Thursday, October 13, 2011

Monkey Cake (vegan)

Milestone first birthday cake...done! Egg-free, sugar-free, nut-free, gluten-free and dairy-free. It was a bit of a challenge, but mostly because I wanted to make a monkey-face out of a cake. And, really, it didn't even matter because my now one year old destroyed the cake with a swing of his little paw. He devoured his piece and that was worth all of the work. It was so much fun to watch him be so excited. It was the first time he had cocoa and he was just as excited as I thought he would be. So I thought I would share a few photos and the recipe...just because I can. I mean, it's not every day your baby turns one, and you make a silly cake to celebrate it. So indulge me as I share a little piece of my life, my sweet monkey-faced babe and a yummy vegan cake.

Here is my little man, post cake-eating. He was happy and very very messy! :) So much fun and we even took a few videos to watch when we are old and grey. The last year sure was a lot of work, stress, tears, joys and wonder. And, it quite possibly doesn't seem like it can be a year already. Life moves so fast, and that is why we must enjoy every day for what it brings. The good and the bad. Life is a gift and we must not let the lies of greed, selfishness, laziness and boredom rule our daily routine. We must make ourselves seek gratitude, love and thankfulness for every gift. I know one specific person that reminds me of that daily... my little monkey boy. So sweet.
Banana Cake with Chocolate Frosting (vegan)
1/2 cup of millet flour
1/2 cup of brown rice flour
1/4 cup of tapioca flour
1/2 cup of organic corn flour (or quinoa flour)
2 ts. of baking powder
1 ts. of baking soda
1/2 ts. of sea salt
1 ts. of ground stevia powder
2 TB of chia seed meal
1 ts. of pure vanilla (optional)
1/3 cup of maple syrup
1/4 cup of organic apple juice
1 1/4 cup of mashed ripe banana puree
1/3 cup of melted coconut oil or light olive oil

1/2 cup of non-dairy milk ( I used So Delicious coconut beverage milk) then add 2 TB of lemon juice to the milk in a separate bowl. I use one fresh squeezed lemon with usually adds up to about 2 TB of juice. Let the mixture sit for 5-10 minutes until it gets a bit cultured. Then mix it with the rest of the batter.

First, pour the milk and lemon juice together and let sit while you mix up the rest of the batter. Then in a large mixing bowl, mix together all of the dry ingredients and then add the wet, lastly mix in the milk mixture and make sure you mix well with everything blended. Then let sit for just a few minutes to have everything sit together and get acquainted. Then pour into a oiled 9x9 circle pan and put in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 35-40 minutes, or until it is golden brown and checked with a toothpick in the middle to make sure it is baked through and not gooey.

Then, after cooling for 15 minutes, turn upside down on a serving platter and then let it continue to cool for another hour. Then take a serrated bread knife and cut out the head so that the cake looks like it has 2 ears on each side. This can be more difficult if you are not into cutting cakes or even drawing. It doesn't have to be perfect or that hard, just make sure you cut enough of the cake away to make it look like monkey ears. You can eat some of the cake at this point. Tests taste and make sure it's yummy!

Then time to make the frosting...

Chocolate Cake Frosting Recipe (vegan)
2 TB of cocoa powder
4 TB of coconut palm sugar
2 TB of maple syrup
4 TB of non-dairy milk 
9-10 TB of tapioca flour or starch (or arrowroot powder)

In a small bowl, mix the softened vegan butter with the cocoa powder, then add the sugar, and rest of the ingredients, except for the tapioca. Then lastly mix in the flour and slowly mix well with a spatula. Add more flour if you need it, and then let sit and blend together in the fridge for 30 minutes or so. It should be like a spreadable Betty Crocker frosting...If you leave it in the fridge too long it will thicken up considerably, so beware. Yet, if you warm it in the microwave or stovetop for just a few seconds it softens up quite nicely.

When you get the thicker consistency after it sits in the fridge...use this chocolate frosting to frost most of the cake, except for the monkey face. I used some leftover Namaste Toffee icing I had in the freezer for the monkey's face and lighter section. Then I also used the lighter frosting to make some ears.

Then I used some allergy-free mini chocolate chips to make eyes, nose and smile.

And, viola, I created a monkey!
We sung to the babe with a #1 candle and broke off the ears for him to eat first! It was just perfect! Of course I moved the chocolate chips out of the way of him eating the cake because I didn't want to create too much of an issue for him swallowing. He loved it!
I also make the same banana cake batter and frosting mix above to make some banana chocolate chip cupcakes for some guests to eat. They turned out just right, and only baked for about 22 minutes, instead of 35-40 for the cake. I served them in a green banana leaf :) hehe.
Not to mention, we had a little gathering of friends and family that we had a 'harvest-party' theme with lots of fresh apple cider, fresh apple slices and caramel dip, apple and pumpkin muffins, and I also splurged and made some pumpkin donuts (recipe to come) and pumpkin pudding bars. We had a ton of food and everyone enjoyed a gluten-free dairy free party (minus the caramel dip). We had a ton of fun celebrating, and you can bet that I had some fun baking all those goodies.

Thanks for indulging me in my little monkey cake and party treats.

I hope you find ways to celebrate life and enjoy each year (day, month and season) for all it's gifts.

Grace and peace!



  1. He is so cute! Congrats on your first year, and what an awesome looking cake!

  2. The cake looks yummy! I can't believe your "baby" is now one! It feels like you had just written about him being born! I might have to borrow some ideas for my daughter's October birthday. :-)

  3. Good for you for coming up with such a yummy recipe! Looks like your little one really enjoyed it!

  4. How adorable! (Your baby and the cake!) What a happy (and delicious) milestone! Happy Birthday little fella!

  5. That was definitely a cake made with love. :) Thank you for sharing, Stephanie, and best birthday wishes for your little one.

  6. Thanks everybody for the kind words and wishes! Much love to you all!

  7. Your son is absolutely adorable!! I was so glad to seea picture of him! The cake is really cute.
    I use your recipes all the time. You are so talented and I would have told you sooner but I just realized that I could post. LOL. Thank you soo much for sharing your talent and wholesome recipes. what a gift you have!!