• Appetizers,  Bread,  Dairy Free,  Recipe,  Sides,  Snacks,  Vegan,  Vegetarian

    Roasted Strawberry, Basil, & Cream Crostini (Vegan)

    So I have a really easy party snack for you guys today. You game?

    These are crostini, which is actually the plural form of crostino. I know, this confuses a lot of people. It’s like how  the plural of cul-de-sac is actually culs-de-sac. That one never made since to me when I was younger either. Those sneaky Europeans! I’m convinced they say everything  backwards just to confuse the Americans.

    Have I mentioned that I’ve been making way more snacky appetizer type foods than usual lately? I can’t remember. Hey, it’s hard to keep track of these little datails when you have ten billion other things on your mind. I’m not going crazy, my brain is just….what do you call it? Oh yeah, buffering, or loading in some cases. Yep, that’s me, always planning my next crazy recipe, trying to remember what I put in that chocolate cake, reminding myself to check my email (which hardly ever works), and the list goes on.

    Not to mention, I’ve been really making an effort to work in more time for Spanish. I know, how can I have lived in a Spanish-speaking nation this long and still not be fluent? It’s terrible. I’m cramming it in before I even look at my blog stuff now because I’m determined not to keep saying “later”. I’m going to make it work though, just watch. Beast mode = on.

    Maybe I’ll start writing my posts in Spanish or something, would that be cool? Okay, maybe not but I can still throw in some Español here and there, right? Qué piensas? (what do you think?)

    I know it’s not summer here but the draw of all of these fresh hot-weather recipes coming from the Northern Hem is too strong for me to resist. I’m never going to get used to my seasons being all jacked up, it’s just wrong. Most of you guys are probably reading thi from up North anyway so you probably won’t mind.

    I can’t think of anything more summery than strawberries and basil. Oh, and I found some vegan cream cheese at the local grocery and that’s kind of what made this thing happen. I think these crostini are going to change the way I look at appetizers. They are so easy and the sky is the limit as far as what you can top them with.

    Roasting the strawberries makes them so sweet and yet still a bit tart all at once. It’s the perfect thing to pair with basil and cream cheese and don’t forget to top it with plenty of pepper to set it off. I should also mention that these would be awesome with balsamic drizzled on the top. I almost put that in the recipe but I they were already so perfect as is so I thought I’d leave that as a suggestion. Happy snacking!

    Roasted Strawberry, Basil, & Cream Crostini

    Who says appetizers have to be complicated? These fresh and delicious snacks are sure to be a hit at your next dinner party.

    Prep Time 25 minutes
    Cook Time 20 minutes
    Total Time 45 minutes
    Servings 8 - 12 servings


    • 1 pint fresh strawberries about 4 cups hulled and thinly sliced
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • salt & pepper
    • 1 french baguette cut into ½ inch slices
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 4 ounces vegan "cream cheese" or vegan "brie"
    • handful of fresh basil leaves torn


    1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 C) and line a baking tray with foil, then brush with olive oil. Lay strawberries out on pan in an even layer and bake for 15 to 20 minutes until berries are soft, dark, and look slightly shriveled.
    2. While berries are in oven, line a separate pan with parchment or foil and brush baguette slices with oil. Place on pan and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Bake for 6 - 8 minutes until edges are lightly toasted.
    3. If using "brie", cut into thin slices and place on top of each crostini while still warm or if using cream cheese spread with a knife. Then top with berries and basil and serve.
  • Dairy Free,  Dessert,  Gluten Free,  Recipe,  Vegan,  Vegetarian

    Naked Carrot Cake with Coconut Cream Frosting (Vegan+GF)

    Blogging this past year has made me realize a lot of things about myself that I never knew.

    One of which is the fact that I might be obsessed with cake. I wouldn’t have thought so but recently I’ve just wanted to bake cakes.

    So you know how I was talking about fads the other day? Yeah, well, the “naked” cake look is another one of those that is really in right now and I’ve been on the fence about how I feel about it. For a while I thought I’d never do a cake like that because cake decorating is basically in my blood. Both my mother and my grandmother have been known for making beautiful, not to mention delicious, cakes and my grandma worked at Disneyland for years in cakes. She decorated so many cakes, sometimes even for famous people. Anyway, leaving a cake in such a plain, raw state seemed like something that would never happen.

    I have to admit that the look has grown on me though. Not only is it rusticly elegant, but it saves time and makes cake decorating more approachable for those who fear the pastry bag. I’m sure that I’ll choose to decorate more often than not, but this was something that I think I’ll definitely do again.

