The motivation for this post was the August Baking Challenge by Tessa of Handle the Heat. Tessa presented a recipe for bakers to make and share. It wasn’t vegan but that was simple enough to change. And, because there was no baking involved, high altitude adjustments were not necessary.
The vegan substitutions I made were to use vegan margarine in place of unsalted butter, vegan cream cheese for the cream cheese, and soy creamer instead of heavy cream. Another alteration I made was to put the cheesecakes in jars. Vegan dairy substitutes are often runnier than their dairy counterparts and make goopy cheesecake. I created a few in small mason jars where all they would require the eater to have was a spoon. The rest ended up in shot glasses for a fun party treat.
Vegan No Bake Mini Blackberry Cheesecakes adapted from Handle the Heat
For the crust:
1 sleeve (9 crackers) graham crackers (gluten-free, if desired)
4 TBS vegan margarine, melted
For the cheesecake:
12 ounces vegan cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup vegan sugar
3/4 cup soy creamer
1 tsp lemon juice
1/4 cup seedless blackberry preserves
For the topping:
1 cup blackberries
1 TBS vegan sugar
2 tsp lemon juice
Blackberries, for garnish
For the crust: Place graham crackers in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely ground. Add in melted margarine and pulse until moistened. Divide mixture among jars or glasses. Firmly press into the bottom of each cavity.
For the cheesecake: In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar on medium-high speed until creamy and well combined. Add in creamer, lemon juice, and preserves and continue beating for 2 to 3 minutes, until well combined and thickened. Pour mixture over crusts and cover with plastic wrap. Chill until firm, at least 4 hours or overnight.
For the topping: Combine berries, sugar, and lemon juice in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until pureed. Top each cheesecake with a dollop of sauce. Garnish with whole fresh blackberries.
Who doesn’t like coffee cake? It’s good for breakfast, snack, dessert; basically whenever you’d drink coffee. But I was craving a coffee cake with a little difference. The recipe I found included blueberries, but my inspiration took me to add assorted berries for color and flavor. The batter turned a swirling purple color that I enjoyed. Don’t be scared; it gets muted during baking.
The recipe I looked to wasn’t vegan so I got the opportunity to try a different egg substitute – the chia egg. It’s made by adding ground chia seeds to warm water and letting it sit for 10-20 minutes to thicken. The result is gummier than flax eggs, so I can see recipes where it would be a problem but not this one. More substitutes were swapping butter and yogurt for non-dairy versions. For high altitude I reduced the baking powder and added non-dairy milk. So, grab a cuppa joe and dig in.
Berry Coffee Cake adapted from Blueberry Coffee Cake
2 TBS ground chia seeds whisked with 6 TBS warm water
2 TBS plus 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour, divided
1/4 cup light brown sugar
2 TBS vegan margarine, cut into small pieces
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup vegan sugar
1.5 tsp baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup non-dairy plain yogurt
1/2 cup non-dairy blueberry yogurt
1 TBS non-dairy milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups fresh or frozen, thawed and drained blueberries, divided
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease an 8×8” cake pan. Prepare chia eggs by whisking ground chia seeds into a bowl of warm water. Set aside to gel. Put 2 TBS whole wheat pastry flour, brown sugar, margarine, cinnamon and cardamom in a bowl and mix together with a fork until well combined and mixture is in large clumps; set this streusel aside.
Put remaining 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour, all purpose flour, vegan sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl and whisk to combine. In a bowl, whisk together yogurts, vanilla and chia eggs then pour into bowl with dry ingredients and stir until combined. Gently fold in 1 cup berries. Spoon batter into pan and sprinkle streusel over top. Scatter remaining 1 cup berries over streusel and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 30 to 40 minutes. Once cooled, loosen edges of cake and transfer to a plate.
A while back I mentioned that one day I would bake with protein powder to see what kind of effect it would have on a final product. That day has come. I was alerted that taste, texture and color would change when adding protein powder to a baked good, but the only downside to my experiment was an oddly greenish colored muffin. But that seemed appropriate for a pre-Halloween treat.
I discovered a recipe that already included protein powder. The problem was that some of the ingredients seemed in odd proportion. So, I jumped right in and made many changes to the original. Most importantly I ensured that it had slightly higher than usual amounts of flour and liquids compared to the other ingredients. I also cut the baking powder in half; the amount listed would have made the muffins explode at high altitude. The vegetable oil was reduced because too much oil in high altitude baking can equate to greasiness. After a multitude of adjustments, I give you:
Berry Protein Muffins adapted from mindbodygreen.com
1 cup + 1 TBS almond milk
1 TBS apple cider vinegar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup organic sugar
1.5 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup unflavored hemp protein powder
3 TBS vegetable oil
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup frozen or fresh berries
Preheat oven to 350F and put liners in a 12-cup muffin pan. Combine milk and apple cider vinegar and set aside to curdle. In a bowl, whisk together flours, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt and form a well in the center. To curdled milk, add hemp protein powder, oil, and vanilla and whisk until smooth.
Pour milk mixture in the well of dry mixture, and stir only enough to moisten. Fold in berries and scoop dough into muffin pan. Bake for 20 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean; a few moist crumbs are okay. Remove from oven, cool in pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack. Cool for 20 minutes.