Vegan Lavender Lime Bundt Cake

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Addictions come in many forms. Like that time I was addicted to Pleasantville. And when my 8th grade self couldn’t stop listening to Blink 182’s “Take Off Your Pants and Jacket.” I also got addicted to plucking my eyebrows. Until they were two inches apart and I looked like I had grown an extra forehead in the middle of my face.

It took a long time for them to grow back.

So this summer, I got addicted to a pond. A new pond. A pond not many people know about.

And I can’t stop going there. I wake up early just to be the first one on that splintery dock. I make sure to get all my chores done the night before so I can efficiently bike, swim, cannonball, dive, flip, and nap—all before 3pm.

I’m really nervous about the fall. Because I don’t know what my weekends will be like without that pond. Where will I swim? Where will I see great blue herons swooping over lily pads? What happens when I don’t get sun sleepies?

Maybe with less sun will come more time for cooking and baking. Even though a huge chunk of me doesn’t want that to happen, I guess having a lavender lime bundt cake after dinner wouldn’t be too bad.

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This flavor combo is so unreal. The first time I did something with it was ages ago when I baked lavender lime poppy seed cookies. Those were stupidly amazing.

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Lime gets zested. Don’t rub your eyes. But definitely enjoy your house smelling citrusy for at least the afternoon.

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Lime gets juiced.

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You’re probably all, “Ew, does it taste like potpourri?” To which I answer, “Shut up and eat it.”

It doesn’t taste like potpourri. It tastes like yum.

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Just a whee bit toasty.

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And a whole lot of omg-so-good-I-might-eat-it-all.

Vegan (say what?!) lavendar lime bundt cake.

3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoons culinary lavender
3 limes, zested and juiced
2/3 cup canola oil
1 14oz can coconut milk
1 1/2 cups vegan sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Thoroughly grease a bundt pan of your choice, being sure to get in all the cracks.

Sift the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, baking powder salt), in a medium bowl.

In a large bowl, mix wet ingredients (sugar, coconut milk, canola oil, vanilla, lime juice, zest) until sugar and oil are fully incorporated.

Slowly add the dries into the wets in about 3 batches, mixing completely before adding the next cup.

Once the batter is just incorporated (don’t overdo it, or else your cake won’t be fluffy), fold in the culinary lavender.

Pour into the bundt cake pan and bake for about 60 minutes, until the top is just browning at the edges.

Fully cool before even attempting to take the cake out of the pan. It will break if the center is still warm.

Seriously it tastes phenomenal.

Enough to feed the people who don’t scorn vegan baked goods.

Rhubarb Upside Down Cake

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I have a small obsession with growing up. My wishes range from having a car and a puppy to dreaming of the day when I’ll stop thinking that fart jokes are really the funniest of them all. Sometimes I get pangs of adulty withdrawals and scrounge through Craigslist for things my parents have. Like kitchen islands and lamp shades. Curtains.

It’s not just the things. I yearn for conversations outside of the next meal and how’s-work-going. That’s what makes you an adult, right? Black coffee and philosophizing?

Mmmnope.

I don’t think I’ll ever be an adult. And I don’t really want to be. I’d much rather hang out with my high school friends and rewatch Harry Potter until I know the script by heart.

There’ll be plenty of time to put down a mortgage, get matching towels and talk about what Ira Glass said on the last episode of This American Life. Too much time, really.

But at least I can still play in the dirt and bring home rhubarb every once in a while. And if that’s what it means to grow up, then I’ll stick with it.

_MG_1619No, really, I dug my toes into the soil and snipped stalks of rhubarb. I’ve got a garden. Finally. #Adulthood.

_MG_1634My brother told me to make this cake probably 3 months ago. Now I know why.

_MG_1631Because who doesn’t love caramelizing rhubarb?

_MG_1640And then, like, turning it into a sort of biscuit-like thing that makes your apartment smell like a pastry shop?

_MG_1643The only way to flip this without it falling apart is to say “omgomgomgomgomgomg.”

_MG_1650It worked.

Rhubarb Upside Down Cake.

3/4lbs rhubarb, cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
1 1/2 cup sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus 6 tablespoons cut into small cubes and chilled
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup shortening
1/3 cup milk
2 eggs

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a 9-inch cast-iron skillet, cook the rhubarb, 1 cup sugar, vanilla, lemon juice, 4 tablespoons butter and 1/4 teaspoon salt on medium heat until the rhubarb is soft and slightly caramelized. Make sure the sugar doesn’t burn. Because that’d be lame. And you’ll probably have to start over. This should take about 8-10 minutes.

