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cakes Recipe vegan

Easy Coconut Cake That Just Happens to Be Vegan

vegan coconut cake shot from above

Smitten Kitchen’s Plush Coconut Cake is EVERYTHING! Now, I’m not vegan nor have I ever been, but something really caught my attention with this cake when Smitten Kitchen posted it a few weeks ago. Maybe it was the use of the word PLUSH in the title? I mean… it’s totally the right word to use… it’s dense and moist and a delight to eat!

Vegan Coconut Cake
Are you a fan of TONS of frosting? I AM!

The second thing that made me want to make this cake was that my friend Patti Paige of Baked Ideas… a.k.a. Cookie-Master… a.k.a. like the best cookie decorator in the existence of decorated cookies… made this cake the very same day that Smitten Kitchen posted the recipe. You see, it’s THAT kind of cake… the kind of cake that you have all the ingredients for in your pantry. Just a few simple ingredients!

The THIRD thing that actually made me bake this cake was that my husband and I randomly got invited to a vegan dinner party last week?! That’s literally never happened to us! So this was all meant to be. My Spanish husband always tells me “nada es casual”.. “nothing’s an accident”.. and I think he’s right!

vegan coconut cake 3

So when I made the cake for the party it was a total HIT! Everyone enjoyed it so much… or at least they said they did! It’s like the densest and super-moist cake. It’s got lots of coconut flavor without being too much. I want to play with the recipe a bit over the next few times I make it. I think it could be great with diced fresh strawberries in the batter or maybe try using part almond flour? We’ll see!

slice of vegan coconut cake

Let’s talk frosting… I’M THE #1 CRUNCHY SUGARY FROSTING FAN. I know that not everyone is! When I made the cake for the dinner party I made a nice frosting with confectioner’s sugar, almond milk, vanilla, and a bit of solid coconut oil as the fat. It was wonderful! But I’m not giving that recipe here because I’m not certain how it would work if the coconut oil was liquid and not solid? Like on a warm day? I will research the topic, but for now I’m going to just use a classic vegetable shortening frosting recipe. Because that’s what I grew up with. And that’s what I love the most. I understand if you’re not into vegetable shortening and in that case you’re more than welcome to use Smitten Kitchen’s glaze recipe or whatever other recipe you love!


I love this covered 9×9 pan from Nordic Ware:

covered Nordic Ware 9x9 baking pan
Click the image to purchase!

Vegan Coconut Cake with Pink Frosting

A few simple ingredients yield a marvelously dense and moist cake. This recipe is almost exactly the same as a wonderful recipe called PLUSH Coconut Cake from Smitten Kitchen.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
resting time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 9 servings
Author we are all magic

Ingredients

For the cake:

  • 2 cups + 3 TB all-purpose flour 285g
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup sugar 200g
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil in liquid form 110g
  • 13.5 ounces coconut milk, I used Goya
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

For the frosting:

  • 1/3 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2-3 tbsp almond milk you could use whatever type of non-dairy milk you want
  • 1 drop red food coloring optional

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F and line a 9×9 square pan with parchment paper.

  2. Measure dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl. I measure by weight so I just put the bowl on the scale and tare it each time I need to add a new ingredient. Whisk everything together.

  3. Measure and melt your coconut oil if it’s not liquid. And add to the bowl.

  4. Add coconut milk and mix well.

  5. Finally add the vinegar and mix until fully incorporated.

  6. Pour silky batter into prepared pan and pop it in the oven for 25-30 minutes. It will be golden and you can test for doneness with a toothpick.

  7. Allow to cool completely.

  8. For the frosting, beat all ingredients together until light and airy.

  9. Frost the top of the finished cake, cut, and enjoy!

This is the most wonderful cake that just happens to be vegan. You might have the simple ingredients in your pantry right now! Coconut oil, coconut milk, flour, sugar, baking soda, and vinegar!
This is the most wonderful cake that just happens to be vegan. You might have the simple ingredients in your pantry right now! Coconut oil, coconut milk, flour, sugar, baking soda, and vinegar!
Recipe Spain Spain

Flan-tastic! 5-ingredient Flan!

