Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Blueberry Almond Cake with Creamy Coconut Frosting (gluten-free, vegan)

I am reminded that life is a gift. So many countless blessings to be thankful for. A healthy life is also a gift, even if it takes hard work to get from one awful place of sickness to a place of health and wellness. It is so hard to imagine health when you are so sick. It is sometimes even harder to remember how sick you truly were once you are feeling the beauty of a healthy life again. I am reminded of these feelings because this is a part of my story. I have been down that road of sickness. It is painful. Physically, and emotionally. It is easy to get lost in your own pain and loose a sense of balance and hope for the future. It's hard to imagine... imagine anything. You just want answers and hope...

Then time passes. Your body will heal. It is a powerful being. You seek answers to questions. You work hard to eat real food and treat food as medicine. You find that there is joy and happiness in adding real food and taking away the crap. You start to regain a sense of imagination again. You can start to see that flicker of hope for the future. You start to dream again.

No matter where you are on this healing journey to better health, you must stop and appreciate. Appreciate the journey. Appreciate the process. And appreciate that life is a gift.

Remember where you came from and look forward to where you are going. Push yourself to take the next step. Do that one thing that is holding you back from getting more balance, or more peace in your life. You know what it is. And if you don't, then take the time to reflect on what that might be. Your life is a gift.

This recipe represents this new life of appreciation for me. It is a picture of eating real foods that can be created from scratch to be something beautiful and delicious. There is no pain, no guilt, and no disappointments. Taking a bite of something wonderful to be reminded that this is only the beginning. Gluten-free living doesn't have to be the kind of life sentence that you may think when you first start. It can be liberating. It brings hope that you can heal and live a life full of adventure again.

I made this recipe from the most common ingredients in my kitchen and it turned out wonderfully. I was so excited to enjoy this cake with my husband as a reminder to how beautiful our life is together. It feels good to celebrate and appreciate each other, and to enjoy our amazing son together. I am so grateful.

Blueberry Almond Cake Recipe
1 1/2 cup of ground almond-meal (almonds ground in coffee grinder or food processor)
1/2 cup of millet flour
1/2 cup of tapioca flour
1/2 cup of brown rice flour
1 ts. of xanthan gum
1 ts. of salt
1 ts. of baking powder
1 ts. of baking soda
1/3 cup of pure maple syrup
1/2 cup of unsweetened applesauce
1/3 cup of melted coconut oil
1 cup of So Delicious Coconut milk beverage or other non-dairy milk (mix milk with juice of one lemon*about 2 TB of juice* and let sit for 5-10 minutes to make a buttermilk like cultured milk substance)

1 heaping cup of fresh or frozen blueberries

Mix all the dry ingredients together first, and then add the buttermilk mixture along with all the other wet ingredients. Lastly add the blueberries and do not over store them in to avoid too much blue bleeding into the batter. Mix and pour into a 8x8 or 9x9 circle or square baking pan. Make sure you grease the pan with coconut oil or palm oil to avoid sticking. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour. The cake will be pretty moist, but stick a tooth pick into the middle of the cake to test if it is still gooey. It is done when the tops is golden and there is no gooey middle and the pick comes out clean. Let cool for 1 hour before frosting with the following glaze/frosting. The cake is not meant to be super sweet, so the frosting adds the perfect amount of sweetness and flavor.

Coconut Cream Frosting Recipe (vegan):
1 can of organic coconut milk (just scoop out the cream from can and dispose of the coconut water liquid)
1/3-1/2 cup of pure maple syrup
3 TB of tapioca flour

Open the can of coconut milk and scoop out all of the coconut cream and do nit use any of the liquid in the can for the frosting. Then in a bowl with the coconut cream, syrup, flour and creamer. Start with a TB of creamer and if it needs more liquid to blend in the flour, then use 1 more TB. Wisk very well for a few minutes until it is creamy and blended. Then if it is too liquidy- put in the fridge for 30-60 minutes for it to harder up a bit. Then frost the cooled cake and your treat is ready! The cake should serve anywhere from 8-12 people depending on how you slice it up. I have found that this cake is a bit moist and chewy, so it tasted best when kept in the fridge and then eaten cold. It was very rich and yummy and you would be surprised that is vegan and refined sugar free. I hope you are reminded of the beauty of gluten-free eating with this treat and thank God for this beautiful gluten-free life.

Much love to you today!


  1. What a lovely post. I love the idea of taking that next step. I'm not sure what that is for me right now, but I do know that it's time, whatever it I'm definitely going to take your advice and find some time to reflect and figure out where I need to go next.

  2. Good advice and a lovely recipe! :-)

  3. This is a great post and exemplifies how I am feeling today.For me, the next step (and what I have started doing) is going to bed earlier and up earlier. Also, exercising and eating more green smoothies. :)

    Quick questions: I can no longer eat coconut (sad day!) so I was wondering if there was anything I could sub for the coconut cream? I don't really eat much dairy either although I've been ok with greek yogurt and sour cream. Any ideas? I was thinking I could just sub earth balance for the coconut oil or palm shortening.

  4. And what to do about the coffee creamer? If I don't have any and can't have coconut?

  5. Ariana- I am not sure of a good sub for the coconut cream, maybe look up another dairy-free alt frosting recipe that doesn't have coconut...I know some people use palm oil shortening as a frosting base... look it up on google...maybe something will perk your interest.

    And when it comes to the creamer- I would just sub in a TB of vanilla or other flavor extract if you want.

    are you allergic to coconut.... so sad!

  6. It's amazing, isn't it, how the body can renew itself? This is a lovely sentiment, and I'm glad to hear that you were able to share this and appreciate it with your husband. And the cake looks fabulous! :)