Chocolate Vanilla Layer Cake

cake 1My daughter turns 17 tomorrow so she requested a chocolate vanilla layer cake. This is fantastic because I also love this cake. I am a real fan of the vegan cookbook Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero. I heavenly ever baked the vanilla and chocolate cupcakes, but they are so dang good, I just haven’t ventured past page 38.
I don’t have permission to reprint the recipes, but you can buy their fantastic book HERE and check the recipes out yourself.  You will not be disappointed.  Since getting their books, I just can’t even consider making cakes with eggs and butter any more.  These cakes are THAT GOOD.

Cake 2

So to the buttercream. I used Gretchens Bakery’s  Aquafaba Swiss Buttercream recipe.  I’m actually NOT a fan of buttercream, or sugary frosting, but I have yet to find a nice frosting that is vegan, low sugar and low fat (yes, that would be fresh strawberries).  But when you make a cake, you need to covert in something and I really cannot stomach the amount of sugar used in American buttercream.  Even when I use Xylitol, it’s still too sweet.

TopI had a major FAIL with this buttercream because I was cock sure of myself that I was an expert and I did not measure my ingredients (I don’t need that much shortening!).  Needless to say – if you want your stuff to work out, follow the recipe to the letter.  Normally I weigh everything so I’m not sure why I just eyeballed it this time.  To cut along story short, eventually it worked out fine.

The chocolate mousse is adapted from an ice-cream recipe from From The Land We Live On. This (or variations of it)has been my go-to recipe for all things chocolate for the past year: ice-cream, mousse, easter egg filling, frosting -you name it, I use it.  I now know it so well I can make it without the recipe.  I even delete the coconut oil and halve the number of dates and it still tastes absolutely sensational.

So, as my friend Gretchen would say, this is a ‘building on recipes’ cake.

You need to make:

1 recipe of Vanilla Cupcakes (made into two 6″ round cakes)

1 recipe of Chocolate Cupcakes (made into two 6″ round cakes)

1 Recipe of  Chocolate Ice Cream (refrigerated – not frozen)

1 Recipe of Aquafaba Buttercream (2/3 vanilla, 1/3 chocolate).  To make the chocolate I just added 1/4 cup of raw cocoa powder.

Now, If this was MY cake, I would have added some home made sugar free cherry jam – but that’s just me.  I’m addicted to black cherries.

So, It was pretty simple.  I didn’t actually need to torte the cakes as they baked nice and flat.  To stop them from crowning I always use Wilton Bake Even Strips. I built the cake in the 6″ pan lined with Glad Wrap then froze it overnight as this buttercream is very unstable in the heat of Hong Kong.

Cut cake1 layer of chocolate cake , 1 layer of chocolate ice-cream, 1 layer of vanilla cake,  1 layer of chocolate ice-cream, 1 layer of chocolate cake.  Then a crumb coat of vanilla buttercream and back in the freezer, followed by a final coat of chocolate buttercream.  The decorations are King David Vegan White Chocolate Chips.  So cute.  So yummy.

I hope you give this cake a go.  It is moist and yummy and completely vegan.  Enjoy.


White Christmas (Vegan)

IMG_1696This is not really a recipe per sé. But if you are in  bind ad have a vegan friend coming over for Christmas and all your nibblies are full of eggs and butter, you can quickly whip this out – IF you have the right ingredients on hand that is.

1 Package of King Davis Vegan White Choc Chips
Handful of low sugar dried cranberries
Handful of  Pistachios – unsalted and hulled
10-12 Vegan Marshmallows – chopped into mini size

Line a loaf pan with parchment
Melt the Whit Choc chips in the microwave in a glass jug
Sprinkle all other ingredients evenly in pan
Top with melted chocolate and spread around
Refrigerate till hardened then cut into bite sized serves.

