When I was a kid, I loved Fig Newtons. I mean, I won’t lie, I still love them or the idea of them. Even Vegan Cuts had a Fig Bar in their snack box last month that really hit the spot and brought back memories of snacking on them with my little sister. All of that reminiscing gave me a hankering for some figgy snacks!
This isn’t so much a snack as it is a delightful cake that blurs the lines between dessert and breakfast, which is my favorite type of food. Naturally sweet black figs are embedded in the fluffy and moist surface of the vanilla cake. It’s not just any vanilla, I brought out the vanilla bean for this one, so you know it’s good!
How I picture the best way to enjoy this cake: Sitting at a table in the late afternoon, maybe even after an early dinner, with a warm cup of tea, with a late-Summer breeze blowing through your fly-away strands; you dust the cake with a little powdered sugar and cinnamon, and enjoy small bites of sweetness while taking sips of your aromatic tea. Making a total sensory experience of it all.
Because, sometimes it’s the little things that bring you momentary peace during your chaotic life. So, make this cake over your eventful weekend, but make sure to take some time to really enjoy it.
I’m pretty confident that many of you have heard of or eaten baked goods from Entenmann’s Bakery or Hostess store of some kind. Well, (un)fortunately for my family and I, we live just a couple of miles away from one. When I was younger, we would all go there once a month and stock up on soft chocolate chip cookies for me, chocolate covered donuts for my sister, and the occasion coffee cake. Even as a youngin’ I was a huge fan of this wannabe-dessert-breakfast-thingy. Sweet and soft, it was a great snack.
Now, it has been YEARS since I’ve had coffee cake. If I had to guesstimate, the last time I enjoyed one was about a decade ago. Phew. Luckily, I spotted a (non-vegan) recipe for one, that caught my eye, in a food magazine! Instantly, I was inspired to morph it into a compassionate and great-tasting dessert-breakfast-thingy. It took two tries, because apparently I suck at reading directions, but both times it was delicious.
What I have here, is a recipe for coffee cake that really isn’t too hard to make, and is a total crowd pleaser. Like it’s namesake, it is impeccable when enjoyed with a cup of coffee, although mine have all been iced as of late. I dare you to leave it out on the counter! The second batch that I made of this cake is almost gone, and it was ready to eat yesterday afternoon. That should give you an idea of just how addicting this stuff is.
Slice off a piece and bring it to a friend, or maybe even a friend that happens to be your hair dresser! I may have done both. Speaking of hair, I’ve gone from nearly platinum-white to a dark maroon. It’s the first time that I’ve gone red in my life, and so far I’m loving it! (Sorry about the selfie)
I know what you’re thinking, you see all of the chocolate involved in this cake and you may say to yourself, “I think she means Chocolate Lovers Cake”. Well, sure, this cake is for chocolate lovers of all kinds! But, this recipe is a little more involved than just chocolate. Even though Valentine’s day was yesterday, why don’t we share the love today, as well?
As you may or may not know, chocolate (or cocoa rather) is considered an aphrodisiac. But, there are also a few other plant-based foods that are on the same list, such as: almonds, asparagus, avocado, bananas, basil, figs, and garlic (dragon breath anyone?). Delicious, right? This delectable cake has 4 out of the 10 in it! See what I’m saying? Sexy cake.
Here we have your oil-free cake base, with cocoa and a bit of banana, and an ultra-creamy mousse topping made with avocado, almond butter and more chocolate. Plus, it’s topped with some toasted almonds and just a few coconut flakes (which would be great toasted, as well). The whole dessert is super simple to make, and my favorite thing about this type of frosting/mousse amalgamation (say what?) is that it’s even less temperamental than typical vegan butter/powdered sugar frostings and is way better for you.
You could, of course, double the cake recipe and make it into a layer cake! Can you imagine this cake with a layer of almond butter frosting inside, while still covered in the rich, chocolate mousse? Incredible. Why do all of the great ideas come after I’m in the midst of blogging a recipe? Oy.
