Lemon Blueberry Breakfast Bundt Cake

I use two cookbooks when making cakes in most cases either Chef Chloe’s cookbook “Chloe’s Kitchen” or the “Joy of Vegan Baking”. The Joy of Vegan Baking has an excellent Lemon Blueberry Loaf Cake Recipe if I remember correctly. For the purposes of this cake we are doctoring up Chef Chloe’s vanilla cake recipe (www.chefchloe.com) and making it a lemon blueberry cake for brunch in honor of my Mother’s birthday this past week.

My family is big on brunch. We do Easter brunch every year and for most informal birthday or family get togethers. We are great at doing brunch and I have been to so many hotel brunches all over the world I feel spoiled by them during my Sunday indulgences. I think that brunch is so much fun for everyone because it encourages good eating through small portions and copious amounts of veggie and fruit options even when they are not always attached to vegan items. There are fruit cups, quiches, and omelettes filled with veggie fillings so I am all about it! However, the pastries and baked goods are always filled with eggs and dairy so I am going to change that today with this travel friendly recipe to bring to your next family soiree. I promise everyone will love it. I have made it for a potluck at work a few years ago and recently for a family get together after the funeral of my grandmother and as the only vegan I always suffer the “this tastes different” criticism. But not with this cake. Even my Dad was found picking at it long after brunch was over!

lemon blueberry cake altered image


Lemon Blueberry Bundt Cake


  • 1 lemon
  • 1 cup of fresh blueberries (plus 1 cup for garnish)
  • 1 jar lemon marmalade (for garnish)
  • 1 tbsp of Lemon Extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour (or gluten-free all-purpose flour plus 1 ½ teaspoon xanthan gum)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 ¾ cups soy milk
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • ¼ cup white or apple cider vinegar (I use ACV not white)
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract (I use Penzey’s Mexican Vanilla Extract)

blueberries garnish cake


Chef Chloe’s Vanilla Cake Recipe with my additions in bold caps:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease three 8 or 9-inch round cake pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together nondairy milk (I USE ORGANIC SOYMILK) , oil, vinegar, and vanilla (ALSO ADD THE ZEST OF ONE LEMON RIND AND 1TBSP OF LEMON EXTRACT AND 2 TBSP OF LEMON JUICE.)
  4. Fill each prepared (BUNDT) cake pan evenly with batter. Bake for (20-30) minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean with a few crumbs clinging to it. Rotate the cakes halfway through the baking time. Cool the cakes completely before assembly.
  5. I then flip the cake over on a cake pedestle and sprinkle with powdered sugar and garnish with fresh blueberries in the center. I serve this with lemon marmalade that I buy when it is on sale at Christmas Tree Shops since they are famous for having sales on jars of jellies.

lemon blueberry cake 2


Serves 12.

lemon blueberry bundt cake


WW POINTS: 9pts per serving. (Based on 12 servings)


blueberry cake chunk



The Hippie Gypsy

Broiled or Grilled Peaches with Caramel Sauce

In the summer there are a few fruits that just beg me to eat them. Peaches are definitely one of them. The thing about peaches however is that other than eating them raw, putting them in iced tea, or making a galette I was always afraid to do much else with them. I mean they are soft and super juicy and I feared that any sort of cooking would reduce them to a sticky mess. Well the other night I proved my own fears wrong.


I invited a few of my guy friends over to have a cookout at my home with my husband and I. I made spiced vanilla cupcakes from the box (Organics brand using egg replacer and a dash of Penzey’s Cake spice then finished them off with a vanilla sugar). Then I took fresh peaches from my local Whole Foods in Swampscott and sliced them in half cut out the pit and put the oven on. The grill was off limits since my husband had been grilling steaks on there for the guys and I was not putting my peaches on that mess. Yuck.

The result was a softened warm juicy half peach enrobed in a quick stovetop caramel drizzle next to a slice of delicate vanilla spice cake. It was heaven and it was quick. Even the guys sighed when they ate them.


