Super Easy Cherry Icebox Cake

I have been SUPER busy lately. I’m getting ready to go off to college soon, so we’ve been doing and traveling a lot for that. However, this dessert is PERFECT for busy seasons (especially over summer) because it is so easy and quick to make. It is customizable, and requires very few ingredients. It’s actually deceptive that I’m even putting this recipe on this blog because it doesn’t even require baking. Don’t be fooled by its ease, though. This “cake” is jam packed with flavor and is a perfectly refreshing summer treat after a long, hot day. I made it for the 4th of July and it was a hit!

  • 1 lb pitted cherries
  • 1/2 c cornstarch
  • 1 small jar of maraschino cherries
  • 1/4 c water.
  • 1 tub of cocowhip
  • 2 packs of nabisco graham crackers

Place your cherries in a large saucepan on medium heat. Strain your maraschino cherries over a small bowl in order to reserve the syrup. Add the syrup to your cherries cooking on the stove and stir. Add 1/4 c water and 1/4 c of the maraschino cherries and do whatever you’d like with the rest of them. Keep cooking until cherries are submerged in liquid. Gradually add cornstarch and continue stirring until fully incorporated. Keep cooking until mixture is looking very thick, like pie filling. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely, at least 2 hours.

Crush one of your packs of graham crackers and pour into the bottom of a freezer safe serving dish. Then, add the tub of cocowhip followed by your cherry filling. Crush the other pack of graham crackers and sprinkle on top. Sprinkle with berries or the rest of your maraschino cherries. Place in the freezer for an hour, then place in the fridge until ready to serve, preferably at least overnight.

Tips/Things I Would Change:

  • Cocowhip is very similar to cool whip. It is available at many grocery stores, Walmart, Target, or to order on So Delicious’s website.
  • Cherries do take a while to pit, but it’s much easier if you clean your hands and just do it that way. You can also get a device that will do it for you on Amazon.
  • You could also use frozen cherries or a different fruit in replacement to make this even quicker.
  • You may need to add more/less cherries depending on how big your cherries are.

Healthy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Okay, so I’m labeling these cookies “healthy,” which they are, but don’t be fooled. Although the ingredients are healthy, they are also exactly what you need to get a the perfect soft texture and mapley, breakfast-reminiscent flavor. These cookies are super delicious, yet insanely simple. All you need is one bowl and they come together in under 20 minutes. Even if you’re not a raisin person, opt for chocolate chips and this recipe is still for you. They are a perfect quick fix, midnight snack, or fun breakfast for on the go.

  • 1 c instant oats
  • 3/4 c whole wheat flour
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp melted coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp ground flax seed + 3 tbsp water mixed
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 c maple syrup
  • 1/3 c raisins/dried fruit/chocolate chips (or a mix!)

Place whole wheat flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt in a blender and blend until a fine powder forms. In a large bowl, whisk coconut oil and flax mixture until incorporated. Whisk in maple syrup and vanilla. Fold in dry mixture and oats. Finally, fold in raisins and any other mix ins. Let sit in the fridge for at least a half hour. Line a baking sheet and preheat the oven to 325. Evenly shape your dough into 15 flattened rounds. Bake for 11-14 mins and let cool on pan for 10 more minutes. Transfer to wire rack to fully cool.

Tips/Things I Would Change:

  • I honestly don’t think these cookies needed that much maple syrup. Keep the amount if you’re a huge sweet person, but if not you can probably decrease to 1/3 c.
  • These cookies are meant to be very soft, so be careful not to overtake them.
  • I didn’t get to try it this time, but apparently rehydrating your raisins by steaming them in the microwave makes the flavor even better. I really want to try this next time, but let me know in the comments if you try it and it goes well.

