All Posts By:

Brit Wolfe

  • Breads & Muffins FOOD

    Vanilla Bean Espresso Scones (Vegan)

    Vanilla Bean Espresso Scones – Delicious, crumbly vanilla bean scones filled with a layer of brown sugar & espresso streusel

    Vanilla Bean Espresso Scones (Vegan)

    I’ve mentioned in previous recipes that it took a while for me to become a scone type of person. I think this is pretty common, because let’s be real. When’s the last time you had a good scone? Well, the answer is about to be TODAY. Because… I hope you make these today.

    The joke wasn’t good, but these scones definitely are.

    Scones are always so crumbly (in a bad way) and too hard and bone-dry. But these espresso scones are exactly what a scone should be: crumbly (in a good way), with a good crunch along the top edges but soft inside. They also have tons of flavor, which is another thing scones are usually lacking in. These scones have a double hit of flavor, from the delicious vanilla bean dough to the layer of coffee “streusel” in the middle. It’s not technically a streusel, but that’s what I’m calling it because I don’t have a better word for the delicious brown sugar espresso deliciousness.

    Vanilla Bean Espresso Scones (Vegan)

    How to Make Vanilla Bean Espresso Scones:

    These scones are easy to throw together, even if you’re someone who has never made scones before. The trick to good scones is to keep all your ingredients cold, and to work quickly without overworking the dough. This ensures a light, fluffy, flaky scone.

    Sift your flour, baking powder, and salt into a big bowl, then add sugar and a scraped-out vanilla bean. Add the cubed butter and use your fingers to work it into the dough. The consistency you’re looking for is crumbly, almost like clumpy sand. Then add the remaining wet ingredients, fold it together gently, and chill for a few minutes to keep it cold.

    Vanilla Bean Espresso Scones (Vegan)

    Mix together the coffee streusel (mixture? crumble? I really don’t know what to call it, so we’re sticking with streusel). Divide the scone dough into 2, flatten one into a big circle, and top with the coffee mixture. Top with the other piece of dough and pat it all together to make sure it’s sealed on the edges. Some of the coffee mixture will probably seep out, but that’s ok! It gets nice and crunchy and caramelized, which is even more delicious. Sprinkle with a little bit of sugar, bake until golden brown, and that’s all there is to it.

    Vanilla Bean Espresso Scones (Vegan)

    Looking for more scone recipes?

    Vanilla Bean Espresso Scones (Vegan)

    Vanilla Bean Espresso Scones (Vegan)

    Prep Time20 mins
    Cook Time25 mins
    Total Time45 mins
    Course: Breads
    Servings: 8
    Author: Brit Wolfe

    Ingredients

    Vanilla Bean Scones

    • 12 ounces all-purpose flour
    • 0.75 ounces baking powder
    • 3 grams salt
    • 1.5 ounces granulated sugar
    • 1 vanilla bean, scraped
    • 1 Tbsp. ground flaxseed
    • 4.75 ounces vegan butter, such as Earth Balance cold and cubed
    • 5.25 ounces nondairy milk, such as Silk

    Coffee Streusel

    • 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
    • 1/4 cup brown sugar
    • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
    • 2 Tbsp. vegan butter, such as Earth Balance
    • 1 1/2 tsp. ground espresso

    Instructions

    • Preheat oven to 400ºF.
    • In a small bowl, mix the ground flaxseed with 6 Tbsp. water and let sit until thickened, about 5-7 minutes.
    • Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the sugar and vanilla bean, then mix well.
    • Cut in the cold butter using a pastry cutter (or you can use your hands like I do!), and work the mixture until crumbly. It's ok if there are a few slightly larger, unincorporated chunks of butter.
    • Add the liquid ingredients (flax mixture and milk), and fold together gently until a dough comes together. It will be sticky! Chill the mixture for 10 minutes.
    • Dump half the dough onto a lightly-floured surface and pat into a circle. Spread the coffee streusel over the top of the dough in an even layer. Top with the remaining dough and pinch the edges to keep the streusel inside the dough. Using a serrated knife, cut across the dough into 8 equal triangles.
    • Transfer the scones onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, and chill an additional 10 minutes.
    • Right before you put the scones in the oven, brush with a small amount of milk and sprinkle with granulated sugar. Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown.

