Orange and chocolate surprise cake

It feels like forever since I last shared a recipe! But today it finally happened: that beautiful merging of time with inspiration. 😊 So my orange and chocolate protein bomb was born, with a secret veggie of course.


2 organic oranges

150g ground almonds

1 tsp baking powder

50g raw cacao powder (or you can, substitute cocoa powder if you prefer a stronger chocolate taste)

15g rice or buckwheat flour

5 eggs

200g raw cane sugar

Pinch of salt

200g pumpkin purée

1 can of coconut cream

70g maple syrup or other liquid sweetener


Preheat the oven to 170C.

Wash the two oranges and boil them for 20 minutes. Then process them in a food processor until they form a smooth paste. Add half of the pumpkin purée.

Beat the eggs with the sugar for 5 minutes until pale.

Add ground almonds, baking powder, cacao powder, flour, salt, and the orange puree paste and beat slowly until combined.

Pour into a 20cm diameter baking tin and bake for 55 mins. A toothpick inserted should come out clean.

Let cool down in the tin completely.

In the meantime, make the frosting by mixing the hard part of the coconut cream with the rest of the pumpkin puree and the maple syrup.

Spread on top of the cake and decorate. I used home made granola and chocolate flakes.


Pear and pumpkin frangipane tart

I’ve been putting off making my first frangipane tart for ages, but today when I urgently needed to use up some pears AND pumpkin, I decided it was time to try! The result was magical – one of the best desserts I’ve made in ages.


3 pears

1 lemon

1 orange

1 tsp gingerbread spices

200g sugar or substitute

500ml water

150g ground almonds

100g pumpkin purée (see recipe Here)

35g gluten free flour (I used buckwheat today)

15g tapioca starch

1/2 tsp xanthan gum

1/2 tsp baking powder

2 eggs

60ml maple syrup

50g sugar or substitute

2 tbsp melted coconut oil

1 tsp almond extract

Pinch of salt

1 tbsp of a light coloured home made jam



Preheat the oven to 180C.

Put the rind and juice of the lemon and orange in a pot on a medium heat together with the spices, water, and sugar until the sugar has, dissolved.

Add the pears after you’ve peeled and cored them, and leave in the liquid for 10-15 mins until the pears are soft.

Take the pears out of the liquid and let it bubble away at a low heat for another 10 minutes or so until it has become syrupy. Strain the syrup so the rind is removed.

In the meantime, mix all the other ingredients in a mixing bowl and beat for a few minutes until we’ll combined.

Put the mix into an oiled tart mould and press down so it’s evenly distributed over the mould.

Cut the pears in half, press the pear halves into the tart mix and cut into horizontal slices to form a pattern like you can see from the photo.

Put the frangipane tart into the oven for 30 mins. Leave to cool down in the mould for half an hour and then smear a thin layer of the ham over the tart (not the pears).

Serve with the syrup and some whipped cream with cinnamon.


Spiced pumpkin granola bars

I was planning to make my usual granola bars but was determined to use up the leftover pumpkin purée from the Spiced pumpkin cheesecake I made yesterday as well as a bunch of walnuts my aunt donated to me… So a new recipe was born, fairly accidentally, and it’s so gorgeous, I just had to share it! These are much chewier than my other recipe which is very much of the crunchy variety. But I’m in love with pumpkins for the moment so I can’t get enough of these recipes!


200g Gluten-free oats

70g walnuts

75g rice syrup (or other liquid sweetener, such as maple syrup or honey)

55g lactose-free or vegan butter

50g xylitol or other sugar

100g pumpkin purée (for the recipe, see Spiced pumpkin cheesecake)

50g dark cooking chocolate

1 tsp gingerbread spices/speculaaskruiden

Pinch of salt



Preheat the oven to 180C and roast the oats and chopped nuts on a baking sheet for 10 mins or until slightly brown.

In the meantime, put the rice syrup, butter, and xylitol in a pot on a medium heat until dissolved. Add the pumpkin purée and mix until well combined.

