CorEats Chocolate Lava Cakes

If you’ve ever been to any number of chain restaurants before I’m sure you’re familiar with the chocolate lava cake, or have at least seen it on the menu. It’s essentially just a delicious chocolate sponge cake with an undercooked core that oozes out when you cut into it. Today I’ll be guiding you through how to make a more upscale version of that with a quick and easy Chocolate Cupcake Mix from CorEats. With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, and the covid-19 pandemic still raging on this year is a great time to plan an at home Valentine’s dinner. Whether you’re cooking for your partner as a treat, or you’re cooking together, I’d recommend making this for dessert. It’s sure to impress especially paired with one of our other date night dinner recipes like our Vegan “Scallops” and Risotto, or Vegan “Scallops” with White Wine Cream Sauce. If you’d like to make an appetizer I’d recommend our Unbelievable Blini recipe that also uses a CorEats mix!

For those of you that haven’t tried our recipes that we’ve done in conjunction with CorEats let me give you the run down. CorEats is another local Pittsburgh based business that sells vegan-friendly mixes that are also gluten-free, keto, and paleo friendly. We don’t do a lot of gluten-free recipes due to the fact that I don’t have a lot of experience baking gluten free and don’t want to provide anyone with sub-par recipes. However, it has been refreshing to team up with CorEats, because the baking mix is premade and I can’t mess it up. I’m glad to provide some recipes to those with other dietary needs in addition to a vegan diet. When creating this recipe I was sure to leave out added sugars to keep it light and keto-friendly.

The other recipes I’ve developed with CorEats mixes have been savory, so it was exciting to do a sweet recipe since I’m primarily a baker. These lava cakes have a super decadent feel without ingredients that will leave you feeling bloated and gross after consuming a rich, chocolatey dessert. The mix itself is sweetened with monk fruit, and we added no additional sugar to the strawberry compote. The only added sugar on the plate is in a bit of optional dairy free coconut whipped cream which you can leave off if it doesn’t suit you.


CorEats Chocolate Lava Cakes

  • Servings: 6-12
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 1 package of CorEats Chocolate Cupcake Mix
  • 1 tbsp of vegetable oil, or oil of your choice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup oat milk, or preferred non-dairy milk
  • 2 tbsp flax meal
  • 6 tbsp water
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen strawberries
  • vegan whipped cream (optional)

Directions

  1. Add the entirety of the CorEats Cupcake Mix package to a large mixing bowl.
  2. In a separate bowl combine the flax meal and water to make the flax egg. Whisk well and allow to sit for about five minutes to congeal.
  3. Add the flax egg to the bowl with the mix along with the oil, vanilla extract, and non-dairy milk. Stir well to combine.
  4. Grease twelve small ramekins, or the cells of a muffin or cupcake tin. I used a cupcake tin for this recipe, and it worked well.
  5. Spoon one heaping tablespoon of the batter into each of the ramekins or cells. If you measure correctly you should get about twelve perfect portions out of it.
  6. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. You’ll want the oven to be higher than the package directs, because for this recipe we want the outsides of the cakes to set quickly so they don’t rupture easily but the center to still be soft and gooey.
  7. Bake the cakes for about 7 minutes. They should have formed a relatively solid skin on the top, but look a bit underdone. Remove them from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes.
  8. While you are baking the muffins you can cook down the strawberry compote. Add the strawberries to a small sauce pot on the stove over medium heat. Stir periodically as they cook.
  9. Once the strawberries reach a boil and become frothy on top turn the heat down, and allow them to simmer for about five minutes. Remove from heat. The juice should thicken up as they cool with the natural sugars and pectin in the fruit. No added sugar necessary.
  10. When the cakes have had a few minutes to cool it’s time to plate them. First, get them to unlock from the ramekin or cupcake tin by pressing a spoon around the edges. If you greased the baking vessel well enough they should come loose pretty easily. If you used a cupcake tin an easy way to get the cakes out is by putting a cookie sheet on top of the cupcake tin top-side down, and then flipping them over together while tightly holding the edges so the cookie sheet is now on the bottom. Lift the tin up, and they should drop right out onto the cookie sheet.
  11. Serve the cakes while still warm with the strawberry compote, and non-dairy whip cream if you’d like. You can save any left over cakes in the fridge. Enjoy them later by zapping them for a few seconds in the microwave until they are warm again throughout, but not cooked any further.

Vegan Black Bean Brownies

Refined Sugar Free

I’ve had a sweet tooth my entire life. My palate has certainly advanced past some of the overly sweet things I used to love as a kid, and now I prefer things with rich dark chocolate and a small amount of sugar. I’ve always been a fan of sweet over savory. If I could get adequate nutrition for dessert I’m not sure I’d have it for every meal, but I’d certainly have it a lot. Unfortunately the world doesn’t work that way, and sweets should be an occasional treat and not a meal replacement. I’ve been trying to lose some weight recently, and reach a healthier BMI. This has involved limiting my dessert intake to once or twice a week, and trying to make smarter choices about what sweets I do consume.

