Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Espresso Cream Cheese Frosting

pumpkin spice cupcakes with espresso cream cheese frosting
pumpkin spice cupcakes with espresso frosting

With Thanksgiving only a few days away, ovens are being heated up across the United States. Cooks and bakers are frantically creating dishes that can be made ahead so the Big Meal is a little less stressful. But they’ll need breakfast (or a snack) that day too, and this tasty treat should still echo the flavors of the holiday. Iconic Pumpkin Spice can make an appearance long before the feast is at its end in the form of a pick-me-up cupcake for a harried chef to nibble on.

To come up with a snack or breakfast item that contains fall flavors, I modified a cake recipe to become a cupcake recipe. For high altitude I adjusted the amounts of baking soda and flour. To make the baked good more suitable for breakfast, its nutrition was elevated by using a combination of whole wheat and all purpose flour. I also topped it with a frosting rich in espresso flavor for a caffeinated morning boost. You may think a cupcake is too decadent for breakfast, but I see it as a reward for getting up so early to prepare the festive meal.

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Espresso Cream Cheese Frosting adapted from Vegan Pumpkin Spice Cake and Banana Cake with Coffee Cream Cheese Frosting

for the cupcakes
1.5 cups non-dairy milk
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1.75 cups + 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1.75 cups vegan granulated sugar
1.5 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
for the frosting
1/2 cup (112 grams) vegan butter (not margarine), slightly softened
8 ounces vegan cream cheese (the firmest you can find)
2.5 to 3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1.5 to 2 tablespoons espresso powder (depending on how strong you want the flavor)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350F. Fill 21 cups of two muffin tins with paper liners. Combine the non-dairy milk and apple cider vinegar and set aside to curdle.

In a large bowl, sift together the flours, granulated sugar, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together the curdled milk, pumpkin puree, oil, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix just until combined.

Use an ice cream scoop to divide the batter into the 21 cups, filling them 2/3 full. Bake for 27-29 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean.

Set the muffin tins on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. After that, tip the cupcakes out onto the rack to cool completely.

While the cupcakes cool, make the frosting. Cut the butter into pieces and add to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle blade. Beat on low to medium speed until softened. Add the cream cheese and continue beating at low to medium speed until blended.

In a small bowl, add the espresso powder and 1 teaspoon vanilla and stir to combine. Add this liquid to the bowl of the stand mixer and briefly beat to combine. Gradually add the powdered sugar, beating on low to medium speed until fully blended. Use all 3 cups if the frosting is too soft to pipe onto the cupcakes.

When the frosting is blended and fluffy, spoon it into a piping bag fitted with a star tip and frost the cooled cupcakes. Cover and store frosted cupcakes in the refrigerator for up to 5 days so you have them for Thanksgiving.

Until next time, Happy Thanksgiving and happy baking!

Cranberry Orange Almond Cookies

cranberry orange almond cookies
cranberry orange almond cookies

As I was adding cranberries and cinnamon to my fall oatmeal this morning, my thoughts went to holiday cookies. These two ingredients would make good additions to a cookie, along with orange to round out the flavor profile. The downside was that I was feeling lazy, but finding an easy recipe would make it a simpler task.

My search pulled up a quick cookie recipe, one that was already vegan. It had no leaveners so high altitude would not be an issue. The changes I made began with giving a nod to the holidays. My goal was to include my taste trio of cranberries, orange, and cinnamon. Upon adding those, I adjusted for the extra moisture and bulk. The result was a burst of seasonal goodness, wrapped up as a refined-sugar-free and gluten-free treat.

Cranberry Orange Almond Cookies adapted from The Easiest Almond Flour Cookies

1/2 cup chopped dried cranberries
1/2 teaspoon organic orange zest
2.5 tablespoons organic orange juice
1.5 cups + 1 tablespoon fine almond flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
pinch fine sea salt
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

Place chopped dried cranberries in a small bowl with the orange zest. Cover with orange juice and stir to combine. Let sit for 15 minutes so the juice can soak into the cranberries.

