Category Archives: Dessert

The Best Chocolate Cake You’ll Ever Eat

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This is the only chocolate cake recipe you’ll ever need.  Here’s what I love about it:

  • It’s the moistest, fudgiest, and softest chocolate cake you’ll ever eat.
  • It only takes one bowl! What is better than that?! Separating wet and dry is the worst.
  • This cake is fool-proof.  I’ve made it dozens of times, both gluten-full and gluten-free, and it comes out amazing every time.
  • It’s vegan by nature! Meaning you don’t have to do any substitutions for eggs or butter, like in other vegan recipes.
  • People who have eaten it have told me that this is the best cake they’ve ever had…vegan or not vegan.  You need to try this.


Here’s how I found it. 

A few years ago, my sister went to the Humane Society of the United States Conference in DC for a few days.  She heard amazing people speak and came back with a bunch of free samples, pamphlets, and information.  One pamphlet she passed my way had this cake recipe on it.  

HSUS created this recipe and I’ve adapted it.

Top it with your favorite frosting (I’ve played around with everything from peanut butter to mocha to super chocolate) and have at it!  I promise this cake won’t last long.

Yield: 12 cupcakes, 2 6″ round pans, 1 9″ round pan

Ingredients:

  • Cake pans
  • Earth Balance and flour for pans
  • 1 1/4 c. flour (same amount for gluten-free, plus 1 tsp xanthan gum)
  • 3/4 c. sugar
  • 1/2 c. cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 c. unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or any non-dairy milk)
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar (or white vinegar)
  • 1/3 c. vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Put all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl.  Whisk the dry ingredients together.  Then, add the wet ingredients to the large bowl and mix until combined.

Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

 

 

 

You win this time, milk.

Hellooooo Summer!

Today I am officially off from work for the summer..one of the many perks of being a teacher!  Yes, I’ll miss the kids, my co-workers, yadda yadda yadda, but I am ridiculously excited to not have to wake up at 5:50 every morning!  To celebrate this wonderful time of year, I got an iced coffee, picked up my latest copy of Food Network Magazine, and treated myself to a pedicure!

I was just settling into the pedicure chair.  My feet were soaking in a tub of warm, swirling water, my iced coffee was cold and refreshing, and I had a thick magazine on my lap.  It was going to be a perfect hour.

This month’s issue of Food Network Magazine looked delicious.  The cover promised recipes for an “All American Cookout”, “Cool Summer Desserts” that were “so easy!” and over 100 new dishes that I couldn’t wait to try.

 

Doesn't that look delish??

Doesn’t that look delish??

So I flipped open to the recipe index, looked at the selection of dessert recipes offered,

 

…and I got mad.

 

Of the eight recipes listed, only two looked like desserts that could easily be dairy-free.  The other six were mostly cream based.

 

In fact, Food Network published a “Cookies and Cream” section, with three cake recipes that utilized pre-made cookies and some type of cream.  There were three options: a chocolate hazelnut icebox cake, a gingersnap and coconut cream cake, and a lemon berry icebox cake.  These all looked amazing, and recipes that I would be dying to try.  However, upon further inspection, I realized that all three would be ridiculously hard to replicate dairy free.

I'm Not Angry Cat Meme

Now let me just say one thing: I don’t expect all food magazines everywhere to cater to my dietary restrictions.  I get that most people are not lactose-intolerant (though it does affect 40 million Americans according to a recent study).  However, this is 2014, people! At this point in food culture, there should be substitution suggestions or alternatives for those who at least want to eat healthier.

All three recipes called for multiple cups of heavy cream.  I get that summer is a time for cream: ice cream cakes and cones, banana cream pie, strawberry short cake etc. It’s hot out, and people want refreshing desserts that don’t sit in their bellies like rocks.  Plus, realistically, bakers refrain from using their ovens in the summer.  That makes sense.  (Not everyone is willing to make cookies and sweat like me).

Just made these last night...vegan chocolate chip cookies!

Just made these last night…vegan chocolate chip cookies!

I know that you can use various vegan substitutions for heavy cream: the most popular being coconut cream, but I have to wonder if there would be a prevalent coconut flavor in anything you make with that.  Other substitutes include silken tofu (I have trouble digesting too much soy), avocado or cannellini beans (both of which do not sound super appetizing in desserts), or cashew cream, which okay maybe I could get behind. *see full explanation here*

Regardless, this one section of the magazine angered me and I kept flipping through, hoping that there would be some sort of dessert suggestion I could make for the summer.  The only other cake recipe that Food Network Magazine offered was an ice cream cake.

As an old coworker of mine would say when dealing with frustrating students: anger.  Rage.

Mostly I just feel left out.  Yes, I could go to Whole Foods and spend a ton of money on a small amount of vegan ice cream, but it’s not the same.  When will mainstream food magazines catch up to those of us with dietary restrictions?

Maybe it’s time I cancel my subscription.

 

For now, I’ll stick to baking my own stuff.

 

About Me

I have always known I wanted to be a teacher.  When I was younger, I used to read aloud to my stuffed animals, chastising them for whispering during the page turns.  Teaching was always my passion…still is.

 

But then came food.

 

When I got to college, I barely knew how to cook.  My mom recalls a story where I called her once, asking how to microwave ramen.  That’s right, I didn’t even know how to cook it in the microwave.  In my defense, though, the instructions on the package only tell you how to cook it on the stove.

Ramen photo

See? I wasn’t kidding!

 

Then I met boyf. 

