vegan dessert

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake (V/GF) by audrey gebhardt

It wouldn't be fair to this dessert to call it a brownie. 

Vegan/Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cake

There are hundreds of health food junkies out there running around calling recipes similar to this 'Sweet Potato Brownies' but that's just not okay. 

Because a brownie- a brownie needs to be dense. A brownie feels like dead weight in your hands. It sticks to the roof of your mouth it's so fudgy. It has a crackly shiny top and just a 1" square is enough to satisfy.

That doesn't mean there's anything wrong with what this is- it's just simply not a brownie. It's a light, fluffy chocolate cake with a depth of flavor and ZERO DAIRY, GLUTEN or REFINED SUGAR! 

Are you kidding me? I wouldn't have believed it either. This cake is unbelievably decadent and moist and you won't even miss the sugar- I promise.

vegan gluten free peanut butter chocolate cake

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake (vegan/gluten free)

1/2 c almond butter
1/2 c cooked sweet potato (from an actual baked sweet potato, not canned puree)
1 flax egg (1 TBSP flaxseed meal + 2.5 TBSP water)
6 TBSP maple syrup
1/4 c cocoa powder
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 c coconut manna
1/2 c creamy peanut butter
1 can full fat coconut milk, chilled overnight
1/2 tsp salt
2 TBSP maple syrup

Start by making the flax egg- in a small bowl combine the flaxseed meal and water and set aside for five minutes until it firms up.

Preheat the oven to 350 and line an 8x8" pan with parchment.

In a medium bowl, combine the almond butter and sweet potato with a fork or whisk until smooth and creamy. Whip in the flax egg and maple syrup until combined. Whisk in the cocoa powder, vanilla and baking soda. 

Pour the batter into the parchment lined baking pan, bake for 25-30 minutes until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Once the brownies have cooled completely in the pan, prepare the peanut butter frosting.

DO NOT SHAKE the can of coconut milk. Open the can and scrape the top into a small bowl, saving the transparent liquid in the fridge for smoothies at another time. Beat the coconut cream until it's light and fluffy like whipped cream. Set aside. 

In a medium bowl, beat the coconut manna with the peanut butter and maple syrup until completely combined. Fold in the whipped coconut cream until smooth and spread over cooled cake. 

Store cake in fridge until you're ready to serve. Prepare for people to propose to you when they take a bite. And then tell them it's made with all wholesome ingredients!


Chocolate Chip Banana Bread (V/GF) by audrey gebhardt

I have been obsessed with a podcast lately. 

gluten free banana bread

It's called Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard, and half of my favorite duo (Kristen Bell & Dax Shepard) created it. I'm totally not a Hollywood person at all. I don't really pay attention to that world and until recently it felt so distant from my own. 

He tends to interview many of his famous friends who grew up similarly to him, in a lower middle class middle America family with a single mom working two jobs. And all I keep thinking about is that everything ever created came from inside of somebody's mind. The personality that sent him into fame and fortune came from inside of him. 

The Apple computer started with something Steve Jobs imagined. 

The first recipe ever created was something a human made up.

The roads that pave the way to the Palace of Versailles were designed by a human. And another human dreamt up the hall of mirrors and then another human reigned a country for 72 years and resided there. 

Vegan Banana Bread

What I'm getting to is that all of this stuff happened because someone at some point in time had a brain that made it happen. 

If you could use your brain to turn your dreams into the real life that you walk through every day, what would you dream? What is the wildest thing you can't imagine possible that you want? 


Because omg would you look at that you just used your brain to manifest your dreams into reality.

Gluten Free Banana Bread

Vegan & Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
2 c gluten free flour blend (I like Trader Joe's)
1/4 c sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3 medium super ripe bananas (like, so ripe that your houseguest looks at your counter and says you should probably throw those out)
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 c refined coconut oil, melted
1/4 c applesauce
1 c bittersweet chocolate chips
2 TBSP raw sugar

I used a 6" round cake pan for this because I made it for the full moon and I only eat round foods on the full moon because I'm a LUNATIC. You can totally make it in a standard loaf pan!

Preheat the oven to 375. 

In a large bowl, whisk together the gluten free flour, 1/4 c sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt. 

In a medium bowl, mash the bananas with a fork leaving some chunky bits. The chunky bits will caramelize in the oven and create sugar pockets that you definitely want. Add the coconut oil, applesauce and lemon to the bananas and mix until combined. 

Stir in 90% of the flour mixture. Toss the chocolate chips in the remaining flour mixture before folding in.

Spoon the batter into your greased and floured pan, sprinkle the top with the raw sugar. 

Bake for 35-45 minutes, until it doesn't jiggle when you move the pan and a toothpick comes out clean. 

Serve immediately. Or not. You can also slice into the size slices that your future self wants to eat and freeze! I made the mistake of slicing this into quarters and now every time me (future self) wants this, I have to eat a quarter loaf of banana bread.