Here is how I did it:

3 peaches
Coconut Spray Oil (like Pam but with Coconut Oil, I use Spectra brand)
1 Earth Balance Buttery Stick
1 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup Soy Creamer

  1. Preheat oven at 400degrees.
  2. Wash peaches to slightly de-fuzz them.
  3. Slice peaches in half and remove the pit.
  4. Spray a cookie sheet with Coconut Oil.
  5. Melt 2tbsp of earth balance in a teacup in the microwave and baste the inside and outside of the peaches until well covered.                                                                                                                          peach preperation
  6. Place peaches flesh side down on cookie sheet with fuzzy side up.                                        peaches baking
  7. Bake until they appear to be bubbling juices out about 15-20minutes.
  8. Then turn the broiler on to HI, move the peaches to the top rack, and broil until brown and black spots appear on the top of the peaches about 3minutes. This simulates the grill marks you would get if you grilled them instead. If you were to grill them you would do something similar with keeping them on the top shelf until then were cooked and soft and then bring them down to the lower grill grate to get the grill marks on them.                                          peaches broiled
  9. In a medium sauce pan mix brown sugar, remaining butter, and soy creamer over medium until melted and combined. Be careful it does not burn and stir often.
  10. Once caramel is reduced remove from heat.
  11. Drizzle peaches with caramel and serve with your favorite cakes or ice cream!


(WW Points for just Broiled Peach – 3pts for 2 halves)



XOXOX, The Hippie Gypsy

Happy Birthday Cake Recipes

So Monday will be my birthday. This weekend I will be removing wallpaper from my new house. As you can see I am a party animal. I cannot wait to make a birthday cake for myself however. Cakes are very important in my family. A few reasons have dictated this importance. 1.) My mother never got birthday cakes as a child due to a mixture of it being an extravagance to a single mom with six kids and also the fact that my mom was born on the second anniversary of her sister’s death. 2.) My birthday is the same week as 4 other family members. My cousin was born the 22nd, my grandmother the 24th, I on the 25th, my aunt on the 26th, and my great-grandfather on the 27th. So that week was pretty party ridden. 3.) My birthday tends to fall during blizzards. So we always had to prepare in advance for the cake in case we could not leave the house for ingredients. In High School once, I discovered that I loved cooking when caught in a blizzard on my birthday. I not only figured out how to get myself Chinese food but I also made myself an apple caramel drizzle cake out of things in the pantry and a very weathered version of the Joy of Cooking and a church cookbook were analyzed and ingredients were questioned like “is baking soda and powder different and is there a substitute for canola oil?”

So this year I am going to give you my favorite low ingredient birthday cake recipe that my husband adores despite it being vegan. I will also post links to some of the most delicious looking cakes out there and tell you where I would buy my cake if I wasn’t going to make it this year.

Enjoy my birthday cake extravaganza!


My Favorite Birthday Cake Recipe:

Mexican Hot Chocolate Cake with Guava Filling

1 Box of Dark Chocolate Cake Mix (most mixes are vegan just look)
3/4 bag of vegan chocolate chips
1 can of pumpkin
Earth Balance to butter the cake pans
Parchment to line the bottom of the cake pans

1/4 bag of vegan chocolate chips
1 thin large can of guava paste (I like Goya)
Vanilla Sugar (I like Penzey’s)

Chocolate Frosting (You can make it or buy it, I like to make a ganache style frosting)
Vanilla Sugar

Take all cake ingredients place in a large mixing bowl. Mix until combined. Add Cinnamon to taste. I always add 1-3 tbsp so that I can taste the cinnamon over the chocolate flavor. I test as I add it. Place in two round cake pans evenly lining the bottoms with parchment and buttering them with Earth Balance Buttery Sticks.

Bake according to the box directions. Take out when you can remove a toothpick cleanly.

Next in a medium mixing bowl warm your guava paste so you can spread it in between the cake layers. On top of the cake you will sprinkle cinnamon, spread the guava paste, and then sprinkle chocolate chips and vanilla sugar. Top with warm second cake layer.

Next, warm the frosting so you can drizzle it over the top of the cake. Wait until the cake is cooled. THen drizzle the frosting over the top. Sprinkle liberally with vanilla sugar.

