Spelt Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls – Vegan Mofo

Vegan Spelt Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

Yay, spelt flour! What is spelt? Well, you can read a little about it here if you’d like. Spelt is an ancient grain and distant cousin of wheat in which many people find to be more easy to digest because of it’s high fiber and low, gluten content. Spelt is an excellent source of phytoestrogens and lignans, fiber, vitamin E, niacin and magnesium, and has a lower glycemic index.

Vegan Spelt Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls - #wheatfree #soyfree #dairyfree #eggfree

These rolls are moist, and are delightfully cakelike in texture, as opposed to a flaky roll. When you take a bite, they are a beautiful pumpkin orange color and are filled with all the flavors you might associate with autumn. The bread is a sweet yeasted spelt dough with cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla. The filling is a quick-homemade pumpkin butter, sugar, cinnamon , with dried cranberries and chopped walnuts to keep it festive.

Vegan Spelt Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls - #wheatfree #soyfree #dairyfree #eggfree

This recipe takes some time, but don’t let that scare you away from making them. The active time spent making them isn’t that long. It is letting the yeast work it’s magic that takes the most time. You can make this recipe in steps, starting with the dough, walking away to let it rise a couple of times before it’s time to bake. So start this recipe on a day where you have other tasks or things to do, and not on a day where you need a cinnamon roll in an instant. But they are so worth the time! The recipe makes 14 wonderful pumpkin cinnamon rolls that you can share with family, friends or co-workers; perfect for breakfast or brunch this time of year.

Vegan Spelt Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls - #wheatfree #soyfree #dairyfree #eggfree

Spelt Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
yield: 14 servings

For the dough:
1/2 cup warm water
1 tablespoon organic cane sugar
1 1/4 ounce packet of active dry yeast
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup organic virgin coconut oil
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 cups organic spelt flour
1/4 cup organic cane sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

For the filling:
1 tablespoon vegan butter (I use earth balance soy-free), or organic virgin coconut oil
1/4 cup pumpkin butter (recipe follows)*
1/4 cup organic brown sugar
1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
1/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1/4 cup dried cranberries (optional)

Proof the yeast by first dissolving the 1 tablespoon of sugar into the warm water. Sprinkle the yeast on top of the water and let it sit for 10 minutes. When you return, the mixture should be bubbly and frothy, which means the yeast is active and you can proceed with the recipe. In a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment, combine the yeast mixture with the pumpkin, coconut oil, and vanilla; stir to combine. In a separate bowl, sift together the spelt flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Slowly add the flour mixture to the pumpkin-yeast mixture in the stand mixer. Mix with the stand mixer on low-speed until a soft dough forms. Remove the dough and add a small amount of oil back in the mixing bowl, pack the dough into a firm ball and place back into the bowl, rolling it around a bit to coat in oil. Place a sheet of plastic wrap on top of the bowl. Walk away and let the dough rise until it is double in size (approximately 2 1/2 hours).

When the dough has risen double it’s size, it’s ready to be rolled out and filled. First, place a large sheet of plastic wrap on a clean counter (you will need two sheets of plastic wrap, you want a square about 12-inch-by-12-inch). Sprinkle a bit of spelt flour onto the plastic and use your fingers to spread it around a bit; dust a rolling pin in a bit of spelt flour as well. Place the dough on the center of the plastic wrap and begin to roll it out until it’s about a 10-inch long rectangle and is about 1/4 inch thick. Use a flat spatula to spread on the filling ingredients in the order they are listed. Start with the end closest to you, and fold up the side using the plastic wrap to lift up the dough. Peel back the plastic and roll the dough a second time, and continue this until it is all rolled-up and in the shape of a log. Use a chef’s knife to slice in 16 rolls. The easiest way to achieve equal size rolls is to first cut the log in the center, and then cut the halves in their centers, and so on.

Line a large glass baking dish with parchment paper. Place the sliced rolls on the parchment, leaving about an inch or so apart. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and let rise until rolls have doubled in size. I waited about 6 hours, and it was well worth it. You could even let them rise overnight, and bake them fresh in the morning. Once rolls have risen, preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake for 25 minutes, rolls are done when firm when touched and make a nice little hollow sound when flicked.

