Patterned Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake Roll (gluten free & vegan)

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aka Four Thieves Gone cake

Patterned cake rolls are fun any time of year, but are especially welcome at the holiday table. This one is filled with creamy chocolate peanut butter frosting.  Gluten-free and vegan.  

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A few weeks ago, I found myself at a rare but happy juncture: all my short-term projects were complete, and I didn’t have to start any new ones just yet. I knew exactly what I wanted to unexpected bounty of time: I wanted to tackle the patterned cake roll. A task that requires focus and precision, careful planning, strict attention.  All qualities that I’m no good at.

My faults are many, but there are some that stand out among others. I’m spacey. My mind wanders and rambles. I get overwhelmed and lost in details of planning. I’d like to say that I’m constantly working to liberate myself of these shortcomings, but that would be a lie. Life is messy for everyone, and sometimes I’m so busy that I forget that I want to be better.

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The classic method of self-improvement is practice. If you’re a slow runner, you do sprints. If you’re a clumsy dancer, you stretch and repeat steps until you find grace. When you’re unfocused, you practice precision.  And since I love to bake, I chose to practice precision through cake.

To make a pattered roll cake, you must first select your pattern. You can choose anything you like, hearts or Christmas trees or cats. I picked the album cover of one of my most beloved records of all time, Four Thieves Gone, by The Avett Brothers. They’ve been my favorite band for over a decade, and have affected my life in an ineffable way. But I’m getting distracted. Let’s talk about cake some more.

gluten free vegan cake roll patterned cake roll chocolate peanut butter cake roll avett cake how to patterned cake roll four thieves gone cake

Once you’ve picked out & prepared the pattern (details in and below the recipe), it’s time to start piping. You whip up a stiff batter and scoop it into plastic zip-seal bag. Cut an infinitesimal corner off the bag. Don’t use a frosting tip — even that will be too large. Make a few practice doodles and then start piping over the prepared pattern. Take your time, catching as many lines and curves as you can. Take breaks when you get tired, don’t rush. You can even make the pattern one day and then bake the following day. Once the pattern is complete, freeze it to prevent warping. Then whip up the cake batter and carefully pour it over the frozen pattern.

Once the cake is baked and cooled, you can frost it. Even though I’m not a big frosting girl, I feel in love with the gooey middle of this cake. It’s creamy and dark, with none of the grittiness that is present in buttercream. Gently roll up the cake.

To serve, pour a big glass of milk and cut the cake with a serrated knife. Share it with someone who loves you, flaws and all.

gluten free vegan cake roll patterned cake roll chocolate peanut butter cake roll avett cake how to patterned cake roll four thieves gone cake

Pattern printout is below the recipe. You will need to print out three pattern pieces. I’ve also included patterns from other albums, as well as instructions on how to make your own pattern

Patterned Chocolate Peanut Butter Roll Cake

I always use Bob's cup-to-cup GF flour and I love it. (not sponsored) If you are familiar with my blog, you know that I'm a stickler for sifting gluten-free flour. Sift while you measure, not before or after. It always yields better results, so don't skip it. For this recipe, I recommend sifting three times. This will avoid a gummy cake texture.

This recipe calls for bananas. Traditionally, bananas used in baking are the over-ripe, super soft kind. For this recipe, you want to do the opposite. Use bananas that are firm and still have a light green tinge.

You will need a10.5 x 15" jelly roll pan

Ingredients

    batter for the pattern outline (dark)
  • 1/4 cup aquafaba*
  • 1/4 cup of vegan butter, like Earth Balance
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup of cocoa powder
  • batter to fill in the pattern outline (white)
  • Copy outline batter, subbing 1/2 cup flour for the 1/2 cup of cocoa powder
  • for the cake
  • 2 flax eggs**
  • 1 cup of mashed banana, from firm bananas (about 2 of them)
  • 2 tbsp vanilla or spiced rum
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups very well sifted gluten free flour
  • 3/4 cup almond milk
  • creamy frosting
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 3/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup coconut milkfat***
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Instructions