Healthy, Gluten Free Strawberry Short Cake

My sister’s birthday is coming up, and for those who don’t know, she has Celiac’s Disease, which means she’s is gluten free. This means she. any eat wheat, rye, or barely. That’s why this super healthy, yet super delicious dessert is based with almond and oat flour. It is in turn extremely high in protein and will leave you feeling satisfied, yet light and energetic after eating. The texture is not exactly like normal cake, but different and delicious in its own right. Topped with cool whip and strawberries, this refreshing cake is great for any summer occasion.

  • 1 c aquafaba (liquid from 1-2 cans of chickpeas)
  • 1 c almond flour
  • 1 c oat flour
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 c of maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp dairy free yogurt
  • easy compote (see recipe below)
  • 3 tubs (27 oz total) dairy free whip (I used Cocowhip, but see note below)
  • 1 pint of strawberries

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9 in round pans and line with parchment paper. Place aquafaba in the freezer for 10-15 mins without allowing to freeze at all. Meanwhile, blend almond flour, oat flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together until fine and incorporated, then set aside. In a stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, beat the aquafaba on high for 3 mins (it should be foamy). Add cream of tartar and beat for another 2 mins. Once the mixture has tripled in size, add the vanilla. Keep mixing for another 1-2 mins, then add maple syrup and yogurt. Mix for another 30 seconds until everything is well incorporated. Fold in dry ingredients and split batter evenly between pans. Bake for 20-23 mins. Cover with tinfoil for the first 15 mins of baking, then remove. When the cake is done, a toothpick will not come out clean, but should not be wet. Let sit in pan for at least 5-10 mins before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Slice strawberries to your preference (I recommend thin slices, but you may be able to get away with halves). Top one of your cake with a layer of whip. Add a few dollops of fruit compote and use a toothpick to swirl throughout. Top with another layer of whip and a full layer of strawberry slices. Place cake in freezer for 15 mins or fridge for an hour before serving.

easy compote:

  • 1/2 c strawberries, at least halved
  • 1/3 c orange juice
  • splash of maple syrup (to taste)

Place strawberries, 1/4 c orange juice, and the maple syrup to a small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk periodically until orange juice is mostly evaporated. Add remaining orange juice and stir until you have a fully incorporated, thick mixture. Let cool completely.

Tips/Things I Would Change:

  • You can make your own whip by electric mixing the solid portion of 1 can of full fat coconut milk with 2 tbsp of powdered sugar and a splash of vanilla. I was feeling extra lazy.
  • You can use a store bought compote/jam, but be careful it’s not overly sweet. While the cake is not overly sweet at all, the coco whip can be and the compote is meant to break it up a little.
  • You can make your own almond and oat flour by simply blending whole almonds/oats until they form a fine powder.
  • You can use whatever fruit you want here. Berries are best because they don’t get too watery, but mangos/kiwis/bananas/peaches could be good too.
  • I used Kite Hill greek-style, plain yogurt, but anything should work here.

Cookie Cake

First off, happy Father’s Day!! It’s bed decorating season. If that sounds foreign to you, you’re probably not a high school senior girl in Monmouth County, New Jersey. Regardless, they’re special celebrations for people announcing where they’re going to college. There is lots of merch and food involved, I’ll insert a picture of mine down below. I’m pretty well known as the baker in my friend group, and one thing my friends all love is a good cookie cake. There is usually already a standard cake at the event and maybe some cookies, but people’s eyes always light up at the site of a cookie cake. This one has a crispy edge, but is still soft and tender in the center. It is sweet and indulgent, perfect for any celebration.

  • 10 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2/3 c brown sugar
  • 1/3 c white sugar
  • 1 tbsp ground flax + 3 tbsp water mixed
  • 1 tbsp applesauce
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 + 2/3 c flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 c chocolate chips/sprinkles/candies/etc

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease a 9 inch cake pan or deep dish skillet.
  • Use a stand/hand mixer to beat coconut oil and sugars together for 2 mins until fluffy. Add flax mixture, apple sauce, and vanilla and continuer to beat until well combined. Add the dry ingredients and beat until combined. Fold in chocolate chips and any other desired toppings. Use clean hands to press the dough into the pan. Bake for 22-25 minutes until edges start to brown and then let cool completely before removing from the pan to prevent cracking. Remove from pan and add frosting, chocolate syrup, whip cream, or whatever you desire to serve!