Place the almond flour, cinnamon, and salt in a medium bowl and whisk. Add maple syrup and vanilla and stir. Add the cranberries and any juice from the small bowl, and stir to combine well. The dough will be shaggy but slightly sticky. Let the dough rest for 10 minutes to absorb fluid.

chopped cranberries for holiday cookies
chopped cranberries for holiday cookies

Scoop up 16 walnut-sized balls of dough and place on the baking sheet. The cookies will not really spread, so they can be placed fairly close together. Flatten the balls of dough using the bottom of a glass keeping a small piece of parchment paper in between to prevent sticking. Cookies should be about ¼-inch thick and 2 ½-inches in diameter.

Bake for 16-18 minutes or until the edges and bottoms of cookies are golden brown. Place the baking sheet with cookies on a wire rack until the cookies cool completely. Store fully cooled cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for a few days.

Until next time, happy baking!

Mini Allergy-Friendly Spider Bites

mini allergy friendly spider bites
mini allergy friendly spider bites

Are you looking for a Halloween Treat? I have an easy one that is also allergy friendly. It contains only three ingredients, and I modified it so it doesn’t contain common allergens. Now you have a snack to share with all of your favorite ghoul friends (sorry, I couldn’t resist).

The original recipe I found was from Food Network, but I made a few tweaks. I prepared it on the stove top and used a double boiler so the chocolate doesn’t scorch. Then I used ingredients that are generally safe for those with common food allergies. No changes were needed for baking at high altitude, but I made the goodies bite-sized so kids of all ages can enjoy them. Happy Halloween!

Mini Allergy-Friendly Spider Bites adapted from Spider Bites

12 ounces semisweet morsels or chunks (I used Enjoy Life Foods brand)
1/2 cup sunflower seed butter (I used Once Again brand)
6 cups gluten-free pretzel sticks, broken into 1-inch pieces (I used Fit Joy brand)

Place parchment paper on a baking sheet or two and set aside.

Put a few inches of water in a medium pot and put it on the stove to boil. Reduce the heat to a low simmer and place a heat-safe bowl on top. Place the chocolate chips in the bowl to melt; be sure that steam doesn’t enter from the pot below or the chocolate will seize. Stir the chips occasionally. When the chips are melted and smooth, turn the heat off and stir in the sunflower seed butter. Remove the bowl from over the pot and stir in the pretzel pieces.

spider bites allergy friendly ingredients
spider bites allergy friendly ingredients

When the pretzels are thoroughly coated with chocolate, pick up a few and place them on the parchment lined sheet. Next, take 8 pretzel pieces from the bowl and arrange them to form spider legs. Take a small amount of chocolate from the bowl and blob it over the top to form the body, and to cement everything together. Repeat with the remaining pretzels. You can get creative and anatomically correct, or you can drop them on the sheet to create haystacks instead of spiders. They won’t be Halloween themed, but they will still taste good. Heck, they taste good right out of the bowl.

Place the sheet of spiders in the freezer for 10 minutes to harden. Remove gently from the parchment paper and remove any drips that don’t look like spider.

Until next time, happy nonbaking!

Chocolate Donuts with Strawberry Topping

chocolate donuts with strawberry topping
chocolate donuts with strawberry topping

Is it donut season? Everyone is making donuts right now. My inbox and social media feeds are overflowing with pictures of chocolate, vanilla, and spiced varieties. They come glazed or dipped or sprinkled, and all of them look mouth-watering. So, it’s time to dust off the donut pan and dive in.

I wanted to bake chocolate donuts, naturally. My recipe search revealed a vegan version with a chocolate glaze. As good as that sounded, I knew that a strawberry topping would be perfect. For high altitude baking, I added a bit of liquid and reduced the leaveners. Next, aquafaba was added for good texture.

The non-dairy milk I chose for my treats was from Take Two Foods, a new kid on the block. They upcycle spent barley by turning it into delicious plant milk, thus helping to reduce food waste. You can find out more about them here.

Chocolate Donuts with Strawberry Topping adapted from Vegan Double Chocolate Donuts

for the chocolate donuts
2/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon Take Two original flavor plant milk, or other non-dairy milk
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup less 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
1/3 cup dutch process cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon espresso powder
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
3 tablespoons salted vegan butter, melted
2 teaspoons aquafaba
vegan sprinkles for garnish, optional
for the strawberry topping
1/2 cup frozen strawberries
2 tablespoons coconut oil, solid
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon non-dairy milk

Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease the six cavities of donut pan.