Vegan Hot Fudge that will Melt Your Face Off by audrey gebhardt

This post kind've started as a disaster and turned into a masterpiece. A "happy accident" as my high school photo teacher, Ms. Beary would say.

vegan hot fudge-2.png

I was trying to make Roasted Cherry Coconut Almond Vegan Ice Cream, and aside from it being way too many words it was also a rock solid block of ice after it hung out in the freezer for a day. 

Back to the drawing board. 

The greatest blessing about it was that I was planning on swirling the fudge sauce into the ice cream but the fudge was hot so I couldn't and I saved it to pour on top and OH MY GOD IT WILL MELT YOUR FACE OFF. 

You know, like in School of Rock when fake Mr. Schneebly Jack Black talks about the face melting solo? 

mr schneebly

This fudge is the face melting solo. 

It can melt the rock solid ice block of cherries and coconut in your freezer into the most delectable swirl of flavors you've ever had. 

I found myself sneaking demitasse spoonfuls of the fudge for breakfast the next day.

Kind've like when I had 10x the sweet tooth I do now in middle school and kept a can of vanilla frosting in the back of the fridge for an after school pick me up every now and again. 

Vegan Hot Fudge

Make it, maybe/definitely double the recipe. 

I'll show you the ice cream that fed my garbage disposal anyway, since it turned into this gorgeous sunset lavender and who doesn't want to look at aerial shots of scoops?

Vegan Hot Fudge

Vegan Hot Fudge
makes about a cup
(adapted from Minimalist Baker)

1 can full fat coconut milk- DON'T SHAKE IT LIKE A POLAROID PICTURE
1/3 c cocoa powder
1/4 c sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
zest of one orange if you're feeling like Ina- maybe a splash of Grand Marnier as well?!
pinch salt

Open the very still can of coconut milk. If you have just gotten it home from the grocery store or you have shaken it recently, let it take a nap for about an hour. Scoop all of the thick white cream off the top into a saucepan and store the milkier thinner stuff on the bottom in the fridge for smoothies or whatnot.

Whisk in the cocoa powder, sugar and salt.

Cook over med-high heat until it starts to bubble and it's super shiny, about five minutes. Lower the heat if it gets too bubbly/starts to boil. You want a gentle simmer and you want to be constantly whisking so you don't have burnt flavored fudge on your hands.

Remove from heat, stir in vanilla and orange zest only if you're in the mood for orangey chocolate.

Serve over EVERYTHING.

Keeps well in a jar in the fridge for up to two weeks, just pop it in the microwave for a quick thirty or heat the whole jar in a pot with warm water like it's a baby's bottle before serving.


The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies for real (V/GF) by audrey gebhardt

I truly believe that chocolate chip cookies are always appropriate. 

Vegan Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

I know this is the second post about cookies this week, but this is extremely important. 

I made these the other day and planned on sharing them at a later time so this doesn't turn into a cookie blog- but after eating them for three breakfasts in a row I decided you need this recipe and you need it right now. 

Meeting your new boo-thang's parents for the first time? Bring them cookies.

Snow day? Warm chocolate chip cookies.

Got home way too late and a little bit tipsy? Grab a stack of cookies and a tall glass of milk.

Your best friend decided to break up with her boyfriend...again? Show up with cookies.

It's Sunday morning? Cookies for breakfast. 

I dare you to tell me a situation that you wouldn't be happier with a plate full of these cookies.

THE BEST Vegan Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

Best Ever Vegan/Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

1/4 c almond butter
1/4 c applesauce
1/2 c sunflower oil
1/4 c granulated sugar
1/2 c raw sugar
2/3 c light brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 c all purpose gluten free flour (I like Bob's)
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
8 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped**

Preheat the oven to 350.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the sunflower oil and all of the sugars. Stir in the almond butter, vanilla and applesauce until combined. Whisk in the baking soda and salt- then slowly stir in the flour and chocolate chunks. 

Scoop onto a parchment lined cookie sheet, two inches apart. Bake for 8 minutes until the edges just begin to turn golden brown. Right when you take them out of the oven, gently tap the sheet on the counter so the center sinks in a bit. This makes the cookies a consistent texture all the way through and gives them that gorgeous crackly top!

Allow to cool on baking sheet, store in an airtight container!

I froze half of the scoops until solid and now I have a ziplock bag full of cookie dough just waiting for the day that I come home and desperately need a pile of warm, chocolatey sugar. 

** The reason you want to chop your own chocolate instead of using chocolate chips is because chocolate chips are full of wax to help them hold their shape. While I use chips all the time for times that I'm melting chocolate (ganache, frostings, etc)- I always chop my own bars for cookies because it will give you layers of chocolate and flakes of chocolate all throughout the cookie. This is the difference between something that people eat, and something that people remember.