    Tips/Things I would Change:

    • You can alternatively serve this right out of the oven in a skillet with a scoop of your favorite dairy free ice cream for a warm cookie sundae!
    • I have a great frosting recipe on my easy vanilla birthday cake post. Check it out!
    • Line the bottom your pan with parchment paper if you plan on removing the cake from the pan to serve to ensure an easy transfer.
    • You can easily make this dough ahead and store it in the fridge or freezer to make at a later date.
    • If using a stand mixer, I recommend using a dough attachment. I haven’t tried making this with a standard whisk/spoon, so use at your own risk.

    Bakery Style Blueberry Muffins

    Happy 4th of July! I spend the week of July 4th down by the shore every year. Close to where we stay, there is an amazing bakery that everyone loves. I was happy to see they now have vegan options and I got an amazing apple muffin this year. It was very good, but I think these muffins give them some competition. They have a nice crunchy top and great blueberry flavor. The festive pops of blue are great for this time of year!

    • 1 c granulated sugar
    • ½ c coconut oil, melted and cooled
    • 2 tbsp flax seed + 1/4 c water
    • 1 c plain dairy free yogurt
    • 1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
    • 1 tbsp vanilla
    • 2 ½ c + 2 tbsp flour
    • 1 tbsp baking powder
    • 1 tsp baking soda
    • ½ tsp salt
    • 1 ½ c wild fresh or frozen blueberries
    • 1/2 c turbinado sugar

    Preheat oven to 425. In a small bowl, whisk yogurt, apple cider vinegar, and vanilla and set aside. In a separate small bowl, mix 2 tbsp of flour with the blueberries until they are well coated. In a large bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. Beat sugar and coconut together in a large bowl. Add flax mixture and yogurt mixture and beat until combined. Fold in dry mixture with a rubber spatula until just combined.

    Finally, fold in blueberries. Evenly divided the batter in 1 lined standard muffin tray. Bake for 5 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 350 and bake for about 20 minutes longer until tops are lightly browned and a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 15 minutes, then remove to finish cooling.

    Strawberry Cheesecake Cupcakes

    We love a good dessert mashup here. That’s why I was so excited for my boyfriend’s birthday because I know cheesecake is his favorite, but wanted to give him some traditional cake, too. These cupcakes are the perfect combo and came out super cute! The crunch of crust adds a great texture variety to the fluffy cupcake. I absolutely love the strawberry flavor, but feel free to experiment with any berry (or really any fruit). They seem sophisticated and complex, yet they come together fairly easily and please even picky eaters. Plus, they are the perfect treat for Easter and Mother’s Day coming up.

    7 Nabisco Graham Crackers

    2.5 tbsp melted vegan butter/coconut oil

    1.5 c flour

    1.5 tsp baking powder

    1/4 tsp salt

    3/4 c strawberries

    1/4 c almond milk

    1 tsp vanilla

    1/2 c coconut oil/ vegan butter

    1 c sugar

    1 tbsp flax + 3 tbsp water

    1/4 c aquafaba (liquid from a can of chickpeas)

    cream cheese frosting (see recipe below)

    Preheat the oven to 350 F and line a cupcake tin. Blitz graham crackers in a food processor until fine crumbs form. Combine with coconut oil and crumbs until combined. Use a spoon to evenly distribute mixture between each cupcake tin, pressing the layer down with a spoon to create 12 mini crusts. Bake for 7 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool. Whisk flour, baking soda, and salt together and set aside. In a food processor or blender, place strawberries and blitz into a puree. Whisk in almond milk and vanilla. In the bowl of a paddle fitted stand mixer, beat vegan butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 mins. Add flax mixture and gradually mix until incorporated. Add aquafaba and let beat for about 2 minutes. Add half the dry mixture and mix on low until combined. Add the strawberry mixture and let run again until combined. Finally, add remaining dry mixture and mix until you have a cohesive batter. Divide batter evenly between your premade crusts in the cupcake tin and bake for about 23 mins. An inserted toothpick should come out clean. Transfer to a wire rack to completely cool before frosting. Frost and top with graham crackers before serving.