Being a poor college student, I took to baking him treats instead of buying him gifts for various occasions.  The look on his face as he took a bite was priceless; he was so full of love and appreciation while his mouth was so full of cake.  I knew then that I wanted to try more recipes, more delicious items I could make for him. 

I began to try out my recipes on my family, too.  My mom made (and still does) the best reactions: gasping, sighing, a variety of mmmm noises, and saying how “terrific” and “amazing” my desserts are, no matter what they tasted like.   She also needed to tell everyone about what I made, and made everyone taste it. 

I started small, using box mixes and pre-made ingredients.  My favorite was my famous ice cream pie: pre-made graham cracker crust filled with a pint of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream.  My go-to was Cherry Garcia, with fresh, sliced cherries on top.  It was very Sandra Lee of me.

A year or two later, I discovered I was severely lactose and dairy intolerant. Womp womp.  Box mixes and store-bought items were now off limits, and I struggled to find ways to eat desserts that didn’t make me immediately sick.

I took to baking my own items from scratch, and found that I loved not only the physical process of baking, but that also the desserts tasted so much better than store bought treats.  Even when I did find a supermarket confection that was dairy free, it tasted so processed when compared to my goods.  To this day, my tasters say that the dairy-free treats make them feel lighter than the full-milk, full-fat ones.

 I became fascinated with substituting non-dairy milks and butters into regular recipes, trying my hand at all sorts of challenging delicacies.  Some crashed and burned (non-dairy pudding never really sets correctly) and some were great successes! (See my website for my most successful items…all available for purchase!)

Dairy Free Website

Check out my site for delicious treats for purchase!

 I have pledged to live my life dairy free for over 2 years now, and every day is a journey in substitution-I want mac and cheese, but I don’t want to eat too much soy (most dairy-free cheese is made of soy).  I am craving ice cream, but non-dairy ice cream is expensive, and Whole Foods is far away.  Hot chocolate sounds amazing on a cold, winter day, but the Swiss Miss packets contain milk.

I started this blog to chronicle my dairy-free life.  Yes, most of this will be mostly about baking, my trials and tribulations as a lactose intolerant baker.  You’ll see a lot of my cats, Munch and Wally.  My students call me a crazy cat lady, and I’d say that’s pretty accurate.  You’ll see boyf from time to time, a wonderful souz chef, sounding board and brain-stormer for all things dairy free, and a great encourager of my culinary endeavors. Welcome to my life.  I’m excited to share my world with you. 

Enjoy!

Kitty

How cute is this face?!

 

-Chrissy

My First Post!!

Hello dairy-free fanatics!

Today I want to look back at a For Goodness Cakes favorite, a cake that kick-started my love for baking and this whole she-bang: Paula Deen’s Deep Fried Pumpkin Layer Cake with a Cream Cheese and Orange Frosting (see recipe here).  Now regardless of what you think of Paula’s personal beliefs and actions, this. cake. is. amazing.  Just look at that cake. Dripping with delicious deep-fried goodness.

Pumpkin Cake

That’s right…deep fried cake.

I decided to take on this monstrosity of a dessert for boyf’s birthday.  Before this cake, I had made him a few things here and there: slice-and-bake cookies, brownies from a box, and my personal favorite: cupcakes piped in icing that read, “I love you, you bum” (For serious Rocky fans only).

 

Now I know what you are thinking:

Hey, For Goodness Cakes! None of those items are dairy-free!

And my response is,

woah, there, woah.

All those items were pre-For Goodness Cakes: before my lactose intolerance discovery, before I learned to make treats from scratch, and before my amazing kitties.

Kitties!

Did you know most adult cats are lactose intolerant too?

This was the first real dessert I tried, and the results were worth it. 

Let me break it down for you: First, forget about any calorie count you may have had for the day. This cake will surpass your wildest expectations, and any belt loops you already created. First step: make a pumpkin cake, two layers of moist, fall goodness baked to perfection.  Second: make the orange and cream cheese frosting, creamy and delicious. Third: whip up some good old “fry batter” (as Paula likes to call it), also known as funnel cake batter. Heat up a tub full of oil, soak the cakes in the batter, and drop those babies in to fry.

I remember fearing for my life that day, wondering what sort of splatter-design my third degree burns would take. Paula Deen doesn’t tell you exactly how to fry a large cake without losing layers of skin, so I adapted, assembling the best tools I could find: spatula, tongs, slotted metal spoon, and several oven mitts.

After I fried each layer and let the cakes cool, I assembled the cake, smothering on that amazing cream cheese frosting. Not only was the cake as good as it looked, it was definitely worth the trouble, and almost losing my epidermis.

Note: While this cake was made before I pledged myself to a dairy-free life, it could definitely be adapted to be dairy free with vegan milk, cream cheese, and butter. I would also in the future not use a box cake mix for the pumpkin cake, and instead make my own. Box mixes are for fools.

food to glow

feel good food that's good for you

Baking my butt(er) off

Brought to you by For Goodness Cakes!

The Cake Crusaders

...on a quest for cake

snouting

Definition: Exploration of the world using your nose

sherights.wordpress.com/

she thinks. she says. she writes.

TIME

Current & Breaking News | National & World Updates

knit the hell out

More obsessed with each passing stitch.

Y&Y Decor

Interior designs by Tiffany Brooks

New York Post

Your source for breaking news, news about New York, sports, business, entertainment, opinion, real estate, culture, fashion, and more.

simplydelicious

~savoring the little moments that make life big~

GoanImports.com

Learn about Goa Culture, Foods and Recipes

Olive Sundays

Melbourne Food Blog

The Educated Nanny

My experiences as a nanny