I whipped up an icing to go on top of these rolls as well (although I think they are delicious without the icing). To make the icing, combine about 2 tablespoons of the pumpkin butter with my frosting recipe here. Heat in a saucepan on low-heat until warm, adding about a tablespoon or so of almond milk.

* Quick Stove-top Pumpkin Butter
Recipe makes about 1 cup of pumpkin butter which is a perfect filling for cinnamon rolls, or to spread on toast or pancakes. The orange extract is an optional ingredient, but it gives the pumpkin butter a very special and unique flavor.

1 cup pumpkin puree
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup almond milk
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons organic cane sugar
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon pure orange extract (optional)

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and heat on medium-low heat stirring constantly for about 2 minutes. Reduce heat to very low, and let cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Let cool slightly before transferring to a jar. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use, or up to 2 weeks.

Vegan Spelt Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls - #wheatfree #soyfree #dairyfree #eggfreeveganmofo2013

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Fudgy Vegan Gluten-free Brownies – VeganMofo

Nutty Fudgy Teff Flour Brownies

Apparently, chocoholism is genetic. My son loves chocolate about as much as I do. I promise, we don’t eat sweets as much as it may seem, but when we allow ourselves a special treat, chocolate is definitely our absolute favorite. There is quite a different response that follows when I ask “Would you like a cookie?” than when I ask “Would you like a brownie?”

Nutty Fudgy Teff Flour Brownies - Vegan & Gluten-free via ransomcakes.com

I’m going to be quite honest with you here for a minute, these brownies are pretty damn good. They are fudgy, sweet and chocolaty; outstanding with a glass of cold almond milk. They’re gluten-free, vegan and soy-free, made with healthy coconut oil and teff flour. They’d be a fabulous addition to your Halloween sweets table. If you make them for someone who is skeptical on vegan or gluten-free food, these may just convince them.

Fudgy Brownies – recipe by RansomCakes.com
yield: 16 servings

1/4 cup vegan chocolate hazelnut spread (I used Justin’s)
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup organic coconut oil
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon pure almond extract
1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons organic cane sugar
1/4 cup pure maple syrup

1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1/3 cup almond meal
1/4 cup teff flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/4 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper (use two sheets of parchment, cut to fit the pan, and overlap the sheets so that the sides of the pan are also covered).

In a glass bowl, add the chocolate hazelnut butter and the chopped chocolate, melt in the microwave or a double-boiler, stirring often. Add the coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla and almond extracts: combine well before adding the sugar and continue to stir until mixture is very smooth and creamy. In a separate bowl, sift together the cocoa powder, almond meal and teff flour. To this add the baking powder, xanthan gum and salt and stir to combine. Slowly incorporate the dry mixture into the wet, stirring gently, before batter comes together completely, add in the chopped walnuts.

Scoop the batter into the prepared pan, and use a spatula to spread the batter to the corners and edges of the pan. Bake for 15 minutes. Let cool completely before slicing and serving.

Nutty Fudgy Teff Flour Brownies - Vegan & Gluten-free via ransomcakes.comveganmofo2013

Mini Sweet Potato Carrot Cakes w/ Lemon Vanilla Icing – VeganMOFO

Mini Sweet Potato Carrot Cakes

I’m back for Vegan MOFO! I’ve missed blogging and sharing recipes here very much. Because of some very personal issues, I’ve had to put this on hold for a while. But anyway, here’s to September! A new month, and (hopefully) many new and exciting recipes to be shared here with you all.

Mini Sweet Potato Carrot Cakes

These little cute cakes are so delicious, and if you leave off the icing, they are actually pretty healthy. The cake itself has no refined sugar; it’s moist, sweet and light. This would be a great fall birthday treat, or to make for a festive autumn gathering.

Mini Sweet Potato Carrot Cakes

My son really liked these. And as you can see in the photo below, he found a very creative way to eat them: hands free!

Ry1TEXT2
Ready for the recipe? Ok, here we go, MOFO’ers.

