Pumpkin Breakfast Loaf with Chocolate Drizzle

vegan pumpkin breakfast loaf with chocolate drizzle
That bite in the air. The clear blue sky against the purple Ochil Hills. The sickly sweet pumpkin spice lattes from Starbucks. Mali tentatively poking his head outside the open back door, sniffing out the cold air, and deciding against walking outside today. My tartan stole and homemade knitted baby blue scarf. All my favourite TV shows back for another series. My first pumpkin delivered in my weekly veg bag.

It’s autumn. 
autumn walk in stirling
I’m bouncing with excitement. The other day at work, a colleague greeted me at the door and remarked it was colder today, to which I replied: ‘I know! It’s great!’ (Except it’s freezing in the office, which is not great.)

Like spring after a drawn-out, dreary February, I feel rejuvenated. Summer is wonderful – especially in Scotland, where you get nearly 20 hours of light a day, brambles grow along the River Forth for peckish walkers to pick, and we get a month-long cultural festival in Edinburgh (The Fringe) – but I can’t stand it for long. It’s the heat, you see. I’m like an overdressed Victorian middle-class snob, fanning herself feverishly as she lounges underneath a parasol, complaining to everyone with ears about the heat. Autumn is a welcome breath of fresh air after a short but much-enjoyed summer. 

I just feel alive. Hopeful. Chipper. (I know, me, chipper!) There’s just so much to enjoy, all things pumpkin spice being top on the list.

If you detest all the pumpkin madness, I am sorry (that you are such a miserable person), and want to prepare for what is coming next: many, many pumpkin recipes. #sorrynotsorry
Vegan breakfast pumpkin chocolate loaf
vegan pumpkin loaf autumn recipe

Pumpkin Breakfast Loaf with Chocolate Drizzle

  • Servings: makes one loaf, approx. 10-12 slices
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Notes: The chocolate drizzle doesn’t look amazing in these pictures, because I’d tried making it with vegan butter, and the result was disappointing. It’s much, much better without it. Just chocolate + maple syrup makes a thick, syrupy drizzle. On another note, this loaf isn’t too sweet, and can be made with wholemeal flour. If you want to serve it for dessert, you can add a few tablespoons of raw cane sugar.

For the pumpkin loaf:
225g (1.5 cups) plain (wholemeal) flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice (The Kitchn has a good recipe for it)
125ml (1/2 cup) maple syrup
75ml (1/3 cup) coconut oil, melted
250ml (1 cup) pumpkin puree
1 tsp vanilla paste or extract
2 tbsp non-dairy milk of choice

For the chocolate drizzle:
50g (1.75 oz) dark chocolate
1 tbsp maple syrup

1. Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC and grease a loaf tin.

2. Sift the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the centre; place all the wet ingredients in the well, then fold them in.

3. Pour the batter into the loaf tin, smoothing out the top with a spatula. Bake for 45 minutes, then cool on a wire rack.

4. Chop or break the chocolate and add it to a small saucepan, along with the maple syrup. On moderate heat, melt the chocolate, stirring with a wooden spoon to combine. Set aside to cool a little, but not too long; you should ideally pour it over the  loaf in the next ten minutes, while the chocolate is still runny but cool enough to set.

Keep covered with a cloth or stored in the bread tin for up to 3 days.

How does autumn make you feel? 

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Love and cookies,

Choco-Coco Muffins

For Vegan Month of Food 2014 I am adapting recipes from the first book I ever learnt to bake from: Chocolat: Fondre de Plaisir by Camille and Nathalie Le Foll. Join me as I veganise 20 recipes from this book – it’s going to be a month of total chocolate decadence!

coco choco muffins TITLE
Can you believe this is the penultimate recipe in my Vegan Month of Food series? What a crazy ride it’s been – and here I was thinking I’d spend most of this month at home cooking up devilishly decadent chocolate recipes, applying for dozens of jobs whilst despairing of ever hearing back from them, and otherwise spending much time in my pyjamas, lying in a star-shape on the floor and staring at the ceiling.

September was quite the opposite.
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There was a lot of recipe-testing, yes (and thankfully most recipes turned out right the first time around) – but there was also a last-minute trip to Ireland, the publication of my e-books (!!!), fun nights out with friends, a goodbye party for a friend’s move to London, interning at a very cool publisher in Glasgow, and the best of all – I got a job.