Serve with homemade ice cream.



Banana Split Cake: This looks and sounds amazing.

Lemon Birthday Cake: THis sounds so light and delicious. I would even use this cake as a base for my July 4th Trifle!

Chocolate Chip Banana Cake: Chef Chloe is always a no brainer when it comes to cooking. Her cookbook also has a birthday cake recipe that looks divine! I had a banana cake layer at my wedding by Red Velvet Cafe in Las Vegas, NV and I am a convert!

Strawberry Vanilla Cake: This recipe has quite a few ingredients but I have all of them in my home so I figure so will most vegans. This looks and sounds fresh and delicious and looks amazing like a giant strawberry shortcake. Yum!

Raw Chocolate Hazelnut Cheesecake: Something more decadent and raw for my raw fans! This looks so sinful I can feel a toothache coming on and the drool pooling on the side of my mouth!


Top Places to buy a Vegan Cake in New England:

1. Veggie Planet in Cambridge, MA: I cannot say enough about the restaurant or the all vegan bakery. It is amazing. Get the cheesecake with strawberries or the Coconut Lemon Passionfruit Layer Cake. I live for these two cakes and served the Coconut at my Bridal Shower last February.

2. Cafe Indigo in Concord, NH and MA Whole Foods: You can get their cakes onsite or at local Whole Foods throughout Massachusetts. The Carrot Cake changes lives. You will never want another carrot cake ever again. I served that cake at my engagement party and I buy slices of it at Whole Foods more than I probably should. My omni husband does as well and sometimes eats mine.

3. Moo-Cluck Corp. : You can buy these at various whole foods and natural foods stores in the cold section. I have bought all of their items at some point but truly love the vanilla strawberry cake when I need to buy something to run to a party in a pinch. It is yummy and the strawberries are fresh and not just some syrup.

Chocolate Cherry Brownie Cupcakes

So during the Superbowl (that I was not impressed at all with, Go Pats!). I decided to experiment on my two favorite people who will eat just about anything. My lovely husband and my very good asian male friend. Both will eat vegan food without any fuss. My husband because he will eat anything, and in bulk. My friend because he grew up in a Chinese family where “vegan” isn’t a foreign or scary but very normal and part of the culture. That being said I decided I would make a chocolate cherry cupcake that was half homemade. Basically an adaptation of the boxed variety. I also figured this could be a great treat for potlucks, birthdays, and the upcoming Valentine’s Day holiday!

So I got to work looking for a good boxed brownie mix that was vegan. I found Ghirardelli Double Chocolate Brownie mix which is really just brownie mix with chocolate chips and that seemed perfect. The reason I say that is because a.) the chocolate chips in the mix were vegan and B.) generally if chocolate cake/brownie mixes do not have chips in them I will add them to add a light flavor mask over any vegetables I toss in and their potential after taste. That being said… enter pumpkin. I know you can add a can of pumpkin to cake mix in lieu of oil/water/eggs but brownies I always hear “add black beans and puree them”. This has never sat well with me as I am part mexican and think refried beans don’t go with my dessert they only touch chocolate in mole, so I went back to my trusty canned pumpkin. Also let me note that you should NEVER add the egg replacer powder with your oil/water to brownie mixes the batter will separate during baking and you will be left with a rubbery batter covered in an oil slick. Oh and my husband will still eat it FYI.

So I added pumpkin to my brownie mix and then stirred forever. Once combined I placed batter equally in 12 paper cups in a cupcake pan. I then microwaved bagged frozen cherries from Whole Foods and placed one squished down in the center of each cupcake. They will be a little runny but that is totally ok. Then I covered half the cherries with a little more batter and half I left exposed. This was just to see what was a better method. Both came out fine so it is really up to you! I liked the batter topped a little better because it seemed like a hidden treasure but the exposed cherry is aesthetically more pleasing unfrosted. I then baked it according to the pan brownie suggestions on the box.

brownie batter

Mini Recipe:

Ingredients: Ghirardelli Double Chocolate Brownie Mix, (1) Can pumpkin, Whole Foods Frozen whole cherries, Betty Crocker Vanilla Frosting, Sliced Raw Almonds, Vegan Chocolate Chips (12chips).

