Chocolate Chip Zucchini Cat Cake

No special equipment, no mold, no fondant. If you have an 8×8 pan, you can make this meow-some cake! Vegan and GF. 

Cat Shaped Cake Chocolate Chip Zucchini Cake Vegan Gluten Free

Don’t worry, I didn’t feed chocolate chip zucchini cake to my cat.

I baked this to celebrate our 1 month Clover-versary. I actually made it a few days late, but it’s not like the cat’s gonna know that. And Jason didn’t care, so long as there was cake in the house. I think he ate 80% of the test batch by himself.

We love our little Clover so much, we can’t imagine life without her. Jason initially objected to her, when she first started hanging around and before we actually adopted her. But now he’s ridiculously smitten for that kitten. Building a cat drinking fountain out of a fish tank filter. Saying “awww, look at her,” several times a day. And I have to exercise a huge amount of self control when it comes to social media. I want to post a plethora of pictures, like those parents who share everything their kids do.

In lieu of Facebook-virusing my wall with cat images, I made a cat cake. It’s so easy. Take a look, folks:

It starts with this awesome chocolate chip zucchini cake. Bake it up in an 8X8 pan and let it cool.

Cat Shaped Cake Chocolate Chip Zucchini Cake Vegan Gluten Free

Position the cake in a diamond shape. Measure about 1 inch above the corners and make a cut all the way across.

 

Cat Shaped Cake Chocolate Chip Zucchini Cake Vegan Gluten Free

Cut the big triangle into two smaller triangles. Then flip the triangles so that the uncut edge/crust edge/hypotenuse is the innermost part of the ear.

 

Cat Shaped Cake Chocolate Chip Zucchini Cake Vegan Gluten Free

Cut about an inch off the bottom corner/chin and place it between the ears You may be able to place this directly between the ears, or you may have to cut it and reshape it a little with your fingers — as you can see, I had to cut the piece to make it fit. Round it a little with you fingers if you wish.

Once you’re happy with the way it looks, move the pieces over to your serving plate. Put the pieces back in place, holding them together with frosting. Now you can start frosting the cake.

That’s it. Serve this cake with your loved ones. Toast to your feline’s health with catnip wine. Ew, that’s not a thing. I hope it’s not a thing. *goes over to Google* Oh no. It is a thing. Why? Why!

Toast to her health with beer or mead or milk; whatever pleases you, with plenty of kitty cuddles on the side.

Cat Shaped Cake Chocolate Chip Zucchini Cake Vegan Gluten Free
ugh mom, so embarrassing. It doesn’t even look like me!

 

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Cat Cake

Every bit of food coloring in this is natural. The pink ears came from beet juice and the eyes were matcha. The light accent fur is cinnamon and dark fur is cocoa powder. If you prefer an orange cat, use turmeric and carrot juice instead.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups shredded zucchini
  • 1 cup unsweetened unflavored almond milk
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 flax eggs*
  • 2 tsp Saigon cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 1 1/4 cups of Cup-to-Cup GF flour, such as Bob's Red Mill**
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 cups of mini chocolate chips
  • For the frosting
  • 3/4 cup of non-dairy non-soy butter spread, softened
  • 2 1/2 cups confectionery sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • for decorating
  • a little bit of beet juice (ears)
  • a little bit of matcha (eyes)
  • a little bit of cocoa powder and cinnamon (fur)
  • a small scoop of chocolate chips (eyes and mouth)

Instructions

  1. Line an 8X8 pan with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 350
  2. Combine the zucchini, almond milk, flax eggs, brown sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla
  3. Measure the flour according to suggestions below. **
  4. Combine wet and dry incredients until just mixed. Do not over mix.
  5. Pour batter into prepared pan. Swirl in the chocolate chips. Chocolate chip palooza.
  6. Bake at 350 for 35-38 minutes, or until inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  7. Allow to cool completely before cutting and assembling.
  8. Assemble according to tutorial above.
  9. to frost and decorate
  10. Beat frosting ingredients together. If you like a thinner frosting, add a splash or two of almond milk.
  11. Layer on a thin crumb coat and then a top coat. You'll still have plenty of frosting remaining.
  12. Divide up the remaining frosting. Dye some of it pink with beet juice for the ears. Dye a smaller potion green for the eyes. Cinnamon for the light brown fur and cocoa for the dark brown fur.
  13. Frost on the ears.
  14. For the eyes and mouth, you'll be drawing with chocolate. It's super easy, I promise. First, draw the eyes and mouth and whiskers on a piece of scrap paper. Place a piece of parchment paper on top of the scrap paper.
  15. Place some chocolate chips (about 1/4 cup) in a sealable plastic bag. Heat some water in the microwave and then immerse the bag in the hot water until the chips fully melt.
  16. Cut a very small tip off the bag and pipe the chocolate over the parchment paper. Allow to harden.
  17. If you don't understand anything I've said about how to draw with chocolate, here is an excellent video with a perky lady. (hover for link)
  18. Gently peel off the chocolate and place it on the cake. Fill in the eyes with green frosting and then add the pupils (more chocolate)
  19. Frost on the light and dark brown fur as desired.
  20. Serve with love.

