Most everyone has those foodie items that when you pass them at the grocery store or bakery, you just have to pick one up. For me, this would be things like the kombucha at Whole foods (although, I’m working on that one!) or the coconut water at Trader Joe’s. Apparently I have a beverage weakness? Well, at least it’s of the non-alcoholic variety.
For Aaron, his soft spot is for pastries. Gooey cinnamon rolls, buttery croissants, and especially tea cakes from the very awesome Clear Flour Bakery near us. They’re far from vegan or healthy, but these little cakes have outstanding flavor combinations, like lemon poppyseed and cranberry orange almond. They somehow manage to be light and almost pillowy, despite the ridiculous amount of butter that I’m sure goes into making them.
I’m also a fan of tea cakes, but for very different reasons. Mostly, I just love anything miniature and therefore adorable. It’s kind of like puppies and kittens, and sometimes babies, but less so than cakes. I’m kidding!
Anyway, on yet another little online shopping session at Williams Sonoma, I came across some cute little loaf pans, among about a million other items out of my price range (um, apparently they’re now on sale too?!). And as soon as I saw those mini pans, I was determined to come up with a tea cake recipe of my own, minus the eggs, butter, sugar, and gluten – yet with a still-satisfying texture and flavor that would rival even Clear Flour’s cakes. A tall order, especially for a gluten-free baking novice.
I’ve been on a coconut kick these last two weeks, after discovering the Bob’s Red Mill large, flaked variety. For years, I stayed away from coconut because of the high fat content (including the saturated fat), but I’ve slowly been incorporating more into my diet. In addition to the flakes of coconut, I also experimented with coconut flour in this recipe. Admittedly, I was somewhat nervous because of the dense texture, but I paired it with an equal amount of all-purpose flour, and could not be happier with the results. The coconut lends a rich, buttery flavor, and I also added a generous squeeze of fresh lime juice and zest to give it some brightness. We all know how much I love my citrus, especially in baked goods.
This tea cake uses only a very small amount of agave to enhance the natural sweetness of the coconut, so it’s definitely not your typical, sugared-up cake, though you could certainly add a powdered sugar glaze if you wanted. That said, I haven’t found any bakery receipts scattered around my apartment this week, so I’d say Aaron is a fan.
- 1 C. All-Purpose Gluten-Free Flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill brand)
- 1 C. Coconut Flour
- 1½ Tsp. Baking Powder
- 1 Tsp. Baking Soda
- 1 Tsp. Xanthan Gum
- ½ Tsp. Salt
- 1¼ C. Coconut Milk (I used TJ’s brand from the ½ gallon carton)
- 1 Ener-G Egg (1½ Tsp. Ener-G egg replacer, 2 Tbs. warm water)
- Juice & Zest of 3 Organic Limes (about ¼ C. juice, 3 heaping Tbs. zest)
- ¼ C. Agave
- ¼ C. Unsweetened Applesauce
- ¼ C. Coconut Oil, melted
- 1 Tsp. Vanilla Bean Paste (or Pure Vanilla Extract)
- ¾ C. Coconut Flakes, plus 1 Tbs. more for garnish
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Lightly grease three 5½ x 3 inch loaf pans and set aside.
- Prepare your vegan egg by combining 1½ Tsp. Ener-G egg replacer with 2 Tbs. water. Stir until no lumps remain.
- In a large bowl, mix together flours, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum, and salt.
- Add the Ener-G egg, coconut milk, lime juice and zest, agave, applesauce, coconut oil, and vanilla to the dry ingredients. Stir until just combined.
- Fold in the coconut flakes.
- Transfer the batter to the greased loaf pans, garnish with the remaining coconut flakes, and bake for 30-35 minutes, until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
What’s the foodie item you have trouble passing up when you’re out shopping?