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a humble chocolate cake + biscoff glaze

This is a chocolate cake you throw together real quick. It goes with tea and friends coming over on semi-short notice. It also goes with breakfast. You probably have everything in your cupboard to make it. It is vegan, with whole grain flour and unrefined sugar, sure. It’s not the healthiest thing you can make, but it’s a cake. The cake that understands.

I bake it in a loaf pan for that extra casual je ne sais quoi. Then I cover it in a glaze made with biscoff and little chopped almonds, cacao nibs, and coconut; drizzling and sprinkling my way to party time, all kind of on a whim. It’s an unassuming and humble cake that you dress up a bit for company (or yourself). I love that. There’s a feeling of spontaneity lurking in its potential when you bring it out.

The biscoff finish is sweet, nutty, luxurious, and actually rife with guilt in a very special bad-but-feels-good kind of way. You’re essentially glazing a simple cake with a butter made out of cookies. Another reminder seems necessary: it’s a cake.

I had seen biscoff appear on a lot of blogs in the last year or so. Only when I saw it on one of my faves, the amazing Oh, Ladycakes, did I start to get kind of anxious about finding some (ingredient-driven anxiousness, yep that happens). Instead of performing a basic google search, I decided to inquire with Ashlae herself. And you know what that fancy lady did? She asked for my mailing address (in a non-creepy way, trust) and she sent me a jar. In the mail.

There was homemade vanilla extract in a sweet little burlap bag too, all carefully bubble wrapped. It was genuine and generous, much like Ashlae herself. It was an instance of honest kindness that made me excited for the world at large. I always feel good to be right here, but this reminded me of the islands of sanity that do exist in this bizarre, but still big and beautiful, world.

I can get caught up in the mire of the crazy a bit and in turn, can be the worst at responding to things in a general way. Comments on the blog, social media things, invitations to whatever, personal emails, calling people back etc etc. I’m a talk-it-out-in-the-real kind of gal for the most part, so it just takes me a bit longer to completely sort the right response most times. In this instance, cake was a natural approach. It’s my way of reflecting that kindness back at a few more people. Easy chocolate cake sweetness for all :)


humble chocolate loaf cake + biscoff glaze
barely adapted from The Post Punk Kitchen
serves: makes 1 regulation loaf-sized cake
notes: I used some cultured coconut milk for this cake. You could easily substitute that with buttermilk, kefir or 1 cup of whatever milk you like with a big squeeze of lemon added ahead of time to make it curdle. Also, some all purpose or whole wheat flour would sub in for light and whole spelt just fine. If you can’t find biscoff spread, peanut butter would be delicious in its place.

cake-dry:
1/2 cup light spelt flour
1/2 cup whole spelt flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
pinch of cinnamon
1 tsp instant espresso powder or finely ground coffee
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt

cake-wet:
1/4 cup muscovado sugar (or dark brown sugar)
1/2 cup cane sugar
1 cup cultured milk of some kind (kefir, buttermilk, cultured coconut etc or the aforementioned lemon juice curdling method)
1/3 cup melted coconut oil (or any oil you like-sunflower, grapeseed etc)
1.5 tsp vanilla extract

biscoff glaze:
1/4 cup biscoff
1 cup powdered sugar (if you use the organic/not super refined kind, make sure you sift it a couple times)
2 tsp maple syrup
a splash of vanilla extract
3 tbsp milk of your choice (I went the cultured route again for some tang)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a loaf pan with some of the coconut oil. Line it with parchment paper and then grease the paper lightly as well. Set aside.

Sift all of the dry ingredients into a large bowl. Push through any lumps of cocoa powder with your fingers.

In a separate, smaller bowl combine all of the wet ingredients. Whisk to combine, making sure there are no demerara sugar lumps in the mix. It should be smooth.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ones in the large bowl. Gently mix everything together with a spatula until just combined. Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake for 45-50 minutes or until a cake tester/toothpick comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool completely.

Make the glaze: In a small bowl, combine the biscoff, powdered sugar, maple syrup and vanilla. Stir with a spoon until the sugar is kind of mixed up with the biscoff like a homogenous paste. It shouldn’t become runny at all. You just don’t want too much loose powdered sugar in the bowl. Add the milk of your choice, stir a bit to get things going. Switch to a whisk and stark whisking firmly until a smooth glaze is achieved. It should make ribbons that last in the bowl when you lift the whisk.

Assemble: Spread the glaze over the cooled cake and top with dried coconut, cacao nibs and chopped almonds if you like. Slice and serve :)

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Kathryn26/10/2012 - 4:51 am

This kind of throw it all together cake is my very favourite kind. A cake doesn’t need to be complicated or fancy to be delicious and to make me happy – especially when it looks as good as this one does.

Erin26/10/2012 - 8:43 am

This cake looks delicious! And it sounds like such a fantastic flavor combination.

Ashlae26/10/2012 - 8:58 am

Laura! Waking up to this post made me smile so big. I know I’ve said it before, but.. YOU RULE. Hard.

My dad comes to town tonight, and I can’t think of a better way to greet him than with this humble chocolate cake drenched in speculoos glaze. It looks so great, lady.

erin26/10/2012 - 10:47 am

Um- this sounds absolutely amazing! I’ve actually never seen biscoff around here but I’d totally smother a cake in peanut butter. And homemade vanilla? You can’t go wrong!

Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar26/10/2012 - 11:30 am

That glaze makes me swoon!

Stacy26/10/2012 - 12:28 pm

I love simple cakes more than I can say. I have a vegan chocolate one that I love as well, but I do believe I’ll be giving YOUR recipe a go next time I’m in need of something of this sort! Looks delicious, and lovely to boot!

Jacqui26/10/2012 - 5:56 pm

Um, where have I been. I had to google “biscoff” because I had no idea what it was. Sounds like something I would probably constantly have my finger in though : ) And this cake is gorgeous!

jaime @ sweet road27/10/2012 - 1:06 am

I have yet to find biscoff, but when I do come across it I will definitely bake something up with it. Until then I have no problem throwing together this chocolate cake recipe and whipping up another glaze… it looks too good!

Elenore Bendel Zahn28/10/2012 - 3:04 am

Personally I cannot think of a better way to response to that kind of love then THIS particular cake.

Oh, I really just want to hug you right now! (and do that crazy dance we talked about)… and be the one how comes over for that semi-short notice fika (fika means kind of like meating up for tea and talk and laughter and an occasional cake)

xoxo Elenore

Kelsey28/10/2012 - 12:48 pm

Can you come to Colorado and join forces with Ashlae and teach me how to be as cool as you two? M’kay. Great. Thanks. :)

Kathryne28/10/2012 - 11:34 pm

Oo girl, this is my kind of dessert. Kinda healthy but definitely indulgent, yep. That’s so sweet of Ashlae to send you some Biscoff (and so much more heart-warming than, say, one of those fleeting tweets). I don’t know how to keep up with all the comments and emails and social media stuff and also get stuff done, so it seems like I have to let one thing or another go by the wayside at all times! It can really make a person crazy, can’t it?

Courtney29/10/2012 - 5:12 pm

I, too have been very skeptical of Biscoff spread but this cake has sparked my interest. I have plans to pick some up and make/devour this cake post haste. Yum!

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Zia14/05/2013 - 8:04 am

I’d like to make this vegan…can I use almond milk in both the cake and the glaze?

Looks incredibly yummy!

Zia

Laura Wright14/05/2013 - 8:17 am

You can, Zia! Direct substitution :)

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