Add the non-dairy milk and apple cider vinegar to a 2-cup glass measuring cup. Whisk and set aside.

Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, baking powder, and baking soda in a large bowl. Add the brown sugar, melted butter, and aquafaba to the curdled milk in the measuring cup. Stir the wet mixture, then pour it into the dry ingredients in the bowl. Stir until just combined.

Transfer the thick batter to a pastry bag or large ziplock bag. Snip off the bottom corner of the bag. Pipe the batter into the cavities of the donut pan. Spread the tops of the donuts flat with the back of a spoon.

Bake for 14-17 minutes. The donuts should be puffed up, and a toothpick inserted into a donut should come out clean. Cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then remove the donuts from the pan and place on a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the strawberry topping, heat the strawberries up in a small pan set on medium. When they have softened, add the coconut oil. When the oil has melted, remove the pan from the stove. Mash the mixture with a fork, then stir in the powdered sugar and milk. Stir until well combined, then let sit until cool.

Spoon the topping over the cooled donuts. Decorate with sprinkles, if desired. Eat immediately. Cooled and undecorated donuts can be stored in an air-tight container at room temperature for 2 – 3 days.

Until next time, happy baking!

Pumpkin Mini Tea Loaves with Tea Glaze

Pumpkin Mini Tea Loaves
Pumpkin Mini Tea Loaves

Autumn has arrived without my permission. The weather is too cold for me, and I’m not ready to bundle up just yet. Although, this time of year does have it’s advantages. Imagine a kitchen scented with the warming spices of ginger and cinnamon swirled into pumpkin batter. Yes, that works for me.

Mini loaves of pumpkin bread were my goal. I found a recipe in a wonderful vegan cookbook by Nava Atlas. To adjust for high altitude, I lowered the amount of baking powder and added liquid. The liquid I chose was milk tea by Twrl. Because the canned beverage is unsweetened, I added a little more sugar and a sugared glaze. I also chose not to add dried fruit or nuts to allow the flavor of the tea to come through; you may add 1/3 cup of either of those to your bread, if desired.

Pumpkin Mini Tea Loaves with Tea Glaze inspired by Pumpkin or Squash Mini-Loaves

for mini loaves
1.5 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
1.75 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
6 tablespoons Twrl black milk tea
for tea glaze
9 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 tablespoon Twrl black milk tea

For the mini loaves: Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly oil three mini loaf pans and set aside.

Add the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and ginger to a large bowl. Whisk to combine. Add the pumpkin puree, oil, and 6 tablespoons Twrl tea to a medium bowl. Whisk to combine. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet mixture. Stir until well combined.

Divide batter among loaf tins. Bake 25-28 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of a loaf comes out clean. Cool loaves in their pans for 10 minutes on a wire rack, then tip out the loaves and place on a wire rack to fully cool.

For the glaze: add the powdered sugar and 1 tablespoon Twrl tea to a small bowl and stir to combine. Drizzle over the cooled loaves just prior to serving.

Until next time, happy baking!

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Cookie Sandwiches

peanut butter chocolate cookie sandwich
peanut butter chocolate cookie sandwich

Gluten-free baking is scientific, with lots of math involved. When attempted at high altitude it also involves laborious recipe testing. Okay, that kinda sounds fun to me but it is not something I usually attempt. I start with tried-and-true gluten-free recipes and tweak then just a bit to compensate for altitude. Not today. Today I threw caution to the wind and made every type of substitution possible … all at once … with fingers crossed. Luckily I was successful.

The massive changes I made were based on science, so that dialed down the luck factor. I started with a gluten-free cookie recipe from Bob’s Red Mill then used America’s Test Kitchen cookbooks as a reference for substitutions. I didn’t have all of the flours listed in the recipe so, armed with knowledge from the Test Kitchen, I made swaps based on what was in my cupboard. I added aquafaba and soy milk powder for enhanced vegan structure, as well was guar gum. Granulated sugars were used instead of liquid sweetener so the cookies wouldn’t be too mushy. The last step was to sandwich my cookies with a rich chocolate filling, because life can always be more decadent.

