Vegan Caramel Popcorn

Too often that salty sweet treat is off the table for my lactose intolerant husband. When my son asked if I could make a batch that Daddy could eat, how could I refuse?

Vegan Caramel Popcorn

This recipe is loosely based on one I found at Cooking Light. It includes many of those ingredients you would expect to find: brown sugar, corn syrup and vanilla. I added some hand harvested French sea salt (Sel de Camargue) and substituted coconut oil for the butter. Coconut oil has a lovely flavor and is my go-to substitute for pistachio brittle. That is, when I'm not using bacon grease for my bacon pecan brittle!

Cooling the hot popcorn before we dig in.

Cooling the hot popcorn before we dig in.

Vegan Caramel Popcorn

Serves 8, recipe adapted from Cooking Light

Ingredients

  • 1 cup popping corn
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Directions

Pop the popping corn according to the directions. 1 cup of un-popped pop corn, will make approximately 16 cups of popped popcorn. Place popcorn in a large bowl and set aside.

Preheat oven to 250 F. Lightly grease a sheet pan with non-stick cooking spray. In a small saucepan, combine brown sugar, corn syrup and sea salt. Bring to a boil and cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and baking soda. Mixture will bubble vigorously.

Pour the hot mixture over the popcorn, coating thoroughly. Pour the popcorn on the greased sheet pan and place in the oven. Bake for 45-60 minutes, stirring the popcorn every 15 minutes to ensure even coating.

Once cooked, pour the hot popcorn onto parchment paper and let cool for 15 minutes. Will keep for up to a week when stored in a cool, dry place.

 

Pineapple Mosaic Cake

Okay, it's upside-down cake, but look at this picture, doesn't it look like an artistic mosaic? I love the sweet-tart combination of caramelized pineapples against a rich-tender bed of cake. The extra brown sugar and rum bring out the delicious tropical fruit flavors. This recipe is easy to pull off for a fun dinner party on the weekend and the results are sure to wow. You can use a 9 inch round cake pan, if needed. I was able to find this square beauty at Marshalls for under $13. 

This lactose-free dessert is easily converted back for all of you butter lovers. Swap the coconut oil for butter, and use regular milk for those of you who don't have lactose issues!

Pineapple Mosaic Cake

Serves 6-8

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon dark rum
  • 1 medium pineapple - peeled, cored and cut into 1 inch chunks (~3 cups)
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup milk (lactose-free or regular)

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Adjust rack to middle of the oven.

In a small bowl stir together the melted coconut oil, brown sugar and dark rum; spread the mixture evenly in a well-greased 9 x 9 inch square cake pan (non-stick finish). Pat the pineapple very dry between several sheets of paper towel, and arrange it evenly on top of the sugar mixture.

Sift together flour, baking powder and salt.

In a large mixing bowl, using a hand mixer, cream the room-temperature coconut oil with the white sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy, approximately 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla. Add the flour mixture in three parts alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Beat well after each addition. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan. The batter will be very thick.

Place the cake in the middle of the oven. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan on a rack for 15 minutes. Run a thin knife around the edge, and invert the cake onto a plate. Serve the cake warm or at room temperature. Serve with ice cream, whipped cream, or whipped coconut milk

Baker's Notes: A few of my pineapple pieces stuck to my pan. Don't fret, gently pry them off the pan and artfully place them back in their rightful place. 

 

Grand Marnier Pound Cake

It's been years since I baked a pound cake. I had the chance to make dessert (with dairy in it), so I decided to do it up right with a rich, dense pound cake scented with oranges. This cake delivered. My mom added homemade roasted strawberry buttermilk sherbet with locally grown frozen black raspberries as garnish. The orange flavoring stood up nicely to the other fruit flavors. 

grand marnier pound cake

Grand Marnier Pound Cake

Serves 12, Adapted from Epicurious

Ingredients

  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 6 eggs, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup Grand Marnier liquor
  • zest of one orange
  • 1 cup sour cream
Grand Marnier Pound Cake ingredients.

Grand Marnier Pound Cake ingredients.

Directions

Preheat oven to 325 F. Grease a 12-cup bundt pan. Dust pan with cake flour; tap out excess flour.

Sift flour, baking soda and salt into medium bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat butter in a large bowl at medium speed until fluffy. Gradually add sugar and beat 5 minutes. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating just until combined after each addition. Beat in Grand Marnier and orange peel. Using rubber spatula, mix in dry ingredients. Mix in sour cream. Transfer batter to prepared pan.

Bake cake until tester inserted near center comes out clean, about 1 hour 20 minutes. Let cake cool in pan on rack 15 minutes. Carefully cut around cake in pan. Turn out cake.

Turn cake right side up on rack and cool completely. Cake can be prepared up to 2 days ahead. Wrap in foil and let stand at room temperature.

Grand Marnier Pound Cake with Roasted Strawberry Buttermilk Sherbet and frozen black raspberries.

Grand Marnier Pound Cake with Roasted Strawberry Buttermilk Sherbet and frozen black raspberries.