Archive of ‘cakes’ category

Lovely Christmas Date Cake (with Sweet Potato!)

Lovely Christmas date cake with lucuma frosting (gf, dairy free, vegan)

Two years ago I created one of my favourite recipes of all time: a lovely Christmas date cake, that was not only delicious, sweet and perfectly sticky, but also gluten free, dairy free, vegan, and nut free. The cake has been incredibly popular, and I’ve received a lot of thank you-messages, but also questions about bananas, and how they could be substituted in the recipe.

This in mind I was looking through the pictures and decided it was time to update both the recipe, and the pictures. It was a bit risky, because it’s by far the best Christmas date cake I’ve eaten, but the risk (haha) was worth taking – the cake turned out lovely.

Lovely Christmas date cake with lucuma frosting (gf, dairy free, vegan)

I decided to substitute sweet potato for the bananas, since it was so nice in this Sweet Potato Chocolate cake I baked a while ago. To add even more Christmas spices and scent, I replaced the chaga mushroom tea with chai tea, and instead of coconut cream, I used oat cream “cheese” (In Finland it’s available under the brand Oatly). The cream cheese is so nice together with lucuma powder, which sweetens the frosting naturally.

(Please note, that if you have coeliac diseace or you’re allergic to grains, you might want to use coconut cream instead of oat cream cheese.)

Lovely Christmas date cake with lucuma frosting (gf, dairy free, vegan)

The baking and photo shoot day was a bright and brisk winter day, with almost blue light, and the cake turned out as lovely as the day was. This Christmas instead of the date cake with bananas I’m going to bake this sweet potato version again – even my brother, who usually wants to have nothing to do with gluten and refined sugar free vegan cakes, had to admit that this Christmas date cake is delicious. A win for me, hah!

Please note that the cake just gets nicer if you bake it a day or two before, but the frosting doesn’t like waiting that much. So, frost the cake on the day you’re having it, and enjoy!

Tuulia xx

Lovely Christmas date cake with lucuma frosting (gf, dairy free, vegan)

Lovely Christmas date cake (gluten free, dairy free, vegan, nut and soya free)

prepared in a 20 cm cake mold (with a removable bottom)

200 g pressed dates
1,5 dl water
2 dl virgin coconut oil
1 dl coconut sugar
2 dl sweet potato puree (from about 300 g piece of sweet potato)
1 dl coconut milk
2 dl rice flour
1,5 dl coconut flour
2 Tbsp psyllium
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cloves
1 tsp ground dried ginger 

1 tsp ceylon cinnamon 
1 tsp cardamom 
1-2 dl chai tea 

2 cans of oat cream cheese
2-3 Tbsp lucuma powder 
(1-2 Tbsp maple syrup)

1. Heat the oven to 175 degrees. Cover the cake mold with parchment paper and oil it lightly. Prepare the sweet potato puree: peel and chop the sweet potato, and boil until done. Pour the water out and cool the sweet potato pieces down with cold water. Mash them with a fork. Boil some water for the chai tea, and prepare it as well. 

2. Mix the flours, psyllium, soda and spices together. Crumble the dates into a kettle, and boil with water for a couple of minutes, until the dates are soft and mixed with water. Add the coconut oil and sugar, sweet potato puree and coconut milk. Mix well, until the oil has mixed with the batter. 

3. Add the flours into the batter and mix well again, until it’s smooth. Then add the chai tea, and mix once more, until the batter is smooth and delicious – taste it, it’s so good. 

4. Spoon the batter into the cake mold and bake around 45-50 minutes, until the cake is done. Wait until the cake has cooled down before frosting or tasting it – this is important. 

5. While you wait for the cake to cool down, prepare the frosting: mix the ingredients, add sweetener if needed. 

6. When the cake is done, you’re ready to frost it. Decorate it as you wish. 
lLovely Christmas date cake with lucuma frosting (gf, dairy free, vegan)

Sweet Potato Chocolate Cake with Popcorn (gf, vegan)

Sweet potato-chocolate cake with popcorn (gluten free, vegan)

May I present possibly the best sweet potato chocolate cake ever?

Yep, I knew you’d be interested, so here we go: perfectly chocolatey, moist, vegan and gluten free sweet potato cake with lightly salted popcorn and thick, sticky and sweet date caramel frosting… Divine!

Sweet potato-chocolate cake with popcorn (gluten free, vegan)

The cake is easy to make, deeply chocolatey and the texture is moist, fluffy and nice, but still easy to cut. I made this cake using teff flour, which I hadn’t used before in sweet baking. If you are familiar with teff, then you also know that the taste is special, a bit sour you might even say.

The taste of the cake is special too, and us grown-ups in the test group just loved, loved it, but the younger ones, my sister’s children, didn’t like the cake that much – they thought it was a bit too special. But it was totally ok, ’cause it meant more cake for the rest of us, ha. (And I have to mention that my sister had four pieces herself, since of course she had to finish the pieces her girls didn’t eat…)

The cake might divide opinions, but us adults really loved it, maybe even too much – the cake was almost addictive (I’m craving it so badly at this moment when looking at the pictures…!).