While I’ve been trying to be healthier I do still consume refined sugar, and I forget that for some people that’s a big no-no. Disclaimer: I’m not trying to say that these are healthy. They’re just a bit healthier than eating a lot of refined cane sugar, because the coconut brown sugar is lower on the glycemic index. A lot of the dessert recipes I post on the blog can be made without refined sugar, and with coconut brown sugar or other natural sweeteners. If you want to use a liquid sweetener like maple syrup, or agave you may need to experiment a little bit and adjust the amount of moisture you add with other ingredients as well as cook time. I have no beef with bleached white sugar as long as it’s vegan, but I realize why some people do and wanted to provide a decadent sweet option for those who are more health conscious. This brownie recipe is decadent, deliciously sweet, fudgy, and by default refined sugar free. You really won’t miss the bleached white sugar, I promise.


Vegan Brownies

  • Servings: 10-12
  • Difficulty: easy
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Caramel Sauce Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup Wholesome coconut brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup vegan butter
  • 1/4 cup full fat coconut milk
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

Brownie Ingredients

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cup Wholesome coconut brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 16 oz can of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 1/4 cup full fat coconut milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions

  1. In a large mixing bowl combine all dry brownie ingredients. Sift each ingredient as you add it to the bowl to prevent clumping.
  2. In a food processor combine drained and rinsed black beans with coconut milk and vanilla extract, and puree until smooth. You may still see some flecks of skin. This is fine. You won’t notice it in the consistency of the brownies.
  3. Grease an 8″x8″, or similar volume baking dish. You can line it with parchment if you wish. I usually don’t, because I make my brownies in a glass Pyrex dish, and they come out very easily as long as the pan is greased.
  4. If you want to add an add in like chocolate chips, lightly coat them in flour to prevent them from sinking to the bottom, and gently fold them into your batter. This step is optional, and the brownies are very rich and flavorful with or without.
  5. If you’d like to make caramel sauce to marble into your brownies like we did do so at this time. Melt vegan butter down in a small sauce pan on low heat, and then stir in the coconut brown sugar.
  6. Once coconut brown sugar has melted combine the full fat coconut milk. Simmer until mixture starts to bubble all the way throughout, and turn a slightly darker color. If you dip a spoon in the mixture it should still be fairly runny, but will ultimately coat the spoon. Remove from heat immediately after it reaches this consistency.
  7. Allow your caramel to set for a few minutes.
  8. Spoon some of the caramel sauce on top of the brownies in ribbons. Using a toothpick make whatever design you like. Save some of the caramel to pretty them up more after baking.
  9. Preheat your oven to 350 and cook brownies for 25-35 minutes. Check with a tooth pick to see if they’re done.
  10. Allow brownies to cool before cutting and serving. If you’d like to you can add some more caramel to the top. The caramel may bake down a bit and leave some gaps in the top of your brownies, so it’s a good idea to conserve some caramel to touch these up.
  11. Top with sea salt, sprinkles, nuts, and more if you’d like. Enjoy.

Best Vegan Buttercream

I love baking cakes for any occasion I can find, but I’ve always thought store bought icing was terrible. Even if you’re a fan it’s often difficult to find vegan icing at the supermarket. It’s fortunate that making buttercream frosting is super easy, and only requires four ingredients. You can even make it in advance and freeze it for a couple of weeks. Fresh is always better, but if you like being prepared that’s a great option.

This recipe works great for any of your cake, cupcake, or cookie needs. It’s stable enough to perfectly pipe anything and everything. All you need to make our Best Vegan Buttercream is vegan powdered sugar, vegan butter, vanilla extract, sea salt, a mixing bowl, a sieve, and a hand (or stand) mixer. Funny, you probably already own most if not all of those things.

Best Vegan Buttercream

  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 cups vegan powdered sugar
  • 1 cup vegan butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Directions

  1. Set your butter out for a few minutes before you get started, so that it can soften.
  2. In a large mixing bowl sift the powdered sugar to remove any clumps.
  3. In a separate mixing bowl beat butter on a low-medium setting on the mixer for about five minutes until it becomes almost white in color. It should still hold it’s shape relatively well.
  4. Slowly add in the powdered sugar a little at a time. Start mixing it with the mixer on the lowest setting.
  5. Once all of the sugar is incorporated add in your salt, and vanilla extract. Mix for another thirty seconds or so until it is well integrated.
  6. Add in any food coloring if you wish at this point.
  7. Use immediately, or store in an air tight container in the fridge or freezer.