A paid job.

Coco choco muffins 1
They say that patience is key; ‘it always gets better eventually‘. I’m usually the one counselling others through tough times with that phrase. And I do firmly believe in the power of positive thinking. But I’d be a chocolate-cake-munching liar if I said that the months of job hunting, trying to market myself as the ideal candidate for every graduate and entry-level job in Scotland, followed only by silence or at best a template rejection letter, hadn’t gradually withered any hope I had of being employed soon.

But then it happened. An interview. A chance. A job. 

I think it’s a clear sign you’re an adult when you nearly weep for joy because you finally have enough money in the bank to get your cat a much-needed new scratching post. And buy yourself a decent meal. (I don’t want to look at beans on toast for another YEAR at least.)

Therefore, let’s celebrate with Choco-Coco Muffins. 🙂
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Choco-Coco Muffins

  • Servings: makes 9 muffins
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150g (1 cup) plain flour
75g (1/2 cup) brown sugar or coconut sugar
30g (1/4 cup) cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
40g (1/2 cup) shredded coconut + extra for the topping
180ml (3/4 cup) oat milk
1 tsp apple cider vinegar or lime juice
125ml (1/2 cup) coconut oil, melted

1. Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC (350ºF). Line or grease 9 muffin tins.

2. Pour the oat milk and apple cider vinegar/lime juice in a cup and set aside. After a few minutes the milk will start to curdle.

3. Sift the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder into a large mixing bowl, then add the sugar and shredded coconut. Fold in the melted coconut oil and curdled oat milk until just combined.

4. Drop a generous tablespoonful of batter into each muffin tin; there should be just enough to fill them all. Sprinkle some shredded coconut on top of each muffin. Bake for 25 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.

5. Cool on a wire rack, but not too long; these muffins are über delicious when still a touch warm 🙂

What was the best thing about your September?

Have you seen my other vegan chocolate recipes for Vegan MoFo 2014? Click here to catch up and don’t forget to subscribe via email (link in the sidebar) so you don’t miss another one. You can also follow me on InstagramTwitterFacebookPinterest and Tumblr! You can also follow my blog through Bloglovin‘.

Love and cookies,

Chocolate Marble Cake ‘Marbré au chocolat’

Marble Cake title
For Vegan Month of Food 2014 I am adapting recipes from the first book I ever learnt to bake from: 
Chocolat: Fondre de Plaisir by Camille and Nathalie Le Foll. Join me as I veganise 20 recipes from this book – it’s going to be a month of total chocolate decadence!

Marbré au chocolat seemed to be quite the popular cake when I was little. I remember it as the type of simple cake that mothers would make for their children to take to school bake sales or make just for a ‘quatre heures’ , the afternoon pick-me-up treat. A typical continental marbled cake is made from a basic recipe known as ‘quatre quarts’, which means four quarters: a quarter flour, a quarter butter, a quarter sugar and 4 eggs. From there on, you may add baking powder, flavours and/or decorations.

You know me, I thrive on simplicity. Making a plain loaf cake with two foolproof flavours – vanilla and chocolate – is the key to household bliss. Well, at least it is in my life. But the traditional 4 quarters template didn’t work for me using only plant-based ingredients. I had to add soya milk to make up for the lack of liquid provided by the eggs, but I guess I added too much the first time. The trick turned out to be coconut oil.
marbled cake 1
Coconut oil gives this cake a crunchy top, which is great because, if you’re anything like me, you really enjoy slicing through a loaf with a bread knife and hearing that satisfying ‘crunch’ when you cut through the crust… no? Is that just me? Oh well. It’s the little things in life.

Aside from the joys of slicing through crusty cake, coconut oil is a lot healthier than vegan butter. But that doesn’t really matter because this cake is loaded with sugar and white flour and cocoa powder. If you want to serve this as a breakfast loaf, I would cut the sugar by half because otherwise it really is very sweet, even for me.

Considering autumn is looming ever nearer, I might try making a pumping and chocolate marble cake next…
marbled cake 2

Chocolate Marble Cake

  • Servings: makes one loaf, serves 12
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Notes: Cut the sugar by half if serving this cake as a breakfast loaf. The batter is quite thick, so don’t be surprised if you find it hard to pour into the loaf tin. Trust me, it’s supposed to be like that, and it will turn out fine. Plus it makes the marble shapes more fun.

