Little Cranberry Citrus Holiday Cakes (Vegan)

December 14, 2015
Ten days until Christmas! It finally snowed here after looking a lot like it was going to be a green (brown) Christmas. There have been consistently warm temperatures here, with a bunch of days above zero. It's often -50C here in December. I haven't really been able to get into the holiday spirit with it feeling like spring. We still only have about five centimetres of snow, but everything looks so much nicer now that it's white. This isn't a very pretty city, but anything can look magical when it's covered in snow. I can't imagine the holidays without it.

I think these little cakes make a perfect small holiday gift. If you don't want to share (I didn't) just make them for yourself. I taught my first real yoga class the other day and the intention for the class was self love. It's so important to remember that you can't fully love and care for other people before you practice self care, especially at this time of year. If you need a break, take it. If you can't get everyone's cards written on time, that's fine. If you want some little cakes just because, then make them. Wink. I often push myself too far trying to make other people happy and don't realise how much stress I'm putting myself under, as so many women do. It isn't selfish to put your needs first. You can't help other people when you're not treating yourself properly. This is particularly important if you struggle with depression or anxiety, like I do.

These are mini-cakes, or cupcakes, depending on what kind of tin you make them in. I scored this awesome old tin last week, but this recipe works just as well in cupcake or muffin form, so don't worry if you don't have a mini bundt tin. I fell in love with these cakes right away. They're very Christmassy despite not having any of the strong spices usually associated with holiday sweets, and the cake itself is light and delicate. Definitely make the glaze, but don't add it until right before serving. If you throw the glaze all over and then try to store them, they'll fall apart when you try to eat them and you'll have crumbs everywhere. My shirt was 90% crumbs when I did that.

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Makes 12 cupcakes or 8 mini cakes

1 cup kamut flour*
1/4 cup almond meal
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1 tablespoon arrowroot powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup lemon juice*
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup cranberries, fresh or dried*

Preheat the oven to 375F/190C and grease a cupcake or mini bundt tin.

In a large bowl, mix the flour, almond meal, sliced almonds, arrowroot, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Make a well in the centre of the bowl.

In a medium bowl, whisk the olive oil, maple syrup, lemon juice, and vanilla until fully combined. Pour this into the well in the dry mixture, and gently mix with a wooden spoon until just combined. If you over mix, they may become tough. Fold in the cranberries.

Add an equal amount of batter to each of the prepared tins. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Cool for ten minutes on a rack in the tins before removing to let cool completely.

Maple Citrus Glaze:
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup coconut cream*
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon arrowroot powder
1/4 teaspoon vanilla powder
Zest of a lemon

Add everything to a bowl and whisk until it becomes lighter and creamy. Serve with the cooled cakes.

Top with extra cranberries and toasted almond slices for extra prettiness.

1. You can substitute spelt or wheat flour (whole wheat pastry flour or a combination of white and whole wheat) here with just a slight change in texture.
2. Lemon or orange both work well. I prefer lemon and cranberry, but use whichever you like.
3. Fresh cranberries will add more tartness, and dried will make a sweeter cake.
4. Scoop the cream from the top of a can of coconut milk.

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