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Cookie Sandwiches loosely based on a recipe from Bob’s Red Mill Everyday Gluten-Free Cookbook

for the cookies:
1/2 cup teff flour
1/4 cup brown rice flour
1/4 cup tapioca starch
1/3 cup potato starch
1 teaspoon soy milk powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 teaspoon guar gum
1/2 cup + 2 TBS creamy peanut butter, salted but unsweetened
1/2 cup vegan sugar
1/2 cup vegan light brown sugar
1/2 cup neutral-tasting vegetable oil
1 tablespoon aquafaba
3 tablespoons non-dairy milk
for the chocolate filling:
1/3 cup vegan margarine
3 cups vegan powdered sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-3 tablespoons non-dairy milk

For the cookies: Whisk the flours, starches, milk powder, baking soda, salt, and guar gum together in a medium bowl. In a large bowl, whisk together the peanut butter, sugars, oil, aquafaba, and 3 tablespoons milk. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir to combine. Cover the dough bowl with plastic wrap and put aside for 30 minutes to rest.

Meanwhile, line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. Place oven racks in the upper-middle and lower-middle positions, and heat the oven to 350F.

When the 30 minutes rest time has passed, scoop out small balls of cookie dough, 2-3 teaspoons in size, and place them about 2 inches apart on the baking sheets. (The dough will be moist and slightly sticky.) Flatten the dough balls with the palm of your hand.

Bake the cookies until golden brown and firm, 14-16 minutes, rotating the cookie sheets halfway through baking time. Let the cookies cool on the sheets for five minutes, then remove to wire racks to fully cool. Repeat with remaining cookie dough.

For the filling: Place the margarine in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on medium speed for 1 minute. Add the powdered sugar, cacao powder, and vanilla and beat for another minute. Keep beating, adding milk as needed, until the filling is light and fluffy. Fill a pastry bag with the filling.

To assemble the cookie sandwiches: Place half of the cookies upside down on a tray. Pipe filling onto the center of each cookie. Top each with a remaining cookie, pressing down gently until the filling spreads to the edges. Store assembled cookies in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Until next time, happy baking!

Raspberry Chocolate Chip Krispie Rice Snacks

Raspberry Chocolate Chip Krispie Rice Snacks
Raspberry Chocolate Chip Krispie Rice Snacks

Ah, September. It may not be autumn yet, but it’s peeking around the corner. With the glimpse at future cool weather, we rush out to enjoy the last of summer’s sun. For me this means walks along the water, strolls at local farms, and outdoor cooking. And, with a weekend of sharing meals outdoors, there will be marshmallows. At least once.

Oftentimes I use marshmallows to make s’mores (with recipes here, here, and here), but my current inspiration was Rice Krispy Treats. Searching around I discovered that you can add jam to the melted marshmallows. Who knew?! With no baking required the recipe needed no high altitude changes, just a few vegan substitutions. I used vegan butter and margarine in place of the dairy versions. I also used seedless raspberry jam, as that is my preferred jam in desserts, and added mini chocolate chips to appease my chocolate craving hubby. These tasty treats can be enjoyed outside, before or after your dinner comes off of the grill.

Raspberry Chocolate Chip Krispie Rice Snacks adapted from Strawberry Jam Rice Krispies Treats

2.5 Tablespoons margarine or vegan butter
5 ounces vegan mini marshmallows
1/4 cup seedless raspberry jam
3 cups brown rice cereal
1/4 cup vegan mini chocolate chips, plus more for garnish

Grease an 8 x 8” baking pan and set aside. Be sure to have your ingredients measured and close at hand (called “mise en place”) because things go fast once the marshmallows have melted.

Melt the margarine in a large pan on a burner set to medium-low heat. Add the marshmallows and stir occasionally until they melt. When melted, remove the pan from the heat and add the jam to the pan. Stir to combine. Add the cereal to the pan and stir to coat. Add the mini chocolate chips to the mixture and stir just to combine. (They will melt a bit, but the smears are tasty.)

