“Vegan” can sometimes be a scary word, especially in baking. What? You want me to make a cake without eggs AND butter?? But that’s what makes cake so good! I personally am not vegan, because I just love meat. There. I said it. But as someone who cooks and bakes as a profession, I do love a good challenge, and replacing animal products with things that won’t sacrifice taste and texture are all part of the job!
Yesterday I made a Lavender and Almond Pound Cake and Coconut Dulce de Leche, both of which are vegan but still very flavorful. Keep in mind though, that just because they’re vegan doesn’t necessarily mean they are healthy! No promises!
I tried to keep the list of ingredients to a minimum, ruling out things that you wouldn’t typically find in a home kitchen (i.e. vegan butter or tofu as substitutes).
I will also admit that I LOVE this coconut dulce de leche. There’s only 2 ingredients, it’s creamy and ridiculously rich, and it cooks infinitely faster than your typical condensed milk dulce de leche. Plus, I also happen to love coconut!
Lavender Almond Pound Cake
Makes 2 medium loaves or 4 small loaves
10 oz Almond milk
2 Tablespoons dried culinary lavender
1 vanilla bean, split in half and scraped
11 oz sugar
6 oz vegetable oil
16 oz all purpose flour
4 oz almond flour
2 Tablespoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
In a small saucepot over medium heat, combine almond milk, lavender buds, and vanilla beans and pod, and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and set aside.
Whisk together all purpose flour, almond flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl, set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix together sugar and oil. Add in half of the flour mixture, mix until combined. Remove vanilla pods from milk mixture, then add half of the milk to the batter and mix until combined. Scrape the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula, then add the rest of the flour mixture, let mix, then the rest of the milk mixture. Scrape bowl again and let mix until batter becomes a uniform mixture.
Divide batter evenly between oiled loaf pans and gently tap on the counter to smooth out tops of loaves. Sprinkle a small amount of sugar evenly over the tops of loaves, bake at 350F for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Coconut Dulce De Leche
Makes 1 1/2 cups
1 (14 oz) can of coconut milk
6 oz brown sugar
In a small saucepot over medium/low heat, combine coconut milk and sugar, and bring to a low simmer. Let mixture simmer for 30 minutes, stirring and scraping sides and bottom of pot occasionally to prevent burning. After 30 minutes, the mixture should look gooey but still somewhat thin. Remove mixture from pot into a stainless steel bowl over an ice bath, letting it cool and stirring occasionally until it thickens and comes to room temperature. When completely cooled, it should be the consistency of a creamy peanut butter. Store in an airtight container and refrigerate.