Enjoy!  Merry Christmas



Vegan Christmas Gingerbread and Home-made Dairy Free Chocolate

Gingerbread 1

Today I went out on a limb to make vegan gingerbread with vegan chocolate decorations.  I’m still newly vegan so everything is a challenge and I fully expect things not to work out.  Well today was NOT one of those days.  This – through trail and error – turned out FANTASTIC!
The Gingerbread recipe I borrowed and adapted from Vegan Richa.  She uses candied ginger and nuts but I just wanted a light gingery cake so I left those things out.  I used my special Christmas Tree and Snowman cake tins that have been in the back of the cupboard for two years unopened.  And they were fabulous.  Here’s the recipe:


Dry Ingredients

1 cup Green Banana Flour (you can use any flour – except for coconut or peanut or soy as these will draw out too much moisture)
½ cup Coconut Flour (or plain flour, or almond for a denser cake)
2 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
1 tsp Cinnamon
¼ tsp salt
1Tbs fresh minced ginger  (I used Gourmet Garden in a tube)
1/4 cup Coconut Sugar
1/4 cup powdered Xylitol
¼ tsp ground cloves
1/4 cup Enjoy Life choc chips

Wet Ingredients

2 Tablespoons ground Chia Seeds or flax seed meal mixed in 3/4 cup almond milk (you can use rice or oat too)
120ml unsweetened Apple Sauce
2 Tbsp Grapeseed (or other light tasteless oil) oil
2 tsp Vanilla Extract
2 Tbsp Molasses

  1.  Preheat oven to 350˚F or 180˚C.
  2. Grease cake pans with spray oil or buttery spread (you can use cupcake papers too).
  3. Let the chic seeds soak in the milk for a few mins.  In a stand mixer bowl add all the rest of the ingredients and mix well.
  4. Add the dry ingredients and mix on low with the paddle attachment till just combined. If you have a hand mixer or a spoon, thats OK too.
  5. Add the chocky chips and combine with a spoon.
  6. Spoon into pans and bake for 20 min or until a skewer comes out clean.

Naked SnowmenNaked Trees


I just didn’t think it was possible.  VEGAN white chocolate I mean.

I have bought those lovely little chips from Enjoy Life and they are pretty good.  They taste like chocolate – but -they are BROWN.  I wanted to make a white chocolate snowman and brown just doesn’t cut it.  UNTIL, I found a fantastic recipe for DIY White Chocolate. But, as with all new things, it just didn’t turn out the way I wanted, so I was left with beige/yellow snowmen.  You know what they say about yellow snow! My gorgeous daughter suggested that I roll those little dudes in coconut and voilá, white snowmen!  But I am getting ahead of myself……. White chocolate is not technically chocolate, but I don’t care.  I love it’s creaminess and I’m so happy to be able to make it myself.  So my chocolate turned out the wrong color so I have made modifications to the recipe below to ensure that YOUR chocolate is white.


200gm (1 cup) Raw Cocoa Butter (melted but NOT hot)
*NOTE: Yes, it says ‘moisturiser’ on the label, but this is 100% raw FOOD GRADE cocoa butter.
Yes  you can eat it.
1 cup Raw Cashews
1/2 cup CLEAR liquid sweetener. A dark Agave will make your chocolate muddy.
1 tsp Clear Vanilla

  1.  Melt the cocoa butter and let cool till it starts clouding up and is thick like custard
  2. Blend with all the other ingredients to a smooth paste
  3. Separate into little bits and color with food color to the shades you are after.
  4. Use disposable piping bags for each color and pipe your design.
  5. Decorate with nonpareils or sugar balls and GO WILD!!!



Thanksgiving Vegan Pecan Pie

Pie SliceSo I’ve never made a Pecan Pie before. The last time I actually ATE Pecan Pie was in 1993. I know that sounds insane, but it is true. It was my birthday and my flatmate was a pastry chef and she made me one. It was HEAVENLY.  But, stupidly, I asked her what was in it. She listed off the butter, the sugar, the eggs, the nuts. A million calories and I was sworn off the pie forever. Until now.
I’ve only been fully Vegan for a few weeks so I wanted to have a 100% Vegan Thanksgiving. I made yummy lentil and tofu nut-loaf, roasted sweet potato and roasted brussel sprouts. It was delicious. For dessert I went for it and tried to veganise and healthify the most decadent of desserts. The Pecan pie.