Krispie Rice Snacks mise en place
Krispie Rice Snacks mise en place

Pour the cereal mixture into the greased baking pan. Smooth the top of the mixture with a spatula, pressing down firmly into the bottom and corners of the pan. Sprinkle a few mini chocolate chips over the top and press them in gently with your fingertips. Let the treats cool for 2 hours, then cut into squares.

Until next time, happy non-baking!

Rosemary Lemon Shortbread

rosemary lemon shortbread
rosemary lemon shortbread

The rosemary in my garden is incredibly lush and fragrant this time of year. It makes me daydream of Mediterranean flavors. I wondered, “How can I put that dreamy seaside feeling in a baked treat?” While perusing shortbread cookie recipes I realized they are fairly versatile and can stand up to a strong herbaceous taste. With a little lemon zest for summery nuance, I knew I could create something delicious.

The recipes I found needed a simple vegan adjustment — using vegan butter in place of regular butter. No high altitude changes were required, which just left my taste preferences. Using less sugar brought out the scent of the rosemary I added, and lemon zest rounded out the flavor profile. These are slightly savory but still a cookie. They go as well with a bracing cup of coffee as they do alongside strawberry ice cream.

Rosemary Lemon Shortbread adapted from King Arthur Baking’s Shortbread recipe

2 teaspoons dried rosemary
1 cup + 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 cup unsalted vegan butter, cold out of the fridge
1/8 cup granulated sugar
1/8 cup + 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
up to 1.5 teaspoon water, if needed

Preheat the oven to 300°F. Line the bottom of an 8″ round cake pan with parchment paper, then grease the parchment paper. Set aside.

Run the rosemary leaves through a coffee grinder until you have coarse bits. Put the ground rosemary in a medium bowl along with the flour, salt, and lemon zest. Whisk until combined.

Add the vegan butter and both sugars to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Cream them until combined. Add the flour mixture and beat until it comes together. If the mixture is too dry, then dribble in the water a little at a time. The dough should be a bit stiff.

Press the dough into the prepared pan, smoothing the surface with your fingers or the bottom of a measuring cup. Use a fork to prick the dough all over to allow the steam to escape. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the shortbread is a light golden brown across the top and the sides have pulled away from the pan.

Remove the pan from the oven and immediately flip the shortbread onto a clean cutting board. Using a pizza wheel or sharp knife, cut the shortbread into wedges. You want to do this while the shortbread is still warm and can be easily cut. Transfer the wedges to a rack to cool completely.

Until next time, happy baking!

Milkshake for World Plant Milk Day Book Giveaway

milkshake for world plant day giveaway
milkshake for world plant milk day giveaway

When I started my journey of seeking milk that didn’t come from a cow, the options were very limited. It may have been rice milk and three brands of soy milk. These days you can find milk beverages made from those two bases, alongside others consisting of almonds, oats, peas, hemp seeds, coconut, cashews, macadamias, quinoa, peanuts, pistachios, walnuts, bananas, hazelnuts, and flax seeds.

Plant milks are so popular now that they have their own holiday. Today is World Plant Milk Day, a celebration of plant-based dairy alternatives that is recognized internationally. People all over the globe can find a way to enjoy a milky beverage that is better for their health, the environment, and the animals.

The website behind this celebratory day explains that a “dairy-free lifestyle has the power to make you feel fantastic, now and in the long-term future. You may experience increased energy, less bloating, improved digestion, clearer skin, reduced asthma symptoms, less inflammation, and other lasting health benefits when you make the switch away from dairy.”

In honor of this day, and to offer you a way to easily get involved, I made a plant-based milkshake. The recipe below is from Alisa Fleming’s book “Eat Dairy Free.” If you like Alisa’s recipe and want more, you’re in luck! I’m giving away one copy of her book which includes recipes for meals, snacks, and sweets. To enter the drawing, comment on this post or my posts with the above book picture on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. **

Strawberry Cheeseshake

1/2 cup raw cashews
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3/4 teaspoon melted coconut, grapeseed, or rice bran oil
1/8 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup cut frozen strawberries
1/2 cup unsweetened plain or vanilla dairy-free beverage
1 tablespoon agave nectar or sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Graham cracker crumbs (gluten free, if needed) for garnish (optional) (note: I used cacao nibs)
2 fresh strawberries, for garnish (optional)

Put the cashews in your spice grinder or food processor and whiz until powdered, about 30 to 60 seconds.

