Category Archives: baked treats

Let’s Eat: Pumpkin Bundt Cake with Spiced Vanilla-Molasses Icing!

My husband and I have been taking a personal finance course that meets once a week. We’re learning all kinds of cool things about saving and retirement and investing… but this post isn’t really about any of that. It’s about the treats I made to share with the class!

At the first session of our class (back in September) everyone signed up for a date to bring treats to share. I chose the Monday before Thanksgiving because I knew I wanted to bring something pumpkin-y (of course!).

I decided to make some sort of pumpkin quick bread. So I turned to my trusty Better Homes & Gardens cookbook for ideas. I love this book and I’ve been able to very easily modify lots of baked goods recipes to omit eggs and dairy. Sure enough, I found a recipe for pumpkin loaves and all I had to do to modify was use Ener-G egg replacer instead of eggs. Otherwise I followed the recipe, except I added a teaspoon of vanilla extract because I love the way vanilla mellows out spice cakes just a touch.

naked bundt!

So then it was time to spoon the batter in the pans… A Bundt pan makes the presentation so much more beautiful that a plain old loaf pan. The batter was very thick and it filled the Bundt pan up to the top! I was a little worried that it would overflow or that it wouldn’t cook evenly. But I monitored carefully (with thanks for the advice from the lovely Rosewater & Thyme) after the allotted 55 minutes recommended for two loaves, and ended up cooking the Bundt for 17 extra minutes. I covered the top loosely with foil after the initial 55 minutes because it was already perfectly browned by that point.The bread slid out of the pan easily and after it cooled I drizzled it generously with a simple vanilla spice icing. This icing would be awesome on cinnamon rolls for Thanksgiving brunch or on top of pretty much any pumpkin or spice cake, cupcakes, breads, rolls, or ginger bread! Go crazy- ice it up!

drizzled bundt!

Spiced Vanilla-Molasses Icing:

  • 1 cup sift powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice blend
  • 1 tablespoon soy, almond, or rice milk (or water)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tablespoon molasses

Stir the sifted sugar and spice together. Add the milk and mix until mostly incorporated. Add the vanilla and molasses and stir until completely incorporated. It should be the perfect drizzling consistency but you can add more milk or water in drops until it reaches the thinness/thickness you desire.

Partying- Pumpkin Style!

This past weekend I hosted a little party. The Second Annual Punkin’ Potluck Par-tay to be exact. The point of this soirée is to get together with a few friends and family members before the holidays and enjoy each other’s company and, umm, gorge ourselves on all things pumpkin!

Pumpkin Fun!

I kept the party of little smaller this year but there was no shortage of pumpkin deliciousness! My friends outdid themselves! And almost everyone made an effort to bring something vegan, even though there were only three actual vegans at the party.

I made a main, savory dish, the Pumpkin Baked Ziti with Caramelized Onions from Veganomicon. This dish is always a hit with vegans and omnis. I made it for a yoga potluck once and people were freaking out about how good it was! I made this last year for the Punkin Par-tay too and guests were anticipating it again this year. I couldn’t disappoint. Plus, I made an extra smaller dish of it so I’d be sure to have leftovers the rest of the week.

so much fun!

I also made a pumpkin spice cake with cream cheese frosting (veganizing a recipe I found online using a box of spice cake mix), chocolate pumpkin cupcakes (recipe from Cupcakes and Kale) and pumpkin scones.

cuppies!

The guests brought an array of awesome: pumpkin-cream cheese-chocolate brownie bites, pumpkin cranberry cookies, and chocolate spice cake with the most insane chocolate icing that tasted like chocolate donut icing! There was a pumpkin brownie cheesecake, and my mom made a lovely Autumn Harvest soup that had pumpkin, carrots, sweet potatoes and butternut squash. Another friend brought some homemade spicy pumpkin butter! And I’m sure there’s a bunch of other stuff I’m forgetting!

super creamy!

I served hot apple cider (spiked with Buttershots and, I swear, it tastes just like a caramel apple!), and the Great Pumpkin Martini made another appearance. Although, without the spooky friends hanging on the side of the glass.
I had so much fun noshing all afternoon on pumpkin goodies. Can’t wait to do it again next year!

Blue Ribbon Coconut Cake

For the past few years I’ve been aiming to enter my coconut cake in the county fair. I kept missing the registration deadline because, well, I didn’t know when it was.

This year, my sweet friend emailed me the day it opened and so I registered online, paid my $1.00 (haha), and was signed up! I was so excited. I really hoped my vegan cake would take the blue ribbon! After all, the cake is always a hit at family functions where I’m the only vegan. Surely the rest of the world (or at least county) would find my cake equally delicious as my family…

I originally found a recipe for a basic white cake somewhere online but have adapted it over and over, and added my coconutty take, so that now I feel I can share it and safely say it is my own:

Blue Ribbon Coconut Cake!

Blue Ribbon Coconut Cake:

3 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups dry sugar of your choice

2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon fine sea salt

2 cups coconut milk (I used one 13 oz can of light coconut milk, poured it into a 2 cup measuring cup and topped it off with soymilk to equal 2 cups)

2/3 cup canola oil (or oil of your choice)

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/4-1/2 teaspoon coconut extract

sift dry ingredients together. stir in wet ingredients. pour into two oiled and floured non-stick 8 or 9 inch round pans.

bake at 350 degrees for 28-35 minutes (my oven seems to run hot so it takes the lesser amount of time). test for doneness with a toothpick.

after about 10 minutes you should be able to easily turn the cakes out of the pans.