Notes

*flax egg = 1 tbsp flax meal + 3 tbsp water.

** I have found that even the best cup to cup blends of GF flour can yield gummy results. If you have a sifter, you should sift the GF flour prior to measuring and then measure with a spoon-and-level method (spooning into your measuring cup). I don't have a sifter, so I sifted it as well as I could with a fork and then used the fork-and-level method (same as spoon-and-level, but with a fork). Yes, it took a little bit longer to measure with a fork, but the results are far better.

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cake adapted from my baking addiction, frosting from very well

cat cake gluten free vegan no mold
chocolate chip zucchini cake gluten free vegan

Almond Peach Cake

This cake is simple and rich and flour-free. Perfect for summer, or any season.

c-1

A few years ago, I went to this barbecue and I brought a peach dump cake. It was sweet and gooey and went well with Jamison. We ate it by the a crackling bonfire with fireflies flitting  around us. The host’s daughter was playing Spice Girls, I think.  Or Britney. Or some 90’s pop, I forget.

This cake was inspired by that dump cake. While it’s different in many ways from a a cake mix + canned peach concoction, there are some similarities. It still goes well with Jamison (peaches go so well with whiskey, don’t y’all agree?) and friends and any kind of music. Hip check  hip check, everything from Motown to 90’s pop to a certain sombodies whose album drops on Friday. Rhymes with Pave-it. ✨ ❤️ (banjo emoji)

The center of cake is sweet and custardy, but also silky. The outside crusts are soft and chewy like a macaroon, and then a little inwards you get a texture more akin to a tres leches cake. So yeah, macaroon, tres leches, custard. Can you handle it? Can I handle it? Marbled throughout is a wonderful summer peach swirl, with adds a fruity tartness. Eating it is definitely an experience.

peaches

It’s a fork or spoon dessert. It’s rich and decadent. It’s a great way end a summer day, plate in your lap, drink on your armrest, legs swinging off a porch chair. This is something special to share with friends, or dear ones.

This a simple recipe with only seven ingredients. The peach swirl takes is just fresh chunked peaches and dates. Making the peach part takes a little babysitting, but honestly not much. The batter couldn’t be easier. After it’s done baking, you’ll need to wait to let it cool before cutting.  Your kitchen will be filled with a nutty fruity smell, the edges will be puffy and golden. I had to restrain myself from diving in headfirst.

On the other hand, some of the best parts of summer include diving in headfirst. Taking a roadtrip to a different city. Getting a new job. Visiting friends you haven’t seen in a while. Splashing in a (deep-enough, no traumatic brain injuries please) swimming hole. Wearing sundresses you feel beautiful in, whether society approves or not.

You know….just….living.

e-4

 

Almond Peach Cake

Prep Time: 35 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 8

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 lbs peaches
  • 5 dates
  • 8 oz almond paste (I used Solo brand)
  • 7 oz white chocolate (I used Divine brand)
  • 2 eggs
  • pinch of salt
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder

Instructions

  1. Roughly chop the peaches (no need to remove skin). Place chopped peaches and the dates in a pot over medium heat. Cover and cook for 22-25 minutes. Stir at the 10 minute mark, and then stir constantly for the last five minutes.
  2. Puree the peaches. You should have about a cup of puree. If you have more than a cup, set the rest aside because a cup is all you'll need. The puree should be thick and paste-like.
  3. Beat the eggs till fluffy and frothy.
  4. Add the almond paste, a little bit at a time, to the eggs, until fully Incorporated.
  5. Carefully melt the white chocolate. Microwave it, stirring every 30 seconds, until fully melted -- about 1 1/2 minutes.
  6. Stir the white chocolate into the almond mix.
  7. Add the salt and baking powder.
  8. Preheat the oven to 325. Line a 7x7 or 8x8 pan with parchment.
  9. Pour the almond batter into the pan.
  10. Swirl a cup of peach puree into the almond batter.
  11. Bake for 40 -42 minutes, until puffy and golden.
  12. Allow to cool completely before cutting.
  13. Serve with love.

