Yesterday, I had the pleasure of attending Thanksgiving WITH the Turkeys at Poplar Spring Animal Sanctuary in Maryland. It was great fun! The animals are always the best part of course. Something to make the day even more eventful was the Vegan Potluck. Everyone brings a dinner/ dessert dish to serve about 8 people. Naturally my team and I contributed as well, and I thought I'd pass the recipe along. Here's where the pumpkin comes in: Be excited.
Vegan Mini Pumpkin Bundt Cakes with Pumpkin Cream Cheese
What You'll Need:
...for the actual mini cakes:
1 Box Trader Joe's Pumpkin Bread Mix
1/2 cup of Vegetable Oil
1/2 cup of Unsweetened Apple Sauce
* Did you know: 1/4 cup of unsweetened apple sauce is the equivalent of 1 egg in a baking recipe?! GREAT to know for friends with egg allergies, and well vegans (duh).
1/2 cup of water
Cooking Spray/ Margarine
...for the cream cheese:
1/2 cup of Canned Pumpkin
8 oz (1 package) Toffuti Cream Cheese
1 Tsp Cinnamon
1/4 cup of Sugar
...for yourself (duh):
1 large mixing bowl
1 small mixing bowl
1 mini bunt cooking tray
1 icing gun (Ok not really, but I do recommend this if you want to pretend you are on Top Chef)
1 friend (No worries. If you don't have this, the recipe is fairly easy and the end results may help you get one)
1. Preheat Oven to 400 Degrees
2. Combine Water, Applesauce, and Vegetable Oil in a large mixing bowl.
3. Add Pumpkin Bread Mix (The whole damn thing)
4. Whisk all ingredients together until you get a nice consistency. Not too thin - should stay on the thicker side.
5. "Grease" (aka finger the bunt tray with earth balance) or "lightly coat" the tray with a cooking spray
6. Fill the tray with the batter about 2/3 full *Caution: These things rise faster than tweens at a Justin Bieber concert.
7. Put the tray in the oven and bake for 18 minutes. They might need a little longer because every oven is different, but this is the time that worked for us.
8. Let Cool (10-12 minutes worked for this)
9. Remove from tray and proceed to decorate (YESSSS)
While the minis are baking, you can make the cream cheese. I actually googled a recipe for pumpkin cream cheese and went according to that based on what I had available at the time.
1. Empty package of Tofutti Cream Cheese into a small mixing bowl
2. Empty Canned Pumpkin into a small mixing bowl. *I used Trader Joe's organic canned pumpkin. (Not like you care, because there's probably 80 million types of canned pumpkin at your local grocery store this time of year. However, for the purpose of sounding like I know what I'm doing, I decided to tell you what I used in the example of all the people on Food Network)
3. Whisk Cream Cheese & Pumpkin together. It should be really thick and have a very "fluffy/airy" look to it.
4. Add in cinnamon and continue to mix. The recipe I went by actually called for Pumpkin Pie Spice, but I didn't have that so I improvised.
5. Continue to mix and add in sugar to taste. Maybe you're like me and you don't really care for sugar. Maybe you have a bit of a sweet tooth. Either way you may need a friend to help you gauge this ;) (Thanks for your help, K!)
6. Have your significant other assemble your new icing gun so you can make cool designs when the minis are done.
Benefits of this recipe include that it is cholesterol and butterfat free. The minis are not a total diet kill. The recipe is virtually low in sugar and fat altogether. It's also packed with awesome pumpkin and fall flavors. Plus, The Great Pumpkin hold's a lot of its own benefits too including potassium, vitamins C & E, fiber, and more! Most importantly, my boyfriend and I had a great time making them. Cooking and baking offer a nice change of pace for activities to enjoy together as I'm learning :)