    for the pattern
  1. Mix the batters for the pattern outline and pattern filling. Scoop both into little zip-seal bags and cut an infinitesimal bit of the corner off the bag. It's essential that your cut is super tiny so that you can get as much detail out of the pattern as possible..
  2. Place a strip of parchment over your pattern printout and loosely affix with tape.It also helps to place it on a piece of cardboard for stability (like from a cut-up cereal box). Carefully pipe out the pattern outline with the darker batter. Place the parchment strip in the freezer until the batter hardens.
  3. Repeat with the other two pattern strips.
  4. Once the outline is hardened, pipe the fill-in pattern batter over the top, and then allow to freeze again. Leave in freezer until baking time
  5. for the cake
  6. Preheat oven to 350
  7. Combine the flax eggs, the bananas, the vanilla, the cinnamon, the salt, and the sugar, until well blended and smooth.
  8. Add the almond milk and blend again.
  9. Add the flour and the baking powder and blend again till smooth. Do not over blend
  10. Remove the pattern pieces from the freezer and line them, batter side up, in the jelly roll pan. Add plain parchment to line the rest of the pan. Tip: rubbing the pan with coconut oil will help the pieces stick and stay flat
  11. Carefully pour the batter into the pan
  12. Bake at 350 for 20-22 min.
  13. Remove from oven and immediately flip out onto a flat surface. (pattern side is facing up) Peel away the parchment. Once it cools some, move it to a wire rack to cool the rest of the way.
  14. For the icing
  15. Combine coconut milkfat, peanut butter, and salt till smooth. Add the almond milk.
  16. Add the powdered sugar and the cocoa powder in a little bit at a time. Combine till smooth.
  17. to assemble
  18. Lay a piece of parchment or wax paper down on your work surface. Carefully turn the cake back over (so that the pattern is face down) onto the paper.
  19. Spread the icing all over. Tip- if the edges are super crusty, slice them off for easier rolling.
  20. Using the paper to help you lift the corners, gently begin to roll the cake up. Make sure that you start rolling at the blank, non-patterned end.
  21. Once it's rolled up, you can either serve it right away or wait for it to chill. If you wait for it to chill, the roll will hold better.
  22. Serve with love.

Notes

* aquafaba is the leftover liquid from canned chickpeas. If you are not a vegan, you may use an egg white, should it be more convenient.

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

***coconut milkfat is the creamy solid from a can of coconut milk. Chill the can for a few hours, allowing the fat to separate from the water. Scoop the fat cleanly off the top.

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http://kitchenwindowclovers.com/vegan-gluten-free-roll-cake-patterned-chocolate-peanut-butter-roll-cake/

sources

pattern printouts 

I made the pattern printout in Photoshop. If you don’t want to use the Four Thieves Gone pattern or any of the other albums listed above, you can create your own pattern. Here’s how:

  1. Create a new file in Photoshop. (File – New) It should be 1050 pixels wide and 325 high. This will make it the width to fit in a jelly roll pan
  2. Pick an image that you want to turn into a pattern and open it in Photoshop. If can be square or rectangular. Crop or scale it down to 325 pixels high. You can also desturate it if you wish. clover3
  3. Click control+A followed by control+C to select the photo
  4. Paste your photo into your blank canvas as many times as it will fit. clover4
  5. Then flip the image so that it’s backwards. This ensures that it will be forwards on the cake (image…image rotation…horizontal flip) clover5

And then print it out and you’re ready to go! 🙂

 

Cinnamon Roll Sugar Cookies (v, gf)

Cinnamon Roll Sugar Cookies vegan sugar cookies gluten free sugar cookiesIt’s been so long since I’ve made sugar cookies. I’m not talking about since last Christmas or the Christmas before that.  The last time I made sugar cookies, I was in college and took a historic costume class, and I was giving a presentation on Marie Antoinette’s personal style. I made cookies in the shape of the Dauphine’s  hair to hand out during my talk.  I don’t know why I chose her hair, but then again, I don’t know why I chose to be a history major. I don’t know why it’s been so long since I’ve made sugar cookies!

