As a vegan, there are a few things you learn to do without; cheese and bacon being on the top of that list. When we first took the no meat product plunge we were amazed that baked goods didn’t make the list. It’s not that we don’t miss them, it’s that we never had to learn to do without.
As it turns out vegan baked goods are just as good if not better than their dairy and egg counterparts. Vegan pastries, cookies, and cupcakes are causing quite the stir here in the States, where vegan bakers compete head to head with traditional bakers on Cupcake Wars and the bakery Babycakes now has 3 stores nationwide.
When I came across this recipe recently I practically ran to preheat the oven. It comes from vegan chef and baking goddess Isa Chandra Moskowitz. I love that it only has a scant 2 tablespoons of oil and a mere cup of sugar, a small blessing as we enter the time of year known for its gastronomic excess.
The recipe appears in its entirety below with the substitutions I made, for various reasons, in bold. You can find the original ingredients and recipe here
1/4 cup applesauce
2 tablespoons coconut oil (or canola oil)
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons boiling water, divided (see note)
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 cup coconut sugar*
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 cups all purpose flour + 3/4 cups buckwheat flour**
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice blend***
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 F and lightly grease an 8 inch loaf pan. Also, boil some water in a tea kettle (no need to measure yet.)
Put applesauce, coconut oil, and cocoa powder in a mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, spices, baking soda and salt.
Measure out 1/3 cup boiling water and pour into the bowl with the chocolate mixture, mixing quickly to make a smooth chocolate sauce. Add pumpkin, sugar and vanilla and mix well.
Dump about half of the flour mixture into the chocolate mixture and gently stir just to incorporate, then measure out 1 tablespoon of boiling water and stir again. Now add the rest of the flour mixture and another tablespoon of boiling water and stir just until smooth. Take care not to overmix. Fold in the chocolate chips.
Spoon the batter into the prepared loaf pan. It will be good and thick. You can smooth the top out with a spatula.
Bake for 55 minutes to an hour. Stick a steak knife into the center of the loaf to check for doneness. A little bit of wetness is okay since it could be from a chocolate chip, but the knife should come out mostly dry.
Let cool for 10 minutes, then invert pan and place loaf on a cooling rack to cool most of the way. It’s yummy a little bit warm, or thoroughly cooled. Slice and serve!
*if you didn’t click the link above for coconut sugar what you need to know is that coconut sugar is high in vitamins and minerals, low on the glycemic index, and ethically sourced.
**whenever I can I try to make things as close to gluten free as possible. the way I see it lots of people are either allergic or sensitive to gluten, which means it’s probably not that great for any of us.
***we had no cinnamon in the house and I didn’t feel like running out to the store. when I make this again, and I will, I will be doubling all of the spices because they were a tad too subtle for us in their original amounts