250g (1 + 2/3 cup) plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
200g (2 cups) of sugar, or less (see note)
250g (1 cup) coconut oil, melted
175ml (3/4 cup) soya milk
1 tsp vanilla paste
2 tbsp cocoa powder
2 tbsp ground flaxseed + 5 tbsp water

1. Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC (350ºF) and line or grease a loaf tin.

2. In a small bowl combine the ground flaxseed and water. Set aside.

3. Sift the flour and baking powder into a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the centre and pour in the sugar, coconut oil, vanilla paste, soya milk and flaxseed mixture. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry.

4. Pour half of the batter into another bowl. Fold in the cocoa powder.

5. Pour half of the vanilla batter into the loaf tin, spreading it out evenly with a spatula. Pour over half of the chocolate batter, smoothing it out over the vanilla batter as best as you can. Repeat with the remainder of the vanilla and chocolate batters.

6. Bake for 1 hour, at which point the top should crack open like the top of a volcano and a skewer should come out clean. Cool on a wire rack before slicing.

I’m bringing this cake with me to a party tonight in celebration of a friend’s move to London. What’s your go-to cake recipe for a celebration?

Have you seen my other vegan chocolate recipes for Vegan MoFo 2014? Click here to catch up and don’t forget to subscribe via email (link in the sidebar) so you don’t miss another one. You can also follow me on InstagramTwitterFacebookPinterest and Tumblr! You can also follow my blog through Bloglovin‘.

Love and cookies,

Roasted Rhubarb Granola Muffins

Roasted Rhubarb Muffins Title 2
(So. Almost two weeks ago I announced on Instagram that this post would be live soon on another website almost two weeks ago but it never did. Annoying. Sorry about the delay, I was so eager to share this recipe with you as soon as possible. Hopefully you can still find some rhubarb in the shops.)

Rhubarb gets me into a frenzy. Every year it’s the same: those pretty, slender stalks that bear my two favorite colours only visit our vegetable patches for a short while and before you know it, they’ve gone. So I panic, buy loads, try to make the most of them, but I just end up making lots of rhubarb crisp.
Roasted Rhubarb Muffins 7
But not this year, because I’ve started expanding my arsenal of rhubarb recipes. Since breakfast is my favorite meal of the day I tried making rhubarb granola, which was a great success and inspired me to make these muffins. The rhubarb, roasted in coconut sugar, softens and sweetens but retains a sharpness that perfectly complements the sweet, moist texture of the muffins. Granola replaces the traditional streusel topping to make these muffins the perfect weekend baking treat.
Don’t be scared by the oil in this recipe – 1/2 cup divided over 9 muffins isn’t so bad. If you really do want to make this recipe low-fat, substitute the same amount of fruit puree such as apple or banana for the oil. If you don’t want to use maple syrup (or don’t have any), use 1/4 cup of coconut sugar and add an extra splash of milk to thin out the batter if it gets too lumpy.
Roasted Rhubarb Muffins 3


Roasted Rhubarb Granola Muffins

  • Servings: makes 9 muffins
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Granola topping
1/2 cup (40g) oats
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp mixed seeds (e.g. sunflower, pumpkin)
1 tbsp canola (or vegetable) oil

2 stalks of rhubarb
1 tbsp coconut sugar
1 + 1/2 cups (225g) spelt flour
1/2 cup (40g) oats
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground ginger
1/4 (60ml) maple syrup
1/2 cup (125ml) canola/vegetable oil
1/2 cup (125ml) non-dairy milk
2 tbsp ground flaxseed + water

1. Firstly, pre-heat the oven to 400ºF (200ºC). Slice the rhubarb in 1/2 inch (1 cm) pieces. Toss the rhubarb and coconut sugar together in a roasting dish and roast 20 minutes while you prepare the muffin batter and granola topping.

2. For the granola topping, simply combine all the ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside until needed.

3. Whisk together the ground flaxseed and 6 tbsp water in a small bowl. Set aside to get while you gel on with the muffin batter.

4. Combine the spelt flour, oats, ground ginger and baking powder in a large mixing bowl. Fold in the maple syrup, oil, non-dairy milk and gelled flaxseed and water mixture. The batter should be thick and smooth.

5. If you haven’t already, remove the rhubarb from the oven. Drain any excess juices and fold the softened pieces of rhubarb into the muffin batter.

