1st Anniversary Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cake and A Giveaway!!

18 Oct

It’s my one year blogging anniversary this month so I decided to bake a cake. I actually made a loaf and some cupcake type muffins out of the same recipe and topped them both with a heavenly chocolate ganache.

You may have noticed that I don’t make a lot of sweet things, mainly because I would end up eating them so I try to steer clear as much as possible. This little beauty however is vegan. Can you believe it?

There’s no butter, no oil, no milk and no eggs. Even the chocolate ganache is vegan, it’s made with almond milk. If you are feeling a little sceptical, don’t.  This cake is moist (really moist in fact), crumbly, rich and delicious, you would never think it was vegan, I promise.

The recipe came from a new vegan cookbook called Blissful Bites by Christy Morgan. Christy was a private chef and cooking instructor for many celebrities in L.A before moving back to her hometown of Dallas where she now writes a food blog  The Blissful Chef and teaches vegan and macrobiotic cooking.

The Blissful Chef will show you the way to bliss with delicious recipes, cooking classes for any skill level, a blog filled with helpful information and tips, and tasty alternatives that are free of processed foods, totally plant-based and good for you. We are on a mission to show that clean food can be delicious, easy to make, and will bring more energy and bliss into your life!

What you’ll find here is helpful information for those flirting with plant-based diets, and everything to do with living a eco-friendly, cruelty-free life.”

This was my first attempt at a vegan dessert and I have to say I am really pleased with it. It actually tastes better than most “normal” cakes, seriously. And the chocolate ganache, well….

From this book I have also already made the vegan pumpkin pancakes but I actually replaced the pumpkin with persimmon and served them with a persimmon sauce and maple syrup – I will be posting the recipe soon.

There are so many tempting recipes to choose from but the ones that have caught my eye and are definitely on the “to do” list are :  Macro Macaroni Cheese, Macro Mole Enchiladas, Coconut Chocolate Bars,  Wheat Free Fudgy Chocolate Brownies, Orange Pumpkin Ginger French Toast, Vegan Eggs Benedict and Azuki Bean & Japanese Pumpkin Soup.

If you would like win a copy of this fabulous book and try out some of those recipes for yourself  simply do one or more of the following and leave a comment saying what you did. Leave a separate comment for each to enter more than once and leave a way to contact you should you win.

This giveaway closes at midnight (Spanish time) on Wednesday October 26th 2011 .

  • Leave a comment telling me which of the recipes mentioned above you would most like me to cook.
  • Like Cook Eat Live Vegetarian on facebook, then leave a comment telling me you did or already do.
  • Subscribe to or Follow this blog (subscribe in the top right hand corner of side bar), then leave a comment telling me you did or already do.
  • Follow Foodblogdog on Twitter, then leave a comment telling me you did or already do and including your Twitter name.
  • Link to this giveaway on Facebook, then leave a comment telling me and including a link to the post.
  • Tweet about this giveaway, tagging me @Foodblogdog and linking to this giveaway, then leave a comment telling me and including a link to the post.

A winner will be chosen by random number generator on Thursday 27th October and announced on that day also. Good luck!!

So, as I said, it is my one year blogging anniversary this month. I actually can’t believe it’s been a year but then again I feel like I have been doing this forever too. I can’t remember what life was like before blogging came along and completely took over my life.

I would like to thank all my followers including the ever faithful prolific commenters and food bloggers to name but a few (Greg, Tanya, Tiffany, Caroline  and of course my biggest fan, my Dad Tony). I never thought, when I started this journey that I would “meet” so many wonderfully positive people out of this. I just wanted to cook seasonal vegetarian food inspired by the fruit & veg I saw growing every day while out walking our dog, Rufus.

The thing is that I now feel like I know all these people really well through reading their blogs and would love for us all to meet up for lunch somewhere, sadly I know that this can’t happen. Mainly because they are scattered all over the world from Spain to New Zealand from Canada to Australia, from Israel to Thailand, from India to Singapore and all over the USA.

 It has kind of spiralled out of control into a complete obsession with food, photography and keeping up with other people’s blogs. I also have to thank The Washer Up for his support. The poor thing has to listen to me talking about food constantly, put up with eating cold food because I always need to photograph everything before he can eat it and live in a pretty untidy house because I am either cooking food, photographing food, editing pictures or writing about food. That leaves little time for anything else I can tell you, especially the washing up.

He does eat well though….most of the time!

