My name is Ashley McLaughlin and this is my blog, Edible Perspective. To learn more about my journey head on over to my about + FAQ pages. I'm thrilled that you stopped by. Enjoy!

  


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Baked Doughnuts For Everyone: From Sweet to Savory to Everything in Between, 101 Delicious Recipes, All Gluten-Free

 

« little monster | Main | sweet + savory + workout awesomeness »
Thursday
May062010

cinco de delicious

I had a dee-lish-us day of eats.  Shall we begin?

Finallllllllly after what seems like a month, I had the.perfect.bowl. of oats.  My last good bowl was kissed with salt + butter.

Finally.

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Scottish Oat Perfection

  • 1/3c Scottish Oats

  • 1.25c water

  • 1/4c almond milk

  • 1t vanilla [finally bought another bottle..it was missed!!!]

  • 1/2 banana

  • 1/2t cinnamon

  • 1 egg white, whisked in the last 2min of cooking


(2 of 42)

Toppings:  No crunch today.  It just wasn’t necessary.

The peanut butter is super creamy, thick and delicious.  I can’t wait to start adding the chocolate + coconut to it!

(3 of 42)

By 10am I was getting my bake on for a very special boy.  JAKE!  I wanted to make him a birthday cake to celebrate turning ONE!

First time using this baking spray and it rocked.  Definitely recommend!

(4 of 42)

I did a lot of recipe searching.  I wanted this cake to be simple but loaded with the best ingredients possible.  I googled for simple healthy kid’s cakes but didn’t have much luck.  Nothing sounded too impressive.

So I turned to Joy The Baker.  I was looking through her cake recipes and found a simple, somewhat unusual, and health filled cake.  It was a recipe she adapted for Vegan Chocolate Cake with Avocado.  Why would I make a vegan cake for a 1yr old?  Well honestly, the recipe sounded super easy, I always love a good vegan challenge, and I thought the ingredient list sounded very baby friendly.

I of course made a few changes ;)

2c of sugar –> 1c brown rice syrup + 3/4c sucanat – I used the brown rice syrup in hopes that it would give a nice thick texture but also because BRS has a very stable glycemic index level, basically meaning it has little effect on your blood sugar levels.  We don’t need to go giving 1yr olds a sugar high!

(5 of 42)

1 mashed avocado, as the recipe calls for.  This is apparently a great butter replacement in baking.  While I love butter, avocados are a much healthier source of fats.  I used my immersion blender [loooove] to get this nice + creamy.

(6 of 42)

3c all purpose flour –> 3c whole wheat pastry flour – Why not pack in some fiber + protein to this cake?  I think it worked great!  It didn’t taste “wheaty” at all.  I’m sure the all-purp flour would have given it a slightly lighter texture, but honestly I loved how thick this cake was!

(7 of 42)

2c water –> 1c unsweetened almond milk + 1c water – I used half almond milk for a little extra flavor and natural sweetness, since I lowered the sugar by 1/2c.

(8 of 42)

The batter was seriously amazing + dangerous.  Like I’ve said before, I’m not afraid to take a few licks of batter with egg in it…but when egg is NOT in it, it’s really hard to stop the licking.  This tasted like pudding.  I knew it was going to be a winner.

(9 of 42)

Success!

(10 of 42)

The cakes baked beautifully!  A challenge with vegan baking and high altitude baking!

(11 of 42)

I was worried that I overcooked them a tad.  The toothpick felt a little goopy when I tested it the first time but I think I left them in 3-5min longer than needed.  I was hoping it wouldn’t taste like a pasty chocolate sponge.

(12 of 42)

Oh, also!  This was possibly the easiest cake recipe I’ve ever made!!!  No joke!  You don’t need a stand mixer or any mixer.  You will need 2 bowls, 1 whisk, 2 round pans, and a spatula for scraping.  It was together in no time at all.

(13 of 42)

Before I knew it Melissa + Jake arrived and we headed to Parsley, which I mentioned the other day.  I just found this little restaurant while driving and loved the sound of their menu.

Melissa got the caprese sandwich with a peach smoothie.  I had a taste of the peach smoothie.  YUM.

(14 of 42)

I was brave and tried my first veggie juice!!!

Green Juice –> organic apple, organic spinach, organic celery, organic cucumber

At first sip it was good but I ended up not really liking it.  ALL you could taste was celery.  I’m sure all of the other ingredients were in there too but celery must be really overpowering.  Even though they don’t add sugar it was almost too sweet and they must not keep all of the veggies + fruits in the fridge because this was not cold enough for my liking.  I could barely choke down half.  I like celery, but not that much.  Probably should have gotten the carrot + apple for my first try.