First port of call was the pastry.  No store bought pastry for me thank you.  I used vegan butter, almond flour, crushed pecans, chia seeds for binding and a bit of xylitol.  So far, so good.

Then it was time for the filling.  I adapted  THIS recipe from Jessica of Desserts With Benefits.  I like Jessica because she has a degree in Nutrition (like me) and she makes yummy things that are generally better versions of sweets we love.

Anyway, her pie was chock full of eggs and Sucanat (which is basically sugar) so that had to go!  I swapped the eggs out for Aquafaba, swapped the sugar for Xylitol and halved the amount of Maple Syrup.  Believe it or not, it still turned out really really really sweet.  There has to be a way to make Pecan Pie that is not so sweet.  I’ll work on it.

Pie whole


100gm Almond Flour
100gm All Purpose Gluten Free Flour
150gm Vegan Butter of choice
90gm Xylitol (blended to powder)
2 Chia Eggs (2 Tbs Chia Seeds mixed in water)
60 gm ground Pecans
Pinch Salt

Put everything in your mixer using the dough hook and knead till it comes together. If you don’t have a mixer, just use your hands.
Roll out onto a clean bench using a small amount of flour so it doesn’t stick.
Grease a large 10″ pie dish (I used Pyrex) and line with parchment on the base.
Press the pastry into the pie tin and prick with a fork.  Bake at 180˚C for 10-20 min or until semi cooked but not too crisp as you are going to bake it twice.  Let cool.


3/4 cup Aquafaba (This is the water from cans of Chick peas/Garbanzo Beans that has been reduced).
150ml Maple Syrup (use Sugar Free if you can get it but beware, some sugar free syrups can give you a tummy ache ).
60gm Coconut Sugar
60gm Xylitol
1 cup Chopped Pecans
1/2 cup Whole Pecans (for the top)
Pinch Salt
2Tbs Coconut Oil
1Tbs Brown Rice Flour
1tsp Liquid Vanilla
1 Tbs Molasses

Whisk the Aquafaba for 5-10 min in the stand mixer till it gets fluffy. You can use a hand mixer but it will take longer.  DO NOT use a blender, it will not whip.
Add all other ingredients except for the nuts and mix well (you will lose some of your fluffiness but don’t stress).
Fold in the chopped pecans.  Pour into pie crust and top with the whole pecans.
Bake at 180˚C for  45-60 min.  If your crust is higher than your filling, cover the edge with a little foil to stop it from burning.
Let cool and serve with yummy Cashew Cream.

Cashew Cream:

3/4 cup Raw Cashews
3/4 cup almond milk (or other dairy free milk)
1/4 Tsp Agar Agar
1tbs Powdered Xylitol Or less to taste.
Pinch Salt
1tsp Vanilla
In a saucepan, whisk the Agar powder with the Almond Milk over heat for 5 minutes.
Place everything in a high speed blender and blend till thick and creamy.
Refrigerate for 2 hours till cold.
This will make a very stiff cream. If you want it softer, just add some more almond milk when you want to use it and soften it up a bit.

This pie was SO DELICIOUS!!! But SO NAUGHTY. Even though I tried to make it as ‘healthy’ as possible, it still has a lot of fat, a lot of sugar and a lot of calories. But I figure, for a “once in 22 years” treat, it was well worth it.

I hope you enjoy it. Please post comments below. I’d love to see how yours turns out.

Halloween Time

Well it’s only 4 days till my party so I’m baking up a storm. Here are just a few things I whipped together tonight with my spooky little helper. Vegetarian Mummy Sausages and Mummy Pizzas. Mmmmm.  

This little dude looks a bit naked now, but in a couple of days he’ll be a changed man. He is made from vanilla and chocolate sugar free gluten free paleo cake. I did a multilayered thing with the batter. It will be a surprise to see how it baked when we slice him up. 


