Chocolate Chunk Cashew Butter Blondies (Vegan, GF)

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Oh hi, friends! I’m so excited to share my favourite blondie recipe with you just in time for the holidays! This dessert only takes 20 minutes to whip up and is so intensely craveable, you’ll be making it all year round!

What the heck is a blondie, you may ask? Think brownie, minus the chocolate batter. I like to think of them as blonde brownies. What the batter lacks in cocoa, it makes up for in the chocolate chunks that adorn every square inch of this dessert!

They’re sweet (but not tooth-achingly so), rich (but not over the top), and satisfying. Sweetened with coconut sugarand made with wholesome ingredients like flax, oat flour, cashew butter, and fair trade organic dark chocolate, they’re even rather redeeming from a nutritional standpoint—at least more so than the average dessert on offer at this time of the year.

So flatter your family and impress your friends with your vegan baking prowess. Only you and I have to know how easy and fuss-free it truly is to make a blondie.

What are we waiting for? Let’s bake!

First of all, you’ll whip together a flax egg. To the flax egg, you’ll add cashew butter, coconut sugar, and melted coconut oil (or butter if not vegan), and almond milk. Add some vanilla extract to enhance the flavour.

Next, you’ll whisk together oat flour, baking soda, and sea salt.

Add your dry ingredients to your wet ingredients and stir.

Lastly, you’ll sprinkle on the most important ingredient of all: chopped dark chocolate!

The hardest step is waiting for it to bake and set before slicing and biting into pure blondie nirvana.

You know you want it. Go get it.

Chocolate Chunk Cashew Butter Blondies

These chocolate chunk cashew butter blondies are rich, fudgey, and decadent, while also being gluten-free and vegan! There’s nothing better on a cold winter day than one of these blondies and a steaming cup of Earl Grey tea. 
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Dessert, Snack
Keyword: Dessert, Gluten-Free, Healthy Dessert, Oil-Free, Vegan
Author: Allison

Ingredients

  • 1 flax egg (1 tbsp flax plus 3 tbsp water)
  • 1/2 cup cashew butter (other nut and seed butters probably work)
  • 1 cup coconut sugar
  • 2 tbsp melted coconut oil or butter
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened dairy-free milk
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups oat flour (use certified gluten-free if necessary)
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped dark chocolate (I used 70%)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C) and line a 8×8-inch square baking dish with parchment paper. Note that I have not attempted to make this recipe in a 9×9-inch dish, so do so at your own risk! 
  • Whisk together ground flax and water in a large mixing bowl. Let stand for five minutes to thicken. 
  • Add cashew butter, coconut sugar, melted oil or butter, milk, and vanilla and cream together using electric mixer or a large spoon and a strong arm. πŸ™‚ 
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Pour dry ingredients over the wet ingredients and stir vigorously to combine. 
  • Spoon the prepared dough into your pan. Wet your hands and press the dough into the corners of the pan. You want a flat, even layer. 
  • Bake for 20 minutes, or until firm to the touch and golden. 
  • Cool in the pan for 20 minutes before lifting out. Cool on a rack for an additional 10 minutes before transferring to the refrigerator and allowing it to cool fully before slicing into 9-12 squares. 
  • Blondies will keep in a covered container in the refrigerator for at least one week. 

Things will likely be pretty quiet around here for the next week, but you can stay in touch with me via Instagram! And if you make this recipe, don’t forget to tag #holisticallie on social media so that we can see your delicious creations!

Coziest Cranberry Swirl Loaf

As promised, here is my cranberry swirl loaf recipe! This quick bread is perfect as a holiday breakfast, snack, or dessert. It comes together in under 30 minutes, including the cranberry cooking time. The maple syrup flavour really shines through here, as does the unique nuttiness of the spelt flour. As it bakes, the cranberry swirl begins to crystallize on the top, creating a crispy exterior with a soft, chewy interior. Furthermore, this recipe takes advantage of a few of my favourite Canadian products: cranberries, pure maple syrup, and spelt flour!

I am a bread/loaf lover through and through. Banana bread has its time and place, to be sure, but if you are a fiend for gluten such as myself, a diversification of loaf options becomes necessary rather quickly. You can, of course, substitute your favourite gluten-free flour blend for the spelt flour called for in this recipe. And, while I have only made this recipe with eggs, I am fairly certain that you will be able to make this recipe vegan by using 2 flax eggs (1 flax egg=1 tbsp ground flaxseed + 3 tbsp water). Please let me know if you try it!

This loaf is delightful with a generous smear of almond butter for breakfast, or with a steaming mug of chai for an afternoon pick-me-up!

However and whenever you choose to eat this loaf, I hope that you LOVE it. If you make it, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram: @holisticallie and #holisticallie.