My samich:  Housemade ciabatta + red pepper hummus + lettuce + roasted red peppers + tomato + cucumber

The bread rocked.

(15 of 42)

Doesn’t it look completely fabulous?  Even with the red pepper hummus this was really bland…and watery! :(  I gobbled down every bite but was not overly satisfied with it.  There are a lot of red peppers in there but they were almost flavorless and the tomatoes made the sandwich SO watery when I would take a bite.  Would have been a lot better with a simple shake of salt + pepper.  I’ll definitely be back for another try, but just make different choices!  The sandwich was HUGE and cost $6.95.  Not too bad for being packed with fresh, mostly organic ingredients.

(16 of 42)

Cute little shops.

(17 of 42)

Back to the cake!  When we got home from lunch I got to making the frosting.  While the cake is vegan, the frosting is not.  I could have easily made it vegan by using coconut milk, but wasn’t sure about coconut + babies.  I wasn’t sure if Jake ever had coconut before and didn’t want to try something new.  So, I opted for heavy whipping cream.  I wanted to make a simple whipped cream frosting.

I didn’t want to make the avocado buttercream that was suggested for 2 reasons.  1 – I only had one avocado!  2 – I didn’t want to make a frosting full of powdered sugar.  I definitely want to try it at some point though!

Now WHY is there spinach in this bowl?

(34 of 42)

muahahahaa :)

(35 of 42)

Green Monster Whipped Cream Frosting – an Ashley original ;)

  • 1pint organic heavy whipping cream [or for a vegan version, try this]

  • 1/4c sucanat

  • 2c spinach



  1. Puree whipping cream + spinach + sucanat just until there are no spinach pieces floating around.  I used the vita-mix for this.

  2. Pour into a chilled metal bowl and whip the metal whisk attachment [if you have one] with your mixer.

  3. Whip on high until stiff peaks form.


(37 of 42)

The sneakiest way ever to get your kids [or Jessica] to eat their veggies.  You could not taste it at all…unlike the celery in my juice.

(38 of 42)

I didn’t pack it with spinach so Jake would eat more veggies…but I packed it with spinach for the nice green color!!  The veggie nutrients were just an added bonus.  I’m done using chemical dyes when baking!

(39 of 42)

So how was it?  I loved the cake.  It was thick and fudge-like, but still cakey.  It had a great texture and was moist, even though I cooked it a little too long.  It had a mild sweetness and went well with the whipped topping.  The chocolate came through but next time I will add 1T more of cocoa.  I might try making it with cake flour at some point, just to see the texture difference.

(40 of 42)

You could tell there was something different about the cake but not in a bad way.  I didn’t miss the butter or the butter cream frosting that usually gives me a headache + stomach ache from sugar overload.

(41 of 42)

The cake is now in the fridge and has called my name more than once.  Please. Someone come help me eat it!!  Oh and I think I like it better cold!  SO excited about this cake!

(42 of 42)

Vegan Chocolate Avocado Cake [adapted from this] *recipe updated from original post

  • 3c whole wheat pastry flour

  • 8T unsweetened cocoa powder [*updated]

  • 1/2t salt

  • 2t baking powder

  • 2t baking soda

  • 1c brown rice syrup

  • 3/4c sucanat

  • 1/4c safflower oil [sunflower, grapeseed, almond, avocado, etc. would work]

  • ~1/2c ripe avocado, mashed until smooth

  • 1c water

  • 1c unsweetened almond milk

  • 2T white vinegar

  • 2t vanilla extract



  1. Preheat oven to 350*

  2. Grease + flour [or use baking spray] 2 – 8” or 9” baking pans.

  3. Sift dry ingredients together [except the sugar].

  4. Mix wet ingredients + sugars in a bowl until thoroughly combined.

  5. Add wet ingredients to dry and whisk until just combined.  Do 1 good scrape down to make sugar there are no dry ingredients stuck to the bottom of the bowl.  Do not over-mix.

  6. Bake 30-40min and test with a toothpick.

  7. Let cool in pans for at least 15min and then turn onto a cooling rack.

  8. Let cool completely before frosting.


*The sweetness was mild.  If you want it sweeter, use the full cups as the original recipes states.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY JAKE!!!!  [watch out for a mid-day post from a little photo shoot at the park with Jake ;)]

(24 of 42)

Yes, I’m still going.  Stay with me.