Add salt and spices to the oats and nuts, and add the wet ingredients to the dry ones. Mix until wel combined.

Put in a lined roasting tin and press down well until you get a shape you’re happy with to cut pieces from when it’s solid.

Melt the chocolate au bain marie or in bursts in the microwave (I don’t normally do the latter but was in a hurry this time and it worked very well).

Drizzle the chocolate over the granola mix and put the roasting tin into the freezer for 2 hours. Take out of the freezer and cut into rectangular chunks or the shapes you desire.

These can be stored in the fridge for 5 days or you can keep them in the freezer and defrost as required.


Chewy autumn peanut butter cookies

These cookies are my new favourites! They are ridiculously easy to make and bake very quickly so it’s an instant gratification hit 😊 But it’s also veggie packed goodness, so that makes up for it being fairly calorific… Here is the recipe: let me know what you think!


250g nut butter. I tend to use the leftover stuff that’s gone a bit hard as the oil has been used up. Today I used a mix of almond and peanut butter.

65g pumpkin purée (see Spiced pumpkin cheesecake recipe)

80g xylitol or other sugar

100g flour – today I used buckwheat but rice, oats, quinoa… I’m sure all work)

1,5 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1 tsp gingerbread/speculaas spices

Pinch of salt

Chocolate chips



Preheat the oven to 170C and put baking parchment ready on a baking sheet.

Mix the nut butter with the pumpkin puree until well combined.

Add the other ingredients and mix well. If the mix is too wet, add up to 30g more flour bit by bit until the dough can be shaped.

Scoop bits from the cookie dough, roll it out to little balls with your hands, and flatten them with the palm of your hand on the baking sheet.

Bake the cookies for 8-10 mins in the middle of the oven. Let them cool off for half an hour so they become harder (or you can eat them with a spoon if you can’t wait😜). FYI these will remain quite soft and chewy on the inside. That’s just the type of cookie they are.



Spiced pumpkin cheesecake

Ah, autumn!! After such a harsh summer, I’m in love with the slight melancholy settling on the landscape, and with the joys of picking and processing apples, hazelnuts, grapes, courgettes… and pumpkin!

I made pumpkin soup for lunch (see Instagram), but decided I wanted to incorporate it into dessert as well. I had some cream cheese and energy balls left so this was the ideal solution to using up three leftover foods in one go. It’s simply delicious, so I’m really pleased to share the recipe.


8 energy balls (see my recipe here – but without the oreo cover obvs)

350g cream cheese (I used lactose-free Philadelphia)

220g pumpkin puree (I made my own – peel and core the pumpkin, cut into medium sized pieces and put into a 180C oven for 40mins, then puree in the blender. You can buy ready-made stuff too)

80g raw cane sugar (or substitute with xylitol, coconut sugar etc – for the moment I’m using regular sugar as I’m not tolerating the other stuff well – I just use less)

60g cream (either lactose-free or dairy-free; today I used soy cream) + extra for whipping

30g buckwheat or rice flour

2 eggs

1 heaped tsp speculaas spice

1/2 orange, cut into segments

some chocolate buttons and honeycomb (I made my own from the BBC good food recipe), for decorating

cake piece


First make the pumpkin puree (see above).

Pre-heat the oven to 170C (fan).

Then make the cake base by lining and greasing a 14cm round cake tin and pressing the energy balls onto the bottom. Put the cake tin into the oven for 10mins.

In the meantime, beat the cream cheese with the pumpkin puree, sugar, cream, flour, and spice until smooth and creamy. Then add the eggs and beat again for 1 minute.

Pour the mix into the cake tin and put into the oven for 55-60mins. About 40mins in, you’ll want to put an aluminium sheet on top of the cake to stop it from burning.

Leave the cake to cool down in the tin and then transfer to the fridge for 2 hours.

You can then take it out of the tin and decorate it. I used whipped cream (rice cream this time), some leftover crumbled biscuits, honeycomb chunks, orange pieces, and some chocolate buttons.

cake whole
My kid, happy to hold the cake in return for a slice as compensation 🙂

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