    How do you all feel about carrot cake? I remember thinking it was a weird and kind of gross dessert that only old people liked. How crazy I was when I was little. Carrot cake is basically a party in a cake form. There are so many things going on in there with the coconut and nuts, and pineapple, and spices, and yum!

    If I didn’t make it myself I’d say it was the best carrot cake ever made in history. Okay, fine I’ll say it anyway. It was ultra moist and perfectly complemented by the coconut cream cheese frosting. Plus, I added plenty of coconut to the cake too because that just had to happen.

    Bottom line, you just have to make this for Easter. It’s the perfect way to say hello to Spring, or, like me, hello to Autumn. You’ve gotta make it!

    Naked Carrot Cake with Coconut Cream Frosting (Vegan+GF)

    Time for celebrating Springtime! Carrot cake is just the thing to get ready for all the warmth and sunshine of the season.
    Prep Time 35 minutes
    Cook Time 35 minutes
    Cooling Time 1 hour
    Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
    Servings 1 cake (18-24 servings)



    • 4 flax "eggs" 1/4 cup ground flaxseed + 3/4 cup water
    • 2 cups full-fat coconut milk
    • 2 cups coconut palm sugar or raw turbinado sugar
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    • 1 tablespoon baking powder
    • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
    • 1/2 teaspoon each of: cloves allspice ginger and nutmeg
    • 2 2/3 cups gluten free oat flour
    • 2 1/2 cups grated carrots
    • 1 1/4 cups chopped walnuts
    • 1 cup 100% crushed pineapple
    • 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut flakes

    Coconut Cream Frosting:

    • 1/4 cup coconut cream
    • 1/2 cup coconut oil
    • 4 - 4 1/2 cups powdered sugar
    • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt



    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 C) and grease 3 (8 or 9 inch) round cake pans. Mix together the flax and water and allow it to sit for at least 15 minutes until thickened.
    2. Stir together the coconut milk and sugar in a large mixing bowl until smooth. Mix in flax "eggs" and add salt, vanilla, baking powder, spices, and oat flour then stir until combined. Add carrots, walnuts, pineapple, and coconut shreds then mix well.
    3. Divide batter among the pans and place in oven to bake for 35 - 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
    4. Remove from oven and cool completely before frosting.

    Coconut Cream Frosting:

    1. Warm coconut cream and coconut oil together until smooth. Add to the bowl of a stand mixer and add the lemon vanilla, salt, and powdered sugar one cup at a time. Slowly add remaining powdered sugar and whip until light and fluffy.


    1. Remove cakes from pans and trim tops if necessary. Frost in between each layer and decorate as desired. I used fresh flowers for mine.

    Recipe Notes

    If you have trouble finding coconut cream at your local grocery store it's completely fine to use full-fat coconut milk and scrape the cream off of the top. Just be sure that it's cold enough to separate.


  • Dairy Free,  Dessert,  Holiday,  Recipe,  Vegan,  Vegetarian

    Vegan Italian Cream Cake + Cream Cheese Frosting

    Take an afternoon to bake this delicate and timeless vegan Italian cream cake. Your family and friends will love you and probably won’t believe it’s vegan!

    Every great recipe deserves and amazing introduction right? Wrong.

    This post is all about the BEST Vegan Italian Cream Cake and Dairy Free Cream Cheese Frosting

    best italian cream cake recipe

    Well, okay this cake is absolutely incredible and it certainly deserves it’s share of talk. However, I’d say it’s reputation precedes it and therefore it doesn’t need too much explaining. On the other hand, I don’t know if I can help myself. I mean, no other cake can boast such classic Southern charm.

    how to make vegan italian cream cake

    In my family this is sort of an annual tradition because it’s my mother’s favorite choice on her birthday. I try to make it every year and when I do it’s something that everyone enjoys. There’s some quiet elegance to it’s perfect flavor combinations. I think this cake should make an appearance at every lady’s luncheon or church picnic. Something about it just makes me want to go borrow a cup of sugar from a sweet neighbor.

    italian cake

    I think one of my favorite things about this cake is that it’s very simple to decorate without much hassle. Just cover it in pecans and squiggle on a border of your choice and voilà, it’s ready to be the perfect centerpiece of your next party!

    vegan italian desserts

    FAQs about How to Make this Vegan Italian Cream Cake Recipe:

    Can I substitute walnuts for the pecans?

