Tag Archives: cake

Carrot cake in a mug

3 Sep

Yeup, it is still hot in Chicago, and yeup, I’m still not turning on my oven.  I refuse.  It was 80 degrees inside my house yesterday.  I will begrudgingly make a birthday cake my for my boyfriend this weekend, but it might be an ice-cream cake.

I’ve seen mug cakes around for awhile (chocolate cake in a mug, brownies in a mug, etc.), so I thought I’d try it.  Also I’d already had dessert last night (a delicious peach melba from Mindy’s Hot Chocolate), but I wanted to make this so I just made it for my roommate.  Still had leftover cream cheese frosting in a can from the last time I made something with cream cheese frosting in a can (I suspect the raw carrot cake?).  So that made an appearance as well.

Mug cakes are pretty easy.  Gather up your ingredients:

Good-looking mug shot, or greatest-looking mug shot?

Good-looking mug shot, or greatest-looking mug shot?

I like using banana in place of oil (also applesauce is good for this) and I like the flavor/moistness from banana.  So I mashed up the banana and beat the egg in the mug:

No magic here... afraid I'm just a Muggle.

No magic here… afraid I’m just a Muggle.

Then grate up the carrot (I used two baby carrots) and throw that in:

Holy moly, these kinds of graters are so great

Holy moly, these kinds of graters are so great

There's no need to be smug, you know you'd make this too

There’s no need to be smug, you know you’d make this too

Then add a bit of flour, sugar, spices, a pinch of baking soda, a bit of salt.  Add disproportionately lots of spices.

If you don't want anyone to know you're baking, a five-minute mug cake is a good way to smuggle in the habit

If you don’t want anyone to know you’re baking, a five-minute mug cake is a good way to smuggle in the habit

Then microwave for two minutes or until the sides pull away and it’s done (I did one minute, then another).

You either love it or hate it: it's hard to be a mugwump when it comes to these cakes

You either love it or hate it: it’s hard to be a mugwump when it comes to these cakes

I chucked it in the freezer for a few minutes, then cut it and frosted and decorated it.  Final result: more rubbery than regular cake, but still cake!  It tastes like it was made in a microwave, but also took very little time.  If you have an hour, just make a regular cake.  But this’ll do if you have five minutes.


Carrot cake in a mug, adapted from Cassey Ho’s Blogilates recipe:

1 egg

1/3 banana

2 baby carrots

2 TB flour

2-3 tsp sugar, depending on how you like it.  2 gives more of a muffin flavor

pinch baking soda

1 tsp nutmeg+cinnamon

splash vanilla

Mash the banana, then beat in the egg.  Add grated carrots, all the other stuff, and mix.  Microwave for 1.5-2 minutes (depends on your microwave).  Cool (I used a freezer).  Frost and eat!

Raw vegan carrot cake

20 Aug
If I'd added a ring of flowers to this I would've had to fiddle with the layout even more.

If I’d added a ring of flowers to this I would’ve had to fiddle with the layout even more.

Continuing my raw series a.k.a. not wanting to turn on the oven, I went with carrot cake on this humid and cloudy afternoon.  Food processor definitely a must for this.  This turned out way better than the key lime pie.  Given the two, I would eat cooked carrot cake over the raw one, but when I’m the one cooking, the raw one definitely wins when it’s hot out.  I really loved the raw brownie bites, but I think this carrot cake is just OK comparatively (still tasty, but not wow!)

I’m learning that raw food (or at least raw baked goods) have a few important staples: dates, nuts, and soaked cashews.  Cashews sub for cheese/cream cheese/fat in lots of recipes, and dates are the sugar/egg component.  These cakes also have coconut, carrots, spices, and raisins (I used craisins).

P1000961 P1000960 P1000959 P1000958

Raw or not, carrot cake is sooooo much easier with the grating attachment of the food processor.  Takes about thirty seconds to grate three cups of carrots.

But seriously this is so great.

But seriously this is so great.

Dump the carrots in a bowl to the side.  Don’t worry about straggler pieces; since everything is getting mixed together in the end anyway you don’t even have to rinse out the food processor.  Toss in the walnuts, raisins, and dates, and process that until it looks like couscous and there’s no big chunks left:

Looks sort of like grape nuts.  Has about as much to do with grape nuts as the cereal does

Looks sort of like grape nuts. Has about as much to do with grape seeds as the cereal does

Next add those carrots back in and the spices (I don’t measure I just pour in a ton).  Process this for maybe a full minute or two (you might need to scrape) until it all sticks together.