    cream cheese frosting:

    1 8oz tub of vegan cream cheese

    1/2 c vegan butter/coconut oil

    1/8 tsp salt

    3.25 c powdered sugar

    1/2 tsp vanilla

    Beat vegan cream cheese, coconut oil/vegan butter, and salt in the bowl of a paddle fitted stand mixer for about 2 mins until fluffy. Gradually sift in the powdered sugar on low until fully incorporated. Add vanilla and beat on medium for about another minute until fully combined.

    Tips/Things I Would Try:

    • I want to try filling these with strawberry jam or adding strawberries to the batter. I’ve only made this recipe once and I usually like to slightly stick to it the first time around, but I’ll definitely update if I try it and like how it goes.
    • I use kite hill vegan cream cheese, but feel free to use whatever you have available. There are also many ways to make vegan cream cheese at home, so do a quick google search if you’re struggling.
    • Remember that the crusts will be baked for a second time, so don’t worry if they’re not perfect browned.

    Croissants

    School is winding down, but my most recent assignment was to learn how to something. Of course, I immediately knew I had to tackle a new recipe, and croissants have been on my bucket list for a while. I always see my Aunt Vickie make beautiful looking croissants, so I got some tips from her and went to work. This was definitely the most effort I’ve had to put into a recipe in a while, but the result is a batch of luxurious, flaky pastries that make you feel like you’ve been transported to a small city in France. I brought the croissants into class for my presentation, and let’s just say this isn’t a recipe that could fail to please crowd if made correctly.

    dough:

    • 2 tbsp flax seed + 1/4 c water mixed
    • 1 3/4 c warm water
    • 1/4 c sugar, divided
    • 5 1/2 to 6 c flour 
    • 2 1/4 tsp instant yeast
    • 2 tbsp melted coconut oil
    • 1/2 c soya powder 
    • 1 scant tablespoon salt
    • 1 tsp vanilla

    butter block:

    • 30 tbsp unsalted vegan butter, cool to the touch and cut into 1″ chunks
    • 3/4 tsp salt
    • 1/2 c flour

    Start the Dough:

    Combine flax mixture, warm water, 1 tbsp sugar, 3 c flour, and the yeast. Set aside while you prepare the butter block for the fridge (see instructions below). Once this is done, whisk the flour, soya powder, and salt together. Add the melted butter and this dry mixture to the previously prepared dough. Using a stand mixer fitted with a dough attachment, mix until a cohesive dough starts to form, then knead for 5 minutes. Touch the dough lightly with your finger, and if it’s still sticky, add the remaining flour 2 tablespoons at a time until the dough is the desired consistency. Pat it into a 9˝ square, then wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

    Remove the chilled dough from the refrigerator and use a rolling pin to for it into a 12″ square. Unwrap the butter square and place it in the center of the dough so it looks like a diamond in a square. Moisten the edges with a little water and pull the corners of the dough into the center, pinching the edges together well to enclose the butter. Dust the top with flour and turn over. Using a rolling pin, press the dough into a rectangular shape. Once it’s pliable, roll it to a 20˝ x 10˝ rectangle, picking it up and dusting lightly with flour as needed.

    Fold the dough in thirds, like a business letter. Take care to keep the edges straight and line them up directly over each other. If the dough slides around, use a little water at the corners to tack them in place. Rotate the dough out so it looks like a book about to be opened. Roll the dough out once more to 20˝ x 10˝ and fold it as before. Wrap the dough and refrigerate it for 30 minute. Repeat this process all over again and then place in the fridge for an hour.