In a large bowl, whisk flour, remaining sugar and baking powder. Add the chilled 6 tablespoons of butter and shortening and using your hands, gently break apart the pieces until the flour mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the milk and eggs and mix until a sticky dough forms.

Gently spoon the dough on top of the caramelized rhubarb and smooth over lightly with a spatula.

Place the skillet into the oven and bake for about 30 minutes, until the top is golden brown.

Once you take it out of the oven, let it cool for about 5-10 minutes before flipping it onto a large, flat serving platter. If you don’t have one (because you’re lacking in the kitchen department of adulthood), a cutting board should work. Or a pizza peel. Whatever.

When you flip it, swear as much as you need to ensure it’ll come out in one piece. You might have to coax it with some kind words after being so mean.

Serve with ice cream or whipped cream. Or just with a fork.

Grapefruit Almond Bundt Cake

Let’s not overdo it.

Even if there are two more pages left in the chapter, it’s time to put the book down when you can’t keep your eyes open.

You only have four pairs of shoes. Pick one and get out the door. And another thing: That printed dress you wore at your brother’s wedding is stretched out. Stop trying to revive it.

When the train is too full for your little rump, just wait for the next one. You’re not in a rush. Dinner can wait.

It’s really okay to give up sometimes. It’s okay to call it quits when your body tells you to stop. It’s totally possible to make a bad batch of brownies and forget to put cornmeal on the pizza stone. Dough gets stuck, loaves come out asymmetrical and every so often you’ll make a nasty mojito. Like, so awful you’ll never trust yourself to make a mojito again.

So after you’ve bumped into the corner of your kitchen island for the dozenth time and the bruise on your thigh can’t get any bigger, all there’s left to do is take a walk, watch the sunset and read a book until there isn’t enough light left to see the end of a sentence.

Then you get your bake on to remind yourself there are hundreds of recipes for you to try, hours of radio shows to catch up on, five seasons of The Wire to watch and just about 3,000 pages of novels and nonfiction you picked up from the book sale up the road. And you’re so over giving up.

Just when I thought I’d run out of things to make with grapefruit, I discover a fancy bundt cake pan in the back of the pantry and decide to put it to good use.

I’ve moved so frequently over the last few years that juice squeezers are a sort of luxury. Especially cuties like this one.

So are zesters. Sugar is best when smooshed with citrus zest. Plain and simple fact.

Bundt cake sounds crazy, but it’s really easy, especially because the brilliantly shaped pan makes it hard for you to undercook the center.

Grapefruit glaze glistens gracefully in the morning sun.

Bundt cake for breakfast? What else would it be for?

Grapefruit Almond Bundt Cake.

2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup plain yogurt (I used low fat)
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1-2 grapefruits, juiced and zested (should be about 1/2 cup juice plus 1 tablespoon zest)
1 teaspoon almond extract
4 Tablespoons powdered sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Prepare the bundt pan by coating generously with nonstick cooking spray or vegetable oil.

In a medium bowl, sift flour, salt and baking soda. Set aside.

On a cutting board, press grapefruit zest into the sugar with the back of a spoon. Make sure most of the sugar is slightly damp – it should be somewhat crumbly. It’ll also smell amazing.

In a large bowl, whisk together sugar and eggs until smooth. Add yogurt, vegetable oil, almond extract and one tablespoon of grapefruit juice and mix until fully incorporated.

Slowly add flour mixture, mixing continuously with each addition. Batter should be creamy and slightly yellow.

Pour into the bundt cake pan and smooth over the top with a spatula.

Place in the oven and bake for about 30-40 minutes, until the top is slightly brown and a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for about 10 minutes before trying to remove from the bundt pan and use a thin knife to work around the edges. Place the cake on a cooling rack over a lipped baking sheet.

While the cake is cooling, bring the powdered sugar and rest of the grapefruit juice to a boil in a saucepan. Once it begins to bubble, bring down the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes, until the glaze thickens.

Using a toothpick, poke all over the top of the bundt cake and slowly pour the glaze over the holes. Reuse drippings as you see fit.

Should be more than enough to make up for the little mistakes here and there.