I wonder if raw baked goods are popular in Alaska.  Yknow, because of the sled dogs.  Mush!  Mush!

I wonder if raw baked goods are popular in Alaska. Yknow, because of the sled dogs. Mush! Mush!

Now toss that mixture in the bowl and fold in the coconut (this gives it a nice texture and more dryness).

Bringing coconut into the fold

Bringing coconut into the fold

Rinse out your food processor, and put in your soaked cashews with a bit of honey and some of the soaking water.  The recipe I used didn’t call for soaking the cashews, but since I ran into that so much last time I decided to throw the cashews in water for an hour or so (basically while I ran to the store to get dates and carrots).  [Also I’m going to brag here that I literally ran to the store.  It was great!  Running errands is awesome.]  Process the cashews until they turn into cashew butter (this is easier if they are soaked).


If 'hum' were a transitive verb, then we could say no, this is not hummus, it's more like hum-them.

If ‘hum’ were a transitive verb, then we could say no, this is not hummus, it’s more like hum-them.

To serve, you put a 1/4 cup of cake on a plate and top with maybe 2 tsp of cashew frosting.


My roommate started laughing when she saw me taking this picture, which is why I’m looking up at her and not at the cake


Raw carrot cake, adapted from two blue lemons because I didn’t have enough of the ingredients:

For cake:

3 cups shredded carrots (this took me 3 large carrots)

10 dates

3/4 c walnuts

1 c shredded coconut

3/4 c dried cranberries

1-ish tsp each cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice

In a food processor, pulse the dates, walnuts, and cranberries until well combined and there are no more big chunks.  Then add the carrots and spices and process until gloopy.  Fold in the coconut, set aside.

For frosting:

1 c cashews

1.5 TB honey or agave syrup

2-4 TB water

If you have time, soak the cashews in some water before you start, for as long as possible.  Then try blending the drained cashews with the honey in a food processor.  If it turns into cashew butter, whoo hoo!  If not, add water a tablespoon at a time and scrape down the sides until it’s smooth and looks like hummus.

To serve:

Mold your cake (I used 1/4 c measure), top with frosting.  Enjoy!

Upside down banana cake: no pictures =(

10 Apr

I wrote this post right after spring break and I still didn’t have a camera phone, so I borrowed the iPhone of my roommate’s friend who was staying with us, and took pictures with her phone.  Then I kept pestering her to send me those pictures because she left before I downloaded them, and they are gone I guess.  So no photos, but the recipe is pretty great so I thought I’d share it anyway.


Wrapping up spring break.  Yesterday I got home after being away for 12 days and I was exhausted, so I spent the day making a Pseudo-Seder feast (used wheat thins for matzoh, spaghetti squash for kugel, and this AWESOME VEGETARIAN CHOPPED LIVER made of onions, hard-boiled eggs, and walnuts) and wrapped it up with this beautiful upside down banana cake.

It’s much like the chocolate chip banana loaf I made a few weeks ago.  My roommates liked this cake better, I liked the loaf better, who’s to say?

The upside down part is the best: melt some butter and brown sugar in your cake pan directly on the stove.  I was freaking out about putting Pyrex on top of my gas burners but it worked so yay!  Then slice up a banana or two and arrange them artfully on the caramel-y layer.  It’s okay if there’s patches in the butter-brown sugar bit, they’ll melt away as the cake bakes.  Sprinkle a little lemon juice on those cut up bananas.

Next, put together your dough.  As per usual, you’ll whisk together your dry ingredients- flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, baking powder.

Melt a bit of butter (I love the microwave), then mash or blend two bananas.  I didn’t have any frozen ones this time so I used fresh, slightly ripe ones.  It’s far better with overripe bananas: more banana taste and more moisture.  Stir in a splash of vanilla, two eggs, and some greek yogurt.

Mix your wet ingredients into your dry…

And throw in a handful or two of chocolate chips.

Then pour the whole batter over the topping, and chuck it in the oven.



