Happy Birthday Bummed Out Baker! Recipe: Chocolate Birthday Cake with Whipped Cream Icing (Gluten-Free + Vegan)

Happy Birthday Bummed Out Baker!

One year ago, I scuttled into the library at my in-laws’ NYC apartment carrying a heavy cutting board loaded down with a food rainbow. I used the window’s natural light to photograph the korma I was making, and my husband and my mother in-law’s nurse looked at me suspiciously, wondering what the heck I was up to now.

I wasn’t quite sure, myself. I had an old, but decent DSLR camera, limited lighting knowledge, and an affinity for cooking and baking new things, so I decided to capture it and throw it up on my site for anyone interested. I made a deal with myself to post a new recipe every Monday for one year and here I am, 52 recipes later! I’m proud I stuck to a promise I made to myself.

Less than two months in I changed the website name from my full name to Bummed Out Baker (Why Am I the Bummed Out Baker?) in order to encapsulate the full breadth of, well, me. Although I was finally pursuing my passion for writing and had accepted a place in The New School‘s MFA Creative Writing Nonfiction cohort for fall, that didn’t take away the depression and anxiety I’ve suffered for years. Do you guys wanna guess what my thesis is about? ;)

This is not a bubbly, perfectly put together vegetarian food blog like the ones all over the internet. They’re beautiful, but that just isn’t me. Instead, I aim to present my truest self to you all and be unabashed about the mental issues I face.

Some days, I’m too wrecked to do much more than to get up, do my morning routine (bed-making, teeth-brushing, etc.), take my meds, and then crank out what’s needed for school. I work hard not to beat myself up for being unable to take on more extracurriculars or a more rigorous social schedule and always try to look for silver linings in mental illness. I will say that one thing my finite emotional gas tank and constant, sinister awareness of my own mortality (lol) have taught me is to be hyper-focused on what and who matters most. Mental illness silver lining, yay!

Mental illness manifests in a myriad of terrible, unconventional, surprising, and sometimes hilarious ways and I will continue to share what I experience here. Thank you to all those who’ve kept an open mind and have been along for the ride with me.

THIS SEASON ON REAL HOUSEWIVES OF BUMMED OUT BAKER:

  1. I will be more transparent about the issues I’m experiencing in real time.*
  2. “Don’t judge your life in comparison to someone else’s highlight reel” has become a social media platitude, and I will further that mentality.
  3. I, an average, sad person on the internet, will provide community and reinforcement to people dealing with or who are in close proximity to mental illness. You’re not alone.
  4. I will snuggle golden retrievers.

Alright, now CAKE!

Ingredients

1 can unsweetened coconut milk
1 c teff flour
1/2 c rice flour
1/2 c potato starch
1/2 c unsweetened cocoa powder
1 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
2 ripe bananas
1 c orange juice
1/2 c olive oil
1/4 c + 2 T maple syrup
1/2 c coconut sugar
1 t vanila extract
vegan chocolate sprinkles

Instructions

  1. Refrigerate can of coconut milk overnight.
  2. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease sides of cake pan with oil and place parchment paper on the bottom of the pan (or use cake pan w removable bottom).
  3. Combine teff flour, rice flour, potato starch, cocoa powder, baking soda, and baking powder in a large bowl. Mix well.
  4. In a blender, add bananas, orange juice, olive oil, 1/4 c maple syrup, and coconut sugar and blend until smooth.
  5. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
  6. Pour batter into cake pan.
  7. Bake for 25-30 minutes, testing the middle of the cake with a toothpick until it comes out clean.
  8. Let cake cool completely in pan before removing.
  9. When you’re ready to ice, place mixing bowl in the freezer for about ten minutes.
  10. Turn refrigerated can of coconut milk upside down and open. Pour liquid at the top into a jar for later use (i.e., smoothies). From bottom of can, spoon out coconut fat.
  11. In the cold mixing bowl, beat together coconut fat, remaining 2 T maple syrup, and vanilla on high for about four minutes.
  12. Frost top of cake with whipped cream and sprinkle with chocolate sprinkles.

*I’ll start my candor now: this cake, although it looks delicious, tasted like a stale Luna bar with coconut guts smeared on top. The sprinkles were top notch, but you don’t have to make this cake to eat those. My advice: enjoy the photos, eat some sprinkles, but… don’t make this cake. Here’s a recipe for a truly fabulous cake.

If you’re a masochist: recipe adapted from Vegan Gluten Free Chocolate Cake and Vegan Whipped Cream.


Subscribe at the bottom of Bummed Out Baker to get my mental health musings and recipes emailed to you directly – Follow on Facebook for mental health articles and discussion – Follow on Instagram for behind-the-scenes panic attacks and my begrudging, meat-eating husband captured in the wild.

Advertisements

Recipe: No Chicken Noodle Soup

April fool meat eaters with this delicious no-chicken-noodle soup. No one’s actually gonna be fooled, but it tastes good enough that no one will care.

This recipe is great to throw together for someone with a cold, including yourself – prep is v easy and the soup comes together in about 20 minutes. Sluuuurp. Enjoy!

Ingredients

1 T olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 15 oz cans of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 T tamari
3 carrots, chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
1 t dried thyme
4 c vegetable broth
sea salt, to taste
black pepper, to taste
1 zucchini, spiralized

Instructions

  1. In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat and sauté onion, garlic, chickpeas, and tamari for about four minutes, until onion starts to soften.
  2. Add carrots, celery, thyme, sea salt, black pepper, and vegetable broth.
  3. Bring soup to boil, then lower heat and cover pot with a lid. Let soup simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes.
  4. Add zucchini noodles and stir about 1-2 minutes, until zucchini is wilted and tender.

Store leftover soup in an airtight container in the fridge.

