Snowdrift Cake

A vegan gluten free cake with a light and fluffy frosting.

Snowdrift Cake

So I know it’s January and I’m supposed to be posting healthy things. There’s plenty of kale behind the scenes to be sure, but today I wanted cake.

I get excited about kale, and I get excited about cake too. Cause, you know, I’m human and humans tend to have diverse tastes.  Btw kale salad washed down with moonshine makes a really good nighttime snack. What? They both came from the good brown earth, and one of them just happened to get distilled into a harsh little spirit that’s perfect for warming up in the winter.

Other things that keep you warm in the winter:

Snugglin’ (uh – duhhhh).

Perfect mittens

Blankets + good books + cake 🍰

Snowdrift Cake

This was supposed to be a segue into talking about cake, but now I want to talk bout books. What have you liked lately? I just finished The Library at Mount Char. I don’t know what to think of it. It was absorbing for sure, kinda dark, but my mind isn’t made up about the central character. Another book I loved this past year was Serena — again, great read, but I really disliked the main character by the end. If you saw the Serena movie, forget everything about it and read the book. Some movies pull off books really well, and this wasn’t one of ’em. I hear Girl on a Train is being made into a movie, and I feel the opposite that I do about Serena.  It was one of those books that everyone waves in your face, imploring you to read it, and then when you do read it, it’s meh. But since I have a guilty pleasure of liking mild mystery-crime shows, I think I will enjoy the Girl on a Train movie. On Amazon, several months after it comes out. I don’t do movie theaters, it’s very hard to sit still for that long.Snowdrift Cake

Okay, okay, onto the cake for real now. It’s soft and a little nutty, with some hints of warm caramel in there. It gives under the fork gently, allowing you to get a big scoop of the vegan meringue topping in the same bite. (thank you, chickpea water).

In addition to the big cloud of soft white fluff is a layer of peanut butter frosting — just a little pb and maple, a gooey compliment to the nuttiness of the cake.

Another thing that I love about this cake is that it reminds me that winter isn’t forever. Underneath all that frosting is a happy, soft cake. If y’all are not winter folk, just remember that beneath the deep snow is a warm earth waiting for spring.

Snowdrift Cake


  • 8 oz dates
  • 1 1/4 cups unsweetened unflavored almond milk
  • 1/3 cup softened coconut oil
  • 1 medium banana
  • 9 tbsp water
  • 3 tbsp flaxmeal
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup of cup to cup gluten free flour (I used Bob's in the blue bag)
  • 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp almond extract
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • Peanut butter frosting
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 tbsp coconut oil
  • dash of salt
  • dash of cinnamon
  • Vegan Meringue Snowdrift
  • water from 1 16 oz can of reduced sodium chickpeas
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 cup of confectionery sugar


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 and line two 9 inch spingform pans with parchment.
  2. Place the flaxmeal and water in a small container (flax eggs). Let sit
  3. Place the dates and almond milk in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 4-5 minutes, checking to make sure the milk doesn't boil over. Do not discard unabsorbed milk
  4. Puree the dates (with the unabsorbed milk), flax eggs, coconut oil and banana until smooth. Add in the brown sugar.
  5. Add flour, almond flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to the date mixture.
  6. Divide the batter between the pans. Mixture will the thick, get it as smooth and even as you can.
  7. Bake for 35-40 minutes.
  8. Allow to cool completely before removing from pans.
  9. Peanut butter frosting
  10. Warm peanut butter, maple syrup in a small saucepan, stirring until combined and smooth. Add the salt and cinnamon.
  11. Spread the still-warm frosting over the cake, and between the layers.
  12. Snowdrift
  13. Place the chickpea water in a bowl and place it in the freezer for about 8-10 minutes.
  14. Beat the chickpea water until it gets fat and frothy (about 2-3 minutes) and then add in the tartar. Beat a little bit longer, then add the sugar, gradually. Continue to beat on high for several minutes, it should get really big and fluffy (you'll be beating for about 10-15 minutes)
  15. Spread the mix over the cake, and serve with love.


If you're not serving the cake right away, wait to add the vegan meringue. It actually stays fluffy for at least 12 hours, but it will be fluffier if fresh.