Recipe is from http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2010/03/banana-and-chocolate-upsidedown-cake/:


1/3 c brown sugar with

2 TB butter

in your cake pan directly on the stove

Then top it beautifully with:

3 sliced bananas

and sprinkle with lemon juice.  Set aside

Whisk together:

1.5 c flour

1 tsp each baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon

3/4 c sugar

Then beat together:

2 TB melted butter

2 eggs

2 mashed bananas

1/2 c yogurt

1 tsp vanilla

Mix these wet ingredients with your dry, then sprinkle in

1 c chocolate chips

and put it in your prepared pan.  Bake at 350 for 40 minutes or so.

Chocolate chip banana bread/cake

2 Mar

I’m no stranger to banana “bread,” especially chocolate chip banana bread, so I decided to finally throw up my hands and accept that this is actually cake.  Bready cake, and not quite as sweet as cake in a box cake (or cake pops cake), but still sweet chocolatey goodness anyway.

I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned this, but my smart phone got jacked while I was in Haifa so these pictures sort of suck.  They’re all taken from my netbook.

Anyways!  A non-eventful not-that-productive week at school means some cheer-me-up baking time!  Whenever we buy bananas and some of them get too ripe, we throw ’em in the freezer.  I used to use plastic baggies and cut them up before so I could just take some banana chunks for smoothies etc., but then I’d have these frozen, sometimes punctured plastic baggies when bananas already have their own packaging!

This banana is bananas, b a n a n a s

These bananas are bananas, b a n a n a s.  Gwen Stefani sure called it.

So I throw these frozen bananas into a big juice glass of water and let them sit for a few minutes.  Then the peels come right off and your bananas are ready to be mushed!  With an egg, a bit less than 1/4 c milk, 1 tsp vanilla., and 1 c of melted butter (I used the microwave for 30 seconds).

Mush, whisk, mush!  These puns sleigh me.

Mush, whisk, mush! These puns sleigh me.

As usual, you’ve got the dry ingredients in a bigger bowl: whisk together 1.5 c flour, 1.5 tsp baking soda, and 1 c sugar.  Then mix those wet ingredients into your dry.

Big bowl: Chinese and Th-oh wait.  I meant Big Bowl: wet and dry ingredients

Big bowl: Chinese and Th-oh wait. I meant Big Bowl: wet and dry ingredients

Mix in a cup of chocolate chips, then throw this guy in the oven in a greased pan for 40 minutes at 350.  Before you eat all the delicious batter (the batter is SO GOOD).

Did you guys know 'doughhead' is an idiom for someone who acts without thinking?  I tried looking up idioms with 'dough' and that came up.  Weird.

Did you guys know ‘doughhead’ is an idiom for someone who acts without thinking? I tried looking up idioms with ‘dough’ and that came up. Weird.

Meanwhile you can enjoy your eggplant sandwich and an episode of “Glee.”  Then your oven timer goes off and yum!

Yo ho ho and a plate of crumbs

Yo ho ho and a plate of crumbs

Recipe, adapted from this one on allrecipes:

Preheat oven to 350

Mix in a big bowl:

1.5 c flour

1.5 tsp baking soda

1 c white sugar

(1/4 tsp salt)


1 stick butter (1/2 cup)

Mash in:

2 bananas (if frozen, use a bit less milk)

And whisk in:

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla

1/4 c milk (I use soy, which means use a little less sugar)

Mix dry ingredients with wet, then fold in

1 c chocolate chips

Bake in a greased 8×8 or whatever size pan for 30-40 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.

Shame on me: rum cake edition

24 Dec

So many things to be ashamed of this Christmas eve: didn’t blog last week.  Am not baking this week.  Haven’t thought about math at all for a week and a half.  But the worst, most guilt-inducing thing of all: the rum cake I made last week.

Definitely not fit to give the king... pa rum pa pum pum pum.

Definitely not fit to give the king… pa rum pa pum pum pum.

I also ran out of battery on my phone and didn’t think to take a picture of the cake, so this is boyfriend’s picture of the last bite.  So far so good, and the cake was delicious, but… here’s the shameful secret: the ingredients.

This is me trying to mix things up a little bit from all homemade

This is me trying to mix things up a little bit from all homemade baked goods

Ingredients for the cake:

1 c pecans

1 can pumpkin (pie mix)

1 box cake mix

1/2 c rum

1 hefty scoop of guilt and sadness

"Semihomemade" food drives me nuts!

“Semihomemade” food drives me nuts!