I would also like to thank the silent majority of you out there. The stealth followers who are just as faithful but not as loud, so to speak. I really appreciate your support too.

Okay enough schmoozing this is beginning to sound like an Oscars speech, here’s the cake recipe….

This recipe uses tinned/canned pumpkin and unsweetened apple sauce. If , like me, you don’t live in a country where these products are readily available you will have to make your own.

For the pumpkin puree: I used about 850 gr of pumpkin (unpeeled) about half a medium one. Cut off the stem then cut in half, scoop out the seeds and stringy bits then lay face down in a casserole dish or roasting tin with a cup of water. Cover with foil and bake at 200 C for about 45 minutes until the flesh is soft. Leave to cool slightly before scraping out the flesh into a bowl or processor and blend to a smooth puree. Cool before using. Store in an airtight container in the fridge. Use within a week.

For the unsweetened apple sauce: I used 1 apple which I peeled, cored and chopped. Put this in a small saucepan with enough water to cover the apple and cook on a medium heat until the apple is soft, you may need to add more water. Mash with a fork and leave to cool before using.

Vegan Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cake Recipe

Makes 1 loaf (or about 12 muffins/cupcakes), vegan. Adapted from The Blissful Chef

  • oil for greasing the loaf tin
  • 340 gr (2 1/4 cups) spelt or wholemeal flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp mixed spice (or pumpkin spice mix)
  • 260 gr (1 1/2 cups) palm sugar (or brown sugar)
  • 3 tbsp plain soy yoghurt
  • 1 tin pumpkin puree 400 gr (or see recipe above)
  • 4 tbsp (1/4) cup unsweetened applesauce (or see recipe above)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1oo gr (1/2 cup) 70% chocolate, chopped  (or chocolate chips)

Preheat oven to 180 C and oil the loaf tin or line the muffin tin with paper liners. Sieve together the first six dry ingredients into a bowl and whisk together.

In another bowl whisk together the rest of the ingredients except the chocolate. Fold the wet into the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Fold through the chocolate.

Pour the batter into the oiled loaf tin and smooth over the top, or use an ice cream scoop to put one scoop of the batter into each muffin case.

Bake the loaf for 50-60 minutes. Test with a toothpick, if it comes out free of batter, it’s done. Or bake the cupcakes for about 20 minutes until done.

For the Chocolate Ganache:

  • 1oogr (1/2 cup) 70% chocolate, chopped or chocolate chips
  • 55 ml (1/4 cup) almond milk (or soy or rice milk)

Put the chocolate and milk in a small saucepan on a low heat. Stir continuously until melted, smooth and shiny.

Leave the loaf or muffins to cool before topping with the chocolate ganache.

Spread the ganache evenly over the top of the loaf or dip the top of the muffins into the chocolate and swirl around until evenly coated.


And don’t forget the giveaway closes at midnight on the Wednesday 26th October, good luck!!

53 Responses to “1st Anniversary Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cake and A Giveaway!!”

  1. Saveur October 18, 2011 at 7:25 pm #

    I can’t believe it has only been a year! Congratulations and here’s to many more! I agree that food blogging can become quite the obsession. There could be worse addictions, imho. 😉

  2. Saveur October 18, 2011 at 7:25 pm #

    I already subscribe via RSS.

  3. Savorique October 18, 2011 at 7:26 pm #

    Happy anniversary Natalie! What a great cake to celebrate your year old blog! And it’s vegan friendly! And the chocolate “icing” is just perfect. I’m tweeting about it.

  4. ceciliag October 18, 2011 at 7:41 pm #

    fantastic post and your shots are just magnificent.. c

  5. veggiegrettie October 18, 2011 at 8:11 pm #

    Happy Anniversary! I love your blog and look forward to many more posts 🙂

  6. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide October 18, 2011 at 8:40 pm #

    Happy anniversary, happy anniversary, happy anniversary! Well, you know I think this bread looks great. I’m always inspired by your site. You have such a flair with local produce. The photos and recipes are always wonderful. I’ll share the giveaway on Facebook, but don’t enter me. I’m sure the cookbook is wonderful, but I want it to go to someone who is a vegan or needs gluten free recipes. Congrats on one year!

