Chocolate Cake & Vegan Ganache


birthday cake

I made this cake for Paul’s 21st birthday, and then again yesterday for his 24th! This time around we are both lactose-intolerant so I made a few adjustments in the recipe for that.


-1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
-2/3 cup natural unsweetened cocoa
-1 1/2 cup sugar
-1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
-1 teaspoon baking powder
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-2 eggs
-1/2 cup vegetable oil
-2 teaspoons vanilla
-3/4 cup milk (I used almond milk this time)
-2/3 cup hot water


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease the bottom of two 9-inch cake pans. Then place parchment paper cut to size on the bottom of each pan and grease paper. Dust pans with cocoa.
  3. Sift dry ingredients together and place in a large mixing bowl.
  4. Add eggs, oil, milk and vanilla and beat for a couple of minutes until combined.
  5. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add hot water and mix together.
  6. Pour into prepared pans and bake for about 28-30 minutes. Batter will be very liquid.
  7. Cool for about 5 minutes in the pan. Transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

Ganache- Recipe from here


  • 10 oz. semisweet chocolate (Chopped or whole chocolate bar– NOT chips!- they won’t melt as well.)
  • ½ cup non-dairy milk


  1. Chop the chocolate into ¼ inch pieces. Place these pieces into a double boiler or a medium saucepan.
  2. Add the non-dairy milk. Stir constantly on low heat until all the chocolate pieces are melted. Once all the pieces are melted, remove from heat and whisk in any flavoring liquids if desired.
  3. Use the mixture while it’s warm or wait for it to cool depending on your application.
    This recipe makes about 1 ¼ cups of Easy Vegan Ganache depending on the ratio of non-dairy milk.

cinnamon banana muffins

banana muffins

recipe adapted from betty crocker


  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup mashed very ripe bananas (approx 2 small bananas)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 2/3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon


  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt


  • Heat oven to 375°F. Grease bottoms only of 12 regular-size muffin cups with shortening or spray, or line with paper baking cups.
  • In medium bowl, beat 2/3 cup sugar, the oil and eggs with wire whisk. Stir in bananas and vanilla. Stir in remaining muffin ingredients just until moistened. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups.
  • In small bowl, mix 1/3 cup brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Sprinkle evenly over all the muffins.
  • Bake 17 to 21 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Immediately remove from pan to cooling rack.

cinnamon streusel orange muffins


followed this recipe pretty much exactly! except used freshly squeezed oranges. yum!

2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons softened butter
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 12 cup muffin tin, or line with paper liners.
2. In a medium bowl, stir together 2 cups flour, 3/4 cup white sugar, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the vegetable oil, orange juice, buttermilk, vanilla, and eggs. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry, and mix until just blended. Some lumps are okay.
3. Fill the prepared muffin cups halfway with the batter. Combine the brown sugar, and 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon; sprinkle about 1/2 teaspoon of the mixture onto each half-full muffin cup. Spoon batter over the cinnamon mixture so that the muffin cups are 2/3 full. In a small bowl, mix together the remaining 1/4 cup flour, 1/4 cup white sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon, and the butter to make a crumbly mixture. Sprinkle this generously over the tops of the muffin batter.
4. Bake for 20 to 22 minutes in the preheated oven, until a toothpick inserted into the crown of a muffin, comes out clean. Cool in the pan, over a wire rack.



pink velvet funfetti cake


making this cake was a little weird because i didn’t have access to the right kind of sprinkles! (i had the right kind, but only in halloween colors.) we are headed to a family wedding on paul’s birthday this year, so i wanted to surprise him early with a cake when we have friends over for dinner. only problem was that i could only shop for ingredients and make the cake once he went to bed last night at 11pm. so, grocery stores were closed and i headed to walgreens instead! all they had was funfetti icing (vanilla icing + a container of sprinkles on top). awesome, but when i got home i realized that it was only about 1/4 cup of sprinkles and they recipe called for 2/3 cup. grabbed whatever i could find, including some weird red sprinkles that turned the whole cake pink– didn’t like that, so i added about 1 teaspoon of cocoa powder to the mix. then just chocolate icing, vanilla icing for the text, and peanut butter M&Ms to decorate on top. finally got to bed at 2:15am!

so, that leaves us with “pink velvet funfetti” cake. i will post an update later with what the cake looks like when we cut into it! : P

anyways, here is the recipe.  i essentially followed the recipe, but used almond milk instead of regular milk, added fewer sprinkles, added red crystal sprinkles that basically melted into red food dye, and added about 1 teaspoon of cocoa powder.

mcdreamy cake


made this cake for my friend who is a big gray’s anatomy fan, hehe. i used this martha stewart recipe for the cake (i think), then vanilla icing from a can to save time. to color icing, put a small amount in a bowl and add food dye/ mix well. put one color frosting into bottom corner of zip-lock bag, twist closed, then cut a tiny hole in the corner to pipe small details or larger hole for less precise areas. fondant= 2 giant marshmallows microwaved with 1 teaspoon water until melted, then mixed with enough powdered sugar to reach non-sticky play-dough consistency– roll out flat with plenty more powdered sugar. important= finish mcdreamy with chocolate sprinkle chest hairs.

candy corn cupcakes



admittedly i kinda hate the taste of candy corn, but i think they look so cute! i made these for my halloween party, along with the sangria and jello shots. (and, not pictured because i already posted about it once, sweet potato-lentil curry.)

recipe makes 12 cupcakes. also note, to make the candy-corn coloring, i first put a bit of plain (white) batter into the bottom of each cupcake, then added yellow food dye and did the same, then added red food dye to the remainder of the batter to finish with orange cupcake on top.


  • 1/3 cup  butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup  all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon  baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon  baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon  salt
  • 2/3 cup  sugar
  • 1 teaspoon  vanilla
  • 1/3 cup  buttermilk
directions1.Let butter and eggs stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Grease twelve 2-1/2-inch muffin cups or line with paper bake cups; set aside. In a medium bowl stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

2.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar and vanilla. Beat on medium to high speed about 2 minutes or until light and fluffy, scraping sides of bowl as necessary. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until combined after each addition. Alternately add flour mixture and buttermilk to butter mixture, beating on low speed after each addition just until combined.

3.Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling each about half full. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the centers comes out clean. Cool in muffin cups on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Remove cupcakes from muffin cups and cool completely on wire rack. Generously spread frosting over cupcakes.