When I saw Jessica’s post for loaded sweet potato fries, I couldn’t get them off my mind.  I told Chris the idea and asked how they sounded.  He basically said they sounded good minus the sweet potato part.  There are a few food items we disagree on.  Sweet taters are 1 of them.

(1 of 4)

Russets for the boy.  I baked these low + slow style, the only way to bake a sweet tater.  SO good.  The russets crisped up really well but obviously didn’t have the same creaminess the sweet taters have.

(2 of 4)

SO GOOD.  I promise you.

(3 of 4)

What’s on my plate?

  • 2c baby mixed greens

  • 1 large sweet tater

  • 1/2 acocado

  • ~3/4c black beans

  • 1 tomato

  • Organic Valley extra sharp white cheddar cheese

  • a lot of salsa

  • ~1/4c fage 2% Greek yogurt [I added more than the small dollop]


Nothing was measured.  I’m just approximating.

Would Gena approve this as a Meal Sized Salad??

(4 of 4)

Dessert was obviously more chocolate cake + a pear.

Oooh I had a great workout today after Melissa + Jake left.

7 laps at Wash Park = ~16.5m @ 15mph

Rode home and had a quick lifting session:

Curls

  • 10 reps – 20lbs

  • 8 reps – 20lbs

  • 8 reps – 10lbs


Overhead Tricep Extension

  • 3 sets of 10 reps – 25lbs


Shoulder Press

  • 3 sets of 12 – 10lbs


Lateral Raises

  • 3 sets of 10 – 10lbs


Then a nice stretch session with a lot of deep yoga stretches from the hip opening flow video.



Phew.  That was long!  I hope you’re not face down, drooling on your desk! Off to answer comments + hopefully get at least 7hrs of sleep!

Happy Thursday!

Ashley

Reader Comments (55)

OH I LOVE that cake!! Spinach in icing- that is the best idea I've heard in a long time!! I defintely want to try that cake - I'd love to do some more vegan cooking...
All your food looks fab - though it's a shame the sandwich wasn't good? And bah at the veg juice...the celery would've totally put me off, I hate celery!

GORGEOUS post and CAKE!!!!!! I want to try that green frosting. LOVE it!!

May 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKath

I love the title of this post! :) Your Cino de Mayo did look quite delicious!! :)

The cake is gorgeous. At first look, I would assume it would be a chocolate mint flavor, but what a nice surprise to bite into some creamy avocado goodness! :)

May 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLauren

The cake turned out perfect, girl!! You are really talented at making cakes - mine never look that good.

I am so glad you guys liked the fries!! :)

May 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJessica @ How Sweet

wow, everything looks delicious!

May 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSimply Life

I have to say the cake looks AMAZING!

Awesome cake!! I give you props!! That is a clever frosting..I know what my Birthday cake is going to look like....:)

May 6, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterteenagehealthfreak

That cake is amazing! You're so creative! I enjoyed reading this post! Hope you have a good day!

Holy Smokes, you're a genius!!
I'm thinking this would make an awesome Mother's Day Cake :)

OH my word, that is amazing!! I want to make it! Maybe I'll make it for mother's day!

And thanks for the dog walking link in the last post.. I passed it along to the dog walker of the family (yea, I'm ashamed to admit that I don't walk Dexter...)

May 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAbby

Oh my word Ashley that cake is brilliant :) And the green is the perfect colour for a little boy's cake!

May 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNienke at Revel

I have found that I like vegan chocolate cake better than cake with eggs in it. The recipe I use isn't exactly "healthy," so I might try this one next! The frosting is genius! If you're ever looking for a red color, beet juice works quite well. :)

The bread is the thing I miss most about Parsley. It's made by a local artisan bakery called City Bakery. Their owner is one of my favorite people in the world--so crazy (in a good way)!

May 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterEmily

That frosting is gorgeous! Vegetables having a multipurpose of nutrition and as a dye.

May 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCasey

That cake looks fun and delicious! I will definitely have to try it!

May 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCamille

The cake looks amazing and delicious!

I noticed a few posts mentioning recipe challenges and I was wondering if you take any from readers? I recently remembered "Fairy Food" or "Sponge Candy" that my Mom loves; that really hard crunchy, foam-like candy that melts in your mouth and that's usually coated in chocolate. I looked up a few recipes and it's basically sugar, sugar, baking soda and vinegar, and chocolate if necessary. I was curious if there would be anyway to make it actually healthy... if you wanted to tackle something whenever you're bored ;)

May 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDaniel

WOW so many delicious things in this post I don't know where to begin! The sandwich looks killer. And that cake! Yum!!

i am SO making this cake as soon as possible. oh em gee. and i LOVE your frosting!!! using spinach as a dye is brilliant!!!