Instructions: Add canned pumpkin to mix. Stir. Place in cupcake papers inside cupcake pan. Add defrosted cherries to center. Bake at 325degrees for about 40minutes. Take out. Let cool. Add frosting a sprinkle of almonds and one chocolate chip!


brownie cupcake


The end result. They came out so yummy! They are better cooled however. Gives the cherry juice a chance to settle into the cake.

They were lighter than a fudgy brownie but more dense than a box made cupcake. I thought they were perfect. I added a dollop of vanilla frosting (Betty Crocker from the aerosol decorator can) and then sprinkled with raw sliced almonds and one vegan semisweet chocolate chip. However for Valentine’s Day I am thinking red sparkly sprinkles and a heart-shaped dollop or maybe a blue frosting heart? Any suggestions?

Well anyway the almonds are the perfect addition. I am actually thinking I may add a shake of almond extract to the batter next time to increase that sweet cherry flavor. I will tell you all how it “pans” out 😉 … pun intended!

Happy Valentine’s Day folks! Enjoy the chocolatey love with your sweet!

XOXOX, The Hippie Gypsy

Banana Walnut Chocolate Chip Muffins: The Joy of Vegan Baking Adaptation

So I love muffins and chocolate and bananas and my “Joy of Vegan Baking” Cookbook so when I saw a recipe for Banana Walnut Chocolate Chip Muffins I passed out in a heavenly rush on my kitchen floor! All jokes aside the recipe was easy and yummy and hit the spot. I could make a ton of them for a work related early morning meeting or just to snack away at throughout the week for the whole family. I even brought some to my neighbor’s house last night for the kids and they became the “best muffin I ever ate” by the 8year old omnivore at the house. So that being said, I knew I had to throw the adapted recipe up. The “Joy of Vegan Baking” calls for more chocolate chips which I am usually game for but in this case they were crumbling apart from the chips so I cut them in half and it was perfect. I also added a little more vanilla and some flaxseed powder. The muffins keep well and are pretty good ingredient wise with nuts, seeds, and 4 bananas. Can’t beat a semi-healthy muffin! Enjoy!



2cups All Purpose Flour (I use unbleached from Trader Joe’s)

1 1/2 teaspoons Baking Soda

Pinch of Kosher Salt

1 Cup Vegan Sugar (Whole Foods has a good one)

1/3cup Canola Oil (Vegetable will work but Canola is better)

4 Bananas ripe or brown (deep yellow work best although brown are a little sweeter)

1/4 cup water

1 tbsp Mexican Vanilla Extract

1/2 cup Vegan Semisweet Chocolate Chips (green package at whole foods)

1/2 cup chopped raw walnuts

OPTIONAL: Add 2 tbsp powdered flaxseed for a little extra goodness, it won’t effect the flavor or texture!



Place paper in muffin tins. You can use folded parchment or just any good old cupcake paper wrapper. I have tons of old Christmas ones so red and green it is!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Get two bowls to mix in. One for wet ingredients one for dry. The larger one for the wet ingredients as you will add the dry to this mixture later.

Flour, Baking Soda, and Salt in on bowl (optional flaxseed powder). Lightly whisk to combine everything well.

Next, in the larger bowl or the “wet” bowl mix the oil and sugar until it looks like a yellow slushy.

Mash in the bananas to the “slushy” mix. Then add water and vanilla. Combine well.

Now sift the dry mix into the wet mix slowly. I would add about 1/8 at a time then stir in completely and sift in the next bunch to avoid those bubbles of lumpy dry mixture.

Once all is combined well stir in chocolate chips and walnuts.

I did not add walnuts to one batch at the request of my neighbors kids the other day and the muffins were still deemed the “best muffin she has ever had”. 8 year old approval is a good thing especially an 8 year old omnivore! So nuts or no nuts they are A-OK. Moving on…

Scoop mixture into cupcake pan/cups. I use a 1/4 cup measuring cup if my Ice cream scoop is unavailable.