6. Pour the batter into 9 large muffin molds. Cover generously with the granola topping.

7. Lower the oven temperature to 340ºF (170ºC). Bake the muffins for 23-25 minutes, or until the tops are golden and crisp and a skewer comes out of the muffins clean. Cool on a wire rack before enjoying still slightly warm.

What’s your favorite way to eat rhubarb? Leave me your recommendations in the comments below 🙂

Like what you read here? Let’s keep in touch! Sign up for email updates and follow me on InstagramTwitterFacebookPinterest and Tumblr! You can also follow my blog through Bloglovin‘.

Love and cookies,

Vanilla Rhubarb Crumble Granola

vanilla rhubarb crumble granola title
If time were a horse galloping in the prairie I would lasso it cowboy-style and bring it to a halt. It seems I’m 3 days behind all the time; when I think it’s Monday, it turns out it’s already Thursday, the weekend is nearly upon me and I haven’t finished half the tasks I was meant to. This means weekends do not exist anymore – but let’s be honest, when you’re a student, you rarely have weekends, anyway. The past four years have been a blur.
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vanilla rhubarb crumble 1
It’s rhubarb season. For another moment, at least, and then it’ll be gone. I’ve pretty much missed strawberry season already, but I’ll be damned if I miss blueberry season! *Grits her teeth and glares at Time.* I already posted a gluten-free strawberry rhubarb crumble last summer so this year I wanted to give you something a little similar, but a little different; a little indulgent, and very much weekend-food: Vanilla Rhubarb Crumble Granola. It’s like having rhubarb crumble for breakfast, or granola for dessert… whichever, does it matter? Just dig in.
collage vanilla rhubarb crumble granola
(It’s a short post, I realise. I’m busy tackling writing this Dissertation, which is taking up 90% of my brain capacity. Apologies. I hate being busy. I’m not one of those people who relish in the Western culture of busyness, I swear.)
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Vanilla Rhubarb Crumble Granola

  • Servings: 2-3 servings, depending how much you like sharing or how large your appetite is in the morning
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Note: It’s best to eat this fresh, but if you’re cooking just for yourself, it will keep a second day as long as you store it in the fridge. It’s not bad cold but I prefer it hot. 

Granola ingredients:

100g (1 cup) oats (not instant)
20g (1/3 cup) chopped almonds
40g (1/3 cup) pumpkin seeds
40g (1/3 cup) sunflower seeds
1 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
1 tsp vanilla paste or extract

Rhubarb crumble ingredients:

1 stick of rhubarb, chopped
1 tbsp maple syrup

To serve:

vanilla soy yogurt

Pre-heat the oven to 200ºC (400ºF). Grease a small roasting tin.

Mix all the granola ingredients together in a bowl and set aside.

Cook the rhubarb and maple syrup in a wee saucepan for about ten minutes, or until the rhubarb has softened. Mix into the granola ingredients.

Spread it all n the baking tray. Bake for 15 minutes.

Cool slightly before serving with fresh, cold vanilla soy yogurt.

I haven’t got much to say, so tell me how you’re making the most of the summer fruits season?

Like what you read here? Let’s keep in touch! Sign up for email updates and follow me on InstagramTwitterFacebookPinterest and Tumblr! You can also follow my blog through Bloglovin‘.

Love and cookies


Cashew and Almond Butter Chocolate Smoothie Bowls – 2 recipes

Freedom!!! I want to yell, Braveheart-style. This Wednesday I handed in my last assignment. Done. No more essays, no more presentations. But like William Wallace, I’ve only fought one battle, and the big one is yet to come: the dreaded Dissertation. IMG_1686 But I’ve earned a week of respite before I start researching, analysing and writing again. Oh and I’ve got myself a new part-time job. No rest for the wicked… At least I will always have chocolate. Raw, nourishing, soul-soothing, super creamy chocolate. Everyone is raving about smoothie bowls these days, making the healthiest and most colourful creations, but I’m happy with a bowl of liquid chocolate for breakfast. I’ve earned it. IMG_1693 IMG_1687 I bought my cashew butter from Sainsbury’s but you can make your own, of course. You needn’t add protein powder, as I have; there are more notes on adaptations you can make at the bottom of this post.