Healthy Gluten Free Sugar Free Snowflake Cake

Snowflake3This was my first ever healthy cake that I baked and decorated. I used cake mixes from Wellness Bakeries for simplicity and guaranteed results. The base is their Chocolate Bliss Cake and the top layer is their Vanilla Bean Dream cake. Both these cakes are paleo, gluten free, soy free and sugar free. They are dense and moist and taste delicious. I used 1 box of each, as the mix only makes enough for one layer of a 9” round pan. If you uses 6” x 3” round pan you can torte one box into two layers.Snowflake2

The frosting is one I will use again and again. I’m not going to link to the source as there are many many duplicate recipes online. You can find my recipe HERE (link). For flavour, I added cocoa powder to the internal frosting. For colour, I used Wilton colour gel.  Now, before you get all righteous about artificial colours, I have tried the natural colours and I’m not crazy about them. If you have food sensitivities or want to stay away from them, then you can use whatever you like. I’m sure I will revisit them in the future for other cakes.

Even though this cake was only 9” round, it was so rich, I cut it into 20 slices.   Because of the density of the cake, this was very easy and there was no collapsing or crumbling that you might find with lighter cakes. It also stayed fresh in the fridge for four days as we slowly devoured it.

GEAR LIST: If you need to buy the necessary ingredients and tools to make this cake, please click on the links below.  You will be taken to my Amazon store. I receive a small commission from your purchase, which will help me keep this site free.  Thanks for your support.

2 x 9″ round pans or 2 x 6 x 3″ pans
Wilton Color Gels
Wellness Bakeries Vanilla Bean Dream Cake
Wellness Bakeries Chocolate Bliss Cake
1 packet Cream Cheese (Crystal Farms make a Fat Free variety, although I used full fat.)
300ml Whipping Cream
50gm Xylitol or Erythritol
Wilton Beginners Buttercream Piping Set This set has a bunch of piping tips that you can use on cupcakes, for writing, for leaves and flowers.  It’s a great beginners set and reasonably priced.


Pumpkin Pie Pancakes

It’s Sunday so that means PANCAKES!  I bought these fantastic pancake molds last Christmas in the sale bin for $1.95 reduced from $14.95! Bargain. 

Halloween also screams Pumpkin! I had some pumpkin purée left over from my Halloween baking trials so I just had to make these pumpkin pie pancakes.  Hubby claims to dislike pumpkin so I needed to make these yummy and healthy without him tasting pumpkin. 

Success! He LOVED them. Here’s the recipe. 

1/2 cup canned pumpkin (or you can make your own. Just boil it up and mash it. 

35gm vanilla protein powder

70gm Oat flour

1 egg (or 1 tsp chia seeds in 1tbs water for vegan version)

1/4-1/2 cup almond milk

1tsp pumpkin pie spice

2tbs powdered Xylitol

1tsp vanilla extract

1tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

Mix the dry, add the wet. 

Pour into pancake molds and cook on a griddle 


Spooky Halloween Cupcakes


This is how easy it is to spooky up your baking with just a few accessories.
Cupcakes and frosting from yesterdays post.  The frosting was in the fridge overnight so I needed to re-whip.  It will go all curdled and yuk, but just persevere, it will come together in a couple of minutes.  I froze the rest and will use it in two weeks for my Halloween party.

hal2 hal3 hal4

Vegan Sugar Free Chocolate Cupcakes with Aquafaba Buttercream


So I was looking at my blog and thinking, “Here I am, a newly certified Post Grad Certificate of Nutrition graduate, and some of the cakes on my ‘healthy’ blog are full of refined flour and sugar and chocolate.”  Well, this has got to stop! I don’t mind making the odd sugary fondant cake for other people because fondant decorating for me is an art form and I like making gorgeous things for other people.  But today I decided to stay true to my word and make something healthy and delicious.  Well, healthy….ish.  The cakes and frosting are both egg free, dairy free, and sugar free.  But what does that leave us? FAT!  Yep, you can’t get rid of all that protein and carbohydrates without leaving a bunch of fat.  So, even though these lovely little cakeys have no nasty refined sugar and no eggies or butter, they are still cakes.   And now I have a dozen of the little buggers, so I had better call some friends around to help me eat them.

