Every time I attempt to bake vegan desserts, I feel like I’m learning to bake all over again. However, there’s nothing I love more than a challenge — and that’s exactly what vegan baking is to me. I decided that since we’re entering the lovely month of September, and pears are in season, poached pears would be a perfect addition to a dessert. The beginning of September also marks the beginning of warm, spiced baked goods, so I came to the idea of a spiced ginger coconut cake topped with poached pears.
Poached pears make a lovely dessert on their own, but to tie it into my ginger coconut cake, I decided to infuse it with some fresh ginger. Since I’m also crazy, I decided to make things harder for myself, and I decided to make this free of refined grains and sugar — meaning no white flour, and no granulated sugar. I didn’t just want this cake to be vegan-friendly, I also wanted to take a little bit of a healthier approach (more so that I could experiment with other forms of sugar).
If you would rather not have a healthy-ish cake, feel free to substitute the whole wheat flour for all-purpose flour 188g (1-1/2 cups), the agave for 200g (1 cup) granulated sugar, and the coconut sugar for granulated sugar (same amount), although I absolutely recommend giving coconut sugar a try! If you’re not in the mood for a cake, try making ginger spiced poached pears to eat on their own! Making poached pears sounds daunting, but the whole process is actually quite simple — you’re basically just cooking the pears in syrup until they are tender and delicious. I used agave syrup and fresh ginger, but you could use any sweetener and spice(s) that your heart desires!
I’ve been inspired to attempt vegan baking ever since I read this post on vegan lemon meringue pie — I love using aquafaba myself, but I definitely enjoyed learning about vegan setting agents (did you know vegan gelatine is a thing and it exists?! I definitely didn’t). If you’d like to check out Nicholas’ recipe to the vegan lemon meringue pie feel free to check it out here: https://www.blogtasticfood.com/vegan-lemon-meringue-pie/. I’ve also listed a bunch more awesome vegan dessert recipes made by amazing bloggers that I’ve collaborated with below in case you’re looking for some vegan dessert inspo!
Vegan baking is a whole new world, but I would definitely like to try to experiment with it some more. In the meantime — here is my super coconutty and ginger-filled pear cake recipe:
Vegan Ginger Coconut Pear Cake
This makes 1 x 8″ round cake
3 medium sized Bosc pears, peeled, halved, and cored
233g (2/3 cup) agave syrup
1L (4 cups) water
About 1 inch (2 tbsp) fresh ginger, peeled and cut into large chunks
180g (1-1/2 cups) whole wheat flour
80g (2/3 cup) coconut sugar
30g (1/2 cup) shredded coconut, lightly toasted
5g (1 tsp) salt
5g (1 tsp) baking soda
4g (1 tsp) baking powder
4g (1 tbsp) ground ginger
2g (1 tsp) ground cinnamon
1g (1/2 tsp) ground clove
1-1/2 inches of fresh ginger (about 3 tbsp), grated or chopped finely
1 400mL can of full fat coconut milk
55g (1/3 cup ) coconut oil, melted
10g (2 tsp) lemon juice
30g (1/2 cup) shredded coconut, lightly toasted (for topping)
For the Poached Pears:
- Place pears, water, syrup, and ginger into a medium saucepan with a circular piece of parchment with a hole laid directly onto the surface of the water to prevent the pears from bobbing up while cooking.
- On medium heat, bring to a soft boil, lower the temperature and continue to cook for about 25-30 min.
- Pierce a pear with a small knife to check if it tender and cooked all the way through.
- Take off heat, and let cool in the syrup. Refrigerate until serving or using, but they can be served warm as well.
For the cake:
- Grease an 8″ round cake pan with coconut oil and line with parchment.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, coconut sugar, shredded coconut, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and spices. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl whisk all wet ingredients to combine: fresh ginger, coconut milk, oil, and lemon juice.
- Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients, and pour the wet ingredients into the centre, whisking from the inside out in circular motions just to combine the ingredients.
- Cover the batter with plastic wrap and let it rest in the fridge for about 10-15 min while you get your pears ready.
- Thinly slice your pears from tip to bottom, keeping it in the shape of the pear.
- Once all the pear halves are sliced and the cake has been chilled, pour the batter into the prepared pan, and place the pears on top of the cake.
- Bake in a preheated oven for 55min to 1hr 10 min or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
- Top with toasted coconut and serve warm, enjoy!
MORE VEGAN DESSERTS!
Recipes from top left to right:
Coconut Lime Vegan Tart by Julia
Amazing post that gives you a quick break down of common and easily-accessible vegan ingredients that can be used to swap out non-vegan ingredients. Such a beautiful tart — I definitely have to try out this tart crust sometime soon!
Vegan Shortbread Cookies with a Dark Chocolate Drizzle by Sarah
Did somebody say “shortbread”? I am a SUCKER for shortbread — the simplest cookie in the world, yet one of the most delicious. Sarah makes a vegan version of the classic shortbread and ouuuuuu I cannot wait to give this one a try. A lot of my friends can’t have dairy, so what better way to share some love than to make them some vegan shortbread cookies!?
No Bake Vegan Chocolate Salami by Anthea
Chocolate anything and I.am.in. This recipe is super simple and versatile — also great to serve at parties, or to make with friends (especially the vegan friends or the friends with intolerances).
Vegan Banoffee Pies by Winola
Toffee sauce made with coconut cream. My mouth is absolutely watering just thinking about it. Banoffee is such a classic but add in that coconut flavour and I am enraptured.
Blackberry Pie with Walnut Crumble (Vegan) by Maya
This one sound perfect for fall season. I always struggle to make desserts like pie, and crumble dairy-free but this post has answered all my questions and prayers. Looks and sounds delicious — I’m definitely going to try this soon.
Vegan Biscoff Tiffin by Jasmine
I have never heard of Tiffin before this blog post but it’s quite the interesting one. This dessert looks super quick and easy to put together — although I do wish I could get my hands on some of that dairy-free flora butter that Jasmine uses.
Vegan Chocolate Caramel Tart by Teresa
This chocolate tart looks absolutely divine. Words cannot describe how amazing this dessert looks and all the amazing ingredients that go into this tart — check it out!!!
Berry & Brie Vegan Strudel by Kathy
I honestly had no idea a dessert like this could exist. Vegan brie and vegan puff pastry!?! This is a whole new world for me. Did I mention this strudel looks delicious!
Beetroot Brownie by Reka
It’s amazing how much you can do with the vibrant colour and mild taste of beets. These beetroot brownies look absolutely delectable and I am feeling so inspired by their colour.
Vegan Lemon Coconut Frangipane Tart by Marie
Mmm-mm-MMM — vegan lemon coconut frangipane tart sounds and looks absolutely scrumptious. I would love to dig into a slice right now if I could.
Vegan Lemon Meringue Pie by Nicholas
I had to include the post that started the whole collaboration of course, such an amazing and classic treat turned vegan and the result is amazing.
Vegan Pavlova by Ally Bakes (me!!)
Another vegan recipe I’ve done in the past — which involved a lot of experimenting with aquafaba. Feel free to check out this simple and easy treat!
Let me know if you give any of these recipes a try and hopefully we’ve given you some great vegan dessert inspiration. Thank you to all these wonderful bloggers for the great collaboration — I’m feeling super inspired and hungry after going through all these wonderful recipes.