Sweet potato-chocolate cake with popcorn (gluten free, vegan)

If you want to be more than sure that everyone will love the cake, you can of course substitute a milder gluten free flour for the teff. But I will use teff also in the future and try it out in other sweet baking as well – the combination was so good. The texture of the cake is moist but fluffy, but still the cake is very easy to cut and it holds together well – sweet potato makes for a great substitute for eggs!

This gluten free, vegan sweet potato chocolate cake also has a lovely frosting: oat cream “cheese” (I used Oatly’s “Påmackan” that we have here in Finland) and date-coconut caramel blended nicely together. Sweet. By the way, when I was younger I used to work in a coffee house, where we had this perfect chocolate cake I couldn’t resist. And now, almost a decade later, I had very similar cake on my plate, even to my own surprise. Only, this time without gluten, dairy products or refined sugar – not bad!

Oh and the popcorn! For a long time now I’ve been craving to combine lightly salted popcorn with sweet baking. This cake has some ground popcorn kernels inside, and it will be decorated with them too. Easy, tasty and oh so pretty too!

Hope you’re having a sweet day as well,
Tuulia xx

Sweet potato-chocolate cake with popcorn (gluten free, vegan)

Sweet Potato Chocolate Cake with Popcorn (gluten free, vegan)

prepared in a 20 cm cake mold (with a removable bottom)

wet ingredients:
2 dl sweet potato puree
2,25 dl plant based milk
0,75 dl maple syrup
0,5 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

dry ingredients:
2,5 dl teff flour
2 Tsp psyllium
0,75 dl coconut sugar
1 tl vanilla powder
hint of salt
2 dl crushed, lightly salted popcorn
1 dl dark, unsweetened cocoa powder
1,5 Tsp baking soda

virgin coconut oil

date caramel:
0,5 dl coconut milk
8 soft medjool dates (pitted)
1 Tbsp tahini

2 packets of (Oatly) oat cream cheese (Påmackan)
2 tbsp lucuma powder
1 tsp raw cocoa powder
1 tbsp maple syrup

For decoration: lightly salted popcorns, maple syrup

1. Heat the oven to 175 degrees. Cover the cake mold with parchment paper and oil it lightly. Prepare the sweet potato puree and popcorn (in coconut oil).

2. Let the sweet potato soup cool down and mix the wet ingredients together.

3. Mix the dry ingredients together well, and then add them to the wet ingredients: mix well.

4. Scoop the dough into the cake mold and bake for about 30 minutes, or until the cake is done.

5. While the cake is in the oven, prepare the frosting: blend the coconut milk, tahini and medjool dates together and mix until you have sweet and creamy date caramel. Mix with the oat cream cheese along with lucuma, raw chocolate powder and maple syrup.

6. When the cake is baked, let it cool down well. When ready, spread the lovely frosting on top of the cake, and decorate with popcorn and maple syrup.

7. Enjoy! ✨

Sweet potato-chocolate cake with popcorn (gluten free, vegan)

Butternut squash cake with cinnamon, lucuma caramel and pomegranate


Pooh, long time no blogging around here, and many things has happened meanwhile. Unfortunately, not so pleasant things, since once again we’re living in temporary flat, due to water damage at our upstairs neighbour’s place. I know that when comparing to many, many other problems this is such a small drawback, but big enough to make the every day life a bit more challenging, once again – the latest similar problem happened during the spring, so all together we have lived in our new flat fro three months, instead of six, hah.

At the moment I’m working from home and taking care of your 10 months old daughter, that made the situation a bit more annoying as well. Now, anyways (luckily!), I’m back on track with recipe development and other work (and blogging, too!)), and we have a temporary home. Phew.

But what does one do in times of hardships? If you ask me, the answer is easy: one bakes. Or to be more precise, bakes a cake.

Gluten free cinnamon cake with butternut squash, lucuma and pomegranate

This lovely “feel better” cake is gluten and dairy free and has no added sugar, and it’s suitable for vegans as well. And it truly made me feel better! Comfort food gets usually a bad rep, but as long as it’s made from quality ingredients and wellbeing in mind, there’s no reason to feel bad or stress about it.

Besides being “free from” the cake has some lovely ingredients: tasty butternut squash, soft medjool-dates, lucuma caramel fosting and some pomegranate seeds that are delicious and oh so pretty too!

I do hope your autumn has started better than mine, and please, try out the cake – it’s perfect for nicer moments as well!