  7. Three Well Beings October 18, 2011 at 8:50 pm #

    Congratulations, Natalie. A year is a long time when you consider how much you contribute in effort to your beautiful photos and helpful “follow alongs!” I’m just at six months and I, too, cannot believe how the blogosphere seems to spillover. It is wonderful to make new friends along the way. I am vegetarian, and you inspire wonderful creativity. This vegan cake is a must…I have many vegan friends and good desserts are sometimes hard to find! My best to Rufus, too! Debra

  8. Caroline October 18, 2011 at 9:04 pm #

    Wow, I can’t believe it’s vegan…looks just as delicious! Congrats on your blogiversary, Natalie, that’s so exciting. I would have thought you’ve been blogging for years, considering how wonderful your recipes, photos, etc are. xx

  9. chicaandaluza October 18, 2011 at 9:31 pm #

    Congrats on your anniversary Natalie! This looks like an amazing recipe and some of the recipes you mention from the book (well, all actually) sound delicious. My Big Man was seriously anti vegetarian food when we met, until I started introducing things other than soggy frozen overcooked vegetables (a la Spanish restaurant) and a little more variety than tortilla! I know what you mean about blogging taking over your life. After saying Buen Provecho I now get asked “can I start or do you need to take a photo”!

  10. peasepudding October 18, 2011 at 10:39 pm #

    Happy Anniversary! I would like you to cook the Orange Pumpkin Ginger French Toast, I like the sound of that one, I think it is the orange and ginger.

  11. OfBaking October 18, 2011 at 11:55 pm #

    Congrats on your anniversary! I’m only a few months in, but I understand just what you mean about it becoming an obsession. You really can’t just dabble in food blogging! Anyway, thanks for the great post. Here’s to another year. 🙂

  12. bhavani/ameanderingmango October 19, 2011 at 12:04 am #

    Congrats on your anniversary! This cake looks delicious and vegan too – how wonderful. Will keep the recipe for sure. Thanks for sharing!

  13. Christine October 19, 2011 at 12:42 am #

    Happy blog anniversary!

  14. Maris October 19, 2011 at 1:22 am #

    That cake looks sinful! Happy blog anniversary!

  15. Ramona October 19, 2011 at 1:57 am #

    Happy Anniversary!! You have done such a wonderful job this year and your recipes always make me smile! Now this cake is making me drool. What a beautiful (guilt free) cake. I love it!! Take a big bite for me too. I wish you many, many more years of successful blogging. Best wishes!! ~ Ramona

  16. happywhennothungry October 19, 2011 at 3:49 am #

    Happy Anniversary!! This cake looks beautiful!

  17. Joanne October 19, 2011 at 5:56 am #

    YAY! Happy blog anniversary. Mine is coming up too, I will have to figure out what to make! That pumpkin chocolate chip cake looks so moist, I can tell just by looking at it!

  18. thefooddoctor October 19, 2011 at 7:05 am #

    Congrats on your anniversary Natalie!
    You have a wonderful blog with amazing recipes and stunning pictures
    I can’r believe that those cup cakes are vegan..they look super moist and loaded with flavor
    As always you did an exceptional job

  19. Tony Ward October 19, 2011 at 9:33 am #

    OMG I cannot believe its ONLY been a year !! This one really is the ‘icing on the cake ‘ You WERE begining to sound a bit like Norma Desmond there for a while dahling !!
    I’ll try to give this one a whirl and take somme to the Christmas parties, suppers etc that are heading our way.
    I think its a great idea for the bloggers of the world to unite(there’s a song there somewhere) Maybe Cape Town,the Mount Nelson ??

  20. Mb October 19, 2011 at 9:37 am #

    Coconut Chocolate Bars!

  21. hopeinflorence October 19, 2011 at 12:36 pm #

    Ooo! I am torn between the Coconut Chocolate bars and the Azuki Bean and Japanese Pumpkin Soup…I think you should make both and I’ll hop on a plane and join you for dinner and dessert 🙂

  22. hopeinflorence October 19, 2011 at 12:36 pm #

    I “like” you on Facebook

  23. hopeinflorence October 19, 2011 at 12:37 pm #

    I follow you on twitter (@NorwegianPeach)

  24. hopeinflorence October 19, 2011 at 12:37 pm #

    I tweeted about the giveaway

  25. hopeinflorence October 19, 2011 at 12:38 pm #

    I subscribe to your blog updates

  26. alyssa October 19, 2011 at 12:50 pm #

    Happy blogiversary! That cake looks amazing, but I think I like the cupcake the best!!!! I love that you used almond milk to make the gnash, great idea. I thought I already followed you, but I guess not. Well, now I am, both on wordpress and through email.

  27. Ayako Mathies October 19, 2011 at 5:01 pm #

    Happy first anniversary!! Would’ve never known; you seem such a pro!!

