Archive for Recipes: Sweet

Lemon Donuts {Vegan}

We’ve had an unexpected brush with winter here on the West Coast, which left us in a deep freeze for about a week, and resulted in a snow day.

Now if you live pretty much anywhere East of where I live in Vancouver, snow and cold temps are the norm this time of the year.

I, on the other hand, after living for nearly two decades in the Maritimes, moved here to escape all that.

Lemon Donuts Vegan

Snow is very polarizing here. As a city, we’re not properly equipped for it. We don’t really have the infrastructure to handle a big snowfall; not enough plows, and our public transportation just can’t handle it. The residents mostly don’t have snow tires, and never properly learned how to drive in snowy conditions. So, basically, snow is a big pain in the tukus.

On the other hand, people love it. The city gets really quiet and still and it’s so pretty with its blanket of snow. Kids find the teeniest incline and slide down it on surfboards, garbage bags or anything else they can find until the ground shows through. It’s pretty joyful.

In the middle of all this winter, I needed a ray of sunshine. I needed a bit of light, a reminder that spring is coming, it’s just around the corner.

So I made lemon donuts. Bursting with bright citrus flavours, these were just what I needed.

Vegan Lemon Donuts

And lo and behold, the snow is now gone, it’s 7 degrees, and I saw green things poking up out of the ground on my walk today. Ahhhh February in Vancouver. Sorry not sorry?

Lemon Donuts {Vegan}

Ingredients for the donuts 
  • ½ cup non-dairy milk (I used oat)
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/8 tsp turmeric
  • the zest of one lemon
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup +2 tablespoons flour
Ingredients for the glaze
  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • lemon zest and thyme leaves for garnish
  1. Prepare a donut pan by greasing it well.
  2. In a bowl, place the non dairy milk and the lemon juice, and allow to sit for about 5 minutes.
  3. Whisk in the melted coconut oil, the lemon zest, the vanilla, the turmeric and the sugar.
  4. Blend together the flour, salt and baking powder, then mix into the wet ingredients.
  5. Pour the mixture into a piping bag and pipe into your prepared donut pans, about 2/3 full.
  6. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 11-12 minutes.
  7. Remove from oven and allow to cool enough so that you can tip them out onto a wire rack set over a baking sheet. You may need to run a knife or an offset spatula around them to loosen them.
  8. In a shallow, deep bowl, combine the glaze ingredients.
  9. Dip each of the donuts in the glaze and then place them back on the wire rack (over a baking sheet to catch drips). Garnish with additional lemon zest and thyme leaves if desired. Allow to sit for a few minutes so the glaze can properly set, then serve.

Gluten Free Brownies

I feel like I’m up for the challenge of veganizing pretty much anything. I mean, I’ll at least give it a shot. Sometimes it’s an epic fail, but more often than not, I’m pretty impressed at how I can recreate a dish using no butter, milk or eggs.

Basically, I feel pretty confident in my skills in that area.

When it comes to gluten-free, however, I struggle. It seems like no matter what gluten-free flour mix I try, or what combination of rice flour, xanthan gum, buckwheat, chickpea or almond flour, it’s always a big challenge, and often ends up tasting chalky.

Going vegan and gluten-free with baking is an even bigger challenge.

Gluten Free Brownies

Not to get into a big science lesson here, but gluten, when activated, creates a web of proteins that help to bind the baked goods together, and it also gives the bread, cake, or cookies a structure and creates that beautiful crumb. Take away the gluten, and often you’re left with a flat, dense, chalky result, and let’s face it, nobody wants to eat that.

I recently was introduced to a new store here in Vancouver called Archipelago, and it’s dedicated to showcasing the food/ingredients from Indonesia.

Now, if you’re not totally sure where Indonesia is, it’s comprised of a series of islands (over 17,000, actually) located between Australia and South East Asia. They are one of the world’s top growers of spices like nutmeg, cloves and galengal.

They also grow cassava. Cassava is root/tuber, much like a potato, and it goes by a lot of different names, like yuca (maybe you’ve had yuca chips?) or manioc. It’s basically a starchy vegetable, so when it’s dried and ground, it creates a gluten-free flour.

Indonesia also grows and exports quite a few other things you need for this recipe: vanilla, coffee, and coconut sugar, which is one of my favourite to work with. It’s both a lower GI, making it healthier for you, but it also adds notes of caramel to your baking.

The end result? A really simple, easy-to-make recipe that doesn’t require 6 different kinds of gluten-free flour, and tastes super yummy. I challenge you to feed this to your friends and have them know it’s gluten-free.

By the way, this recipe is almost vegan. The only animal products in here are eggs. I did try to veganlize it, but it was, quite frankly, an epic fail. I’ll keep working on it, and hopefully come back soon with a fully vegan, gluten free brownies version.

PS. I have done vegan, gluten free brownies with sweet potatoes, or you can find my go-to vegan brownie recipe here. 

Gluten free cassava brownies

Gluten Free Brownies



  1. Line an 8″ square pan with parchment, and preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a small saucepan over low-medium heat, place the coconut oil and the chocolate chips, and melt, stirring occasionally. Once they are mostly melted, add the sugar and stir well until everything is melted together and a little thickened. Set aside to cool.
  3. In your stand mixer (you can do this by hand with a whisk or a hand-held mixer as well, I’m just a lazy SOB), place the two eggs and whip well until light and frothy, 2-5 minutes. Add the vanilla and the coffee to the eggs and mix to combine.
  4. Slowly drizzle the chocolate mixture into the eggs, whipping all the time. You don’t want the warm chocolate to scramble your eggs, so be sure to let the chocolate cool a little, and also keep it moving.
  5. Once the chocolate and eggs are mixed together, add the dry ingredients and mix again until everything is incorporated.
  6. Pour the batter into your prepared pan, smooth over the top, and sprinkle with a little fleur de sel.
  7. Bake in preheated oven 17-20 minutes.
  8. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly before removing from pan and cutting into squares to serve.
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