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Blood Orange Cardamom Spice Cake with Dairy-Free Butterscotch Sauce

I was thrilled to discover the season’s first blood oranges this week at Whole Foods. The ruby hue and the complexity of flavor of these coveted citrus fruits is always inspiring to me. 

It wasn’t long before I decided that I must play with the classic flavor combination of orange and cardamom, but it was by complete accident that I ended up with this delish butterscotch sauce. On a completely different mission, I was toying with recipes for non-dairy coconut caramel. When I realized I was running low on cane sugar, I decided to substitute brown sugar. To my surprise and delight, I ended up with an incredible recipe for coconut butterscotch sauce, and it was just the perfect pairing for this spice cake.

I love it when accidents in the kitchen turn out to be a creation that is beyond my original vision! Just one more reason to try new things. You never know when you might stumble upon your next delicious accident.

Dairy-Free Butterscotch Sauce: This recipe may seem a little intimidating if you have never made butterscotch or caramel, but i promise it is very simple. You don’t even need a candy thermometer. It will need to simmer on low for up to an hour, but it makes a little more than a cup, so you will likely have lots of sweet leftovers to drizzle over your next bowl of ice cream. You might like to make it ahead, refrigerate, then warm it up to pour over cake just before serving.

  •  1 1/2 cups coconut milk fat (2 13.5 oz cans of unsweetened full fat coconut milk, refrigerated overnight, do not shake)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla or vanilla bean paste
  • 1 tsp sea salt

Open both cans or refrigerated coconut milk. You will notice that the fat has separated from the water and risen to the top. It is now more of a solid. Gently scoop out 1 1/2 cups of the fat out taking care not to include any of the coconut water from the bottom of the can.

In a sauce pan combine coconut milk fat, brown sugar, vanilla and salt. Whisk together then bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Once you reach a boil, reduce the  heat to maintain a low boil with rolling bubbles and cook for an additional 45 minutes. The liquid will reduce 50% or more and get deeper in color. The longer you reduce it, the thick it will become upon cooling.

Let cool slightly before drizzling over top of cake, or refrigerate for up to two weeks, and warm when you are ready to use.

Note: If your butterscotch begins to separate and seems a little textured, reduce heat a little, but don’t worry too much. Mine separated right at the end of the 45 minutes and I thought it was ruined. Thankfully I cooled it in the refrigerator overnight and by morning it was perfect!

Lillabee Blood Orange Cardamom Spice Cake:
This cake is simple to make and it is absolutely gorgeous with or without the butterscotch sauce. The geometric shape of the orange slices and the lovely jewel tones make it a show stopper with little effort. In these photos, I divided the batter into three small 3″ spring form baking pans, but it would also be lovely in one 9″ round pan or a 9″x9″ square baking pan. You could even bake in a loaf pan and serve as tea bread.

  • Lillabee Classic Yellow Cake Mix + ingredients listed on the back (milk,vanilla, butter, 2 eggs)
  • 2-3 blood oranges (1 T. zest + thin horizontal slices of peeled oranges)
  • 2 tsp blood orange juice
  • 1 tsp cardamom
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  1. Zest 1 Tablespoon of orange zest and set aside. Peel and slice blood oranges thin and horizontally. Arrange in the bottom of a greased baking pan.
  2. Empty contents of flour mixture into a bowl and whisk in cardamom, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg.
  3. Follow directions on the back of the Classic Yellow Cake Mix box and add in orange zest when you cream butter and sugar together. Substitute 2 tsp of blood orange juice for the 2 tsp of apple cider vinegar or lemon juice. Pour batter in pan over the orange slices.
  4. Bake as directed. Test with a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake before removing from the oven. When toothpick comes out clean, it’s done.
  5. Let cool on a on wire cooling rack for 5 minutes, then turn baking pan upside down to release the cake. Let cool completely and transfer to your serving plate before topping with warm butterscotch.

Happy Baking from the Lillabee Hive!