GF/Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies by audrey gebhardt

In high school, I didn't really know how to have friends.


I was in this weird purgatory of being 15 and wanting to fit in but also being 15 having experienced the death of a parent and feeling soooooo far out. 

I didn't really understand how to gossip (mostly because I didn't care). I didn't know how to just 'hang out' with people after school and on the weekends because my mind was on a constant loop of, 'mymomisdeadmymomisdeadheydontyouknowmymomisdeadandherewearealivepretendingthateverythingisokayEVERYTHINGISNOTOKAYBECAUSEMYMOMISDEAD'.

I ate lunch with my teachers, brought coloring books to class instead of textbooks and kept myself busy after school in the kitchen. There were always a plethora of cookies laying around my house (cough cough bakingismycopingmechanism cough), so eventually I started bringing them to school in a basket. 

That's when I figured out how to relate to people because everybody loves a good cookie. Soon I was a Wantagh High School mini-celeb - everybody said hi to me, people would chase me down to see what was in my basket that day. At the time I had no idea what that basket did for me, looking back I know that it gave me the courage to talk to anybody and everybody. 

Chocolate chip cookies were common ground. Humans from all walks of life can stand around a kitchen counter and bite into a warm chocolate chip cookie and feel a little bit of home. I was able to feel a little bit of home in a life that felt so foreign to me every time I ate one of those cookies. In 11th grade we read an essay about a couple who had lost their child who kept spending time with the chef who was supposed to make his birthday cake. The lesson of that essay was that food is love. If there's one thing I learned outside of the classroom in high school it's that gifting food is a way to give a little bit of your heart to someone else, and it's only when you share it that you begin to feel whole again. 

vegan chocolate chip cookies

Vegan/Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies
makes about 18

1 cup almond butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup applesauce
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup brown rice flour
4oz dark chocolate- chips or bar, chopped roughly
flaky salt, for sprinkling

Preheat the oven to 350.
In a medium bowl, mix together the almond butter and brown sugar until combined and smooth. Stir in the applesauce, vanilla and baking soda until mixed in.
Slowly stir in the oats, rice flour and chocolate.
On a parchment lined baking sheet, drop rounded tablespoonfuls of dough (I use this scoop) at least an inch apart, lightly sprinkle with flaky salt and send off to the oven for 9-11 minutes juuuuust until the edges start to brown and the cookie seems set. 
Cookies will keep really well in a sealed container at room temperature for up to a week!

xo Audrey

|dairy free| Chocolate Chia Mousse by audrey gebhardt



Ask and ye shall receive. I'm back on the food writing bandwagon! Blogs are so 2008, but so is Taylor Swift and we're not over her yet! 

Mostly I'm coming back to this space to connect. I have so much to share and I need a platform to share it. I'm always looking for food inspiration, so I figured you probably are too! 

These days I'm eating 90% vegan and 10% pizza and tacos. Expect to find similar ratios here. Healthy, balanced, SIMPLE meals that you (yeah-you!) can totally make with a relatively minimal ingredient list. Last time I shared recipes (high school) I subsisted on 95% sugar and 5% cucumbers. I'm hoping this chronicle can serve as a source of inspiration for you and I both, to help you realize that eating (consistently) healthy doesn't have to mean bland salads, steamed broccoli, or million dollar a month subscription services. 

I'm still deeply infatuated with dessert, there will be no shortage of sweets here BUT they will no longer be sickeningly sweet- that's just not my jam. 

Let's get on with it, then-


Vegan Chocolate Chia Mousse with Coconut Whipped Cream
serves 2, for when you're tryna impress that hot yoga teacher you invited over for dinner and then promptly realized that the only dessert you're confident with is slice & bake cookies

1/4 cup + 2 TBSP chia seeds
1 cup almond milk (unsweetened)
1/4 cup cocoa powder (as dark as possible, I use Varlhona)
3 TBSP honey
pinch salt
cacao nibs, for serving

1 can coconut milk, refrigerated overnight
1 tsp vanilla extract

\\ combine the first five ingredients in a medium bowl, whisk until they're friends.
\\ allow to rest in the fridge for at least an hour and a half, up to overnight.
\\ blend the chia pudding mixture until light and fluffy (mine fit in my lil ninja blender), you'll notice the color change and the pudding will smooth out a bunch!
\\ spoon the mousse into two cups, refrigerate for another hour (up to two days, covered)

When ready to serve:
\\ in a separate bowl, open the can of coconut milk and pour off the liquid in the can (save it for smoothies!)
\\ beat the solid fatty part of the coconut milk with a hand mixer until light and fluffy, mix in vanilla.
\\ top mousse with coconut whipped cream, cacao nibs & another pinch of sea salt! 
\\ allow your guest to ogle you in delight because you are, undoubtedly, a magician.

may your heart always be j o y f u l,