Vegan Kanelbullar (Swedish Cinnamon Buns)

This weekend, I had breakfast at a Danish bakery in London Fields with my boyfriend. It is called The Bread Station and it’s a pretty cool industrial-looking bakery/café underneath the train tracks. They mostly do wholesale to other shops, so you can actually see the bakers at work producing large quantities of pastry and sourdough bread! I had a delicious “Kanelbullar” with my coffee, which is a Swedish cinnamon bun (not very Danish, but oh well). I absolutely love cinnamon buns: the crunchy outside with the soft, enriched dough on the inside… the way you can pull the different layers apart… the delicious sugary cinnamon stuffing… need I say more?

I have wanted to make cinnamon rolls for a long time, but I could never decide which kind I wanted to make. But after seeing the lovely knotted Swedish buns, there was no doubt in my mind. I had to have a go at these myself. Swedish people love these so much, they even have a national day to celebrate them! The 4th of October is “Kanelbullens Dag” (Cinnamon Bun Day) in Sweden. Unfortunately, my timing is not that good, because it is nowhere near October, but hey: you don’t need a national day to enjoy these. The Kanelbulle is a popular treat to have during “fika”, which is the Swedish word for coffee break. It is comparable to British afternoon tea, but more often it’s coffee with pastry instead of tea with scones!

Some of you might already know that I am pescotarian (have been for 3 years now), although most of the stuff I eat is plant-based. However, because I have started to bake a lot more, I have been using a lot more animal products like eggs, milk and butter than I used to. In an attempt to reduce my use of animal products, I decided to make these buns vegan. Traditionally, Kanelbullar have a butter & sugar filling, but I have found that using vegetable oil instead of butter is just as delicious! These homemade buns were just as good (if not better!) than the non-vegan ones I had at The Bread Station.

You can get these lovely homemade buns on the table in just over 2 hours time. Trust me, it’s worth the wait! My roommate and her boyfriend were really happy with me this morning 😉 Without further ado, let’s get to the recipe.

Vegan Kanelbullar (Swedish Cinnamon Buns)

Ingredients (makes around 16 buns)

  • Dough
  • 250 ml almond milk
  • 60 ml boiling water
  • 7 gr active dried yeast
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • 370 gr plain flour
  • 40 gr white bread wheat flour + extra for dusting
  • 60 gr soft brown sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 60 ml vegetable oil
  • Filling
  • 60 ml vegetable oil
  • 100 gr soft brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • Icing
  • 6 tbsp powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp water
  • Decoration
  • Handful of almond flakes

Method

Start by activating your yeast. Combine the almond milk, hot water, and 1 tsp sugar. Check the temperature: you want it to be around 26 degrees (that’s what the yeast likes). If it’s not warm enough, just pop it in the microwave for a few seconds. Then stir in the dried yeast and set aside to become bubbly.

In a large bowl, combine the flours, spices and sugar. I like to use a little bit of wheat bread flour next to plain flour, because I find it adds some structure. Feel free to use just plain flour if that’s what you have on hand. I do recommend adding the ground cardamom: it adds SO much to the flavour of these buns. It is definitely worth spending the few pounds on to get!

Make a well in the middle and pour in the oil and the activated yeast mixture. Mix with your hands until the dough comes together, then flour the surface and knead for 10 minutes until you have a smooth, elastic dough. The dough will be sticky in the beginning but it will get easier to handle as you go along. You might need to add a little extra flour depending on temperature and humidity, but be careful not to add it too soon as the kneading really does make the dough less sticky eventually.

Place your dough in an oiled bowl and cover with a clean kitchen towel. Place somewhere warm and leave to prove for 1 to 1,5 hours until doubled in size.

When your dough has proved, tip it onto a lightly floured surface and roll out into a square until the dough is 1 cm thick. Combine the oil, sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and spread the mixture on the dough. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

Spread the mixture out until you can only see around 1 cm of the edges (so bit more than the photo on top). Then, fold the dough like an envelop: take the upper edge and fold it 1/3 down, then take the bottom edge and fold that op 1/3d of the way. Roll the envelop out again so that you get a rectangle of around 40×20 cm. Divide in long, 2cm wide strips. Watch the following video to see how to knot your buns: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eHNFA4hcpok

Place your knotted cinnamon buns on a baking tray lined with parchment and bake them for 15-20 minutes (depending on the size). When they’re cooled halfway, whip up a quick icing by combining powdered sugar with some water (the more powdered sugar you add, the thicker and whiter the icing, the more water the more translucent and thin the icing. You do you!). Top the buns with your icing and sprinkle some almond flakes on top. Enjoy!