My mother-in-law has the most delicious FLAN recipe that she makes all the time. I was so surprised to see how EASY it is to make her silky-smooth flan. It’s all cooked in the oven, no endless stirring on the stove-top. My favorite part of the recipe is that you use the can from the condensed milk to do all of your measuring… one less measuring cup in the sink!

Top view of my mother-in-law's easy flan recipe.
I never fret if the flan doesn’t come out of the mold perfectly or if there are cracks… that’s part of the charm of this rustic dessert!

In Spain — where my mother-in-law lives — creamy pudding-like flans, nocillas, and crema catalanas are staple desserts and afternoon snacks. I remember my mom making a nutmegy instant custard when I was a boy. We’d eat them when they were just set and still a little bit warm. It’s very similar to the taste and feeling when I tried flan in Spain for my first time.

I’ve always been afraid of melting sugar, but it’s actually so easy!

This recipe has a couple of techniques that I think a lot of people are afraid of. Trust me… there’s no need to worry! The CARAMEL… it’s so easy to make the caramel sauce/topping for the flan. You simple pour 3/4 cup sugar into a pan and melt it over low heat until it’s a deep amber color. There’s no candy thermometer needed. Just be careful.. it’s HOT! The second technique that I think people sometimes like to avoid is the WATER BATH. In Spain they call it a BAÑO MARIA. I always put my baking dish in a larger pan, set both on the oven rack, and then pour in the water once the pans are in the oven.

This recipe is SO VERSATILE! You can add in a condensed milk can full of coconut or ground almonds. I want to try chia seeds next! You can use just about any extract you like. I’ve made it with pistachio flavor, vanilla, almond, and even maple! I’ve even substituted chai concentrate for some of the milk and added turmeric for a deep yellowy-orange color.

Easy 5-Ingredient Spanish Flan

This is a simple everyday silky-smooth flan recipe that uses condensed milk, eggs, milk, sugar, and flavor extract. It’s a very versatile recipe that you can customize in many ways. The recipe comes from my mother-in-law in Santander, Spain.

Course Dessert
Cuisine American, Mexican, Spanish
Keyword best dessert, Best Recipe, custard, dessert, easy recipe, flan, pudding, spain
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Resting time 4 hours
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author we are all magic

Ingredients

For the caramel topping:

  • 3/4 cup sugar

For the flan:

  • 1 14oz. Can Sweetened Condensed Milk save the can to measure your milk
  • 28 ounces whole milk simply fill the condensed milk can twice!
  • 4 eggs large
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract you can substitute any flavor you like

Special equiptment:

  • immersion blender, blender, or mixer
  • aluminum foil
  • water bath

Instructions

  1. Melt the sugar over low heat until golden brown, about 4–5 minutes.

  2. Carefully pour melted sugar into a 6-cup baking pan (I used a Pyrex pan), and rotate to coat the sides with the caramel. Set aside to allow to cool. It’s really HOT so be really careful.

  3. Preheat oven to 350°F.

  4. Open and pour the contents of the sweetened condensed milk can into a mixing bowl and retain the can.

  5. Fill the empty can TWICE more with whole milk and add to the bowl.

  6. Add 4 eggs to the mixing bowl.

  7. Mix well with an immersion blender or electric mixer.

  8. Pour flan base into the pan that you’ve prepared with caramel.

  9. Cover well with aluminum foil and place the covered pan into another baking pan. We’ll create a water bath for the flan by setting the pan within a pan onto your oven’s middle rack. Once in the oven, fill the outer pan with hot water.

  10. Bake flan in water bath 1 hour to 1 and a half hours, until completely set. Remove from oven and allow to cool on the counter for a half hour.

  11. Chill for 4 hours or overnight in the fridge.

  12. When ready to serve, carefully invert the flan onto a plate with edges. You may need to run a knife around the sides of the pan to allow it to release. Make sure all the gorgeous caramel syrup pours out over the flan and around the edges!

  13. Scoop, serve, and enjoy!

This is a simple everyday silky-smooth flan recipe that uses condensed milk, eggs, milk, sugar, and flavor extract. It's a very versatile recipe that you can customize in many ways. The recipe comes from my mother-in-law in Spain.
This is a simple everyday silky-smooth flan recipe that uses condensed milk, eggs, milk, sugar, and flavor extract. It’s a very versatile recipe that you can customize in many ways. The recipe comes from my mother-in-law in Spain.