  28. Jana October 19, 2011 at 5:57 pm #

    All the pictures look so delicious!
    Wheat Free Fudgy Chocolate Brownies sounds very interesting, I’d like to see that one.

  29. Courtney October 19, 2011 at 7:18 pm #

    I subscribed : )

  30. Courtney October 19, 2011 at 7:19 pm #

    I liked your page on Facebook. Looking forward to following you.

  31. Courtney October 19, 2011 at 7:19 pm #

    I want to try the Mac and Cheese and the Enchiladas. Yumm!

  32. thekalechronicles October 20, 2011 at 1:35 am #

    I already subscribe. I would like to hear about the mole enchiladas and the orange-pumpkin French toast. Happy anniversary. — Sharyn

  33. Francesca Holland October 20, 2011 at 7:40 am #

    this looks amazing! i love anything pumpkin- and i’d rather like to see that french toast. 🙂

  34. sarah October 21, 2011 at 12:35 am #

    Congrats on your one year of blogging!! I truly enjoy reading each of your posts and your photography is just lovely. This cake seems a perfect way to celebrate!

  35. Angie's Recipes October 21, 2011 at 6:55 am #

    Happy Anniversary!
    The cake looks divine, perfect one to celebrate!

  36. Ashley October 22, 2011 at 3:06 am #

    I would love to try the enchiladas! thanks for the giveaway 🙂

  37. Ashley October 22, 2011 at 3:07 am #

    I like Cook Eat Live Vegetarian on FB

  38. Ashley October 22, 2011 at 3:07 am #

    I subscribe! 🙂

  39. Ashley October 22, 2011 at 3:08 am #

    I follow Foodblogdog on twitter, too

  40. Genevieve October 22, 2011 at 5:48 pm #

    All of those recipes sound interesting, so I would love to win a copy of the cookbook! Out of the recipes you listed, I would have to choose the coconut chocolate bars first, since I love coconut!

  41. Genevieve October 22, 2011 at 5:48 pm #

    I already subscribe to your blog on Google Reader as well 🙂

  42. Nami | Just One Cookbook October 23, 2011 at 2:57 am #

    Happy Anniversary Natalie! It’s a big milestone and I’m really happy for you! I would like you to cook Azuki Bean & Japanese Pumpkin Soup please!

  43. Nami | Just One Cookbook October 23, 2011 at 2:57 am #

    Following you on FB now (I didn’t know you had it… sorry!)

  44. Nami | Just One Cookbook October 23, 2011 at 2:58 am #

    Now following you on Twitter.

  45. tiffany October 23, 2011 at 1:23 pm #

    Happy Blogiversary!!!!!!! You are one of my FAVORITE bloggers! I am so happy to celebrate your blog anniversary with you! (I’ll have an extra mimosa at brunch just for you! :D). I’d LOVE for you to make the vegan French toast! (And p.s… I am DYING to see your vegan pancakes! Can’t wait for that post). (And p.p.s…I am HAPPY to support you and REALLY appreciate the support you show me!) HUGS

  46. tiffany October 23, 2011 at 1:23 pm #

    I’m a fan on FB! 😀

  47. tiffany October 23, 2011 at 1:24 pm #

    I follow you on Twitter! 😀

  48. tiffany October 23, 2011 at 1:27 pm #

    Oh … and I totally think we can meet one day (and probably soon)! I leave the country at least once every year. Lately, I’ve been going mainly to South and Central America/Latin America, but on my next trip to Europe, I TOTALLY can’t see why we couldn’t meet up! HUGS!

  49. Claire October 25, 2011 at 6:34 pm #

    the Coconut Chocolate bars!

  50. Beth Michelle November 15, 2011 at 11:37 am #

    Im a little late, but HAPPY BLOGAVERSARY!
    This cake looks amazing, I cannot believe its vegan!!

  51. Beverly October 9, 2012 at 6:05 am #

    How much pumpkin is used in cups????

    • Natalie Ward October 10, 2012 at 1:30 pm #

      I don’t know in cups unfortunately but the original recipe uses 1 can of pumpkin puree which is 15 ounces, hope that helps.


  1. Pumpkin Gnocchi with Spinach and Green Chilli Basil Oil « Cook Eat Live Vegetarian - October 8, 2012

    […] my most viewed recipe. This Indian Spiced Smashed Pumpkin is comfort food at its best and this Vegan Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cake with chocolate ganache is […]

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