Mini Sweet Potato Carrot Cakes w/ Lemon Vanilla Icing
yield: 36 mini cupcakes

1 cup roasted sweet potato puree
3/4 cup vanilla flaxmilk, (or vanilla coconut milk)
1/4 cup date paste
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup organic coconut oil, melted
2 teaspoons alcohol-free pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup finely grated carrots

1/2 cup sorghum flour
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/4 cup millet flour
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (or ground cinnamon)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease 2 mini cupcake pans with a little coconut oil (enough for 36 mini cupcakes).
In a stand mixer, combine the sweet potato puree, date paste, flaxmilk, maple syrup, coconut oil, and vanilla and whisk until smooth. Add the shredded carrots and stir to combine. In a separate bowl, sift together the flours: sorghum, brown rice, and millet; to this add the xanthan gum, baking powder, salt and pumpkin pie spice. Add the dry ingredients to the wet in 1/2 cup increments, gently folding them together using a large rubber spatula. Mix until just combined. Use a cookie scoop to scoop batter into the prepared pans. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Lemon Vanilla Icing
yield: about 1 1/2 cups

7 tablespoons soy-free earth balance, at room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon vanilla flaxmilk (or vanilla coconut milk)
1 teaspoon alcohol-free pure vanilla extract

In a stand mixer, whip the earth balance for a minute or so before slowly adding the powdered sugar. Add the lemon juice, flaxmilk and vanilla extract and whip frosting until smooth. This icing is intended for spreading, not piping. It has a smooth consistency rather than a fluffy one. When cupcakes are completely cool, spread about a tablespoon or so of the icing on top of the cakes. Before serving, garnish with shredded carrots, raisins or chopped nuts.

Mini Sweet Potato Carrot Cakes

yummy.

Mini Sweet Potato Carrot Cakes w/ Lemon Vanilla Icing.

veganmofo2013

Cornbread Peach Cobbler – vegan, gluten-free

Cornbread Peach Cobbler - Vegan Gluten-free

It’s June already, can you believe it? I have a recipe to share that is sure to impress. It takes minutes to prepare, but looks and tastes like it took at while longer. Cornbread peach cobbler is exactly like it sounds: a sweet bottom layer of warm peaches with a hint of cinnamon, and a wonderful top layer of a cornmeal-based gluten-free cake. Thankfully my experiments in the kitchen sometimes pay off. This cobbler is extremely delicious. The peaches are soft, warm and the cornbread is light, sweet, with a perfect crumb and a hint of orange. This cobbler is best served warm, and would be lovely topped with a scoop of vanilla coconut milk ice cream.

Cornbread Peach Cobbler - Vegan Gluten-free

I should really name this “Ashley’s Lazy Housewife Peach Cobbler” because it really is extremely simple, with one major shortcut. I used canned organic peaches from my cupboard. I like to keep canned fruit on hand, as long as it’s organic. Having these peaches really saved the day when I wanted to make a dessert for a Summer get-together. The nice thing about using canned fruit is it’s soft enough that you don’t need to precook it for a cobbler. Saving time? Count me in. A little of this and that, and poof – this dessert is pure magic.

Cornbread Peach Cobbler - Vegan Gluten-free

Cornbread Peach Cobbler
vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, peanut-free
yield: one standard 9 inch by 1-1/4 inch pie

For the peach layer:
2-15 oz. canned organic sliced peaches (packed in fruit juice)
1/4 cup reserved juice from canned peaches
1/3 cup natural cane sugar, or coconut sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons potato starch (can substitute with cornstarch)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

For the cornbread layer:
1/2 cup. cornmeal
1/3 cup sorghum flour
1/3 cup finely ground almond flour
1 tablespoon potato starch (can substitute with cornstarch)
3 tablespoons natural cane sugar, or coconut sugar
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup cold soy-free vegan butter (such as earth balance soy-free)
1/2 cup almond milk
1/4 cup orange juice

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Drain the peaches and reserve 1/4 cup of the juice from the canned peaches. Spread the peaches onto a traditional size glass pie pan. In a small bowl, use a fork to whisk the peach juice, sugar, potato starch and cinnamon until it’s smooth. Pour mixture on top of the peaches and use a rubber spatula to gently coat the peaches. Set aside to prepare the cornbread layer.