Tuulia xx

Butternut squash cake with cinnamon, lucuma caramel and pomegranate (gluten, dairy, refined sugar free, vegan)

prepared into 20 cm cake mold (with removable bottom)

dry ingredients:
2 dl wholegrain rice flour
2 tbsp coconut flour
1 tsp psyllium
1 tsp baking soda
0,5 tsp grounded vanilla
2 tsp ceylon cinnamon
pinch of salt

“wet” ingredients:
about 2 dl butternut squahs puree (about 200 g uncooked butternut squash)
2 dl full fat coconut milk
2 dl plant based milk
20 medjool-dates, pitted

0,5 dl cacao butter (solid & grated)
0,5 dl coconut oil (melted)
about 1,1 dl lucuma powder
pinch of salt

For decoration:
pomegranate seeds

1. Heat the oven to 200 degrees. Cover the cake mold with bakingsheet and oil it lightly. Peel the butternut squash and split it. Hollow the seeds out with a spoon and cut it into small pieces. Put into a kettle and boil until the pieces are soft, and mash them.

2. Mix the dry ingredients together. Put dates (pitted) into a blender with coconut and plant based mik. Blend until smooth.

3. Mix the wet ingradients with the dry ones. Add the butternut squash puree as well. Scoop the batter into the cake mold and bake about 35 minutes or until baked.

5. Let the cake cool down. When it’s cool, prepare the lucuma frosting: melt cacao butter and coconut oil, and mix lucuma to them. Add a pinch of salt.

6. Spread first one layer of the frosting, and put the cake to freezer for a moment. When the frosting has set, add another layer on top of it.

7. Peel the pomegranate and separate the seeds. Decorate the cake, and enjoy! ✨


Gluten free chocolate brownies with tahini caramel and pistachios

Gluten free dark chocolate vegan brownies with tahini caramelGluten free dark chocolate vegan brownies with tahini caramel

if unsure, add tahini” – I bumped into this sentence somewhere (cannot remember where) and must say that I totally agree with it: I don’t think there are many dishes or ingredients tahini wouldn’t fit into – one sauce really fits all. I always have a tahini jar at home and I use it almost every day: I love it on top of bread, in smoothies or with oatgurt and berries, on top of porridge, in dressings and marinades, with apple slides or carrot sticks, and of course, in baking.

This recipe was created for Urtekram, and oh boy was I happy when I heard they would love me to create a recipe for tahini! The only challenge here was really to make up my mind about the recipe, ’cause of tahini’s versatility.

This time the idea of tahini brownies won, and to make things even sweeter, I decided to make a tahini caramel sauce to decorate the brownies. And I almost couldn’t wait for the result myself! These gluten free vegan brownies turned out beautiful, sweet and dark, and were almost calling for lovely pistachios, that I used for decoration.

Gluten free dark chocolate vegan brownies with tahini caramel

Gluten free dark chocolate vegan brownies with tahini caramelGluten free dark chocolate vegan brownies with tahini caramel

The brownies are perfectly moist as well – thanks to the zucchini hidden inside of the dough. There is smooth and creamy peanut butter, coconut milk and banana as well, so no eggs needed – these lovely treats are suitable for vegans too!

In addition to the lovely taste of tahini (oh yes, I must admit, I’m addicted) this seed spread is packed with nutrients and goodness. If you think tahini has a bitter taste, I do have god news for you: Urtekram’s tahini is made from sesame seeds that contains low amounts of bitter substances, so the taste is soft and nice. And you can really taste it!

These gluten free vegan brownies are nice and moist, and they stay together easily, especially if you let them be for a while after taking them out from the oven – this way the flavor will deepen a bit as well, so waiting is really worth it!

Enjoy, Tuulia xx

Gluten free dark chocolate vegan brownies with tahini caramel

Gluten free vegan chocolate brownies with tahini-caramel and pistachios

approx 12 pieces

dry ingredients:
2 dl almont flour
0,5 dl oat flour
1,5 dl dark chocolate powder
0,5 tsp salt
0,5 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla powder

wet ingredients:
0,75 dl maple syrup
0,5 dl creamy coconut milk
3 rkl smooth peanut butter
2 tbsp tahini
1 ripe banana
1/2 of a medium sized zuccini

a bit of virgin coconut oil

tahini caramel:
8 soft medjool-dates
2 tbsp tahini
0,2-04 dl water (depending on how moist the dates are)
(salt, if the tahini doesn’t have salt)

for decoration: pistachios

1. Heat the oven to 175 degrees. Mix the dry ingredients together.

2. Dice the zucchini and put all the we ingredients into a blender. Blend until smooth.

3. Mix the dry ingredients with the wet ones.

4. Use parchment paper inside of a pan and and oil it slightly. Set a side for a moment.

5. Prepare tahini caramel: put all the ingredients into a blender. Add only a bit of water to start with, then add more when needed. The tahini caramel should be soft, sweet and “spread like”. Spread the caramel of top of brownies.

6. Bake more or less for 40 minutes – the time depends on how thick the brownies are, so watch the brownies a bit while they’re baking.

7. Grind coarsely the pistachios (hull them if needed, of course) and decorate the brownies. Enjoy! ✨

Gluten free dark chocolate vegan brownies with tahini caramel

This recipe was created for Urtekram Finland.

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