Lemon Blueberry Coffee Cake

I love waking up to a freshly baked coffee cake.  This past summer I went to visit one of my friends in Door County, Wisconsin, and I had one of the best coffee cakes I’ve ever had.   One morning after a long run, my friend took me to an old Inn specifically for their coffee cake.  The Inn was quaint and each morning they would serve a different coffee cake.  The morning we went, they had prepared a raspberry crumb coffee cake; it was so delicious!  I already can’t wait to go back to the Inn in Door County to try as many different coffee cakes as possible.   The other morning I was thinking about my visit to Door County, and decided to make my own coffee cake.  The lemon blueberry combination is extremely refreshing, and the crumb topping makes the cake quite addicting.  The crumb topping is not overly sweet, but it adds the perfect finish to this breakfast treat.  I hope you enjoy!

  • 1 box Lillabee Yellow Cake Mix
  • 3/4 Cup Milk (Rice, Almond, Cow etc.)
  • 1 Tsp Vanilla extract
  • 3 Tbls lemon juice
  • 1/4 Cup + 2 Tbls Margarine/Butter
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Cup fresh Blueberries
  • Zest of 1 1/2 lemons
  • 6 Tbls Rice Flour
  • 1 Tbls White Sugar
  • 1 Tbls Brown Sugar
  • 1/4 Tsp Cinnamon
  • 2 1/2 Tbls melted Butter/Margarine
  • 1/2 Tsp Vanilla Extract

Prep: Place rack in center of the oven and preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.  Lightly grease a 9 x 12 inch baking dish.

Make: Combine milk, vanilla, and lemon juice in a bowl and set aside.

Beat butter or margarine with hand-held or standing mixer until smooth.  Pour contents of bag marked sugar from the Lillabee Yellow Cake Mix and increase the mixer speed to medium.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating each for 20 seconds.

Reduce mixer speed to low and pour in contents of second bag alternating with the milk mixture.  Mix until smooth.  Slowly fold in the fresh blueberries and lemon zest.  You may want to toss the blueberries with additional rice flour to ensure they do not sink to the bottom of the cake.  Mix with a spatula until fully incorporated.   Pour batter evenly into the prepared baking dish.

To make the crumb topping, mix the flour, sugars (1 tbls of both brown and white sugar), cinnamon, vanilla and melted butter/margarine together in a bowl.  Use your hands to mix the ingredients until combined and crumbly.  Evenly sprinkle the crumb topping over the lemon blueberry cake.

Bake: Bake cake for about 35 minutes until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.  Let the cake cool before serving.  Enjoy!

Sweet Strawberry Coconut Cream Frosting

Hi Lillafriends,

At our house we are counting down the days to Valentine’s day. Little hands are decorating every square inch with red and pink hearts. Today, in preparation for our Valentine’s day dinner, all pink and red of course, we whipped up a sweet strawberry coconut cream frosting that was so delicious we couldn’t stop eating it straight off of the spoon! Whether you are frosting cake, cupcakes or minis, you are sure to enjoy this simple and super yummy dairy free frosting recipe. Try it with Lillabee classic yellow cake, or this chocolate cake recipe adapted from the yellow cake mix. Delish!

  • 3 large strawberries, fresh or frozen (defrosted)
  • 1 can organic full fat coconut milk (chilled)
  • 1/4 cup solid coconut oil or earth balance coconut spread or margarine of choice
  • 3-4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla bean paste or powdered vanilla (optional) 

In a food processor, puree strawberries until smooth. Add 1/4 cup coconut oil or spread and optional vanilla bean paste or powder. Add 2 cups of powdered sugar. Pulse food processor until combined. Open can of chilled coconut milk. You will notice that the coconut cream has separated from the coconut water. Spoon out 1/4 cup of the thickest coconut fat along with another 1/2 cup of powdered sugar and pulse again. Continue adding powdered sugar 1/4 cup at a time until you achieve the consistency you desire. Frosting should be smooth and easy to spread, but not so runny that it can’t hold it’s shape. If you find that it becomes too stiff, just add 1 Tablespoon of coconut cream at a time until you are happy with the texture.

Note: This frosting looks best when used immediately after it is prepared. It is still delicious after it is refrigerated, but you will notice in the cupcake photo how it can become a little more textured after refrigeration.

