While I make just about everything else from scratch, my lack of baking expertise has found me buying pre-made baked goods for my husband, and as a result feeling like a partial failure as a wife. I’m sure I’d have long been capable of baking a cake if I went the classic “eggs and sugar route”, but you know us plant-based folks, we’re commited to finding healthier alternatives, and it’s not always simple when it comes to baking.
I’ve certainly tried my share of online recipes with alternate ingredients, but I haven’t enjoy many of them. As much as I love chickpeas and brownies, it’s been my experience those two shouldn’t be together under any circumstances.
Not long ago, I finally created a baked good I was proud of. My husband , a self-proclaimed sweets connoisseur, raved over it, and asked me to make it for his birthday. I was nervous about baking it for guests, two of which had professional baking experience. As it turned out, the bread was a hit. This recipe is sweetened entirely with fruit, meaning there’s no white sugar.
One challenge of baking sweets without unhealthy ingredients has always been the frosting . Most homemade frosting is made with large amounts of butter and powdered sugar. That’s usually the best case scenario, as frosting from a can contains synthetic colors, and flavors, as well as hydrogenated oil. If you’d rather not put any of the above into your body, but still love frosting, there’s a healthier option here. This frosting was adapted from a recipe found in the book, “Nourishing Meals”. Although I’ve made some changes to their recipe, I must credit the authors of this book with teaching me an entirely new way to make frosting!
This recipe yields about sixteen servings. This is a special occasion treat for us. Each frosted slice contains approximately 15 grams of fat. I usually eat two slices per sitting, hence the special occasion designation! The fiber and protein conten, paired with the abscence of refined sugar ensures this sweet treat will not cause cravings or the dreaded sugar crash. It’s the only dessert I’m willing to eat for breakfast. I hope you’ll enjoy this recipe as much as we have.
Vanilla Date Bread
3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 c. Date Paste (2c dates to cup of water)
1 1/2 c. Milk of your choice
1/2 c. Butter (dairy or non-dairy)
1 tbs. Vanilla
*Preheat the oven to 350
*Whisk the dry ingredients together.
*Place all wet ingredients into your high speed blender and blend until smooth.
* Using a fork mix the wet and dry blends until they just come together; the batter will be dense and sticky.
* Scoop the batter into two greased loaf pans or one 9×13 baking pan.
*Bake for 22 to 24 minutes.
*While the cake is in the oven, wash out the blender, you’ll need it to prepare the frosting.
1c. Cashews (Soaked cashews are best you could also strain the frosting with cheesecloth).
1/2 c. Coconut cream (Thai Kitchen is my preferred brand)
1 tbs. Vanilla
1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
*Place all frosting ingredients into your high speed blender. Blend on high for three minutes until everything forms a cream consistency. You may need to scrape down the sides with a spatula once or twice.
*Transfer the frosting into a container and chill in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
* Once the cake has cooled, frost it using a silicone spatula.
*Source: Segersten, Alissa, and Tom Malterre. Nourishing Meals: 365 Whole Foods, Allergy-free Recipes for Healing Your Family One Meal at a Time. New York: Harmony, 2016. Print.