For my fair entry I baked the cakes the day before and chilled them overnight so the frosting would stay nice and fluffy and firm. Normally I make a buttercream frosting using organic Earth Balance buttery spread, but since EB gets super soft super quick when outside of the fridge I decided to make a fluffy white frosting with shortening for the entry. I wasn’t sure how long the cake would be sitting out of the fridge.

Fluffy Coconut Frosting (adapated-ish from Better Homes & Gardens New Cook Book 12th Edition- but frosting recipes are pretty basic so make your fave!):

1 cup non-hydrogenated shortening

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 teaspoon coconut extract

1 pound box of confectioner’s sugar- sifted

3-4 tablespoons soy or coconut milk

sweetened, flaked coconut

Beat the shortening till fluffy. add the extracts and beat. add the sugar a little at a time. add the milk as needed till it reaches the right consistency.

Now I frost the layers and then add a generous amount of sweetened, flaked coconut all over the top and sides. It is best to chill the cake again for at least an hour before slicing.

naked cakes

For the fair entry I only had to take half of the cake plus one slice for display. That meant I had almost a half of a cake to enjoy over the weekend! Yay!

slice o heaven!

I submitted the cake on Saturday, the judging was the next day, but I didn’t find out about results until the following Wednesday when the fair opened and I went to see for myself. Well, I didn’t win. Boo! But I was so happy to even have entered- it was a really fun experience and I loved the old-timey feel of entering a cake in a county fair! My coconut cake will always be a Blue Ribbon winner for the animals! :)

Sugar Part 1

I love cookies. Almost every kind. I LOVE oatmeal raisin. It is probably my favorite in general. But my favorite that I make and that would be my first choice if I could always be the one providing the cookies is SUGAR! With BUTTERCREAM frosting! And I’ve been tweaking my buttercream frosting recipe for a long time. I don’t generally use really exact measurements- I’ve been making it long enough to just eyeball. And I don’t always sift the powdered sugar- it depends on how much energy I have or if I’m planning to share the cookies with anyone besides David. And I have two versions- regular and coconut.

Recently I was craving those super soft vanilla sugar cookies you can get at grocery store bakeries. They usually have a thick layer of pink frosting on them and maybe some sprinkles. I guess they are often called Lofthouse or something similar? So I started perusing the internet for a recipe. I found something very similar that was super easy to veganize. I’ve since made a few batches, adjusting the cooking time to get them cooked all the way thru but soft enough to resemble the Lofthouse-style. They’re not exact matches to the grocery store brand, but they are SO GOOD. So good that I eat too many and get a tummy ache when I bake them. Here is a link to the recipe I adapted:

www.squidoo.com/soft-sugar-cookie-recipe

I used Earth Balance instead of butter and used Ener-G Egg Replacer instead of the eggs. Also, I omitted the nutmeg completely. I used a wide mouth mason jar lid ring for a cookie cutter because I wanted BIG, THICK, ROUND cookies. For my oven, about seven minutes was the maximum these needed to bake to avoid getting too brown on the bottom. I used my own frosting recipe which I will share in a later post (it’s going on my coconut cake for the county fair!). I didn’t have any food coloring but I did have sparkly pink sprinkles! So that’s what I used. I think I like them better with this pink glitter instead of boring old pink frosting! If you like sugar cookies you should really make these!

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Testing 1, 2, 3

Hello friends!I’ve had a few blogs in the past- one about vegan food (when I first became vegan), one about beauty products and such, and one that was going to be about yoga but I only wrote, like, one post. I lost interest in them partly because I’m what you might call a dilettante. I dabble. I jump from interest to interest. So I decided I needed a blog to: a) Keep my projects organized and in the front of my mind, and b) Write about whatever the heck I want without feeling confined to a specific topic.

So this is the first post on ‘jenonoon, the art of fun’. Please click on the ‘about’ page to read a little more about me.

Some of the topics I’m planning to cover in the coming posts are:

  • My quest to become a Certified Group Exercise Instructor. My exam is Sept. 11, 2011. I’ve been studying for a few months now. I’m excited and nervous. I don’t look like a typical ‘aerobics teacher’ so I’m wondering what the other people taking the exam with me will be like. The certification process consists of a full day workshop, written exam and then a practical exam in front of everyone! I eventually hope to teach crazy, sweaty, fun, NON-intimidating cardio classes to people of all shapes, sizes, and levels of coordination.
  • The week after my exam I’m entering my ‘famous’ (haha) coconut cake in the county fair. I finally made the registration deadline this year! This should be fun! (how rad would it be for a vegan cake to take first prize?!)
  • I’m setting up a sewing/crafting studio in my home office/hobby room. I’m going to take a sewing e-course and teach myself. My mom is going to help me (she’s really good at sewing).
  • David and I are planning to learn to speak Danish via Rosetta Stone. David’s family is from Denmark and he knows just a little bit. We think it would be really fun to be able to speak in a sort of ‘code’ to each other.
So those are some of the things I’m going to talk about in the future. I hope that if those things seem interesting to you that you’ll follow along and maybe leave a comment or two!Thank you for reading!

xoxo jenojoon

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