Monday, November 9, 2015

Apple & Caramel Cake

Living in the Midwest, we love our Falls. It's cold enough to put on our favorite sweaters, scarves, and pull out the cute boots, but not so cold we hate the outdoors all together. We know winter is coming soon, so we all head outside to enjoy the last bit of warmth for 5 months. I love going to the apple orchard in the Fall and finding the best apples I've had all year (since my last trip to the apple orchard), indulging in an apple donut and some warm apple cider. Pair apples with caramel, and you've hit one of the best fall food combinations around.

This cake is just that, a perfect combination of apples and caramel. The caramel is swirled into the cake, which makes every bite from top to bottom sweet and delicious. Drizzle a little more warm caramel on top, and it's perfect.

I originally made this cake last New Years Eve actually. (It just shows how bad I am at posting...) Every year for New Years, I have my close friends from high school over and make them dinner. It's my love language- food and acts of service- so I love doing it. I love cooking for them because they are always open to trying whatever I put in front of them (unlike my family who asks what I did to it to make it healthy). This cake was a hit; I'm pretty sure we finished the whole thing.

As always, the recipe is dairy-free. This time it's even vegan! So enjoy some great fall baking!

Adapted from Oh, Ladycakes
Makes one 9″ spring form cake



2 cups whole spelt flour
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 cup raw turbinado sugar (I used Sugar in the Raw)
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup almond milk
2 flax eggs*
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
1/2 cup caramel sauce, divided
3 tart apples, peeled and chopped

*to make 2 flax eggs: combine 2 Tbsp flax meal and 6 Tbsp water, let sit for 5 minutes.

Caramel Sauce:

1 1/2 cups coconut milk fat
3/4 cup raw turbinado sugar (Sugar in the Raw)



1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Line the bottom of a 9″ spring form pan with parchment paper and spray with oil; set aside.
2. Stir the flour, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, and sugar in a large bowl.
3. Create a well in the center and pour in the butter, vanilla extract, almond milk, and flax eggs; beat with a hand mixer on high speed for 30 seconds.
4. Fold in the pecans then pour half of the mixture into the prepared baking pan.
5. Drizzle with 3 tablespoons of caramel, then top with the remaining batter. Run a knife through batter in a figure-8 motion several times.
6. In a small bowl, toss the chopped apples and remaining caramel. Place apples over batter and press to even.
7. Bake at 350˚F for 50-55 minutes. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 30 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack. Serve with warm caramel sauce drizzled on top. Keeps in an air tight container for 3 days, but is best the day of.

Caramel Sauce:

Yields 1 cup
1. Refrigerate two cans of coconut milk overnight, or at least 12 hours.
2. The next day, scoop the fat off of the top of each can and measure out 1 1/2 cups.
3. Place the coconut milk fat into a small sauce pan and heat over medium heat until liquid. Add the sugar and whisk until the mixture turns a dark caramel color.
4. Allow mixture to boil for 15-20 minutes, whisking briskly every 3-4 minutes. The longer it cooks, the thicker it will become; cook a minimum of 15 minutes.
5. Refrigerate extras in an air tight container. Reheat to soften.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Perfect Guacamole

Avocados are still 5 for $5 at my local grocery store; therefore, in my opinion, they are still in season. Which means... this post is appropriate, despite the fact that tomorrow is November. Also, who doesn't like some good chips and guac while watching the football game?

This summer, I was tired of eating subpar guac that never turned out the same two times in a row from neglecting to measure the ingredients. Thus, I set out to perfect my guacamole recipe.

My family loves cilantro, so a lot of cilantro was a must. I know the like / dislike of cilantro is genetic; if you don't like cilantro, simply omit it. I like my guacamole to have a little kick, just barely, hence the cayenne pepper. Finally, this guac is also fairly lime-y, it's something everyone points out, yet they all love it and say not to change it.

I would say I reached my goal of perfecting my guacamole, so this post definitely earns the title "Perfect Guacamole," because it truly is delicious every single time.


3 Avocados
3 Tbsp chopped cilantro
1/4 chopped tomatoes
1/4 chopped red onion
2 Tbsp lime juice (about 3/4 of a lime)
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp salt


1. Mash avocado in a bowl using a fork
2. Stir in remaining ingredients
3. Enjoy with chips, on tacos, or anything else!

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Raw Peach Cashew Cheesecake

 Warm weather is almost gone and fall is on the horizon. As one last hurrah to the sun (and the amazing Michigan peaches I finished off last week), this raw peach cheesecake deserves a spot on the table.

This two-layered cheesecake has the perfect lemon tartness from the bottom layer, contrasted with the sweetness of peaches from the top layer. The crust is, well, amazing as well. The dates hold it all together while the almond give it just that little bit of crunch. Since it's a raw cheesecake, that means it's diary free! (and gluten free for those who were wondering).

Enjoy this summer-filled peach cheesecake with the last rays of sun before winter!

Adapted from My New Roots
Makes a 9-inch cheesecake



1 cup raw almonds
1 cup soft medjool Dates
1/2 tsp sea salt


2 1/4 cups raw cashews, soaked for at least 5 hours
juice of 2 lemons
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup honey
3 peaches


1. Place nuts and dates in a food processor with sea salt and pulse to chop until they are to your desired fineness (process a finer crust longer than a chunky one). Test the crust by spooning out a small amount of mixture and rolling it in your hands. If the ingredients hold together, your crust is perfect. Scoop out crust mixture in a 9” spring-form pan and press firmly, making sure that the edges are well packed and that the base is relatively even throughout. Rinse food processor well.
2. Warm coconut oil and honey in a small saucepan on low heat until liquid. Whisk to combine.
3. In the most powerful food processor / blender you own (you decide which one has the most torque) place all filling ingredients (except raspberries) and blend on high until very smooth (this make take a couple minutes so be patient). If you have a Vita-Mix, absolutely use it.
4. Pour about 2/3 (just eyeball it, you can’t make a mistake!) of the mixture out onto the crust and smooth with a spatula. Add the peaches to the remaining filling and blend on high until smooth. Pour onto the first layer of filling. Place in freezer until solid, about 5 hours. Its best to make this the day before.
5. To serve, remove from freezer 20 minutes prior to eating. Run a smooth, sharp knife under hot water and cut into slices. Serve on its own, or with fresh fruit. Store leftovers in the freezer.