The weather out in Southern California has decided to take a turn for the East coast, with its severe humidity and summer thunderstorms. I mean, I’m not entirely mad; summer storms like this remind me of my family vacations in Michigan, just.. not as pretty. Not only is everyone in the LA area complaining, we all have to deal with idiot drivers that are scared of the rain; things I reserve for winter! But, I have a great solution to ease the sweating, and my sister’s cat, Stitch, is here to help me share it.
I had to include him, of course, because he’s mostly black and it’s Friday the 13th. Plus, isn’t he just the cutest?! Well, maybe not the cutest but he’s certainly up there in my book. Back to the recipe, Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Cupcakes. After dreaming for several days about a delicious cupcake that would cool me off, while satisfying my sweet tooth, this combination came to mind and seemed perfect.
Mint has properties of its own that will give you chills, but put it into a sweet ice cream and you have something that I would not be angry to receive a brain freeze from. Then there’s chocolate, I think just by looking at past recipes you can tell that I adore chocolate, so this was easy for me to pair up.
In a medium-sized pot, bring the coconut milk and sugar to a boil. Then adjust the heat to low-medium and simmer it, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes.
Pour the mixture into a bowl (or large measuring cup with spout for pouring), and stir in the salt, mint extract and spinach juice. Place the cream mixture into the refrigerator to cool down for 20 minutes, then to the freezer for 30 minutes.
In the mean time, Preheat oven to 350F, and prep two 12-count cupcake pans with liners.
In a large bowl whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and sea salt. In a medium bowl mix together apple sauce, vinegar, vanilla extract, and water.
Then, mix the wet ingredients into the dry slowly using a whisk. Pour batter into each liner until it is about ¾ full or a centimeter from the top of the liner.
Then bake for approximately 15-20 minutes (18 always works great for me), check with a toothpick to see when they are finished.
When they are cool enough to handle, take them out of the cupcake pan and place them in the refrigerator to cool.
Once the ice cream base has cooled, pour it into your ice cream maker and set the timer for 10 minutes (mine is fast).
Melt ⅓ cup bittersweet chocolate with 1 tbsp. Coconut oil in a double boiler until a smooth and thin consistency.
Here’s where it gets interesting: when the timer goes off, carefully use a fork to dip into the chocolate sauce and flick around the ice cream maker’s bowl in thin stripes.
Every 30-45 seconds or so, push the top layer into the rest of the ice cream so that it breaks apart; repeat until the chocolate sauce is used up.
Now, take your cupcakes and make a hole about 1½” wide and 1″ deep in the center of your cupcake (make sure not to scoop out the very bottom. It will be roughly 1 Tbsp. or so of cupcake innards, which you can use for a trifle, cake pops, or just eat immediately like me ;).
Place the cupcake “shells” into the freezer along with the finished ice cream so that they can both harden (about 20 minutes).
Melt ¼ cup Bittersweet chocolate chips with coconut oil and maple syrup in a double boiler and stir together until smooth, turn heat on low until your ready to use it. Use the last bit of chocolate for garnish by chopping it up roughly.
When the ice cream is more firm, use a small spoon (or melon-baller like I did) and place about 1½ Tbsp. of ice cream into the center of each cupcake so that it comes out of the top.
I recommend doing this is sets of 12 so that the ice cream doesn’t melt into the cupcake.
Take the chocolate sauce and drizzle it over the tops of the cupcakes and sprinkle a little chocolate on top, place in the freezer for 10 minutes, or until you’re ready to serve!
This is a vegan food blog, run by Jackie Sobon, that covers everything from indulgent desserts, to healthy dinners, and even raw recipes! I also write up restaurant reviews and am sort of a beer snob. You'll find that there is something for everyone, here!
If you would like me to contact me about photography jobs, testing out a recipe, review your restaurant or just have a question you'd like me to answer email me at: [email protected]!