Tag Archives: cake

Coconut Brownies [vegan, gluten-free]

I feel like we’re apologizing all the time for abandoning the blog. Again we haven’t written in a while. Not only is Tiia’s laptop broken and she can’t edit pictures, I also had to install mine completely new  and some of the already edited pictures are gone. Still it won’t make much longer and we should really get at least one new one.

A lot has changed in the past months. A few weeks after we moved to Lüneburg I already found work in a lovely café. Now the summer is over but the October is starting with beautiful weather and 15°C. Perfect weather to enjoy some vegan treats!

The whole October Lüneburg is part of the event “Lüneburg is(s)t vegan” which means “Lüneburg is/eats vegan”. Tiia and I are also taking part, so today I want to post a recipe for a chocolate brownie that is also gluten-free.

Coconut brownies [vegan, gf] |2women2cats|

These brownies are perfect for everybody who can’t eat gluten, sugar, dairy or eggs. They are completely made without any flour and to make them a bit sweet, dates are thrown into the mix. The recipe also doesn’t use any commercial butter or margarine – instead I made some from desiccated coconut.

The delicious brownie recipe is adapted from this blog. The original isn’t vegan and I actually tried half of the recipe using eggs but I didn’t really like the result. The brownies with egg weren’t really brownies but more like a fluffy chocolate cake and that wasn’t what I was looking for at that moment. With using flax eggs as a substitute the brownies turned out perfectly moist!

Coconut brownies [vegan, gf] |2women2cats|

If you want to you can decorate the brownies with a vegan whipped cream or a berry mousse. I used some vegan whipping cream made from oats and added some blueberries.

Coconut brownies [vegan, gf] |2women2cats|

Ingredients (4-6 pieces)

225 g desiccated coconut
5-8 pitted dates
50 g vegan dark chocolate
2 tbsp raw cacao powder
3 flax eggs (3 tbsp ground flax and 9 tbsp water)
sea salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
cacao nibs

100 ml vegan whipping cream (optional)
1 tbsp blueberries, frozen or fresh (optional)

Preheat the oven to 175°C and grease your tin or baking pan with coconut oil. I used cake rings for the brownies which made them quite big. You can also use a small springform or a square baking tin and cut the brownies a bit smaller later.

For preparing the flax eggs mix 3 tablespoons of ground flax with 9 tablespoons of water and set aside.

Start making the coconut butter by placing the coconut into a food processor and process until the coconut releases all its oils and turns into butter. Depending on your food processor this might take a while. Scrape down the sides once in a while but don’t give up! It will work out in the end. If you have a high speed blender this might not even be a problem.

Once you have coconut butter you can add the dates and blend until everything is smooth. Then add the flax eggs, chocolate, cacao powder, soda and a bit of sea salt and blend together. Incorporate the cacao nibs without grinding them. Transfer everything into the baking tin and smooth the top out with a silicone spatula. Bake for around 17 minutes. It might take a bit longer if you don’t use individual cake rings like I did! Let the brownies cool down completely before decorating.

For the blueberry whipped cream I first strained the thawed blueberries (you can also use fresh ones) through a fine sieve and whipped up my vegan oat cream with the blueberry juice. I formed little clouds between two teaspoons but you can just serve the cream in a bowl with the brownies or pipe it on top of the individual pieces. Enjoy!


Coconut brownies [vegan, gf] |2women2cats|

Coconut brownies [vegan, gf] |2women2cats|


Finnish Runeberg’s Cakes

Runeberg's Cakes - 2women2cats

This is one of the Finnish desserts that probably every single Finn has had in their life. It is eaten on Runeberg’s Day on the 5th of February. Usually these cakes start to appear in the stores in January. The bought cakes are nice, but naturally nowhere near as good as self made ones. First of all they rarely have rum in them!

Runeberg's Cakes - 2women2cats

If you don’t like the flavour of rum, you can as well leave it out and replace it with lemon or orange juice. The Finn Crisps used in the recipe are a type of thin rye crispbread that is found everywhere in Finland. I’m not sure how common it is in other countries, but I know it is found at least in Germany. If you can’t get it anywhere, you can also replace it with gingerbread, speculoos or dark breadcrumbs.

Traditionally the cakes are baked in special Runeberg’s cake tins (cylinder shaped) but you can use a muffin silicone form or dessert rings. As you can see on the pictures I used different shapes for my cakes but I think the cylindrical ones looked the best.

Runeberg's Cakes - 2women2cats

The cakes should be really moist despite the amount of different crumbly ingredients. This is why they are moisturized with a water/sugar/rum mixture, and if you’re not eating the cakes on the day of the making, you should give them a small bath before serving.

Runeberg's Cakes - 2women2cats

Runeberg's Cakes - 2women2cats

Runeberg’s Cakes (6 pieces)


50 g almonds
45 g Finn Crisps
45 g breadcrumbs
90 g plain white flour
100 g butter (room temperature)
90 g sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cardamom
1 egg
100 ml heavy cream
2 drops bitter almond aroma

100 ml water
25 g brown cane sugar
1 tbsp rum

raspberry jam
powder sugar and water

Crush the almonds into a rough crumble with a food processor. Do the same with the Thin Crisps, but process them into a fine flour. Set them aside for later use.

Runeberg's Cakes - 2women2cats

Runeberg's Cakes - 2women2cats

Whip the butter and sugar into a foam and add the egg while whisking.
Mix the dry ingredients together and add them to the batter. Pour in the cream, add two drops of bitter almond and whisk just until everything is evenly incorporated.

Runeberg's Cakes - 2women2cats

Runeberg's Cakes - 2women2cats

Pour the batter into a muffin pan or your desired tins. Bake at 200°C for 20-25 minutes. While the cakes are in the oven, make the rum/water/sugar mixture. Heat up the water in a pan, dissolve the sugar in it and add the rum.

When you take the cakes out of the oven, pour some of the water mixture on them immediately and let them cool down in the pan. You can smooth out the tops with your fingers to give them a flatter look.

To make the sugar ring take a few spoons of powder sugar and add just enough water to make a paste. Don’t let it get too thin! Pour into a piping bag and decorate each cake with a sugar ring. Add a spoonful of raspberry jam in the middle.



Runeberg's Cakes - 2women2cats

Runeberg's Cakes - 2women2cats

Happy Runeberg’s Day!

On 5th of February Finland celebrates Runeberg day, the birthday of national poet Johan Ludvig Runeberg who lived in the 19th century. Although he wrote in Swedish, part of his most popular work became the National Anthem of Finland. It is said that his wife, who was a writer herself, invented the Runeberg cake which her husband loved to eat for breakfast. The pastry is flavoured with almonds, cardamom and is topped with raspberry jam in the middle of a sugar ring. Traditionally it is eaten on Runeberg’s birthday.

2women2cats: Runeberg Cake (Finnish pastry)

Tiia usually makes Runeberg’s cakes herself but this week was so busy that she didn’t quite have the time for it so far. Fortunately Kanniston Leipomo, a bakery nearby, sells freshly made ones, so I got two pieces for the afternoon. On the weekend she’ll hopefully get around to make some of her own and put the recipe on the blog, so everybody who is not able to buy these great pastries in their country can make their own.

Happy Runeberg’s Day or hyvää Runebergin päivää!



Lemon Poppyseed Cake

2women2cats: Lemon Poppyseed cake

I made this cake on Christmas Eve because I didn’t want a heavy cream cake this year as a dessert. There is usually so much food that eating cake afterwards becomes a challenge. I wanted something a bit lighter with a fresh lemony taste and immediately thought about a lemon poppyseed cake.

The dough is basically the same as my Frankfurter Kranz recipe with added lemon and of course poppyseeds. I used a loaf baking pan for it but I am sure it would also look wonderful as a Bundt cake.

250 g softened butter (add a bit of salt to the batter if you don’t use salted butter)

200 g sugar
1/ 2 tsp ground vanilla
4 eggs
zest of 1,5 lemons
juice of 1 lemon
125 g plain flour
125 g potato or corn starch
1/2 tsp baking powder
50 g poppyseeds

For the glaze
100 g powdered sugar
water or lemon juice
elderflower syrup (optional)
sugared flowers or other decoration

Preheat the oven to 180°C, grease the loaf pan and sprinkle with bread crumbs to prevent the cake from sticking to the sides.

Beat the butter with the sugar and the vanilla until it’s white and fluffy. Add the eggs and the lemon zest.  Beat until the batter is thick and fluffy.

Combine the flour, starch and baking powder in a bowl and slowly add to the mixture until everything is incorporated and the dough is shiny.

Add the lemon juice and mix slowly until everything is smooth, then add the poppyseeds and pour the dough into your baking tin.

Bake for around 60 minutes. If the crust gets too brown, cover the cake with aluminium foil. Let the cake cool down in the baking pan and wait with the glaze until it’s completely cold.

If you want to use elderflower syrup for the glaze, add around two teaspoons to a bowl of powdered sugar and add as much water or lemon juice as needed to make a runny paste. Don’t make it too thin or else it won’t cover the cake but instead run down the sides completely. Decorate with sugared flowers, sprinkles or leave it plain. Enjoy!


2women2cats: Lemon Poppyseed cake

2women2cats: Lemon Poppyseed cake

Book Feature

We’ve been trying to eat a bit healthier lately. No industrial sugar or wheat flour which means less candy and other crap. Unfortunately it’s Christmas season and my grandma decided to send a huge package of German Christmas candy! At the moment it is sitting in the cupboard tempting me but I think I’d rather start the day with a chia pudding and some fresh mango. Also a sourdough rye bread is enjoying the radiator wrapped in a warm cloth for the next two hours before it will be baked. I have been making all of our breads (all sourdough) recently from rye or spelt flour and they are way better than most bought ones.

Other times when we feel like something sweet, I usually make some raw treats like raw protein bars or raw cake. And I have to say it does make me feel way better. I have more energy and whenever I actually ate some “normal” store bought candy I immediately craved for more and it left my body feeling kinda bleugh the next day which I don’t experience with self made foods. This still won’t mean I’ll be eating only raw from now on or completely healthy. I think it is perfectly fine to enjoy some of the Christmas candy once in a while or to make a normal cake with white flour but I’d like to make our own food as much as possible.

I have two more recipes coming up: one for raw protein bars and one for a layered cake with whipped coconut cream and chocolate mousse. I am also thinking about trying to make a raw nutella today.

Also some news: Two of our raw recipes have been selected to be featured in a free online book! Geoff and Robyn Randolph from The Pure Healthy Way have selected our Raw Goji- & Mulberry Cupcakes With Salted Chocolate Frosting and our Raw Chili Chocolate Cake to be part of it along other great recipes. The book is called The Pure Healthy Way To Enjoy Desserts and can be downloaded on their webpage. Many thanks to Robyn and Geoff!

2women2cats: Raw Goji- & Mulberry Cupcakes with Salted Chocolate Frosting

2women2cats: Chili Chocolate Cake