    Absolutely! I have done this on more than one occasion. Pecans are better in my opinion but walnuts do fine.

    What is the best vegan cream cheese to use in dairy free cream cheese frosting?

    I think my favorite brand is probably Tofutti believe it or not. I don’t particularly like any of their other products but the cream cheese always has nice texture and mild flavor.  I also have used Daiya and Miyokos so honestly use your favorite if you have one.

    Do I have to whip the aquafaba?

    Technically, no. The cake will still probably bake without that step but you will lose volume and get a denser texture. The whipping step is worth it, trust me.

    Italian Cream Cake + Cream Cheese Frosting (Vegan)

    There's nothing quite like the magic of a slice of this cake. This recipe is one that's sure to be a new crowd favorite.




    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 C) and line 3 8-inch cake pans with parchment paper. Pour aquafaba into bowl of stand mixer and beat until its begins to look light and fluffy (about 3 minutes). Slowly drizzle in sugar while beating on high and continue until it forms stiff peaks (it should take about 5 more minutes). In separate bowl, stir together the lemon juice, applesauce, melted coconut oil, oil, and vanilla extract.
    2. Now, while continuing to beat the aquafaba mixture, slowly pour in the liquids and beat just until evenly combined (the volume of fluffiness will fall a bit but don't worry, it was still worth it for the end result).
    3. Now in another separate bowl, sift the flour, salt, and baking powder. Remove the mixing bowl from the mixer and add the sifted dry ingredients. Use a large spatula to gently fold in the ingredients just until fairly combined. (It's actually better to leave some small lumps then to overmix and lose volume.) Add the pecans and coconut and fold in well.
    4. Divide batter into the pans as evenly as possible. Bake for 30-40 minutes until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean and edges are lightly golden. Remove the cakes from oven and cool completely before frosting. (I prefer to cover them and place them in the freezer for at least an hour.)

    For Frosting:

    1. Beat vegan butter and "cream cheese" in a large mixing bowl until creamed. Add vanilla, salt, and powdered sugar one cup at a time. Add milk beat until light and fluffy. You may need to add more milk as needed for frosting consistency to be light and fluffy. 

    2. Assemble:
    3. Once cakes are cooled, use a sharp knife to loosen the sides and gently remove cakes from pans. Peel off the parchment and place one of the layers on your desired plate or tray. Spread a layer of the frosting on top and top with a second layer of cake. Repeat layering cake and frosting for each layer until the top layer is frosted.
    4. Spread a generous amount of frosting on the sides of the cake and use a cake spatula to evenly spread it. You can decorate as desired or leave it simple. Top with pecans.

      It's best to store the cake in something such as a cake dome to prevent it drying out and keep in the fridge.

    Here are some other posts you may enjoy:

    Mini Chocolate Chip Bundt Cakes (Vegan+GF)

    Vegan Cappuccino Cake + White Chocolate Espresso Frosting

    Triple Layer Vanilla Velvet Valentine Cake


    This post was all about the BEST Vegan Italian Cream Cake and Dairy Free Cream Cheese Frosting

    If you’d like to try making your own almond milk check out this recipe and video here – >>>




    For the nut milk bag I used you can get it HERE -> It’s not absolutely necessary but it makes things so much simpler and I really enjoy having it.

     Use the the code “sincerelytori” for a discount!


    vegan italian wedding cake

  • Breakfast,  Dairy Free,  Dessert,  Holiday,  Recipe,  Vegan,  Vegetarian

    Fluffy Whole Wheat Eggnog Pancakes with Homemade Eggnog

    Get ready for some good news…..we’re having “eggnog” pancakes!

    Okay, so I had some leftover nog the other day this idea just came to me, “What better way to use them during the holidays than making some delicious pancakes?

    It’s all over now. I don’t know that we will ever be able to go back to regular pancakes. My family loved these so much that I wouldn’t be surprised if they blackmail me into making nog in June just so that I can make these. They were that good.

    I’ve already made them twice this week and you know that I don’t do that very often because I’m always trying something new. I even used whole wheat flour to try to keep them in the breakfast category so that basically equals health food. right? Either way they are going to make you feel like you’re eating dessert. Especially when topped with a little syrup and some whipped cream, Oh man!

    What can I say, the holidays just get me in the mood for breakfast foods. Although, I feel I should let you in on the fact that these were more like lunch for us the first time I made them. Who says you have to eat pancakes only for breakfast?