Creamy Cashew Butter Chocolate Smoothie Bowl

  • Servings: serves 1
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2 bananas a handful of spinach
2 tbsp raw cacao powder
1 tsp lucuma powder
1 scoop protein powder
250ml (1 cup) almond milk
1 tbsp runny cashew butter
pistachios and grated zest of an orange to serve

Save a few slices of banana for the topping. Blend the rest of the bananas, cacao, lucuma, protein powder and almond milk till smooth. Pour into a bowl and top with the banana slices, a few pistachios, cashew butter and orange zest. Enjoy immediately 🙂

IMG_1655 You know I’m a convert to coconut sugar by now. I just love its butterscotch flavour, and what better way to enjoy coconut sugar than with a bowl of chocolate smoothie? It all looks a bit brown, granted, so feel free to add a pop of colour with some juicy berries, nuts and seeds, or goji berries. Get creative, and if you decide to recreate the recipe, snap a photo and share it, I love to see your creations! IMG_1656 IMG_1660

Chocolate Almond Butter Smoothie Bowl

  • Servings: serves 1
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1 banana
1 apple a handful of spinach
250ml (1 cup) almond milk
1 tbsp almond butter (runny)
1-2 tbsp raw cacao powder
1 tsp maca powder
1 tsp lucuma powder
a dash of cinnamon powdered stevia (optional)
coconut sugar for sprinkling

Slice the apple and banana. Save a few slices for the toppings. Blend all the ingredients except the slices for the toppings and the coconut sugar. Pour into a bowl and arrange your toppings. Sprinkle over some extra cinnamon and some coconut sugar. Add an extra drizzle of almond butter if desired.

You could use avocado in these smoothies instead of apple or banana, or reduce the amount of almond milk to make it extra creamy. Other topping ideas are nuts, seeds, cacao nibs, goji berries, chopped dates, peanut butter, berries, … this is not an exhaustive list. These recipes are pretty versatile so feel free to tweak it as suits you.

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What’s your favourite smoothie bowl recipe?

Love and cookies,

Vegan Cookie Crisp Cereal

Cookie Crisp - title3
I haven’t eaten cereal in three years. Sounds like rehab when you consider that I used to eat two huge bowls – one for breakfast and one around 5pm when I got home from school ravenous and desperate for some down time. I started out with sugary, processed cereal when I was little and moved on to crunchy, über-comforting granola in my teens.

But then I discovered porridge and, well, our love affair is a well-documented history.IMG_1348
And yet, every once in a while when I’m in the supermarket and I pass the cereal aisle – that mile-long corridor or brightly-coloured boxes – I get the urge to try cereal again. My sister introduced me to Cookie Crisp after she moved to London, and I could never forget the telly advert tune – ‘Coooookie Criiiiiiisp!‘ – and so lately I’ve been thinking… what if I made my own Cookie Crisp?

So I did. Ta-dah! A little breakfast nostalgia. Not to be consumed every day. Because even vegan cookies are not ideal breakfast food. IMG_1347

Vegan Cookie Crisp

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Dry ingredients:
150g (1 cup) spelt or plain flour, or a mix of both
2 tbsp ground flaxseed
35 – 70g (1/4 – 1/2 cup) soft brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
100g (3/4 cup) dark chocolate chips
a pinch of ground cinnamon (optional)

Wet ingredients:
120ml (1/2 cup) melted coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla paste

Combine all the dry ingredients, except the chocolate chips, in a large mixing bowl. Combine the wet ingredients in another, stirring vigorously. You may need to use your hands (do, it’s fun.)

Fold the wet mixture into the dry ingredients until just combined. The dough should be smooth and pliable. Leave to cool slightly for a few minutes, otherwise the chocolate chips will melt when you add them (btw, add them now). Refrigerate for 20 minutes before baking.

Line two baking trays with baking parchment. Pre-heat the oven to 200ºC (400ºF).

Scoop up the cookie dough with a teaspoon, then roll into tiny balls in your hands. Press flat onto the baking parchment. Repeat to create 40-50 cookies in total.

Bake for 8-10 minutes. Keep an eye on the cookies; the edges of the cookies should be crisp and brown.

Place on a wire rack to cool completely.

Makes about 45 medium cookie cereals, or 80-90 tiny ones. Keep in an air-tight jar or container for up to 3 days.

What was/is your favourite breakfast cereal?

Love and cookies,
TheVeganCookieFairySignature #2

P.S.: Cara from Fork and Beans has created a gluten-free recipe for Cookie Crisp. Check it out.