Luckily, these sugar cookies really make up for that lapse. How good were they? Baked at 2 pm and gone by 6. I brought them to dinner at Jason’s parents’ house, even though the supply was already pretty decimated by the time we got there (not my doing, btw).

Cinnamon Roll Sugar Cookies vegan sugar cookies gluten free sugar cookies

Anyways, everyone ate them up. Even my brother in law, who told me that he “wouldn’t have tried them before hand if he’d known they were gluten free and vegan, and that he couldn’t even tell.” That reminded me of this Onion article, so I tried to avoid eye contact when he said that. Please read the article, it’s hilarious.

I think the best part about them was when my little nephew’s face lit up after having a bite. Making people happy with food is a pretty wonderful feeling, don’t you think?

Speaking of making people happy, my mom was peering over my shoulder the whole time I was making these, and may have mentioned one or two or three times that she doesn’t like the new blog name. I thought that I might as well explain it to y’all.

Cinnamon Roll Sugar Cookies vegan sugar cookies gluten free sugar cookies

It comes from a case of intentionally misunderstood lyrics. As in “we know they’re singing this, but it sounds like they’re singing this, and it’s funnier this way.” Lonely Starbucks Lovers.

The opening lines to the Avett Brothers song Laundry Room are “don’t push me out.” If you don’t know them, Google the live version, not the studio version, please.  Avett fans know that the boys absolutely adore cats,  which is why don’t push meow is an amusing alternate lyric. Sometimes we all need an amusing alternate version to life,  so I thought this was a pretty good blog name. *shrugs

Of course, you don’t need an alternate version to anything when you have a sugar cookie in your hand. These are nutty and a tiny bit under-sweet. I made them under-sweet on purpose because I don’t like a super sweet cookie and then super sweet frosting on top…and I knew I wanted the frosting to be really sweet. The sticky finger kind of sweet, the sugar coma on a Sunday morning syrup kind of sweet. This frosting tastes exactly like the kind of goo that comes on cinnamon rolls.    Which is kind of making me wish they weren’t all gone. Oh well, guess I’ll just have to make more of them. Darn.

Cinnamon Roll Sugar Cookies vegan sugar cookies gluten free sugar cookies

 

Cinnamon Roll Sugar Cookies (v, gf)

Ingredients

  • 9-11 roasted chestnuts
  • 1/4 cup pecans
  • 2 flax eggs (6 tbsp almond milk + 2 tbsp flax meal)
  • 1 cup of Bob's Red Mill GF flour in the blue bag, not the red bag
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp coarse kosher salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • for the frosting
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 tbsp almond milk
  • 1 tbsp corn syrup
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • food coloring, if desired

Instructions

  1. Grind the chestnuts and pecans to a flour. You should end up with 1 cup of nut flour.I find a get a finer meal if I add in a little bit of the GF flour towards the end of the grinding process.
  2. Combine the nut flour, the GF flour, the cinnamon, the salt, and the baking powder.
  3. Combine the flax eggs, the coconut oil, the vanilla, and the sugar.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ones.
  5. You don't HAVE to chill the dough, but I always find it helpful. in the rolling and cutting process. I made the dough at night and didn't roll & bake until the next afternoon.
  6. Preheat the oven to 400.
  7. Roll the dough out between two pieces of parchment, to about 1/6th - 1/8th of an inch thick. Cut out the cookies -- you should end up with out 36-40.
  8. Bake for 6 minutes.
  9. for the frosting
  10. Combine all ingredients and spread or paint over the cookies. Frosting will harden.
  11. Enjoy with family and friends.
http://kitchenwindowclovers.com/cinnamon-roll-sugar-cookies-v-gf/

adapted from Ethel’s Sugar Cookies in the classic Betty Crocker Cooky Book

this is not sponsored content, I just like Bob’s 1 to 1 mix.