Notes

Solo brand Almond Paste contains no wheat or gluten Certain bars of Divine White Chocolate are made with sunflower lecithin, and not soy lecithin. Perfect. Just read the back of the bar....

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Avocado Almond Butter Grapefruit Chocolate Chip Blondies

soft, fudgy, citrusy almond butter blondies…..plus a bonus recipe for peanut butter blondies! 

Avocado Almond Butter Grapefruit Chocolate Chip Blondies vegan blondies gluten free blondies blender blondies chocolate chip blondies easy blondies

I obviously love cooking and baking and experimenting in the kitchen, but I’ve not had much time to do so of late.

This is why one of the reasons these blondies is so darn wonderful. They come together in minutes, and are a one-bowl, low-mess recipe. They’re gluten free and vegan and I bet you already have most of the ingredients in your kitchen right now.

If you don’t have red grapefruits, hurry out and get a bunch before the season ends! They are so wonderful this year. The citrus in these is actually rather mild, despite having a generous pour of grapefruit juice and three tablespoons of zest. Yes, that’s right. I started out with less than half that, but batch after batch of blondies yielded no grapefruit flavor at all.  I’m not sorry, because I got to eat a lot of grapefruit during testing.

Avocado Almond Butter Grapefruit Chocolate Chip Blondies vegan blondies gluten free blondies blender blondies chocolate chip blondies easy blondies

I usually eat way more peanut butter than almond butter, but I’ve been on a big almond butter kick lately, can’t get enough. Mostly because almond butter was on sale for once. I know that a lot goes into making almond butter, which is why it’s priced as such, but I rarely purchase it at regular cost. So when I spotted some on sale, I stocked up. (cue my mother lecturing me on spending more on sale items because I bought a lot of them).

Avocado Almond Butter Grapefruit Chocolate Chip Blondies vegan blondies gluten free blondies blender blondies chocolate chip blondies easy blondies

 

These blondies worked out so well with their almond-butter-avocado base that I decided to try them with peanut butter-banana. This was a good decision. So today, you get two awesome nut butter blondie recipes. Yay!

wait, Annie. You go over a week without posting a recipe, and now you’re including two in the same post? why?

Well, first, the ratios in both recipes are almost the same, give or take a few changes. And the process is the same. That made me feel guilty about making them two separate posts. If I’m going to be flaky about blogging while I wrap up school, I want you to get your money’s worth when I do post. Also, bars themselves look alike, and I didn’t want y’all to be bored looking at similar photos. Here is the only picture of the peanut-butter banana blondies.

bad jason!
bad jason!

Jason chose not to wait for the bars to cool before he dug in.  He did this because he thought it would annoy me.  It half annoyed me, but I mostly thought it was cute. Sorry. Ugh, now I’m the annoying one, thinking that my husband’s dumb habits are cute.

Trust me, if these bars had been complicated at all, I would have been super mad. But a) I was planning on making them again and b) they took less than five minutes to make, so…..whatever. c) There was no sign telling him not to eat them. I have to make signs when I plan to shoot. Because manchild.

err…well, he might have not been the only one who couldn’t wait until the pan was cool. 😇

Avocado Almond Butter Grapefruit Chocolate Chip Blondies vegan blondies gluten free blondies blender blondies chocolate chip blondies easy blondies

Avocado Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Blondies

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 8 bars

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup almond butter
  • 1/3 cup mashed avocado*
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 3/4 cup fresh squeezed grapefruit juice
  • 3 tbsp grapefruit zest
  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400
  2. Line an 8 x 4 loaf pan with parchment or aluminum foil.
  3. Throw all of the ingredients, except for the chocolate chips, in a blender or food processor until fully combined and smooth. Make sure there are no oatmeally lumps
  4. Pour the batter into your prepared pan and swirl in the chips
  5. Bake for 30 minutes, until a tester inserted comes out mostly clean (or with a few wet crumbs)
  6. Allow to cool before cutting. Serve with love.

Notes

*this is about 1 medium avocado, or about 1.5 smaller avocados) **about three grapefruits' worth

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BONUS recipe, Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Chip Blondies

  • 2/3 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup of mashed banana (about 1 medium banana)
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 3/4 cup of almond milk
  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • a generous sprinkle of coarse-flake kosher salt
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 and line a 8×4 loaf pan with foil or parchment
  2. Throw all ingredients, minus the chocolate chips and the salt, into a blender. Blend till smooth with no lumps
  3. Pour into prepared pan, swirl in the chocolate chips, and sprinkle the salt on top
  4. Bake for 30 minutes, tester may still have wet crumbs. Allow to cool before cutting. Yields 8 bars

note: the sweet notes in the peanut-butter blondies are light. if you prefer a sweeter blondie, use 1/3 cup of maple.