    © PANTHERS & PEONIES. All text, recipes, and photographs on this site are my own. Please do not use my images without permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please link back to this post.

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  • Breads & Muffins FOOD

    Marbled Chocolate Banana Bread (Vegan)

    Marbled Chocolate Banana Bread – moist chocolate chip-packed banana bread swirled together with rich chocolate banana bread. The best of both worlds!

    Marbled Chocolate Banana Bread (Vegan)

    I am a firm believer in “More is More”. Part of it is because I get excited and tend to go overboard on things, but I usually just blame my Too-Much Gene for my inability to know when to stop (I’m an Aries Moon-Pisces Sun, what can I say). It’s a bad habit when it comes to how long my eyeliner wings are (too long) or how much glitter I should wear (too much) or how many jars of vegan quest I should buy from Trader Joe’s this week (too many). But “More is More” is always true when it comes to baked goods, and that’s one area we should never cut back on. Let your Too-Much Gene run wild!

    Marbled Chocolate Banana Bread (Vegan)

    Why choose regular banana bread when you can have chocolate banana bread? Or better yet, have both. This marbled banana bread combines the best of both worlds: moist chocolate chip-studded banana bread, and rich chocolate banana bread.

    Marbled Chocolate Banana Bread (Vegan)

    Marbled Chocolate Banana Bread makes the perfect snack. It’s rich enough to be a dessert but not too rich that you couldn’t have it for breakfast. This recipe is adapted from my tried-and-true recipe called The Best Banana Bread EVER, and trust me, it’s named appropriately. It’s the perfect amount of moisture and density, and packed with chocolate chips to give it a good texture.

    Marbled Chocolate Banana Bread (Vegan)

    Looking for more banana bread recipes?

    Marbled Chocolate Banana Bread (Vegan)

    Prep Time10 mins
    Cook Time1 hr 5 mins
    Total Time1 hr 15 mins
    Course: Breads
    Author: Brit Wolfe

    Ingredients

    • 1/2 cup vegan butter, such as Earth Balance
    • 1 cup granulated sugar
    • 2 Tbsp. ground flaxseed
    • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
    • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 tsp. baking soda
    • 1/4 cup nondairy milk, such as Silk
    • 4 medium bananas, mashed
    • 1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
    • scant 1/4 cup cocoa powder

    Instructions

    • Preheat oven to 350℉.
    • In a small bowl, combine the ground flaxseed with 6 Tbsp. of water, mix well, and set aside to let thicken slightly (5-7 minutes).
    • Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
    • Add the flax and vanilla and mix an additional minute.
    • Sift together the dry ingredients (flour and baking soda). Add half of the flour to the butter mixture, mix, then add the milk, mix. Add other half of flour and mix until just combined (the mixture will be very thick but be sure not to overmix it!)
    • Fold in the mashed bananas. Divide this batter into two separate bowls. To one bowl, add the chocolate chips. To the other bowl, add the cocoa powder (make sure to sift it first so it doesn't get clumpy).
    • In a parchment-lined 9"x5" loaf pan, alternate adding the two batters. My favorite way to get the marbled effect is to add scoops of each batter randomly in the loaf pan, then use a knife to gently swirl the layers together.
    • Bake 65-70 minutes until fully baked. Because of the chocolate, it might be hard to tell, but the regular banana bread sections should be golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle of the loaf will come out clean.

    © PANTHERS & PEONIES. All text, recipes, and photographs on this site are my own. Please do not use my images without permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please link back to this post.

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  • LIFE Lifestyle

    Easy Zero Waste Swaps to Make This Summer

    I’ve been trying to become more eco-friendly this year, as I’m sure a lot of people have. Every day, tons of articles are published regarding the state of our planet and how we can help make it better. It can be overwhelming and cause you to feel helpless because you’re just one person. But one small thing we can all do to make a huge difference is to start implementing zero waste swaps, which means we swap out some of our everyday essentials for plastic-free or eco-friendly ones.

    Easy Zero Waste Swaps to Make This Summer

    This post may contain affiliate links, which means that I earn a commission if you purchase through those links (at no extra cost to you!). Thanks for the support that makes Panthers & Peonies possible!