Coziest Cranberry Swirl Loaf

This cranberry swirl loaf is the perfect seasonal snack! A cranberry compote is swirled throughout the interior of the loaf, which crystallizes as it bakes. Naturally sweetened with maple syrup and coconut sugar and made with spelt flour and coconut oil, this luxurious quick bread is healthy enough to eat for breakfast! 
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 30 mins
Course: Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine: American, Canadian, Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword: Cranberry, Loaf, Maple, Quick bread
Servings: 10 slices
Author: Allison

Ingredients

Cranberry Compote

  • 1 cup cranberries, fresh or frozen
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup

Loaf

  • 2 cups whole spelt flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 3/4 cup almond milk, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil or butter, melted
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup

Instructions

  • Make the cranberry compote: Combine cranberries and maple syrup in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Once cranberries begin to pop, turn down heat to medium-low and stir often until cooked down into a jammy mixture. Remove from heat and set aside until ready to use. 
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) and line a standard (9×5 inch) loaf pan with parchment paper. Alternatively, grease your loaf pan with some coconut oil or butter. 
  • Make the loaf: In a large bowl, whisk together the spelt flour, baking powder, sea salt, and coconut sugar. 
  • In a medium bowl, mix together the almond milk, coconut oil, eggs, vanilla, and maple syrup. 
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Do not over-mix, as spelt has a delicate gluten structure that can be damaged by over-working. 
  • Pour half of the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Pour half of the cranberry compote on top and swirl with a knife. Pour the remaining batter on top and then add the remaining cranberry compote; swirl again. 
  • Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until golden and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Let it cool in the pan for at least 45 minutes before removing and placing on a cooling rack. Allow to cool fully before slicing. 

Notes

  • You may be able to use 2 flax eggs (2 tbsp of ground flax mixed with 6 tbsp of water) in place of the eggs.Β 
  • This loaf will keep in a covered container at room temperature for 2 days, or in the refrigerator for up to a week. You may also store it in a container in the freezer for up to 1 month, although I’m sure you won’t need to!Β 

Scrambled Egg Breakfast Wraps with Butternut Squash and Pesto

Looking for a simple and healthy change-up to your everyday breakfast rotation? This recipe was born out of my desire to diversify my morning meal. As someone who has always tended towards sweeter breakfasts (toast with nut butter and honey or overnight oats with lots of fruit, nuts, and/or seeds have been staples for awhile now), I started craving something a little bit more savoury a couple of months ago. 

Eggs are the natural first step into savoury breakfast territory, and although plain old eggs with toast (preferably avocado toast) are delicious in their own right, you can always trust me to remix a classic. Born out of my love of winter squash, pesto, and anything wrapped up in a warm tortilla, this dish will fill you up in all the right ways. It’s packed with protein, healthy fats, fibre, and most importantly, flavour! Roasted peak of the season local butternut squash is oh so sweet and creamy while delivering a punch of beta carotene; fluffy scrambled eggs provide the satiety factor with their protein and healthy fats; the pesto adds a fresh, herbacious punch, and the Pecorino provides the salty contrast. Wrap it all up into a sprouted grain tortilla, and what you have is a satisfying, nutrient-dense meal that qualifies as breakfast, lunch, or dinner! 

You could even modify this recipe to make it vegan by scrambling tofu instead of the egg and using your favourite vegan cheese instead of the Pecorino! 

Most of the recipe components can be made ahead, so you can enjoy this on your busiest weekday mornings as well as on a lazy Sunday. You can even assemble it and wrap it in your reusable food wrap or parchment paper and eat it on the run. I can be clever like that. No more complaining that you didn’t have time to make breakfast! 

Start by roasting up some butternut squash. 

Next, scramble some eggs. 

Then, assemble your wraps: spread on some pesto, top with two scrambled eggs, sprinkle on some Pecorino, and top with that sweet, caramel-y butternut squash. Mmmmmm. 

Scrambled Egg Breakfast Wraps with Butternut Squash and Pesto

Yield: 4 servings
Time: 40 minutes
Cuisine: Vegetarian, Mediterranean, American 

Ingredients:

-1 medium-large butternut squash, peeled and diced into 1-inch cubes

-1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

-1/2 tsp fine sea salt

-Pepper, to taste

-1 tbsp butter or ghee

-8 large organic free-range eggs

-1 cup pesto

-1 cup finely grated Pecorino or Manchego cheese (sheep cheese from Italy or Spain, respectively)

-4 large sprouted grain tortillas (I used Ezekiel brand) 

Instructions: 

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. 
  2. Place cubed squash on the pan. Drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Roast squash for 35-40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft and crispy around the edges. 
  3. Cook the eggs: Warm the butter or ghee over medium heat in a large skillet. Whisk the eggs in a large bowl. Once butter or ghee is shimmering, add the eggs. Stir occasionally with a fork until done to your liking, 3-4 minutes. Remove eggs from heat. 
  4. To assemble the wraps, spread 1/4 cup of pesto onto each tortilla. Divide eggs evenly among the 4 tortillas. Top each with 1/4 cup of cheese and a generous portion of squash (you may have extra, depending on the size of your squash). 
  5. Wrap and serve. 

Note: You may prepare the pesto and roast the squash up to three days in advance. Re-heat the squash in the oven at 300 degrees F for 10 minutes, if desired.