Somehow my youngest just turned 3 years old the the other day. Everything about his birthday had to involve dinosaurs. From the decorations, the presents, his clothes and even his cake. He is ridiculously and adorably obsessed. He really wanted his party to take place at the local Dinosaur Park, yes there really is one, but we will do that trip on a later date. His party took place on our deck for about 10 minutes and then due to torrential rain we moved it into our basement.
He went back and forth on what type of cake he wanted. First it was just vanilla. Then chocolate. Then both and at last a dinosaur cake. I went with “both and dinosaur cake. I made a basic 2 layer chocolate cake using a recipe from the cookbook: Have Your Cake and Vegan Too by Kris Holechek from the nomnomnom blog. The frosting I threw together myself. Just the usual Earth Balance, powdered sugar, vanilla..etc..frosting. After frosting the cake I plopped on his favorite dinosaur and made a quick banner to make it a touch more festive.
The cake itself was amazing. So moist and incredibly delicious. I took a risk by making a recipe I never made before and it paid off. A week later some non vegan guests were still raving about this cake! This is my new go to chocolate cake recipe and it should be yours as well.
Most importantly the birthday boy was so happy with it. There was a dinosaur on it! So thrilling to a 3 year old! My birthday is coming up next and I will be making my own cake. This one! Maybe with a dinosaur on it.
Vegan Heritage Press was kind enough to send me a copy of Robin Robertson’s book Nut Butter Universe. I’ll be honest and say I wasn’t expecting much from this book just by the title alone. I think like a lot of people I’ve talked to I just had images of only nut butter recipes in my head. Let me tell you that I was pleasantly surprised when I read through this book. It’s definitely not just nut butter recipes! Its chapter after chapter of amazing sounding recipes along with a few beautiful photographs of some of the dishes. After reading through all the recipes and making notes on which ones I wanted to try I ended up with more then 10 recipes on that list! I didn’t know where to start but I narrowed it down to 2 recipes to try over this past weekend and the rest will have to wait until later this week.
Double Dare Peanut Butter Cake
One of the first recipes that stood out for me was the Double Dare Peanut Butter Cake. I am a peanut butter fiend and this recipe promised a peanut butter cake AND a peanut butter frosting. I had my 2 year old son help with the cake batter while my daughter was in school. When she came home from school I had her help me with the frosting. Both kids had a lot of fun in the kitchen that day and I was happy to have them help.
The cake batter is very thick. Its not pourable like other cake recipes but it baked just fine. The frosting recipe was incredibly easy to make. You dump everything into a food processor, blend and refrigerate for an hour so it can set up a bit. While my daughter and I were frosting the cake the directions said it was optional to top with chocolate curls. We only had chocolate chips and they weren’t very nice looking due to the hot weather. I decided to make a quick ganache by melting the chips with a touch of almond milk and swirl it into the peanut butter frosting. I put some of the extra frosting into a pasty bag and piped some stars all along the edge of the cake. My daughter wanted the big star in the middle and I think it was a brilliant decorating decision on her part.
We ate the cake after dinner with my parents. It received rave reviews! My daughter want’s it to be her birthday cake. My husband ate 2 pieces. He doesn’t usually like cakes. My parents have offered to taste test the cake again tonight. My husbands cousin wants me to make it for her BBQ this Saturday. I will definitely be making this cake over and over again!
Apple Almond Butter Pancakes
These pancakes were made for a Sunday morning treat. Easy to make and delicious. Apples and almond butter a favorite combo of mine and I knew these pancakes would be great. I did alter some of the pancakes for my daughter who was screaming about me putting apples in them. Before I added the apples to the batter I poured 3 pancakes onto the griddle and added chocolate chips into them minus the apples. She happily devoured them. The rest of us ate them with the apples added. My favorite thing about them and most of the recipes in this book is the added protein the nut butters add to each dish. I liked that my children ate these and got something more then they would have if I just made traditional pancakes. We will be making these a lot come apple season this fall.
I am so happy I gave this book a chance. I highly recommend this book and I can’t wait to try all of the other recipes I bookmarked.