and ⅛ teaspoon of salt into a food processor and process until finely ground.
  2. Add the dates through the food processor’s feed tube, two to three pieces at a time. Process everything until the mixture is crumbly and sticky. Pinch a bit of the mixture between your fingers — it should stick together. If it doesn’t, add another date or two.
  3. Taste the mixture; if a bit bland, add a pinch more salt.
  4. Line the bottom of an 8″ x 8″ or 9" x 9" springform pan with parchment paper or plastic wrap (or, you can skip this step (as I do) if you don't mind the bottom of the pan remaining under the pie), and press the mixture down until it’s tightly packed, flat, and firm. Refrigerate.
For the filling:
  1. Blend the cashews, vanilla extract, melted coconut oil, maple syrup, ¼ teaspoon salt, and ⅔ cup of the brewed espresso (and if desired, shake in a pit of espresso powder) in the most powerful high-speed blender or food processor you have (a NutriBullet or Vitamix is ideal) until smooth and creamy. If you need a bit more liquid for blending, slowly add the reserved ⅓ cup, one tablespoon at a time (note: use as little of the reserved ⅓ cup of espresso as possible so the filling firms up properly when chilled).
  2. Spoon filling into pie crust and top with coffee beans, vegan chocolate chips, pumpkin seeds, and raw pecan pieces. Transfer entire pie to freezer to firm up for at least an hour.
  3. Remove pie from freezer 20-30 minutes before slicing and serving. Pie can be stored in freezer.

 

raw espresso brownies

Behold this decadent, whole-foods wonder that takes minutes to put together.

Raw Espresso Brownies

Raw Espresso Brownies
 
Behold this decadent, whole-foods wonder that takes minutes to put together.
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 cup raw almonds
  • 2 cups of raw unsalted walnuts
  • 2¾ cups pitted Medjool dates, pitted and cut in half (make sure they're fresh and moist)
  • 1 cup of raw cacao (or substitute regular cocoa powder for an almost-raw brownie), plus more for dusting
  • 2 teaspoons of espresso powder (optional but recommended; brings out the richness of the chocolate)
  • ⅛ to ¼ teaspoon salt (to taste)
Instructions
  1. Place almonds into food processor and pulse a few times; you want the almonds to be roughly chopped, not finely ground. Transfer almond pieces to a large bowl.
  2. Place walnuts into food processor and blend until finely ground. Add the raw cacao, espresso, and salt, and pulse to combine.
  3. Add the dates through the food processor's feed tube, two to three pieces at a time. Process everything until the mixture is crumbly and sticky. Pinch a bit of the mixture between your fingers — it should stick together. If it doesn't, add another date or two.
  4. Transfer the sticky mixture to the bowl containing the roughly chopped almond pieces and combine everything.
  5. Line an 8" x 8" pan with parchment paper and press the mixture down until it's tightly packed, flat, and firm.
  6. Place in freezer or refrigerator to chill before serving (this makes them easier to cut). Store in airtight container in freezer or fridge. Dust with raw cacao before serving if desired (makes 'em pretty).

 

almond madeleines

Thank the The Skinny Bitch for this indulgence.
Photo by APB: Eats

Almond Madeleines

Almond Madeleines
 
The only catch -- you need a Madeleine baking pan!
Author:
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 6 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 cup vegan powdered sugar
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ cup Earth Balance spread, melted and cooled
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Lightly grease a Madeleine cookie pan.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and water until smooth. Stir in the vanilla and almond extracts, and the powdered sugar. Stir in the flour and baking powder until well combined. Add the Earth Balance and mix until smooth.
  4. Drop about 2 tablespoons of batter into each mold.
  5. Bake for 10-12 minutes.
  6. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.
  7. When cooled, remove from molds and place on a plate, shell side up.

 

raw key lime pie with coconut-almond crust

Ten whole ingredients. No refined sugar. No baking.

raw key lime pie

Raw Key Lime Pie with Coconut-Almond Crust
 
Ten whole ingredients. No refined sugar. No baking.
Author:
Ingredients
For the crust:
  • 1 cup toasted almond slices (or nut of your choice)
  • ½ cup unsweetened coconut flakes (plus more for topping if desired)
  • 7 Medjool dates, pitted
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • ½ teaspoon raw vanilla extract (or substitute regular vanilla extract for an almost-raw pie)
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
For the filling:
  • 2 cups raw cashews, soaked in water for at least two hours (water discarded when finished soaking)
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • 3 Medjool dates, pitted
  • ½ cup raw coconut oil
  • 1 ½ avocados
  • 1 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (reserve a few lime slices for garnish, if desired)
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
Instructions
For the crust:
  1. Place almond slices (or nut of your choice) and coconut flakes into food processor and process for two minutes or so.
  2. Add the 7 dates (pitted and cut in half) into food processor and pulse until combined.
  3. Melt 2 tablespoons coconut oil. Allow to cool for a minute, then add it along with vanilla extract and ⅛ teaspoon of salt to the mixture.
  4. Process everything until the mixture is crumbly and sticky. Pinch a bit of the mixture between your fingers -- it should stick together. If it does not, add another date or two.
  5. Press mixture into pie dish and refrigerate.
For the filling:
  1. Blend the cashews, maple syrup, dates, and coconut oil in the most powerful high-speed blender or food processor you have (a NutriBullet or Vitamix is ideal) until smooth.
  2. Add the avocado, lime juice, and salt and blend until light and creamy.
  3. Spoon filling into pie crust and transfer entire pie to freezer to firm up for at least an hour.
  4. Remove pie from freezer 20-30 minutes before slicing and serving.
  5. Top with additional coconut flakes and lime slices. Pie can be stored in freezer