No Bake Vegan Nut Butter Bars

Like the majority of people in the U.S. I attended public school. Which means I had the privilege of experiencing the horror that is school lunch. With cheese fries being a side offered every day it’s no big surprise that fatty, greasy desserts were offered with every lunch. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big fan of dessert, but do we really need to have dessert after every meal?

Regardless of the overindulgence of bad public school cafeteria food there were a few lunch desserts that were actually delicious in addition to being unhealthy. One of my favorites that I still find myself thinking about sometimes is the peanut butter bar. They were a layer of peanut butter mixed with probably a pound of sugar with a thin layer of chocolate on top.

Peanut butter bar days were one of the few occasions that I would get lunch dessert in school. I rarely consume peanut butter due to allergies in our household, but almond butter and sunflower seed butter are a pretty great substitution. I found myself having nostalgia for those cafeteria food dessert bars, so I decided to make them vegan and peanut free. The result was a delicious, gourmet version of a childhood favorite.

No Bake Vegan Nut Butter Bars

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
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When you line the baking dish with parchment make sure parchment extends over the sides of the baking dish, so you can easily lift the bars out of the baking dish once they are set up.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup creamy almond butter or other nut butter
  • 1 cup vegan chocolate chips or chunks
  • 1 cup vegan graham cracker crumbs (about 8 graham cracker sheets)
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegan butter
  • 1 tbsp almond butter

Directions

  1. Break down vegan graham crackers into crumbs by adding them to a food processor, or placing them in a ziploc bag and pulverizing them with a rolling pin. You’ll want them to be fine and sandy feeling. Place them in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Melt the vegan butter in the microwave, and pour over graham cracker crumbs. Mix crumbs with butter until well integrated.
  3. Sift powdered sugar over butter and graham cracker mixture, and stir together.
  4. Stir in the almond butter, or other nut butter, until mixture is smooth and well integrated.
  5. Line an 8×8 inch pyrex with greased parchment paper making sure the edges of the parchment extend outside of the baking dish, and pour almond butter mixture in.
  6. Using a spatula smooth almond butter mixture evenly over the bottom of the baking dish.
  7. Melt down the baking chocolate with one tablespoon almond butter in a microwave safe bowl, or on the stove top. If you choose to microwave it do so on 30 second intervals stirring in between warming to prevent the chocolate from burning.
  8. Once chocolate is melted into a smooth, runny consistency with no clumps pour it over your almond butter mixture. Spread it evenly with a clean spatula.
  9. Refrigerate for at least two hours to allow bars to set.
  10. When ready to serve remove bars from baking dish, and place on cutting board. Run a knife under hot water to warm it before cutting to prevent bars from breaking.

If you want to cut even pieces without the chocolate breaking it’s important to add a tablespoon of almond butter to the chocolate as you’re melting it. The almond butter will prevent the chocolate from tempering when it sets up, and allow for more flexion as you’re cutting the bars.

Chia Pudding

I’ve lived with chronic migraine for the past fourteen years of my life. Since I’ve been at home a lot more due to recent events I’ve been taking this time to focus on treating my migraines with a more natural approach. I hate having to take medication with scary side-effects that only treat each episode, instead of actually treating the condition itself and preventing attacks from happening. This journey has involved trying to find out some of my migraine triggers, and to cut them out of my life. I’ve already determined that caffeine is probably responsible for at least half of my migraines. During quarantine I cut out caffeine with the exception of a piece of chocolate or a baked good with cocoa in it every now and then. This paired with avoiding most types of alcohol, and doing yoga and other moderate exercise religiously, has led to me having maybe 4-6 migraine days a month as opposed to 6-12.

While focusing on food triggers I realized a number of my migraines start when I wait too long in between meals. Fluctuations in blood sugar can be a trigger for migraine. I’ve started eating four or five smaller meals throughout the day to try to prevent this. This has meant coming up with a number of low glycemic index snacks that are easy to prepare ahead of time. If I have to stop what I’m doing to make every snack the moment I need to eat it there’s a good chance I’m going to skip it.

This brings me to our versatile snack recipe for today…chia pudding! Chia seeds have been all the rage since 1977 when the Chia Pet came into existence. Now they’re raved about as a “super food”. Personally, I hesitate to label anything as a “super food”. I feel that nomenclature leads to over-consumption of one food. Nothing is a cure all. There can indeed be too much of a good thing. That being said, chia seeds are pretty great. They’re incredibly low on the glycemic index, rich in nutrients, and their ability to hold ten times their weight in liquid makes them very filling.


Plain or Vanilla Chia Pudding

  • Servings: 2-3
  • Difficulty: easy
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If you’re looking for a truly low glycemic index snack you can leave out the maple syrup.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup oat milk or other non-dairy milk
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract (optional, or you can use a flavored non-dairy milk)
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds

Directions

  1. Combine oat milk, maple syrup, and vanilla extract into a bowl.
  2. Whisk together wet ingredients until they are thoroughly integrated.
  3. Stir in chia seeds, and let sit at room temperature for 10 minutes.
  4. Stir mixture thoroughly, cover, and place in refrigerator for 3 hours.
  5. Once the chia seeds have absorbed the liquid serve them in a jar, ramekin, or other serving dish.

