Saturday, April 23, 2011

Easter Bunny Cake

When I was growing up, my Grandmother used to make a similar cake every Easter.  My cousins and I always looked forward to this cake and what part of the bunny we would eat!  It is also a great little snack to leave out for the Easter Bunny the night before the big day.

Carrot Cake
2 c flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp nutmeg
1 c sugar
1 c dark brown sugar
½ c applesauce
½ c canola oil 
½ c soy vanilla yogurt
½ c soy milk
2 tbs white vinegar
2 tsp vanilla
2 c finely shredded carrots

Measure the first six dry ingredients in a medium sized bowl.  Stir them with a whisk.  In a large bowl, add the sugars and applesauce, oil, yogurt, soymilk, vinegar, and vanilla.  Beat the sugars and wet ingredients well.  Add the flour mixture to the sugar mixture and beat with an electric mixer until just moistened.  Gently stir in the carrots.  Pour into greased and floured round cake pans and bake at 375 in a preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes.   

Let cakes cool completely and prepare a large tray for the cake.  Place one cake round top side down in the center of the tray.  Cut the other cake round into 3 pieces to make 2 ears and a bowtie.  Cut 2 lines lengthwise that are curved inward.  Place the 2 ear pieces above the head shape so that they are just touching it.  Place the bowtie piece under the head so that it is just touching. 

Tofu Cream Cheese Frosting
¾  c tofu cream cheese
¼ c soy butter plus 2 tbs softened
1 ½  tsp vanilla
5 c powdered sugar

Mix all ingredients together and a medium sized bowl.  Frost the top and sides of the bunny cake.  Reserve ¼ c plus 2 tbs of the frosting for piping the colored icing.  

Put ¼ c of the frosting in a small bowl and add a few drops of red food coloring to make it pink.  Add the frosting to a decorating bag or use a sandwich baggie with one small corner snipped off.  Pipe icing around the edge of the ears, the bowtie, and the mouth.  Add a small dot of icing for the nose.  Put the 2 tbs of icing into a small bowl and add a few drops of blue (or your desired color) food coloring and stir it up.  Use this icing for the eyes and decorate the same way as with the pink. 

Slice up a few strips of black licorice for the bunny’s whiskers and press them gently on each side of the bunnies nose.  Serve and enjoy!  Keep this cake refrigerated.

*  This cake can also be made as a traditional round 2 layer cake.  Use only 1/2 c tofu cream cheese, ¼ c soy butter plus softened, 1 tsp vanilla, and 3 1/2 c powdered sugar.  Frost and fill.  

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


            Cornbread is sweet and easy to whip up for a dinner side dish.  We really enjoy having bread with our family dinners.  But, yeast bread take a long time to make and require more planning during your day.  Many commercially baked breads have cross-contamination issues with nuts.  Originally, I shied away from making it for a while, because as a kid we usually had cornbread from a box mix.  But cornmeal is really easy to use and works well when blended with flour.   This will become a new mealtime favorite.         

1 c cornmeal
1 c flour
1/3 c sugar
½ tsp salt
¼ c silken tofu
¼ c canola oil
1 c soymilk

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and grease and 8 x 8 pan with shortening.  Add the dry ingredient to a medium sized bowl and stir together with a spoon.  Pour the wet ingredients into the center of the dry mixture and mix with an electric mixer until just moistened.  Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 20 to 22 minutes.  Let it cool for 10 minutes, then cut it into squares and serve with soy butter.

This recipe can also be made into muffins.  Grease muffins cups and bake for 20 to 2 minutes.  

Saturday, April 2, 2011

A and J Bakery, a Nut Free Bakery

We recently visited my home state of Rhode Island and took a visit to A and J Bakery, a Nut Free Bakery. It was my daughter's first visit to a NUT FREE bakery where she could pick out whatever treats that she wanted!  Well, almost any treat, since she is also allergic to dairy.  But, she still had plenty of choices.  We may have overindulged a bit, but we let the kids each pick out 4 treats, plus the cake that we ordered.

I also snuck in some shopping by picking up some Easter treats for the kiddos too.  This will be their first year with full size chocolate bunnies.  I made some chocolate lollipops a few years ago, but they were so sad looking.  The kids loved them, but I wanted them to have pretty, wrapped bunnies like other children get.  A and J Bakery to the rescue!!

I'm sure that we will be making many trips to A and J in the future.  The staff was helpful and polite, and they also ship some of their products as well.  I always miss the boat on ordering nut free holiday candy for the kids before everything is sold out of the stores.  Shop early!!  

Dairy, Egg and Nut Free Lemon Poppy-seed Scones

If you are looking for the perfect addition to a Sunday brunch, these lemon-poppy seed scones are it.  (Hint, hint, Easter is coming up too!)  I have never been a big scone fan until recently.  They are great with coffee in the morning and a little fancier than muffins!  


1 ¾ cups flour
3 tbs sugar
1 tbs wheat germ
1 tbs poppy-seeds
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1/3 cup cold soy butter
¼ c soy yogurt (lemon flavored works well, but you can use vanilla also)
5 - 6 tbs vanilla soy milk
zest of 1 lemon
2 tbs fresh lemon juice (1 to 2 lemons juiced)
1 tsp vanilla (if not using vanilla flavored soymilk)

canola oil 
1/2 tsp sugar

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Measure the dry ingredients and pour into a medium sized bowl.  Stir to combine.  Add the cold soy butter and cut in with a pastry blender or 2 butter knives until the mixture forms fine crumbs.  Next, add the remaining ingredients and stir with a large spoon until just blended.  Kneed on a floured board 10 – 12 times.  The dough will be slightly sticky.  Place the dough onto an ungreased baking sheet and shape the dough into a circle about 8 inches in diameter.  Cut the dough into 8 equal slices with a greased knife.  Brush with canola oil and sprinkle with 1/2 tsp sugar.  Bake for 16 – 18 minutes or until scones turn golden brown.  Serve warm and store in an airtight container.