Hi Ashley! My Whole Foods (in Kansas) carries Blue Moose hummus. Which flavor(s) do you recommend?

May 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTracy

you would make a GM frosting :) seriously, it's such a gorgeous color though! i would eat as much of it as humanly possible :)

YUM YUM YUM! the Vegan Chocolate Avocado Cake looks amazing! I will have to try that for sure.

May 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJamie

Oh. My. Goodness. That green monster frosting looks AMAZING.

There is so much to say about this post, I don't even know where to start! OK, let's start with AVOCADO CAKE! A recipe after my own lil' heart. And your oats look amazing, too (I assume I can sub flax for egg?), and by god, that frosting begs to be rawified!

May 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGena

spinach + cream = GENIUS. I love your blog so much!

that cake looks so good! the green spinach frosting is so pretty and colorful as well. I will definitely have to try this recipe!

May 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMeaghan

definitely making that cake...i'll let you know how it goes!

May 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJessica Lee

Thanks so much for all of your comments today!1

May 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Aw, thank you SO much!

May 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Can't wait for a raw frosting recipe!

May 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Hmmm, I really like the plain or roasted red pepper...not sure I've tried any other flavors though.

May 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Hmmm..never heard of that..sounds really interesting!!

May 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

I hope it works for you guys!! I used to be realllly good about walking + running Dakota..but now with Kenna you can't walk them together and we have been bad about keeping them on a routine..so don't feel bad!

May 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Thanks so much...means a lot!!

May 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Much appreciated :)

May 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Ahhhh they were sooooooooooooo goooooooooood.

May 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

Will you bake me that cake for my b.day? June 19th. Ok, great. Thanks! ; )

[...] store to get avocados because I wanted to make the chocolate cupcake part of the recipe from this Chocolate Avocado Cake recipe that Ashley made a little while ago.  So after a Racheal Ray style balancing act through [...]

[...] frosting (vegan) that, she said, rocked her world. And I’ve also seen another recipe for a spinach-whipped cream frosting. No joke, but she said it was good! I’d have to try it to believe it though. This cake is [...]

Cool blog! I love the pics and avocado cake recipe...I should try that considering i LOVE healthy cakes!

June 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterChocolateCoatedRunner

[...] Chocolate Avocado Cupcakes.  Ashley’s got load of tips and pictures for putting these bad boys together.  Just make sure you whip up the avocado well.  I used a whisk.  I baked the mini cupcakes for 15-18 minutes and the regular ones for 20-22 minutes.  [...]

[...] Round 2 – Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes (Modified from Chocolate Avocado Cake) [...]

Cake recipes are the specialty of my best friend, my favorite ones are those exotic fruit cakes`-"

August 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLandon Phillips

[...] trouverez la recette ici. Je publierai une version traduite cette semaine sans faute. Pour le centre, ma soeur a mélangé [...]

August 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGâteau au chocolat v&eac

the cake recipes on the internet are all very delicious and i want to try and bake all of them ''

November 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterFabric Shower Curtain ·

[...] Since pre-packaged Scottish oats can be a bit on the pricey side, I decided to take a cue from Ashley and make my [...]

Spinach in the frosting - that is a great idea!

It worked perfectly!! :)

January 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

I just made this for Christmas dinner with my family last night (we always celebrate on Christmas Eve!), along with a few other of your recipes...

This cake stole the show. Oh.my.gosh. I read some of the other 'reviews' (some of the blog posts that were tracked back to this entry) and I have to say, I don't know what everyone else was doing but this turned out PERFECTLY. I am a huge chocoholic, and I, as well as everyone at the table, agreed that this was actually the best chocolate cake we have ever had. The inside was slightly gooey after baking for thirty five minutes, but it was amazing - like chocolate molten cake!! I didn't make the icing or frosting because I honestly hate frosting (along with everyone in my family!) but it really didn't need it, in my opinion.

I am never making cake with butter again. Thank you for revolutionizing my life with the best chocolate cake recipe EVER! :D

December 25, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJenny

So so glad to hear you loved it!!

January 4, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAshley

[...] photos of the recipes she features. It’s hard to believe the banana breakfast cookie and chocolate avocado cake are nutritious, but all the recipes here are healthy and vegetarian— and many are also vegan [...]

January 18, 2012 | Unregistered Commenter60 Must-Read Health & Fitn
That cake looks & sounds fabulous! Do you think I could sub hemp milk for almond milk?
June 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAnna

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