Adapted from Vegetarian “Chicken” Noodle Soup.


Subscribe at the bottom of Bummed Out Baker to get new recipes emailed to you every Monday – Follow on Facebook for mental health articles and discussion – Follow on Instagram for beautiful food pics and BTS

Recipe: Malai Kofta

Malai kofta is my all time favorite Indian dish. I knew it was vegetarian, but didn’t know much else, ingredient-wise. I learned that it usually has heavy cream, so here’s a vegan version to make at home.

IMG_3038 copy

IMG_2976 copy

Ingredients

Part One: Kofta
3-4 russet potatoes*
14 oz extra firm tofu
1/2 c arrowroot**
2 T cilantro leaves and stems, minced, more leaves for garnish
1 T lemon juice
2 t garam masala
1 3/4 t sea salt
1 c frozen green peas
coconut oil for baking

IMG_2978 copy

IMG_2987 copy

IMG_2992 copy

IMG_3001 copy

Part Two: Sauce
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 32 oz can diced tomatoes
1/4 c cashews
4 cloves garlic, minced
1″ piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
1 1/2 t garam masala
1 t ground turmeric
1/2  t cayenne pepper
1 t sea salt
1 t fenugreek
1 15 oz can coconut milk

*Or 4-6 yukon gold potatoes
**Or cornstarch

IMG_3010 copy

IMG_3011 copy

IMG_3005 copy

  1. Cover potatoes with water in a pot, then cover with lid. Bring water to boil over high heat, then turn heat down to medium for 10-15 minutes until potatoes are fully cooked and easily pierced with a fork. Drain water from the potatoes, mash them smooth, and set aside.
  2. In another large pot add onion, canned tomatoes and their juices, cashews, garlic, ginger, garam masala, turmeric, cayenne, sea salt, and fenugreek. Cover and bring to a simmer over medium heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Transfer onion / tomato mixture to a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Make sure to vent so hot air doesn’t build up in the food processor or blender. Pour mixture back into pot and add coconut milk. Mix together, cover, and set aside until kofta are ready.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, mash the tofu by squeezing it in your hands until it’s creamy or blend it in a food processor until smooth.
  5. Preheat the oven to 425 ºF.
  6. Mix potatoes, arrowroot, cilantro, lemon juice, garam masala, and sea salt into mashed tofu. Test consistency by forming a ball. It should hold together and might stick to your hands a little, but if it is very sticky and falling apart add a bit more arrowroot.
  7. Mix in frozen peas.
  8. Line a baking tray with parchment and spray or brush with oil.
  9. Shape kofta mixture into balls, about one tablespoon each. Arrange kofta so there is about an inch between each, then spray or brush the tops with oil. Bake for 40 minutes and flip halfway through, until both sides are golden and the edges of the kofta are crispy and chewy.
  10. To serve, pour sauce over kofta and garnish with cilantro, if desired. Enjoy with naan or brown basmati rice.

IMG_3019 copy

tofu post-food processor

IMG_3020 copy

IMG_3021 copy

IMG_3032 copy

IMG_3033 copy

IMG_3036 copy

Omnomnomnomnom.

Serves ten.

Adapted from VEGAN MALAI KOFTA: INDIAN DUMPLINGS IN CURRY TOMATO CREAM SAUCE.

Recipe: Greek Quinoa Salad

If stanning for my own cooking is wrong, then I don’t wanna be right. Addictive, easy Greek quinoa salad, right this waaay!

IMG_2936 copy

IMG_2963 copy

Ingredients

3 1/2 c vegetable broth
2 c quinoa
1 c grape tomatoes, halved
3/4 c fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 c Kalamata olives, pitted and halved
1/2 c red onion, diced
4 oz feta cheese, chopped
3 T olive oil
3 T apple cider vinegar
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 lemon, juiced
sea salt and black pepper to taste

IMG_2940 copy

IMG_2938 copy

IMG_2945 copy

IMG_2939 copy

  1. Combine broth and quinoa in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Cover and lower to simmer about 15 minutes, until broth is absorbed and quinoa is fluffy. Transfer to large serving dish.
  2. Stir all other ingredients into quinoa, tossing until evenly coated.
  3. Eat warm or pop into fridge for an hour to let flavors meld. It’s good both ways… I’ve done the legwork.

IMG_2972 copy

Apollo

“Every salad you make, every thing you bake. Every drink you shake every breath you take I’ll be watching you.” – Apollo Aldrich

Serves ten.

Adapted from Best Greek Quinoa Salad.

Recipe: Roasted Garlic Cauliflower

In my head, an ideal dinner is 4-6 different vegetarian sides that people can pick, choose, and build a plate from. This roasted garlic cauliflower is delicious and everyone will eat it, even those who don’t typically like cauliflower.

IMG_2917 copy 2

IMG_2949 copy

Ingredients

1 cauliflower head, chopped
3 T olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
sea salt and black pepper to taste
1/3 c freshly grated parmesan cheese, more to taste*
1 T fresh parsley, chopped

*For a vegan dish, leave out parmesan cheese or replace it with a vegan substitute. From my experience with vegan parmesan cheese, I prefer the real deal or none at all over the alternative.

IMG_2909 copy

IMG_2924 copy

IMG_2919 copy

  1. Preheat oven to 450° F and lightly oil a large casserole dish.
  2. In a bowl, toss the cauliflower, garlic, olive oil, sea salt, and pepper until evenly coated.
  3. Bake for 25 minutes, stirring halfway through cook time.
  4. Top cauliflower with parmesan and parsley, then broil dish for about three minutes until top is golden brown.

IMG_2907 copy 2

IMG_2920 copy

IMG_2928 copy

IMG_2931 copy

Mmm. Simplicity.

IMG_2956 copy

Serves four.

Adapted from Roasted Garlic Cauliflower.