    Landfills are one of the biggest contributors to pollution. By recycling or switching to no-waste products, we could prevent up to 80% of landfills. This type of information has caused a surge in no-waste living, and the materials to do so have become cheap and easy to find. Here are a few easy, stress-free, cheap zero waste swaps you can make in your own home!

    Reusable water bottles (vs. plastic water bottles)

    This is one of my favorite zero waste swaps, and the first one I really committed to. When I read that 2.5 million plastic bottles are thrown away every hour (in the US alone!), it really opened my eyes and I ran out to buy a bunch of reusable plastic tumblers. At first it can be a little tough to remember to bring your own tumbler, but soon it will become second nature. Bring your tumbler to work, to Starbucks (if you’re in the drive-through, just let them know that you brought your own cup!), to hang out with family or friends, or even to a restaurant.

    Reusable canvas grocery bags (vs. plastic bags)

    This is one of the most popular swaps, especially in California where they charge for plastic grocery bags. Not only does it save me money to bring my own bags, but my reusable canvas bags also store 2-3x more than a dinky little plastic bag! Plus you’re saving marine life, as 80% of the negative effects on ocean life are caused by plastic.

    Reusable produce bags (vs. plastic produce bags)

    This swap is becoming so popular that most grocery stores carry their own line of reusable produce bags, and they’re usually stored right next to the produce! Produce bags are super durable and made of natural materials, which means once you get home, you can keep your food stored directly in these bags.

    Metal or silicone straws (vs. plastic straws)

    I was a little late to the metal straw game, as I usually save my plastic straws and use them until they fall apart. Gross? Maybe. But it made me feel a whole lot better than just tossing them. But then I got some silicone straws and I’m obsessed. They fit perfectly in any of my reusable tumblers, plus you can throw them in the dishwasher to make it even easier on yourself.

    Glass soap dispenser and bulk liquid soap (vs. small plastic soap bottles)

    This swap is not just good for the environment, but also good for your wallet. Refilling your own soap dispenser can save so much money in the long run. Plus, whenever you want a new soap dispenser, you can buy a new one and recycle the old one. Did you know that glass can be recycled indefinitely without losing its quality?

    Waterpik (vs. regular dental floss)

    I finally bought myself a Waterpik (on sale at Target, $30!). I still use regular dental floss once a day (at night), but I use my Waterpik in the morning and any other time I need it. That’s still cutting down waste by 50%!

    A regular coffee pot (vs. non-recyclable K-cups)

    I’m going to be honest, I’ve never been a fan of Keurig coffee machines. They’ve just never appealed to me, mostly because I need a whole lot more than one cup of coffee in the morning. I’d rather brew one pot than keep coming back to make another cup! Plus the K-cups always seemed so wasteful. However, a while back they introduced a reusable plastic K-cup you can use every day with your own coffee grounds. I love that, but I still think the best option is a good old-fashioned coffee pot. Plus the filters and coffee grounds are compostable, so it really is a no-waste product!

    Disposable paper plates and silverware (vs. regular plates)

    The average American uses roughly two trees every year in paper products. Sometimes these paper products are unavoidable, but it’s best to cut down wherever we can. Use plastic, stoneware, or wood plates at home, and try to avoid plastic cutlery whenever possible. There are tons of portable reusable cutlery sets out there, most of which are $10 or less!

    Reusable silicone food bags (vs. Ziploc plastic bags)

    This is a huge one. Cutting down on Ziploc bags and plastic wrap can have a huge effect on our planet. Try switching to reusable silicone food bags to carry your lunch or store leftovers. The best part is that most of these bags and microwave and dishwasher safe, and some of them you can even cook in!

    Looking for more lifestyle articles?

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  • Cakes & Cupcakes FOOD

    Whole Orange Cake with Cinnamon Streusel

    Whole Orange Cake – ground-up whole oranges (peel and all!) and add to a vanilla cake batter to create this amazing orange streusel cake

    Whole Orange Cake with Cinnamon Streusel

    You guys know that I absolutely hate food waste. Even though citrus peels can be used for a thousand different things (both in baking and around the house), it’s nice to be able to use them in a recipe. Plus I’ve been wanting to make this cake forever (like, for years), so there’s no better time than the present.

