Light enough for breakfast, sweet enough for dessert, add these mini vegan dates cakes to your winter baking rotation.
Are You Here for the Recipe? Let’s Talk Mini Vegan Date Cakes!
I adapted this recipe from Jerrelle Guy’s cookbook, Black Girl Baking. The original recipe has a dairy and non-dairy option, so I went the vegan route, adding more clarity to the process to make sure the coconut oil incorporated thoroughly. The vegan date cake base is not overly sweet, so you’d be justified in indulging in these bundt cakes for a breakfast treat.
The sticky maple glaze tastes like maple and caramel with a hint of coconut. Be patient as the mixture reduces and thickens, and enjoy the aromas along the way. The toasted pecans add more texture, and the flaky sea salt amplifies the flavor of the maple glaze with a salty-sweet contrast. If you’re short on time, simply dust the mini vegan date cakes with powdered sugar, and call it a day.
As a professed francophile, I have a very sweet spot in my heart for dairy, but I find vegan baking to be a curious experiment. It feels like magic the way ingredients come together without traditional binders or leavening agents. I’ve explored many vegan baking recipes, but I’m curious to continue, especially because I now have an avid vegan in the family. I started with Jerrelle’s recipe as a base because it relies on coconut oil rather than fake butter or fats. I’m a stickler for whole ingredients and real food.
Some Recent Vegan Explorations:
Are You Here to Connect? Let’s Talk Giving
I love brainstorming the big gifts for the special people in my life, and I love little gifts of cakes or cookies. A brown bag, twine, and foraged greens can go a long way in making a simple parcel and a person feel special. Sharing has always been at the heart of my baking, but I’ve begun seeking other areas in my life where I can share on a deeper level.
As I step more fully into 2022, I’m looking to be less in my head and more in action in terms of my values. I recently listened to the audio book version of Untamed by Glennon Doyle. This was my second listen, and it ranks as a book I want to return to annually. On the note of purpose and giving, this quote really resonated with me:
“Heartbreak delivers your purpose. If you are brave enough to accept that delivery and seek out the people doing that particular world-changing work, you find your people. There is no bond like the bond that is forged among people who are united in the same world-healing work.
Despair says, “The heartbreak is too overwhelming. I am too sad and too small, and the world is too big. I cannot do it all, so I will do nothing.
Courage says, “I will not let the fact that I cannot do everything keep me from doing what I can.
We all want purpose and connection.
Tell me what breaks your heart, and I’ll point you toward both.”
-Glennon Doyle, “Untamed”
This year, I hope to lean into heartache, to understand it more, to glean something beautiful and meaningful from its trenches. I hope to continue sharing the small, unexpected sweets, and to share in deeper ways that push me beyond my comfort zone.
Are You Here for the Dogs? (Always)
There’s a new dog! Yes, we have officially become a three-dog household, and as the old saying goes, three dogs do help to combat the bitter cold winter nights. I love when we’re all piled on the couch together, each dog sleeping soundly in a wheel shape. Pepper is a foster fail, and Maple’s absolute best friend. I couldn’t bear to break them apart. We’re not sure if the name Pepper suits her, so we’re still brainstorming. More Pepper stories to come.
Mini Date Cakes with Sticky Maple Glaze
- 10 pitted Medjool dates
- ½ cup (118 ml) full-fat coconut milk
- ½ cup (108 g) coconut oil, melted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup (120 g) white whole wheat flour
- 1 Tbsp cinnamon
- ½ Tbsp nutmeg
- 1 ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- ¼ tsp ground cloves
- ¼ tsp cardamom
- ½ cup (120 ml) maple syrup
- 2 Tbsp (28 g) coconut oil
- 1 (15-oz) can full-fat coconut milk
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp (10 ml) vanilla extract
- ½ cup (87 g) toasted pecans, chopped
- Flaky sea salt
For the Cakes:
- Place the dates in a heatproof bowl and cover with boiling water. Set them aside to soak and soften for at least 20 minutes. Once the dates are soft, drain the water, and transfer the dates to a food processor. Add the coconut milk, melted coconut oil, and vanilla extract, and blend until a creamy paste is formed.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F, and grease mini bundt cake pan(s) or molds. Alternatively, you can use a muffin tin.
- In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Add the dry ingredients to the date mixture in the food processor, and blend until combined. Transfer the batter to the prepared cake pan(s), filling the mold about ¾ full.
- Bake the cakes for 10-18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Baking time will vary depending on the size of your mini bundts.
- Remove the cakes from the oven, and transfer them to a cooling rack to cool completely before inverting. In the meantime, prepare the maple glaze.
For the Maple Glaze:
- Combine the maple syrup, coconut oil, coconut milk, salt, and vanilla in a saucepan, and bring to a boil, then reduce to medium-high heat, and continue stirring frequently until the sauce thickens and reduces. This takes 20-25 minutes.
- Drizzle the warm maple glaze over the cakes, then top with the toasted pecans and a sprinkle of flaky sea salt.