    Cut the packet of dough in half, placing one half back in the fridge and getting ready to work with the second half. Roll this half into a 13˝ x 18˝ rectangle and trim the edges about 1/4˝ all the way around. Cut the dough in thirds lengthwise and in half down the center. Cut these pieces in half diagonally and arrange them so the points are facing away from you. Stretch them gently to make them a little longer, then cut a 1˝ notch in the center of the base of each triangle.

    Roll each of the triangles tightly from the base to the tip. Place covered in the fridge for 30 minutes, then transfer to the oven with the light on for 60-90 minutes. The dough should spring back when you press it.

    Preheat the oven to 425°F. Brush each croissant with almond milk/ melted Vegan butter. Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce the oven’s temperature to 350°F and bake for 10 to 15 minutes more until golden brown. Remove and let cool on the pan on a rack for 20 minutes before serving.

    Prepare the Butter Block:

    Combine butter, salt, and flour at low speed in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until smooth with no lumps, but being careful not to beat too much. You don’t want to incorporate any air. Spread this mixture onto a large piece of plastic wrap, forming an 8″ square. Transfer to fridge for 30 minutes.

    Tips/Things I Would Change:

    • Soya milk can be found in the baking sections of Walmart, Whole Foods, and most grocery stores.
    • I recommend using a good quality vegan butter, Miyokos makes a really good one if you’re willing to splurge, but Earth Balance sticks should also work well.
    • I adapted this recipe from King Arthur’s Flour’s, so be sure to check out their post for more tips.

    Samoa Bars

    This one goes out to what I consider one of the most underrated Girl Scout cookies. I always reach for a frozen thin mint when I can, but I forget that Samoas can be equally as delicious. These were a wonderful accident because I had a bunch of leftover chocolate chip cookies that had went a little stale. I wanted to repurpose them, so here it is! They are soft, chewy, and delicious!

    • 2 c crushed chocolate chip cookies
    • 1/4 c nut butter
    • 2 c bittersweet chocolate chips
    • 1 can sweetened condensed coconut milk
    • 2 c crushed coconut flakes
    • 1 c crushed almonds

    Preheat oven to 350 and line a 13×9 baking sheet with parchment paper. Mix the nut butter and crushed chocolate chip cookies in a medium bowl. If you have trouble getting it to combine, place in the microwave for 30 second intervals. You should get a clumpy mixture as if you were about to make a graham cracker pie crust, so you can add some melted coconut oil or chocolate if you’re having trouble getting this consistency. Use clean hands to press the mixture into the bottom of your prepared baking dish in an even layer. Pour your condensed coconut milk on top and spread as another even layer. Pour chocolate chips evenly across as the next layer. Finally, top with almonds and coconut flakes. Place in oven for about 20 minutes. Coconut should be lightly browned. Let completely cool in pan before removing and slicing.

    Creamsicle Cake

    Nothing says summer like the nostalgic flavor of a creamsicle. The one thing better is the classic New Jersey Kohr’s ice cream cone, but it’s the same idea. Bursting orange and vanilla flavor, cold and refreshing on a summer night. This cake is equally as amazing, with moist vanilla cake and smooth, creamy frosting. It comes together as a super cute cake and is totally worth the effort it takes to make. I always make it around this time because it is one of my parents’ favorite of my bakes. If you can’t get to the beach right now, bring the beach to you!

    Cake:

    • orange curd (see recipe below)
    • vanilla and orange frosting (see recipe below)
    • 6 waffle cones
    • 1 1/2 tsp melted coconut oil
    • 1 1/2 c AP flour
    • 1 tsp baking powder
    • 1/4 tsp baking soda
    • 1/4 tso salt 
    • 2/3 c almond milk
    • 1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar/ lemon juice
    • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
    • 1/2 c softened coconut oil
    • 1 c sugar
    • 2 tbsp flaxseed+ 6 tbsp water (mixed and set aside for 5 mins)
    • 1 1/2 tbsp aquafaba (liquid from a can of chickpeas)