Combine the almond milk and orange juice in a bowl and set aside to curdle. Separately, in a large bowl, sift together the cornmeal, sorghum flour, almond flour, potato starch, sugar, xanthan gum, baking powder and salt until well-combined. To this add the cold, soy-free vegan butter 1 tablespoon at a time. Using a strong wire whisk (or a pastry cutter), cut in the vegan butter to the dry ingredients until it resembles crumbs or little pebbles. Then slowly add the almond milk/orange juice mixture and combine gently with a rubber spatula. It may appear that the batter is too liquid, but it’s supposed to be that way. Immediately pour the cornbread batter on top of the peaches. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the top of the cobbler is golden and slightly cracked. Let sit 10 minutes or more before serving.

Cornbread Peach Cobbler - Vegan Gluten-free

Serve warm, along side vanilla coconut milk ice cream. I apologize for the lack of pictures on this cobbler. It was, no lie, devoured within minutes. I’m grateful I managed to capture the images I did! Cornbread peach cobbler is the perfect dessert to bring along to a summer barbeque, potluck or party. Like I usually say, no one will be able to even guess this is vegan or gluten-free. Happy Summer everyone! Cheers!

Cornbread Peach Cobbler - Vegan Gluten-free

Hazelnuts: A How To…

Roasting Hazelnuts

Roasting hazelnuts is fast and simple, and is the starting off point to make my Chocolate Hazelnut Tart with Hazelnut Butter Caramel Sauce.

To roast hazelnuts, start out with a 16 ounce bag of raw hazelnuts. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Farenheit. Spread out the hazelnuts on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool for a few minutes. Next, you want to remove the skins. I find the easiest way to do this is with clean hands (no towels necessary). Rub the hazelnuts between your fingers and the skins will fall right off. Some nuts will be stubborn and hang on to their skins, that’s okay too. Place the blanched hazelnuts in a container to cool completely.

Roasted, blanches Hazelnuts

To make hazelnut meal (hazelnut flour): Place roasted and blanched hazelnuts in a blender or food processor and process until crumbly and resembles flour. To make my hazelnut butter, remove 1 1/2 cups of hazelnut flour from the blender or food processor.

Hazelnut Meal (Hazelnut Flour)

To make hazelnut butter: In a blender or food processor, process 2 1/2 cups hazelnut meal, 1/4 cup pure maple syrup, 1/4 cup almond milk and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Blend until very very smooth. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Roasted Hazelnut Butter

Apple Cake Donuts

Apple Cake Donuts

If you’re American, chances are you call them donuts, and if you’re anything else but American, they’re doughnuts. I usually opt for the “ough” spelling, but the flavor of these beauties is fabulously Americana – so I’m going with donuts. I’d almost like to call them “Apple Pie Donuts” because the flavor is absolutely of an apple pie, although the texture is a traditional cake donut you’d find in a coffee shop. They are perfectly cakey; sweet from the apple and touch of cinnamon, tangy from the coconut yogurt. The best part of these, they are gluten-free, soy-free, yeast-free…. and vegan of course.

Apple Cake Donuts

I was a bit lazy with these, not bothering to mess with a doughnut pan, or circle cutters. I treated them more like drop biscuits, in the sense that I scooped them up with an ice-cream scoop, plopped them on a baking sheet, and poked holes in them with my finger. You could definitely treat these like traditional doughnuts if you wanted to, by nicely shaping them into little discs and baking or deep-frying them. But, simply put, I just didn’t feel like it. These are, by far, one of the absolute best recipes I’ve ever created. I’m not kidding, you’ve got to try these.

apple cake donuts

But, be warned, they are very addicting. And your waistline may not be happy with me for sharing this recipe with you (I know mine is angry). Perhaps make them when you have at least a few other people to share them with!

Glazed Apple Cake Donuts

Apple Cake Donuts
vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, yeast-free
Yield: 10 large donuts

1 cup sweet sorghum flour
1/2 cup almond flour
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup potato starch
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1/4 cup vegan, soy-free butter {such as earth balance} (or coconut oil), melted
1 tablespoon ground flax seed mixed with 2 1/2 tablespoons water
1/2 cup vanilla coconut milk yogurt {such as so delicious} or other vegan yogurt
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
2 teaspoons alcohol-free, pure vanilla extract
1 cup peeled, diced apples

For the Glaze (optional):
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoons vegan, soy-free butter (softened)
1 tablespoon warm water
1 tablespoons coconut or almond milk
1/2 teaspoon alcohol-free, pure vanilla extract
a dash of ground cinnamon powder