This step isn’t totally necessary, but you can toss the pecans in a pan over medium heat (no oil or anything else) until it smells nice and cozy like a Christmas fire.  I prefer toasted pecans myself, but you run the risk of burning them and having a bitter topping on your cake.  I think it’d also be good to toss these guys with a little brown sugar and cinnamon for this step.

Next: mix the cake mix, the pumpkin, and the rum.  No eggs, no oil, no spices, no work, no pride, no joy, no nothing.  Put into a cake pan.  Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes or however long the cake box says.

Orange you glad I didn't make a knock knock joke earlier?

Orange you glad I didn’t make a knock knock joke earlier?

When you take the cake out, melt a stick of butter in a pot with 2 TB water and 1/2 c sugar.  Bring it to a boil, then turn off the heat.  There’s no photos of this part because it was too exciting: stir in 1/2 c rum.  The rum will sizzle and makes LOTS of noise, then bubble up (so use a big pot!).  Then it’ll calm down, and you can drizzle the glaze all over your cake.

Voila, semi-homemade and delicious.  I didn’t take a picture with the cake because I was so ashamed.  But it’s still delicious!

Weekly Baking: Fruitcake!

28 Nov

I’ve either got the flu, mono, an iron deficiency, the stomach flu, or nothing wrong.  In any case, during algebraic topology class today instead of paying attention to applying the Lefschetz fixed point theorem to the homology of spheres, I started googling on my phone for ‘fruitcake with ginger’.

Right now I have six cups of dried fruits soaking (“macerating”) in brandy.  Wow fruitcake is expensive!  And time consuming.  Well, go big or go…. I guess just go big.  Because I’m already home.

Probably not grammatically correct

Exacerbating the macerating is exasperating

I’ve never bought brandy before.  I was surprised by the cork top!

Brandy! Not the teen star.

Also both my peeler and grater were hopelessly dull so I ended up chopping up some orange and lemon peels with a sad little paring knife.

All work and no play makes Grater a dull… grater?

After 24 hours in the brandy, I started putting together the rest of the recipe.  So many dry ingredients and spices later, I realized that I needed a POUND AND A HALF OF BUTTER.  Holy clogged arteries, Batman!  Good thing my house shops at Costco.  I found some in the freezer and melted it over low heat so as to not brown it, licking my fat-loving lips the entire time.  Err I meant I was disgusted.  By how gross it was.  Deliciously gross.  (Last few sentences are on behalf of my health-conscious boyfriend).


I wish you could see how much butter this is. It’s SO MUCH BUTTER.

I whisked the eggs into the melted butter, which I was afraid would poach the eggs in butter (and come on, how delicious would that be??), but luckily the butter had cooled by then.

Eggs in a blanket of butter

Getting ready to put another egg in that golden soup of deliciousness

This is about when I realized that I had already used my two of my largest b0wls, one for the alcoholic fruit, and one for the 10 cups of dry ingredients.  There was no way to mix them with the pot of golden splendor.  So I ended up mixing about half of all the things together at one time, and then the other half.

This is a very expensive bowl of Christmas miracle

Finally, I slapped about three spatula-fulls of batter into each of my mini-loaf pans, which I bought because they were on sale at the store and came with teeny lids, and threw it in my 275 degree oven.

Precious, precious babies

All that’s left is to let them cool, wrap them up, and baste them in brandy every few days for a few weeks.  I’ll update later on how this turns out!

Here’s the recipe, adapted from a random recipe on allrecipes.

Macerate overnight:

1 cup brandy

3 cups golden raisins

1 cup chopped candied ginger

2 cups dried cherries, pineapple, and cranberries

zests from one lemon and one orange

Sift together:

2 cups EACH brown sugar and white sugar

6 cups flour

2 TB baking soda

1 TB ground ginger

4 TB cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg

Then mix:

3 C melted butter

8 eggs

4 TB vanilla

with the fruits, the dry mix, and 3 C toasted walnuts.

Pour into N greased and floured mini loaf pans (I had N=10, but I think N=8 or 9 would also be fine), and bake in a 275 oven for 2 hours.

Let the cake cool completely, then wrap in foil.  Sprinkle 2 TB of brandy over it every other day until you forget about it.  Eat about a month later.

Making the world a fruitier place… one teeny-tiny loaf at a time

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