Put the cashew powder, water, lemon juice, oil, and salt in your blender or food processor and blend until smooth.

Transfer the cashew mixture to an airtight container and refrigerate for 2 hours or more, to allow the flavors to mingle and the consistency to thicken.

Put the chilled cashew mixture, frozen strawberries, milk beverage, sweetener, and vanilla in your blender and blend until smooth and creamy.

Pour the shake into 2 glasses and garnish each.

Until next time, happy non-baking!

** Contest ends 8/27/21 at 11:00 AM PST. Open to US residents only. Void where prohibited. One winner will be chosen at random and announced in the comments.

Ice Cream Sunday

Hojicha Tea Ice Cream with Apricot Ribbons and Chocolate Crust
Hojicha Tea Ice Cream with Apricot Ribbons and Chocolate Crust

It’s so hot right now and I crave something deliciously satisfying to tickle my tastebuds. It’s Sunday and I need ice cream. And not just any run-of-the-mill ice cream, but a creamy delight with a chocolate crust. Luckily, I have a can of Twrl Hojicha Milk Tea that I’ve been wanting to use to make ice cream. The roasted green tea flavor will shine when complemented by a swirl of fruit jam and an earthy tasting cocoa crust.

I cobbled together two recipes to make my creation. The crust recipe was chosen for the earthy lucuma powder in it, although I reduced the amount so I could add cocoa powder in its place. If you don’t have lucuma, you could try another deep flavored dry sweetener, such as coconut sugar. The ice cream filling was altered to use the tea in place of water, with a little less sweetener so the green tea aroma could come through. The last feature of this dish was the apricot jam I swirled throughout the ice cream. Don’t leave it out — it’s a game changer for bringing the tastes together.

Thanks goes to the folks at Twrl Tea for providing the tea for my creative testing.

Hojicha Tea Ice Cream with Apricot Ribbons and Chocolate Crust adapted from Rouxbe Culinary School and VeganRicha

for the crust
3/4 cups almond flour
1/4 cup lucuma powder
2.5 Tablespoons cocoa powder
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch fine sea salt
for the ice cream
1 cup raw cashews, soaked for 3 hours then drained
7.5 ounce can Twrl Hojicha Roasted Green Milk Tea
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1.5 teaspoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 Tablespoons vegan sugar
3 Tablespoons refined coconut oil, in solid form
for the swirl
4 Tablespoons whole fruit apricot jam

Line a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan with parchment paper, leaving excess hanging over the sides. Set aside.

Place the almond flour, lucuma and cocoa powders, maple syrup, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla, and sea salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Pulse to combine into a fine crumble that just holds together when pressed between your fingers. Transfer this crust mixture to the lined loaf pan. Press it down firmly with your fingers, or the bottom of a glass, to create an even layer. Place the pan in the freezer while you make the ice cream.

Wipe out the food processor bowl, then add the cashews, Twrl tea, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla, sugar, and coconut oil the bowl. (Note: if your food processor can’t handle this much liquid, then place the ingredients in a blender). Process until smooth, scraping the sides of the bowl down as needed. The mixture may look lumpy at first; keep going until it is creamy.

ice cream with Twrl Hojicha Tea
ice cream with Twrl Hojicha Tea

Take the pan from the freezer. Pour the ice cream over the crust and smooth it out. Return the pan to the freezer for 15 minutes for the ice cream to harden slightly. After 15 minutes, remove the pan from the freezer. Drizzle apricot jam over the ice cream and swirl it in with a toothpick. Return the pan to the freezer for two hours. When the ice cream is firm, take the pan from the freezer. Remove the ice cream by grabbing the parchment overhang to lift the loaf out. Place the loaf on a cutting board and cut slices with a warm knife.

Until next time, happy non-baking!