Happy Valentine’s Day from your friends at the Lillabee Hive! XO









Peach Coconut Cake

Is there anything more delicious that a perfectly ripe Colorado peach? Well, not really. But this time of year, peaches are not easy to come by. Don’t fret, summer will be here before we know it and in the meantime we can savor the delectable flavor combination of peaches and coconut. This recipe is a favorite in our home and among shoppers we meet when we offer samples in the stores. The flavor combo is so yummy and all you have to do is simply stir in a few ingredients before you bake.  It’s like a little bite of tropical sunshine. A perfect thing to enjoy on a cold winter day. You could also make these yummy treats as cupcakes, muffins, or a teabread (in a loaf pan).
Lillabee Peach Coconut Cake:
PREP: Peaches*: We use frozen organic peaches. Let 1- 1 1/2 cups of frozen peaches defrost, while straining. Once defrosted, chop finely and measure out 1/2 cup (you could use any left over peaches in your frosting… Just puree in a blender or food processor and mix into frosting. I will post our recipe for dairy free vanilla “butter cream” below). Strain chopped peaches again while preparing the cake mix. *You could substitute canned peaches. We love MMLocal’s western slope peaches. You will need to strain the juice as directed for frozen peaches. Coconut: We use 1/4 – 1/3 cup organic shredded coconut and toss it with 1 Tbsp of powdered sugar or honey to sweeten (or you could buy already sweetened shredded coconut). 
MAKE: Follow the directions on the back of the Lillabee Yellow Cake Mix, then simply stir in 1/2 c. defrosted chopped peaches and 1/4 c sweetened coconut. 
BAKE: Bake as directed, but be sure to check your cake by inserting a toothpick in the center. When the toothpick comes out clean, your cake is done. Because of the extra moisture from the peaches it will likely take a few minutes longer than directed on the box. NOTE: one box of Lillabee Yellow Cake Mix makes a single 8″ or 9″ cake. If you want a two layer cake, you will need to double this recipe.

Lillabee Peach “Butter Cream” Frosting: 
For Peach “Butter Cream” Frosting, follow the directions for Lillabee Vanilla Butter Cream Frosting, then add peach puree to taste, approximately 3-6 tablespoons. Note, you will need to increase the amount of powdered sugar to offset the additional liquid from the peaches. Do this 1/4 cup at a time until you reach your desired consistency. If your frosting gets too thick, add a splash of milk/milk substitute.

Caribben Cake

The Caribbean Cake is one of the most popular Lillabee treats among the Whole Foods Market crowd.  We frequently will make this cake when we demo our yellow cake mix at WFM because everyone absolutely loves it.  I agree, as this cake is simply delicious!  The tropical flavors pair so well that it is completely irresistible; I can’t help but snag my own samples when I demo it.   I’ve finally posted the recipe so that you can make your own Caribbean Cake at home.  Enjoy and Happy Baking! 

  •  Lillabee Yellow Cake Mix
  • 3/4 Cup Milk
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 2 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar or Lemon Juice
  • 1/4 Cup + 2 Tbls Margarine or Butter at room temperature
  • 2 large eggs at room temperature
  • 1/3 Cup shredded Coconut, plus more for decoration
  • 1/3 Cup shredded fresh Mango (I buy the frozen mango and then puree it in a food processor)
  • Zest of 1 Lime

Prep: Place rack in center of the oven and preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.  Lightly grease cake pan or cupcake tins.

Make: Combine milk, vanilla, and lemon juice or vinegar and set aside.

Beat butter or margarine with hand-held or standing mixer until smooth.  Pour contents of bag marked sugar and increase mixer speed to medium.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating each for 20 seconds.

Reduce mixer speed to low and pour in contents of second bag alternating with the milk mixture.  Mix until smooth.  Slowly fold in the coconut and mango with a spatula until fully incorporated.  Finally, fold in the lime zest.  Pour batter evenly into the prepared cake pan, or cupcake tins.

Bake: Bake cake for about 35-40 minutes until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.  If making cupcakes, bake for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cupcakes comes out clean.  Let the cake cool 5 minutes in the pan before transferring to a serving plate.

Top this cake with the  Lillabee gf/df “butter cream” frosting recipe and sprinkle more shredded coconut on top for decoration.  Another idea is to substitute the vanilla extract in the Lillabee gf/df “butter cream” frosting recipe for coconut extract.  Enjoy!