Serve these lovely buns with a cup of steaming hot coffee and indulge! Be sure to show me your results if you do try this recipe. I love to see your bakes, so get in touch on instagram

Lots of love, Tori

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The Pancake Series #2: Healthy Turmeric & Apple Pancakes

Turmeric is one of my favourite spices. I always have some powdered turmeric stored in my cupboard. It is so incredibly versatile: I use it in lovely Indian curry dishes, but I also like to use it in sweet cooking. Although more unconventional, as turmeric is more often used savoury because of its slightly bitter, earthy aroma, I think turmeric goes wonderfully with something sweet! No wonder the “turmeric latte” is very popular, appearing on more and more menus in London coffee shops.

The turmeric latte is actually what inspired me to make this dish for lunch today. My mum came home from the hairdresser this morning, proclaiming she wanted to stop drinking as much coffee. So I asked her if she maybe wanted to have a turmeric latte instead. She replied: “Why would I want that? Putting turmeric in it doesn’t mean it’s not coffee anymore, and that’s exactly what I’m trying to avoid!” I laughed, because this is exactly the same mistake I made the first time I ordered a turmeric latte in a cafe. Baffled, I asked the waitress: “Uhm, maybe I’m being really weird, but are you sure there’s coffee in this?” She looked at me funnily and said: “I sure hope not, ’cause it’s supposed to be without any coffee!”. So there I had it: a latte without coffee. And then I realized, of course “latte” does not mean COFFEE WITH MILK. It just means: MILK. It’s just that we are so used to ordering a “latte” that we tend to forget that it’s basically an abbreviation of caffè latte. So I made my mum and myself a turmeric latte (real easy: heat up 400 ml soy milk, or any other milk, in a small saucepan add 1 tsp ground turmeric, 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, 1 tsp honey, 1 tsp vanilla extract & whisk til the top becomes frothy, and serve in a glass!). My mum absolutely loved it. And I said to her: could you put this in a pancake?

The answer is Hell. Yes. You can definitely put turmeric in a pancake. One trip to Google.com and I would’ve had the answer, but instead I just went for it. And boy, was I happy I did. I decided to pair the turmeric with some grated apple and it just works. You have to try it for yourself, because my descriptions wouldn’t really do it justice. These pancakes are super healthy: I had these for lunch after my 6k run today and felt re-energized immediately! There is no butter or artificial sugar in these, just one egg, one apple, wholemeal spelt flour, oat flour and soy milk. The topping is quark (a really thick sort of yoghurt with a high protein and low fat content that is very common in The Netherlands), some roughly chopped hazelnuts and some left-over grated apple. And of course, there is turmeric in these pancakes. Turmeric contains curcumin, which has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties*. Not only is inflammation bad for your bodily health, there is new evidence suggesting that depression can be caused by inflammation levels too. I just started reading a book about it and I find it very interesting, it’s called The Inflamed Mind by Edward Bullmore. Further research should elucidate this more, but for now I’ll happily put a teaspoon of turmeric in my pancakes! Turmeric’s yellow colour makes me happy already so even if that’s all driving the effect, that’s fine by me. Let’s get to that recipe now.

Turmeric & Apple Wholemeal Pancakes

Ingredients (for 1 portion)

  • 1 medium egg
  • 1 large apple (I used Jonagold)
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 40 gr wholemeal spelt flour
  • 10 gr wholemeal fine oats
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 80 ml light soy milk (or any other milk)
  • 2 tbsp quark (or a low-fat, high-protein yoghurt)
  • 1 tbsp hazelnuts
  • some oil for frying

Method

Peel and grate the apple coarsely (if you do it too finely, it is a bit too wet). Place the grated apple in a bowl, reserving just a teaspoon or so for decorating. Add the egg, turmeric, cinnamon and vanilla and whisk to combine everything. Then, add the spelt flour, the oats (you can use these in any ratio you like, as long as you add 50 grams in total) and the baking powder. Whisk again and then add your milk. I like to use light soy milk, because it adds sweetness without the cals. 😉 You might not need all of the milk: keep adding and whisking until the batter is the thickness you desire. I like mine thick but still pourable. Bake the pancakes in a little bit of oil of your choice. I used sunflower oil because it has a neutral flavour, it can resist high temperatures and it contains mostly unsaturated fats (the healthy kinda fat). Bake on low-medium heat til browned on both sides and stack the pancakes. Top with two tablespoons of quark, the left-over grated apple, some hazelnuts (just smash them a bit with a pestle & mortar or chop them) and a tiny sprinkle of ground turmeric. Enjoy!