You might be thinking “What is Aquafaba?”.  Well, it is the water left over after you boil chick peas (or you can just drain it out of a can).  It has starch in it that will foam like egg whites.  So you can make pavlova, meringue, mousse, macarons, marshmallows…pretty much anything that requires fluffy egg whites can be made vegan with aquafaba.  AMAZING!  For more aquafaba info visit this website where lots of people are sharing their aquafaba experiences and recipes.  Aquafaba also makes yummy buttercream as you can see.


I adapted the recipes from two sources: the cupcake from vegan blogger Kathy Patalsky’s Peanut Butter Chocolate Vegan Cupcakes recipe and the frosting from pastry chef Gretchen Price’s Vegan ‘Butter’ Cream recipe.  Both of these recipes, although vegan, had heaps of sugar.  So that just had to go!


 What happened was pure magic.  Firstly I am new to veganising cupcakes, so I was very happy Editwhen the cupcake turned out light, fluffy and very chocolately.  Secondly, I am really OVER cake frosting that is so sickly sweet.  Even though I swap out the sugar for Xylitol, American buttercream has just too much sweetness for my taste.  This Swiss buttercream is so smooth and nowhere near as sweet, but it is BUTTERY.  Yep, all that vegetable shortening makes for a fat butter creamy frosting.  So if you are after a decedent vegan option for your next party or high tea – I highly recommend both of these. These cupcakes are not low calorie though – so be warned.  I also recommend that you look at Gretchen’s video HERE for tips on making the buttercream because it takes some doing (in fact, it takes 2 days!)

So here are my versions of the two recipes above:



1/2 cup plain flour

1 cup self raising flour

1 cup Xylitol
1/2 cup vegan butter, melted

1/2 cup Almond milk (I used home-made)
1/3 cup water with 1 tsp chia seeds (mix and leave for 10 mins)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup cocoa powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 mashed banana
120gm sugar free apple sauce (1 tub)

Preheat oven to 305˚F or 180˚C
Blend all wet ingredients and fruit
In a large mixing bowl, mix all dry ingredients
Add wet to dry and mix on medium speed for 3-5 minutes until fluffy.
Spoon into cupcake cases and bake for 20 minutes.



Water from 2 cans Chick Peas (or make your own – see below*)
1 cup Xylitol Granulated
2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
1 cup Xylitol – Blended
3 gm Cornstarch
250gm Vegan Butter (not spreadable)
250 Solid Vegetable shortening
35gm Raw Cocoa Powder

Reduce the chickpea water to 1 cup over medium to low heat
Whilst it is still boiling hot add the Granulated Xylitol then put in the fridge for as long as possible (overnight is good but a couple of hours will do).  It will become thick and gelatinous.
Whip the aquafaba in a stand mixer on high speed until it is thick and glossy and has firm peaks (about 15 minutes!)
Sift the blended Xylitol and add all at once. Mix on low speed to combine.
Add the shortening and vegan butter.  It will become lumpy and lose it’s air but don’t worry – keep whipping.
Add vanilla and cocoa powder.  Voila!

*Make your own chickpea water
Cover 1 cup of dry chickpeas in 2 cups of water and soak overnight
Pour water and chickpeas into saucepan and add 2 more cups of water
Cook uncovered for 30 mins.
Drain and keep the water.   It should be about 1 1/2 cups. Strain the water.

If you have any questions or comments I would love to hear from you.

Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution

We all love cake. But some cakes don’t love us back. I only eat healthy cakes, but I do make cakes for other people with too much sugar and refined flour. It’s ok to eat stuff like that once or twice a year, but on a daily basis we really need to be more thoughtful of our nutrition.

I am a strong supporter or nutrition education in schools. If we can get governments all over the planet to have vegetable gardening and healthy cooking as standard curriculum for students, I believe we can stop the obesity epidemic in its tracks.

Please click this link and join me in supporting Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution.