Saturday Night Pizza & Cake!

Saturday night pizza party!
Saturday night pizza party!

Pizza and cake???  Yes!  It’s getting close to our daughter’s first birthday.  We are having a small party of family and friends for her, and I wanted to test our her birthday cake recipe.  What a treat for a Saturday night.  Why not have a little family pizza party too?  The great thing about eating a whole foods plant-based diet is that our indulgent tasty treats are so much better for our bodies than the oil and dairy-laden counterparts.

We enjoyed pizza on whole wheat lavash crust (I love a thin crust!) and carrot

Thin crust is the only way to go, in my opinion.  Try lavash, or else make your own using my 100% whole wheat bread recipe, rolled flat.
Thin crust is the only way to go, in my opinion. Try lavash, or else make your own using my 100% whole wheat bread recipe, rolled flat.

cake with lemon-maple glaze.  The lavash is from Mom’s Organic Market and is made from 100% whole wheat flour, yeast, water and salt.  We topped it with home made pizza sauce and organic toppings like green peppers, black olives packed in water (not oil), onions, banana peppers, and sliced cremini mushrooms.  The pizza sauce starts with some sauteed garlic and onions, a box of Pomi sodium-free tomato sauce, and Italian seasoning.  Bake the pizzas at 420F for 10-15 minutes.  This recipe is great for kids!  Pizza can be delicious AND healthy without all the cheese and oil.  I like a little curry powder and maybe a touch of unsulfured molasses in my sauce instead of the Italian herbs for “Indian” pizza.

What’s “bad” about the pizza?  Watch out for the salt already present in the lavash.  As a rule, we add salt to our food ourselves and don’t eat food that already contains sodium.  That way we can keep visual track of how much of this mineral we put into our bodies.  Also be aware that if you add molasses as a plant-based sweetener you are introducing readily accessible sugars into your body without the good fiber that is found in whole plant foods.

My husband prefers a traditional Italian seasoning take on pizza, but I like to throw a little curry powder into the sauce.
My husband prefers a traditional Italian seasoning take on pizza, but I like to throw a little curry powder into the sauce.

The cake came out great.  It’s made with 100% whole wheat pastry flour, which is more finely-ground than regular whole wheat flour.  The finer grind lets baking powder and baking soda more easily form bubbles in the batter, so typically use the pastry flour for cakes and muffins.  But regular grind 100% whole wheat flour will do in a pinch.  The lemon-maple glaze is quite sweet!  Since I’m serving this cake to omnivore guests at our daughter’s first birthday party I am going to use the full amount of plant-based sweetener called for in the recipe.  However, if you have been a plant-based eater for at least 3 weeks then your palette is probably already highly tuned into the sweetness present in the raisins and carrots and you can get away with cutting the sweetener in half at least, or replace maple and agave syrups with home made date syrup.  Fine tune this one to your liking–then share!

I experimented by layering the two cakes.  I think it may be better suited to a single layer cake, with glaze on the side so guests can serve themselves.
I experimented by layering the two cakes. I think it may be better suited to a single layer cake, with glaze on the side so guests can serve themselves.

Carrot Cake with Lemon-Maple Glaze

Preparation time: 25 minutes

Cooking time: 35-45 minutes

Servings: makes (2) 9 inch cakes

Cake Ingredients:

1/2 Cup walnuts, toasted and chopped

3 & 1/2 Cups whole wheat pastry flour

1/4 Teaspoon sea salt

1 Tablespoon cinnamon

1/4 Teaspoon allspice

1 & 1/2 Tablespoons baking powder

2 Teaspoons baking soda

2 Cups apple juice or cider

3/4 Cup unsweetened applesauce

1/2 Cup pure maple syrup

1/2 Cup agave nectar

3 Cups grated carrots

1 Banana, mashed

1/2 Cup raisins

Preheat oven to 325F.  Toast walnuts for 10 minutes until golden and fragrant, then chop.  Use a fork to stir all dry ingredients together in a large bowl.  Toss in nuts and set aside.  Mix applesauce, juice and syrups in a smaller bowl, add to the dry ingredients, whisk until smooth.  Fold in carrots, mashed banana and raisins.  Use two paper or non stick 9 inch cake pans.  Place batter in pans and bake at 325F 35-45 minutes or until knife comes out clean.  Cool for 20 minutes before inverting onto a plate.

Lemon Maple Glaze

Ingredients:

2 Cups apple juice or cider

1 Cup water

1/4 Cup squeezed lemon juice

1/2 Cup pure maple syrup

1 Teaspoon cinnamon

1 Teaspoon vanilla

1/4 Teaspoon allspice

1/4 Teaspoon sea salt

5 Teaspoons cornstarch

Add a small amount of water or apple juice to the cornstarch in a separate bowl and stir until completely dissolved.  Set aside.  Bring everything except cornstarch to a gentle boil.  Slowly stir the cornstarch mixture into the liquid until thickened.  Drizzle over cakes before serving, or allow guests to drizzle as desired.

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