I hope you enjoyed the story about how today’s bake came about. Do let me know when you try these. I love seeing your results! Feel free to share on Instagram and tag me @bakingstori. Until next time! X

*Source: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/top-10-evidence-based-health-benefits-of-turmeric#section7

Super (Un) Healthy Carrot Cake

I love baking the same thing twice. First version: go completely crazy, don’t be shy with the sugar and the oil and the toppings. Second version: healthy sister. So that’s what I did with these carrot cakes. It was my birthday the 18th of November and I invited a small group of friends over for dinner. (Yeah, small group, not really my style, but I hardly have enough room to host more than two friends!) Of course, they had high anticipations of the dessert, knowing me and my baking quite well.

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So there you have it. The biggest cake I have ever baked! These 3 layers took me forever, because I only have one 8 inch cake pan. I had to bake the layers in turns and wait for them to cool properly before removing them from the pan. So yeah, if you want to spend your whole day baking a birthday cake (I seriously don’t mind; I love it), just go ahead. Otherwise just shove multiple cake pans in the oven at the same time!

This carrot cake was everything you guys, but I have to be honest: the white chocolate butter cream really made this a winner for me. I remember the first time I attempted to make butter cream. It was a complete disaster and I didn’t dare try it again. Until now! I finally felt confident enough to try again, and boy am I happy that I did.

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Did I mention the middle layer is actually not carrot cake but courgette cake? I am such a big fan of using courgette in my baking, because it adds incredible moisture. Maybe you read my post on my gingerbread courgette loaf a while back, in which I talked about it a bit as well. The middle layer of this cake was so dense! It gave the carrot cake a special twist. Recipe time!


Super Unhealthy Birthday Carrot Cake with White Chocolate Butter Cream

3 layers serves 16 people – ingredients are for 1 layer of cake

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp mixed allspice
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs room temp
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened apple sauce (either homemade or store bought)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1½ cup grated carrot OR grated courgette
  • ¼ chopped walnuts

Making this batter is as easy as pie (pun intended). Just combine the dry ingredients and wet ingredients in separate bowl and mix well to combine. Then add the two together and beat thoroughly until everything is incorporated. Fold in either the grated carrot or courgette and the walnuts. Transfer the cake batter to an 8 inch (20 cm) non-stick cake tin with removable bottom. Bake each layer for 30 minutes at 175 degrees Celsius. Always do the toothpick test to check if the cake is done!

White Chocolate Butter Cream

  • 500 gr cream cheese (room temp)
  • 250 gr butter (room temp)
  • fresh vanilla beans of 1 vanilla pod
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 200 gr melted white chocolate

Your ingredients should really be at room temperature, otherwise it will be impossible to mix everything properly. Start by melting the white chocolate either au bain marie or in the microwave in 15 second intervals. Set aside to cool. Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl with an electric hand mixer on medium speed for 3 minutes. Let the butter cream cool in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before using it in your cake, otherwise it will be too runny.

A tip on building up your cake: make sure the layers are flat! Use a sharp knife to cut off just a bit of the top of the cake so the surface is super straight. That way, stacking the layers will be a lot easier, and your cake won’t tilt over in any direction.


 

For those of you that are still with me after that amount of sugar and fat: do not despair. I am here for you health freaks too. You see, I had some left over carrots the next day and started to wonder: would this cake be just as good if I tried to eliminate all the unhealthy ingredients? Well, the answer is no, it’s not. But it’s still very good as a breakfast cake!

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I just made one layer of this cake, because unfortunately, I had no friends visiting me for breakfast who I could share with! Basically, what I did was cut out all the oil and sugar and replaced that for Greek yoghurt and raisins. Also, I used oat flour instead of plain all-purpose flour. I have to say just the raisins did not satisfy my sweet tooth enough, so I just went ahead and topped my piece of cake with some agave syrup and powdered sugar.

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I would love to hear if you guys know any great ways to add sweetness to your cake without using sugar! Maybe it would be a good idea to add a mashed overripe banana? Let me know if you try that.