    You’ve just got to make these at some point between now and Christmas. 

    Fluffy Whole Wheat Eggnog Pancakes with Homemade Eggnog

    Celebrate the flavors of the season and make some delicious homemade eggnog to add to your pancake batter.

    Prep Time 20 minutes
    Cook Time 20 minutes
    Total Time 40 minutes
    Servings 12 - 14 pancakes



    • 1/4 cup sugar
    • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
    • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
    • 1 cup non-dairy "eggnog" such as almond coconut or soy
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1 tablespoon baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour

    Optional Toppings:

    • soy whipped cream
    • powdered sugar
    • maple syrup


    1. Whisk almond milk and vinegar in a large mixing bowl and allow it to sit for about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, sift together the sugar, flour, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl. Now add the "eggnog" and vanilla to the almond milk and stir until combined. Add dry ingredients and mix until just smooth. (If the batter seems too thick or too thin you can adjust it with a small amount of milk or flour).

    2. Heat a griddle or large non-stick skillet over medium-low heat (you'll need it fairly low so that the pancakes don't cook too fast, about 325 degrees F [160 C]) and grease lightly. Pour about 1/3 cup batter for each pancake onto griddle and cook for 1 to 2 minutes.
    3. Cook until you start to see little bubbles then flip and cook on other side for about 1 minute more until done.
    4. Serve pancakes hot with desired toppings
  • Dairy Free,  Dessert,  Recipe,  Snacks,  Vegan,  Vegetarian

    Deep Dish Oreo White Chocolate Oatmeal Skillet Cookies (Vegan)

    In my opinion cookies are best right out of the oven every time. The problem with that is that the chewiest cookie recipes are far too soft to hold when they are warm.

    The answer to this terrible life problem is to make your cookies deep dish in a big skillet or in a bunch of small ones. Then top it all off with some ice cream and you have a dream dessert that is guaranteed satisfy even the most voracious sweet out there. These cookies are for cookies & cream lovers. Technically I used Trader Joe’s Jo-jos cookies, not oreos, because TJ’s is the best.

    In case you are wondering, no, they have not extended their brand to South America unfortunately. I happened to have some leftover Jo-jos from our recent trip that I have been saving for a recipe. It seemed like it was time to use them and I am so glad that I did.

    I can’t even explain the taste when you put them into your cookies. The cream gets slightly mixed into the dough and you get the most amazing flavor ever. You can make these in a large skillet or in smaller ones like I did. I just couldn’t resist my urge to put them in these cute little pans. I’m a sucker for anything miniature.

    Deep Dish Oreo White Chocolate Oatmeal Skillet Cookies (Vegan)

    Nothing beats an ooey gooey cookies baked in a skillet with chunks of all things yummy

    Prep Time 15 minutes
    Cook Time 30 minutes
    Total Time 45 minutes
    Servings 10 - 12 servings


    • 6 tablespoons 3/4 stick Miyoko's "butter" or any dairy free butter cut into pieces
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons coconut cream *see note
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons applesauce or pumpkin puree
    • 1/2 cup brown sugar packed
    • 1/4 cup organic granulated sugar
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 2 cups flour
    • 1 cup quick oats
    • 3/4 cups dairy free semi-sweet chocolate chips or chopped chocolate
    • 6 - 8 crushed oreo or jo-jo cookies
    • 1/3 cup vegan white chocolate chips or chunks
    • optional: dairy free ice cream flavor of choice for serving I used cookies & cream


    1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F (180 C) and grease a 12-inch skillet or smaller skillets with oil or cooking spray.
    2. Cream butter and sugars together in bowl of stand mixer (or with hand mixer). Scrape sides of bowl and add coconut cream and applesauce; beat until well combined. Add vanilla, soda, and salt. Add flour and oats one cup at a time and beat after each addition but just until combined. (If you are using a hand mixer you may have to hand stir the last cup of flour into the dough.) Stir in white crushed cookies, and white chocolate chips.

    3. Press into prepared skillet or skillets and bake for 12 - 15 minutes or until golden brown.
    4. Serve warm with ice cream on top.

    Recipe Notes

    This recipe makes 1 12-inch skillet cookie or 4 - 5 smaller ones. I used various sizes for mine. Any size will do.


    *If you have trouble finding coconut cream at your local grocery store it's completely fine to use full-fat coconut milk and scrape the cream off of the top. Just be sure that it's cold enough to separate.