Decadent Delights at the Totally Fabulous Vegan Bake-Off

By Lisa Pitman

October 4th was a chilly, blustery fall day. But one park in downtown Toronto was full of hot, sweet, spicy treats. When I arrived at Grange park to set up the gingham draped tables I could not have predicted the incredible sights, smells and tastes that awaited us all.

I was blown away by the amount of effort each of the Totally Fabulous Vegan Bakers put in to carefully preparing their decadent delights.

Plant-based baking provides lots of reason to celebrate and no risk of deprivation!

The Bake off was a strong demonstration that it is possible to live a cruelty free lifestyle without giving up any of life’s sweet indulgences. There was so much excitement in the crowd as they sampled each entry, I heard many people discussing recipes and presentation techniques. There was no question that plant-based baking provides lots of reason to celebrate and no risk of deprivation!

A big thank you to all the amazing volunteers who pulled this together, the incredible companies that provided us with fabulous prizes and everyone who showed Toronto that eating vegan is Totally Fabulous!

Here are the winners:

Most Comforting

Spice Route Cupcakes – Nicola, who also won best cake/cupcake (see below).

Vanilla cardamom cupcake with ginger “cream cheese” frosting and candied pistachios.

Best Presentation

Black Forest Cake – Kathryn

“This is my first-time attempt at veganizing my family’s traditional Schwarzwaldian dessert!”

Most Creative

Shameless Tarts – Karen

Whipped lemon and avocado custard with a toasted nut crust and fresh berry topping. The ingredients are avocado, toasted walnuts, cashew milk, white flour, raw sugar, baking powder, safflower oil, lemon juice and rind, vanilla and salt. They are topped with a raspberry and mint leaf.

Continue reading for more photos and prize winners.

Fan Favourite

Peach Coconut Trifle – Brandy, who also won “best other dessert” for her trifle.

“Layers of spongy vanilla cake with coconut custard and saucy peaches topped with a strawberry and dusting of chocolate.”

Cake/Cupcake

1. Luscious Lemon Chocolate Cupcakes with lemon white chocolate “cream cheese” icing – Nicola

2. Deviously Decadent Double-D Cheesecakes – Kelly

“Sinfully sweet, The ‘Double D’ stands for Dulce de ‘leche’ and Dark chocolatey goodness…a chocolate cookie crumb crust is the base for two layers of creamy cheesecake in caramel and chocolate. Each miniature cheesecake is topped with a swirl of vegan dulce de leche buttercream frosting and a chocolate double D.”

Pies

1. Nitai Blueberry Pie – Daci
2. Raw Pumpkin Pie – Garry

Vegan blueberry pie with a crust made of spelt flour and coconut oil. “It’s so nutritious it almost doesn’t count as dessert.” – Daci

Cookies/Bars

1. Peach Cookies – Steve. No photo was taken unfortunately.

2. Salame de Chocolate – Maria

“An old Portuguese/Spanish family recipe converted to vegan version. The translation is: Chocolate Salami and it includes chocolate, cookie crumbs, almonds and a chocolate paste that holds it all together. When refrigerated and cut, the slices look like salami slices (with the cookies being the white part).”

Other Desserts

1. Peach Coconut Trifle – Brandy (see above)
2. Touch Me Tarts – Tikka

“One tries to impress a lover with chocolate, roses and candy, so I’ve incorporated all those luscious flavours and textures into a sensual little tart.”

More photos

More coverage: Animal Voices did a great live podcast. They interviewed many people including Kathryn who discusses how she veganized her Black Forest Cake by trial and error. She discovered a great recipe for whipped cream online using coconut milk and made the forest and animals by painting melted dark chocolate on wax paper using a chop stick. Colleen and John also did a TVP podcast about the event called Revenge of the baked goods.

Recipes will be posted separately at a later date along with more photos.

Unless noted all the photos are by Sangeeta Kumar. Sangeeta is a professional photographer and dedicated Toronto Vegetarian Association volunteer.

For more information about the prizes and entry requirements, see the original posting about the Bake-off.

A special thanks to Arvindas, Comondi, DavidsTea, Green Earth Organics, Heart on Your Sleeve, LAVA, Soy n’ Joy, Sweets from the Earth and Whole Foods Market, and a huge thank you to our judges – Stephen Gardner from Fressen and Urban Herbivore, Eden Herzog from New Moon Kitchen and Jae Steele, author of Get It Ripe – who sampled, tasted, ate and voted!