To make a more decadent snack layer your pudding with fresh fruit, jam, or other add-ins. Top with non-dairy whipped cream. Just keep in mind that this adds a lot of additional sugar to the dish.

In addition to our basic plain, or vanilla pudding recipe we’ve developed a chocolate pudding and a nut butter pudding. We’ll be working on some fruit based puddings, and hope to post them to the blog when they’re more refined. If you’re trying to incorporate more healthy snacks throughout the day it’s important to have variety, so we’ve included all three recipes here. While chia pudding is a great snack I don’t recommend having it every day, as over-consumption can cause some minor gastrointestinal distress.


Chocolate Chia Pudding

  • Servings: 2-3
  • Difficulty: easy
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If you’re looking for a truly low glycemic index snack you can leave out the maple syrup.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup oat milk or other non-dairy milk
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup (optional)
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds

Directions

  1. Combine oat milk, and maple syrup into a bowl.
  2. Sift cocoa powder into the bowl to avoid clumps.
  3. Whisk together wet ingredients until they are thoroughly integrated.
  4. Stir in chia seeds, and let sit at room temperature for 10 minutes.
  5. Stir mixture thoroughly, cover, and place in refrigerator for 3 hours.
  6. Once the chia seeds have absorbed the liquid serve them in a jar, ramekin, or other serving dish.

To make a more decadent snack layer your pudding with your favorite nut butter, or fruit. Top with non-dairy whipped cream. Just keep in mind that this adds a lot of additional sugar to the dish.

When having this chia pudding as a snack I normally serve it plain, but if I’m having it as a healthy-ish dessert I’ll serve it with some decadent add-ins. Some great add ins are chocolate chips, nut-butter, fresh fruit, non-dairy whipped cream, granola and homemade jam. You can also layer different flavors of pudding together. If you make a great new flavor combination that we haven’t mentioned here let us know in the comments!


Nut Butter Chia Pudding

  • Servings: 2-3
  • Difficulty: easy
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If you’re looking for a truly low glycemic index snack you can leave out the maple syrup.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup oat milk or other non-dairy milk
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup (optional)
  • 1 tbsp creamy almond butter, or other nut butter
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds

Directions

  1. Combine oat milk, maple syrup, and nut butter into a bowl.
  2. Whisk together wet ingredients until they are thoroughly integrated.
  3. Stir in chia seeds, and let sit at room temperature for 10 minutes.
  4. Stir mixture thoroughly, cover, and place in refrigerator for 3 hours.
  5. Once the chia seeds have absorbed the liquid serve them in a jar, ramekin, or other serving dish.

To make a more decadent snack mix in some chocolate chips, bananas, or other add-ins. Top with non-dairy whipped cream. Just keep in mind that this adds a lot of additional sugar to the dish.

When making chia pudding the wait time for absorption is important. Wait at least an hour before consuming if you cannot wait at least three. This is a great snack to prepare the evening before you intend to eat it. We do not recommend consuming dry or under-saturated chia seeds. If chia seeds have not already absorbed liquid they can swell in your throat and form a lump, so consume them cautiously and make sure they’ve already reached their greatest size.

Three Ingredient Chocolate Mousse

All of my life I’ve been a major sweet tooth. I love all dessert, especially chocolate. As we move through June and the temperature rises I find myself searching for lighter no-bake desserts. We recently created this simple three ingredient mousse to fulfill my chocolate cravings without heating up the kitchen.

This mousse is light and airy, but still feels indulgent with the richness of the chocolate. With only three ingredients it’s quick and easy to make, and easy to add your own flair to. Add your favorite nut butter, or sub fruit for chocolate. A strawberry mousse with fresh in season strawberries sounds incredibly refreshing, doesn’t it?


Three Ingredient Chocolate Mousse

  • Servings: 3
  • Difficulty: easy
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For this recipe you’ll need a blender, and three ramekins. If you don’t have ramekins you can use some small wide mouthed glass jars, or use some juice glasses as mousse glasses.

Ingredients

  • 1 block (12 oz) soft silken tofu
  • 1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips, or baking chocolate
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup, or other preferred natural sweetener

Directions

  1. Add silken tofu and maple syrup into a blender, and blend until well integrated.
  2. Melt chocolate in the microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring well in between cooking, so it does not burn.
  3. Once the chocolate has fully melted add it directly to the blender while it is still warm. Blend until fully integrated.
  4. Pour the blended mousse into three ramekans, juice glasses, or small jars.
  5. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  6. Add your favorite fruit and non-dairy whipped cream before serving, if you desire.