Back for 25minutes in a gas oven it may take closer to 30 in an electric oven.

Take out, cool, and eat.

Half Homemade: Chocolate Dipped Strawberry Cupcakes

So today is my husband’s birthday. HAPPY BIRTHDAY JEFF!

Excitement aside. We had a mostly vegan BBQ, my husband is an ominivore so I let him have his steak tips and hamburgers (because everything else he ate was vegan and he was very forgiving of my mood swings when I was detoxing off dairy and meat, I cried over Mac n Cheese once, It was pathetic).  But vegan-wise…  I made vegan beer brats, vegan hot dogs, chili, rice, baked russet potatoes, steamed veggies, a nacho dip, and a spinach artichoke dip with all the edible dipping tools one could ask for. I will try to post my recipes for those dips later this week as they are delicious!

So for dessert, what room there was left for dessert, was filled with the smell of warm milk chocolate and freshly chopped strawberries. I usually add guava with his chocolate cake and a dash of cinnamon but the store didn’t have any. So, I made a delicious half homemade milk chocolate cake with a spruced up strawberry frosting. I took plain white frosting that was “accidentally vegan” and added strawberry preserves from a local farm and freshly chopped strawberries.

The only issue I ran into was I could smell them baking in the oven nearly tasting the melted chocolate chips when I snuck a peak and saw the tops of them exploding and chocolate chips oozing over the top. I panicked for about 10 seconds contemplating pulling them out as they seemingly deflated and then said to my inner self “just wait until the time is up and they are cooked and test them”. When I brought them out it was like magic! The chocolate had formed a crunchy layer across the top similar to a carmelized creme brulee and the inside was soft and moist with little pockets of melted chocolate. The best mistake ever.

S0, I will now share the recipe of my delicious mistake with you!

Cake Ingredients:

Organics Chocolate Cake Mix by Dr. Oetker (follow recipe on back with below substitutions):

  • 2tbs powdered flaxseed (to sub for 2 eggs)
  • 1 egg worth of egg replacer mixture (1 1/2tsp egg replacer powder whisked with 2 tbs warm water)
  • 2tbs Water for egg replacer
  • Soy Milk instead of Dairy Milk (according to box directions)
  • Canola Oil for “Oil”

1/2cup- 2/3cup of vegan chocolate chips

Frosting Ingredients:

1 large container of white frosting (vegan or accidentally vegan options are at every grocery store it seems, just read the label)

1/2 cup small diced fresh strawberries

3/4  container of strawberry preserves 


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

So I started by making the frosting which one would think would be the last step since the cupcakes take about 25 minutes however, due to the heat lately, I needed to refrigerate the frosting so it would firm up.

First combine the white frosting and the preserves then after it has a good flavor (testing is the best part) and is well mixed add the fresh cut strawberries until they are evenly mixed in. Refrigerate. The flavor will intensify as it sits.

Next, make the egg replacer mixture in a small teacup or mixing bowl.

Then in a large mixing bowl place in Chocolate Cake powder mixture.

Grind the flaxseed powder in a coffee grinder and add to the Cake Mix.

Next, add soy milk and oil to the cake mix.

After it starts to get wet and combined add the egg replacer mixture to the cake mix.

Once everything is well combined and a little thick, add the chocolate chips. Mix well.

Finally start placing the cupcake batter into the lined tins. I use cupcake paper cups so that the chips don’t stick to the pan and make my cupcake fall apart.

Place first tray of cupcakes in the oven for between 20-25 minutes.

When taking them out use a fork to slide down the side of the cupcake between the paper and the pan to lift them out and place on a cooling tray or rack.

 Let cool at least an hour before frosting as the chocolate chips will explode onto the top forming a delicious crunchy layer that is more like lava at first! My cupcakes got a little melty with the frosting because of the weather being about 95 degrees and the cupcake being warm still.

Frost and Enjoy!


PS If you want to get fancy for a holiday add a heart-shaped strawberry slice on top for Valentines Day or a Chocolate Dipped Strawberry for an Anniversary or a Strawberry Lollipop in the Center for a Little Girls Birthday or Baby Shower!