Mochi Ice Cream Pie

Mochi Ice Cream Pie

 

Um, this was supposed to be a pi-day recipe, but can y’all forgive me for being late?

My life is a whirlwind right now, I started a new fieldwork location this week that more than triples my commute, the hours of the site itself are longer, and I’ve started studying for my board certification exam.

This pie was made, photographed, and ready to go last week, but then life happened and I never got around to writing the post.  It was Sunday night and it was either get all my clothes prepped and ironed for the week, or do blog. So even though a late post appears irresponsible, it was the dutiful thing to do.

With all this annoying adult-like dependability 😴 comes a need for a unicorn-colored fantasy pie.

Mochi Ice Cream Pie

I have been dreaming of a pastel-colored dessert forever, but I couldn’t think what it could possibly be. I just knew that I wanted sweet candy colors. And then I had a yearning for mochi ice cream, which I haven’t had in a long time. And since mochi candy proved remarkably easy to make, I decided to try mochi ice cream.

It’s perfect for me right now because the active part of the cake is rather short, and you can do it over the span of two days if you need to. Mix the ice cream one day, allow it to harden, and then make the mochi wrapper the next day. Or mix up the ice cream in the morning and do the mochi in the afternoon. Whatever. The active part of this is rather short, with ample freezing time in between steps. And although mochi sounds intimidating, it cooks in two minutes in the microwave.

You don’t need to make your own ice cream for this one. Just buy the palest vanilla (dairy-based, coconut-based, almond-based, any kind works), divide it, and add some mix-ins. I split a 1.5 qt container of vanilla bean and mixed in matcha and blueberries, but you can dish up anything you like. Funfetti ice cream would go great here. Or maybe half Funfetti, half strawberry, for no other reason than pink.

Mochi Ice Cream Pie

does anybody know when Lisa Frank’s birthday is?

Mochi Ice Cream Pie

prep time: 45 min freeze time: at least 4 hours

Ingredients

    ice cream
  • 1.5 qt container of any kind of vanilla bean ice cream, divided
  • 1/4 cup blueberries
  • 3 tsp matcha
  • mochi wrapper
  • 3/4 cup mochiko rice flour
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • food coloring
  • cornstarch, for rolling out the mochi*
  • optional decorations
  • 1/2 cup mochiko rice flour
  • 3.5 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • food coloring
  • corn starch, for dusting.

Instructions

    ice cream
  1. Allow the ice cream to soften slightly on the counter. Line a springform pan with plastic wrap and set aside.
  2. Mix 4 cups of the ice cream with 3 tsp matcha and spread it into the pan.
  3. Blend the other two cups of ice cream with the 1/4 cup of blueberries and pour or spread that over the matcha layer.
  4. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze until very firm.
  5. mochi
  6. Spread some plastic wrap or parchment your counter or table. Dust with corn starch. Dust a rolling pin with cornstarch too and set it aside.
  7. Combine the rice flour and sugar in a microwave-safe bowl. Add the water and food coloring.
  8. Cover the bowl loosely with plastic wrap and nuke on high for 1 minute.
  9. Remove, stir it with a silicone spatula, and then nuke it again for 30 seconds. Stir. Nuke for 30 more seconds. Stir.
  10. Dump the mochi out onto the prepared surface and roll it out to about 1/6th-1/8th inch thick. Lift it by the plastic wrap onto a cookie sheet and place in the the fridge (not freezer) for about 15-20 minutes.
  11. While the first batch of mochi is firming up, prepare your decorative mochi. Mix the mochiko, the sugar, and the water. Divide among smaller glass bowls and add food coloring as desired. Since these are smaller batches, they will need less time to cook. It's best to cook in 15-second intervals and stir. I found that my largest color batch (the pink) only took about 1 minute total. The smaller batches (the yellow) took about 30 seconds, total.
  12. Roll out the colors in the same manner that you rolled out the larger batches. Cool slightly, then cut into shapes. I used an old pair of kitchen scissors and a cookie cutter.
  13. When the first batch of mochi is firm (this should take about 20 minutes), remove the the ice cream from the tin and the plastic and place it in the center of the mochi.
  14. Then wrap it all up. This will be the bottom, so it doesn't have to be perfect.
  15. Carefully flip it over and add your decorations. Cover with plastic wrap again (to prevent freezer burn) and allow it to firm up. Alternately, you can serve it right away. If you do return it to the freezer, let it soften a bit before eating because the mochi is much better that way.

Notes

* you can also roll out the mochi in half cornstarch and half powdered sugar.

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DIY Mochi Ice Cream Pie