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Farenheit and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. First sift together your dry ingredients, in a large bowl, until they are properly blended: sorghum flour, almond flour, brown rice flour, potato starch, baking soda, xanthan gum, salt, cinnamon. Then, in a separate bowl, use a strong wire whisk to combine the brown sugar and vegan (soy-free) butter. Add the prepared flax seed/water mixture, coconut milk yogurt, maple syrup and vanilla extract. Whisk until creamy and smooth. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients, slowly combine the wet to the dry in two batches. Fold the dry into the wet until the mixture starts to come together, then add the diced apples. Continue folding in the apples until the mixture is combined into a smooth dough. It’s important to work gently, as you don’t want to over-mix the batter.

Using an ice cream scoop (one of my favorite baking tools), or an oiled 1/3 cup measuring cup, scoop the batter and place on the baking sheet, leave about 2-3 inches of space between the donuts. With a clean finger, poke a hole into the center of each donut, and wiggle your finger around to create a bigger hole. If you’d like, use a doughnut cutter, or a doughnut pan to make more uniform, less rustic-like donuts. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until tops are just barely golden, and the bottoms are golden (or a toothpick inserted comes out clean).

While the donuts are baking, prepare the glaze (if using). The glaze adds a more traditional donut feel and taste. In a small bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar and vegan (soy-free) butter (I used a fork). Then add the water and almond milk, vanilla and cinnamon. Store in the fridge until the donuts are ready. Once the donuts come out of the oven, let cool on the baking sheets for about 15 minutes or more before glazing.

VEGAN GLUTEN-FREE APPLE CAKE DONUTS

I know I’ve said this before but these go great with coffee!

Apple Cake Donuts

Please make these, and let me know what you think! No one will ever guess they are vegan, gluten-free and soy-free. I guess the sugary goodness and cakey texture cover that right up!

Apple Cake Donuts

Fig Coconut Teacakes

Fig Coconut Teacakes

I’ve had some dried figs for quite some time, and was tossing around recipe ideas for how to use them. I used to love fig cookies, and planned on making a gluten-free version, but alas I took the lazy route and made a cupcake. I’m calling these beauties “teacakes” because they go perfectly with tea (or coffee). They are just very subtly sweet, and have a nice light crumb, warm vanilla coconut flavor, and the bite of sweet fig really makes them special.

Fig Coconut Teacakes

Fig Coconut Teacakes
(gluten-free, soy-free, vegan)
yield 24 cupcakes

3/4 cup sweet sorghum flour
3/4 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup almond meal
1/4 cup potato starch
1 tablespoon flax meal
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup coconut sugar (or natural cane sugar)

1 1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup coconut milk yogurt
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 tablespoon zest from a fresh organic lemon
1 teaspoon alcohol-free pure vanilla extract

1 cup shredded coconut (I used sweetened coconut from Trader Joe’s)

9 ounces dried figs, stems removed and chopped
juice from 1 lemon
2 tablespoons coconut milk
1 tablespoon coconut sugar (or natural cane sugar)

Glaze (optional):
1/4 cup organic raw agave nectar
1/2 tablespoons organic corn starch
1 tablespoon coconut oil (or soy-free earth balance margarine)
(For the glaze: whisk together the agave, cornstarch and coconut oil until smooth).

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Farenheit.

Line two muffin tins with paper liners (or grease tins), set aside. Place chopped figs in a saucepan with the lemon juice, coconut milk and sugar. Cook on medium heat for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and pulse in a food processor. Set aside.
In a large bowl, sift together the flours (sorghum, brown rice, almond, potato and flax); add the baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar and sift well. In a separate bowl, mix together the coconut milk, coconut yogurt, apple cider vinegar, lemon zest and vanilla. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, and slowly pour and gently incorporate the wet ingredients. When the mixture starts to come together, add the shredded coconut; mix gently until it just comes together.
Half-way fill the cupcake liners with batter, then using a teaspoon, dollop the fig mixture in the center of the batter. Bake 20 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Let the cakes cool in the muffin tins for at least 10 minutes, and then transfer to a baking rack to cool longer.

Fig Coconut Teacakes

When ready to serve, top with a drizzle of glaze (if using), and more shredded coconut and sliced almonds to garnish.

Fig Coconut Teacakes