Super Healthy Carrot Cake

Serves 8 – ingredients are for 1 layer of cake

  • 1 ½ cup oat flour
  • ½ cup ground walnuts
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp mixed spice
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ cup greek yoghurt
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup homemade unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup grated carrot
  • ½ cup raisins

To make the batter for this healthy carrot cake, just do the exact same thing as with the unhealthy one. Mix the wet and dry ingredients in separate bowls, then add together and mix thoroughly before folding in the carrot and raisins.

You can use either store bought oat flour, or if you have a kitchen processor, make your own by adding some whole grain oat flakes and pulsing them a few times until they become a fine, flour like texture.

Bake for 30-35 minutes on 175 degrees Celsius. Top off with some oat flakes!


 

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Bon appétit!

Love,

Tori

Gingerbread Spice Courgette Loaf

Good morning everyone!

During my trip back home to Amsterdam, I managed to get my loaf tin back. I missed it so much for my baking here, because I used to make so many banana breads in that tin. But today I won’t be sharing a banana bread recipe (although I’m sure that will come around some time…) but another quick bread/loaf.

This gingerbread-spiced loaf is packed with courgette. I love to use courgette in my baking, because it adds so much moist. Any quick bread will have cake-like structure if you add courgette I think, which is basically amazing, because you trick your mind into thinking you’re eating an oil-packed cake when it’s just super healthy. Grated courgette is also amazing to add to red velvet cake, just so you know. Also, the little green dots look gorgeous in the baking.

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You can experiment with this loaf as much as you want. I am trying to find the healthiest version without compromising on taste and texture. I’ve found that this recipe is the perfect balance! It has just 1/4 cup of vegetable oil, but you might even be fine without any oil at all. It’s also completely up to you how sweet you want this cake to be. If you plan on eating this cake for breakfast, I suggest just using 1/4 cup of agave syrup or honey and leaving out the 1/4 cup of brown sugar. But of course you can add as much sugar as you want, especially if you want to serve this as an afternoon treat/coffee cake.

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I used 4 eggs for this loaf, which sounds like a lot, but I sometimes like to add an extra egg to my breakfast loaf because I am a vegetarian. I try to sneak extra protein into my meals wherever I can, so if I have the chance to add an extra egg to my baking, I just go ahead. I started out with 3 eggs but found the batter a bit too thick, so I added another one. If I were you, I’d just start with 3 eggs and see where that gets you. Especially if you are just using plain flour and no oats & spelt flour like me, I think 3 eggs will be plenty.

To add a gingerbread flavour to this loaf, I added cinnamon, allspice and ground ginger. These spices gave this loaf so much warmth, it made me feel like it’s already Christmas. Perfect for any cold mornings coming up. Feel free to just use 2tsp of cinnamon if you don’t have the other spices in your cabinet; it will still taste amazing.

Gingerbread Spice Courgette Loaf

Yield: ± 10 slices  – Prepping time: 15 mins – Baking time: 55-60

Dry ingredients

  • ½ cup self-raising flour
  • ½ cup wholegrain spelt flour
  • 1 cup wholegrain oats + 1 tbsp for decorating
  • 1 tsp baking soda (=bicarbonate of soda)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground allspice/mixed spice
  • 1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp salt

Wet ingredients

  • 4 eggs
  • ¼ cup melted vegetable shortening or vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup agave syrup
  • ¼ cup almond milk
  • ¼ cup brown sugar (I used dark brown natural unrefined cane sugar)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar (you need the acidity as a reactor otherwise the baking soda doesn’t do anything, you can also use some honey or lemon juice)

Filling

  • 2 cups grated courgette (±2 small to medium-sized courgettes)
  • small handful chopped walnuts
  • small handful chopped pecans + some extra for decorating

Instructions

Preheat your oven to 175 degrees Celsius.

Sieve all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl and combine well.

Grate the courgette and drain well from extra liquid, but it’s okay if you leave just a bit because this provides extra moist to the loaf. Stir in the chopped nuts and set aside.

In another bowl, add all of the wet ingredients and mix until everything is incorporated. Then add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir everything together with a spatula. Finally, add the courgette & nuts and fold into the mixture.

Spray a loaf tin with some baking spray (I use coconut oil spray), or alternatively just grease the tin with butter. Line your tin with parchment paper and spray again. Then, pour in your batter. Your batter should be just liquid enough to pour in your tin with some help of a spatula to flatten everything out! Top the loaf with some whole pecan nuts and a sprinkle of oats. Cover the top of your loaf with aluminium foil but be sure to leave enough room for the loaf to rise.