Make sure (really really make sure) that the chickpeas are reduced sodium

snowdrift is from Wallflower Girl

cake adapted from the fall 2015 issue of Sweet Paul

Snowdrift Cake

P.S. I meant what I said when I asked for book suggestions, please let me know what you’re into right now. 💟

Cardamom Coffee Cake

cardamom coffee cake


Raise your hand if your mom had the Moosewood Cookbook when you were growing up!


I loved looking at all the illustrations and wondering about all the ingredients Mollie Katzen used. I guess this note from my aunt says it best:


My favorite thing to make out of it were the popovers, because they were so dead easy. My mom’s favorite thing was the zucchini pizza. It took me a long time to love that pizza. Usually I would groan when I learned that that’s what we were having for dinner. But I grew to like it as I got older – especially having the leftovers on a sandwich.  I can’t wait show you my own version of it once summer rolls around! I don’t usually buy zucchini the rest of the year because of how crazy plentiful it is in the summer.

The original version of this cake has two cups of butter, two cups of sour cream, and four eggs. I know Mollie is a genius and all, but there is no way that I would be happy with myself after eating all that. I probably wouldn’t even be able to move, much less run. I might not even be able to go to work because I wouldn’t be able to put on pants. Pantless employees are generally frowned upon.

I made a thick pear sauce to substitute both the butter and sour cream.  I didn’t eliminate the fat completely, but I did cut it down to 1/4 cup of coconut oil, plus what’s in the almond flour topping. This version is vegan and gluten-free, but it still came out awesome. It’s rich and satisfying and perfect with a cold glass of almond milk.


What are your favorite Moosewood recipes?

MK's Lightened-Up Cardamom Coffee Cake


  • 6 Anjou pears, peeled, sliced, and cored
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup softened coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 2 tbsp flax meal
  • 1 cup unsweetened, unflavored almond milk
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp freshly-ground cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 cups King Arthur GF mix*
  • 1 1/4 cups Bob's Red Mill BF mix*
  • for the topping
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup fine almond meal


  1. Melt the coconut oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add the dark brown sugar, 1/4 cup at a time.
  3. Once the brown sugar is completely integrated into the coconut oil, add the pears.
  4. Stir the pears so they are completely coated in the sugar mixture.
  5. Cover the pan and let the pears cook, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes.
  6. Remove from heat and puree with an immersion blender.
  7. Turn the heat to medium low and simmer the sauce, uncovered, for 50 minutes, stirring very occasionally. Use a splash guard if you have one.
  8. Remove from heat and puree again. Now you should have about 2 1/2 - 2 3/4 cups of sauce.
  9. Allow the sauce to cool completely before continuing.
  10. Preheat the oven to 350
  11. Combine two cups of the cooled sauce, the vanilla, the flax, and the almond milk. Reserve the rest of the sauce because you'll use it later in the recipe. Set aside.
  12. Comine the flours, cardamom, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  13. Mix the wet and dry ingredients. Set aside.
  14. Mix the cinnamon, brown sugar, and almond meal.
  15. Grease two 9 - inch cake pans.
  16. Divide the almond-meal topping evenly between the pans, making sure that the bottom of each pan is fully covered.
  17. Spoon the batter into the pans. You may have to spread it a little. If you do it gently enough, you won't disturb the crumb below. And even if some crumb does get mixed in, don't worry - who doesn't love a surprise bite of crumb?
  18. Bake for 25-30 min, or until it springs back and an inserted fork comes out clean.
  19. Let the layers cool a little bit and then turn them out of the pans.
  20. Let them cool a lot more.
  21. Take the remainder of the pear sauce and spread it over the top of one of the layers. Because the topping is made from almond flour, it binds to itself rather well. Spreading the pear cause on won't disturb it, as long as you use a light hand.
  22. Stack the cakes.
  23. Serve with a cold glass of milk.


*I used two brand flours because I'm experimenting with commercial blends before attempting my own -- which will be a whole lot cheaper. If you have your own personal blend that you like, use that. The main ingredient in KAF is a rice flour blend, and the main in Bob's is chickpea flour.