It’s official. The first day if December has come! I genuinely mean it when I say I have been preparing for this month all year. After spending the past two holiday seasons getting tired of every Christmas treat that came out of my FW test kitchen, I embarked on a new quest this year to recipe test my holiday treats off and on throughout the entire year. So yes, I have been testing and perfecting a new holiday baked sweet every few weeks for the past eleven months – thus my statement, I have been preparing for this month all year! I stuck to perfecting a few beloved recipes I am so very excited to share with you over the next few weeks. My hope is to showcase how to have a sweet and festive holiday without the processed sugar and dairy laden treats. And if you try any of my new recipes please let me know how they made you feel, or if there are any you wish for me to work on over the course of next year. Anything to help make our holiday tables (and tummies) merry and bright!
I could eat gingerbread exclusively all holiday season long, from October through December, and still never tire of it’s sweet molasses and spiced ginger tones. I’ve been meaning to work on my cake-to-veggie ratio here on FW, so mini gingerbread bundts were the first recipe I tackled to perfect. After nearly six recipe tests I finally landed on these perfectly leavened cake-lets, sweet and moist with a sturdy nature. The cashew vanilla “buttercream” was a first for me, and I am now wondering why I haven’t had a jar of this in my fridge at all times until now. I love to slather it on any baked good, whether it be these cakes or a slice of pumpkin bread – even swirled into a warm bowl of oatmeal in the morning! Wholesome and indulgent – it’s just healthy and sweet enough to hang on both sides. Plus it’s pipe-able!
Now for a little life update. I have for you a short story of a daily occurrence here in our household that will probably seem of little importance, but carries a great weight with me that I hope will be evident by the end. As you may know, my husband Scott and I work from home together each day. Every afternoon when I’ve wrapped up my work I peak around the corner into the living room to see if he is almost finished as well, and my heart speeds up rapidly as if it’ the first time I’ve seen him all week. Pure excitement at the thought of getting to hang out with him one more night is rushing through me. Is he almost done with work too? Do I get to hang out with him again? Ah! I am so stoked! He is the best! I can’t wait! – is how the inner monologue usually goes. Which is then quickly followed by me rushing over to jump up and down next to him while repeating over and over are you done? are you done?. Just like a child. A silly happy child.
At first this seems like a sweet relationship showing it’s love on a day where things went well, however, this is my every day. Every week. Every month. For the past five wonderful years. This Sunday Scott and I will celebrate half a decade together since our I-do-s. Every day is a miracle that I get to be with this sweet boy who loves me so purely and whole-heartedly. No one really deserves such a perfect love, I mean really – we can all be such stinkers sometimes. But to find someone who loves you beyond your flaws and “isms” that might drive them up the wall. This is the person that sticks for life. So today we are celebrating the first of December, the beginning of the Christmas season, these sweet little bundt cakes, and the wonderful man who makes me a better girl each day. – xx
GINGERBREAD BUNDT CAKES + VANILLA CASHEW “BUTTERCREAM”
Makes 6 mini bundt cakes.
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup blackstrap molasses
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup oat flour
1 1/4 cups light spelt flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight
seeds from 1 vanilla bean, or 1/2 teaspoon quality extract
2 tablespoons plant milk (I use cashew)
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
Preheat the oven to 350F. Lightly grease 6 mini bundt cake shells with coconut oil and set aside. I used this pan.
Combine the coconut oil, maple syrup, molasses, and water in a small pot on the stove and warm over low heat. Whisk continually until coconut oil is fully melted, remove from the heat, and whisk in the vanilla extract.
Combine the dry ingredients in a medium mixing bowl. Scoop spoonfuls of the dry mixture into the wet and gently fold together with a spatula until just incorporated (refrain from over mixing). Divide the batter evenly into the 6 prepared mini bundt cake shells. Bake for 20 minutes (or until toothpick inserted comes out clean). Let cool for a few minutes in the pan before inverting the cakes onto a cooling rack.
While the cakes are baking, make the vanilla cashew buttercream. Drain the soaked cashews well, and add to a high speed blender (I use my Vitamix). Add the remaining ingredients, and place the lid on top with the center part removed. Add the tamper and begin to blend, scraping down the side with the tamper as you increase the speed. After the mixture is creamed, turn the blender on high and keep using the tamper to help the cream along. Once silky smooth, scoop the vanilla “buttercream” into a jar and place in the fridge until ready to use.
Once the cakes have cooled, decorate with the vanilla cashew “buttercream” and serve. This cream is fantastic for using in a pastry bag with the tip of your choice. Or a good slather with a spoon or knife will do the trick as well.
Keep uneaten cakes bare (not frosted) and in an airtight container on the counter. These are best when eaten within 2 days. Keep leftover cashew buttercream in an airtight jar in the fridge. Frost the cakes when ready to serve right away.