Bake the loaf for 45 minutes. Then take it out of the oven, remove the aluminium foil and check how far along the loaf is. Place back into the oven without the foil so the top of the loaf can become golden brown. My loaf needed another 15 minutes, so it baked for a total of 60 minutes. You can try to reduce your baking time by increasing the heat of your oven to 190 degrees Celsius, but I didn’t want to risk ending up with an uncooked inside but burnt top.

Let the loaf cool in the tin for 10 minutes before easily removing it by pulling on the parchment paper. Transfer the loaf to a cooling rack for at least another 10 minutes before cutting into it.

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Have a lovely week everyone and be sure to share picture with me if you do try this recipe! 🙂

Love,

Tori

Flourless Dark Chocolate & Espresso Birthday Cake

Hi guys!

Hope you’re all doing great. I’m currently in my hometown Amsterdam because I planned a surprise visit for my brother’s 18th birthday. Fortunately, the surprise went really well (he had no idea that I was coming!) and we had a very nice family day with lots of food! My mom and I spent basically the whole day in the kitchen last Thursday (on my brother’s birthday) to bake two cakes and prepare an awesome bday dinner. It’s a bit of a tradition in our family that you can choose what you want to have for dinner on your bday. My brother is a big fan of my famous Spinach & Ricotta Lasagna (of which I will probably post a recipe sooner or later) so that’s what he requested. But what is a birthday without an awesome birthday cake?

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I actually decided on baking two cakes because I had two recipes in mind that I really wanted to try out, but I needed a hand mixer for those recipes. Now, I don’t own one back in London, but my mom’s kitchen is fully supplied so I figured I should take advantage of the opportunity! Note that it is possible to bake this cake without a hand mixer too, but you will get a sore arm from beating the egg white 😉

My family is one full of ever-caffeinated-chocoholics, so this first cake, an Espresso & Dark Chocolate Cake, seemed just perfect. To keep it low-carb (the other cake we were doing was heavily carb-loaded so yeah…) we decided on a flourless version. This makes for an extra dense & creamy chocolate cake, but you do want this to sit in your fridge for a few hours before indulging.

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Let’s get to it!

Flourless Espresso & Dark Chocolate Cake

Prepping time: 15 mins – Baking time: 35-40 mins – Yield: 16 pcs

Ingredients

  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup of unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
  • 250 gr dark chocolate (I used around 70-80% cacao but you can use whatever you prefer. If you use more than that, consider adding a bit more sugar)
  • ¼ cup of boiling water
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 1 fresh single espresso (or 1 tsp instant espresso powder)
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cacao powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • Powdered sugar & fruits for decorating

Instructions

Preheat your oven to 190 degrees Celsius and boil some water in your kettle. Break up your chocolate in small pieces and pour 1/4 cup (60ml) of boiling water over the chocolate. Add one cup of fresh espresso. You can also use instant espresso powder (1tsp) or both for extra coffee flavour. While you let that sit, separate the eggs in two large bowls. Using a hand mixer, beat the egg white until it’s very firm. Give your chocolate mixture a stir every now and then so that the chocolate completely melts and incorporates into the espresso and hot water.

Add your softened butter, sugar, salt, cacao powder and vanilla extract to the egg yolks and cream together with your hand mixer or spatula, whichever you prefer. Once the chocolate has fully melted, add the mixture to your egg yolks & butter. Now take a look at your egg white. If it has started to separate a bit, just quickly beat it again so that all the egg white is nice and fluffy. Scoop in the egg whites with a spatula, folding it in carefully to preserve as much air & fluffiness in your batter.

Poor the mixture into your cake form. You can use anything you like. I went for a larger diameter because I like this cake to be thin (you could use a brownie tin too), but if you want a thicker cake, use a cake form with a smaller diameter. Note that this will add ±5 mins to your baking time and your might want to let the cake set in the fridge a bit longer.

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My cake baked for 35 minutes. I let it cool on the counter for an hour. You could eat it straight away, although I like this cake better when it’s completely cooled and has set in the fridge for approximately 4 hours. This will make the cake extra dense and chewy. Whatever you prefer! Top the cake with some powdered sugar. You can also add any fruit you like. I chose raspberries and blackberries because I think they’re sweet yet sour taste goes well with the very dark chocolate. Strawberries would work really well too!

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Thanks for reading and be sure to keep an eye out for the recipe of the second birthday cake I made: a pear cheesecake with crumbly topping. I promise it will be an absolute hit this fall with your family & friends!

Best,

Tori