    Preheat the oven to 325, grease and line 3 six inch cake tins with parchment paper. Whisk together almond milk, apple cider vinegar, and vanilla. In a blender/food processor, pulse waffle cones until finely crushed. Mix in melted coconut oil and set aside. Whisk together dry ingredients in a medium bowl and set aside. In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat softened coconut oil and sugar for two minutes until fluffy on medium high. Lower speed and slowly add flax mixture and apple sauce. Beat for 1-2 minutes. Add half the dry ingredients, the almond milk mixture, and then the other half of the dry ingredients until just incorporated. Place a thin layer of waffle cone mixture in each tin. Evenly divide batter between tin and place in oven for 18-20 minutes and a toothpick comes out clean. Cool cakes in pan for 5 minutes, then remove from pan and transfer to wire rack to cook. 

    Spread your first cake layer generously with orange curd. Top with another cake layer and do the same thing again. Top with your final cake layer. Crumb coat with vanilla frosting. Place in fridge for a half hour. Frost with vanilla frosting. Top with waffle cone pieces.

    Orange Curd Filling: 

    • 2-3 large oranges worth of orange juice (about 1/2 c)
    • 1/2 tbsp orange zest
    • 1.5 tbsp cornstarch
    • 1/3 c sugar
    • 2 tbsp almond milk
    • 1 tbsp coconut oil

    In a small steel pot, add strained juice and zest. One tbsp at a time, whisk in cornstarch. Then, whisk in sugar and almond milk. Place on medium high heat and continuously stir until mixture gets obviously thick and starts to bubble. Immediately remove from heat and stir in coconut oil until incorporated. Place in fridge until chilled. 

    Frosting:

    Ingredients:

    1 c softened coconut oil

    1/8 tsp salt

    3 c powdered sugar

    5 tbsp almond milk

    1 1/2 tsp vanilla

    zest and juice from 1 small orange

    cornstarch as needed

    Beat coconut oil and salt together for 3-4 minutes in a stand mixer on medium. Gradually add powdered sugar on low until fully incorporated. Add almond milk and vanilla and beat for about 2 more minutes. Place in a piping bag and set aside.

    Tips/ Things I Would Change:

    • You could probably do either 3 tbsp of flaxseed with 9 tbsp water or 4 tbsp of aquafaba
    • You can make the curd up to a few days ahead so it isn’t so much all at once.
    • If you don’t like piping, just use a knife to frost, it’s personal preference.

    Blueberry Pie Overnight Oats

    oats:

    • 1 c oats (see note below)
    • 1 c oat milk
    • 1 tsp maple syrup
    • vegan blueberry yogurt (see note below)
    • crumble (see recipe below)
    • blueberries

    Combine oats, oat milk, and maple syrup in an airtight container at least a night before you plan to eat. Once soaked, split between 2 dishes. Top with blueberry yogurt, a layer of crumble, and blueberries. Dig in!

    crumble:

    • 2 tbsp oats
    • 1 tbsp almond flour
    • 1 tbsp flax seed
    • 1 tsp vanilla protein powder
    • 1 tsp maple sugar (or raw/brown sugar)
    • 1 tsp coconut oil
    • 1 tsp cinnamon
    • handful of blueberries

    Preheat oven to 375 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine ingredients in a medium bowl. Spread in an even layer across the baking sheet and place in the oven for 5 mins. Stir the mixture and place in the oven for 5 more mins, watching carefully not to overtoast. Let cool completely and store in an airtight container until read to use.

    Tips/Things I Would Change:

    • I used instant oats, but use your personal preference. Instant oats create a really soft texture that I personally love, but regular or steel cut will give you more of a chew.
    • I used So Delicious yogurt because it’s what they had at the store, but I’ve also heard great things about Kite Hill’s. You can also use vanilla yogurt and any brand you want as always.
    • You can customize the crumble to use up whatever you have in the pantry. You can replace any of the ingredients with more oats (besides the sugar and oil) or any type of nut/grain you want.
    • I used oat milk which I think produces the best flavor, especially for the pie theme, but feel free to use any plant based milk you have.