    Whole Orange Cake with Cinnamon Streusel

    This Whole Orange Cake lives up to its name. First you grind up whole oranges, then mix them with a vanilla cake batter to create a light, zesty orange loaf. And to make it even better, top it with a cinnamon streusel. The streusel gives a nice crunch on top, and every once in a while you get a little chunk of orange. Sounds like a weird concept to grind up whole citrus, but it’s delicious.

    Whole Orange Cake with Cinnamon Streusel

    You might think that grinding up the peel and the pith along with the orange itself would give a bitter taste. However, it actually enhances the flavor and texture. The little bits of bitterness you get from the pith totally balance out the sweetness of the cake, and the peel adds a little bit of texture in the best way possible, almost like slightly bigger pieces of orange zest.

    Whole Orange Cake with Cinnamon Streusel

    Looking for more citrus recipes?

    Whole Orange Cake with Cinnamon Streusel

    Prep Time10 mins
    Cook Time50 mins
    Total Time1 hr
    Course: Cake
    Author: Brit Wolfe

    Ingredients

    Whole Orange Cake

    • 1/2 cup vegan butter, such as Earth Balance
    • 2 Tbsp. vegan cream cheese, such as Kite Hill
    • 1/2 + 1/3 cup granulated sugar
    • 2 Tbsp. ground flaxseed
    • 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
    • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 tsp. salt
    • 1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
    • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
    • 3/4 cup finely ground oranges see notes

    Cinnamon Streusel

    • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1/3 cup brown sugar
    • 1/4 tsp. salt
    • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
    • 2 Tbsp. vegan butter, such as Earth Balance

    Instructions

    • Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
    • In a small bowl, combine the ground flaxseed with 6 Tbsp. of water, mix well, and set aside to let thicken slightly, about 5-7 minutes.
    • In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the butter, cream cheese, and sugar. Cream together on medium until fluffy and smooth, about 5 minutes.
    • Add the vanilla and flax mixture and continue to mix until fully combined, about 1 minute.
    • In a medium bowl, sift together the dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda). Alternate adding the dry and wet ingredients to the butter mixture. The easiest way to do this is to add half of the dry ingredients, then the ground oranges, and then the remaining dry ingredients. Let the mixer run on low while you add everything.
    • To make the streusel, combine the dry ingredients (flour, brown sugar, salt, and cinnamon) in a bowl. Add the butter and mix with a fork (or your hands!) until the mixture comes together in big clumps.
    • Pour half of the cake batter into a greased and parchment-lined 9"x5" loaf pan. Add half the streusel on top, then top with the remaining cake batter. Smooth the top of the batter, then add the remaining streusel on top. Bake 50-55 minutes until golden brown and baked all the way through (a toothpick inserted in the center should have a few wet crumbs, but no batter).

    Notes

    Since this recipe uses whole oranges, try to find oranges with relatively thin skin. I used 1 large navel orange, but depending on how big your oranges are, you may need to use more than one. Wash the orange(s), then trim off the top and bottom (where the stem is). Slice the orange into quarters, then add to a blender or food processor and blend until relatively smooth. It’s ok if there are some chunks!
    Recipe inspired by Joy the Baker

    © PANTHERS & PEONIES. All text, recipes, and photographs on this site are my own. Please do not use my images without permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please link back to this post.

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  • Brownies & Bars FOOD

    The Best Vegan Brownies… EVER

    The Best Vegan Brownies EVER – gooey, fudgy, decadent brownies topped with a peanut butter swirl. The perfect (vegan) brownie!

    The Best Vegan Brownies... EVER

    I don’t call these “the best brownies ever” just because I think it’s cute or I love clickbait. These are literally the best vegan brownies ever, and I know this for a fact. I’ve tested like, close to 100 vegan brownie recipes at this point and don’t get me wrong, a lot of them were really good. But none of the recipes were perfect.

    The Best Vegan Brownies... EVER

    I’m crazy picky when it comes to brownies. I prefer fudgy over cakey, and they need to be packed with a rich chocolate flavor. Chocolate chips are preferable. And if it falls apart in your hand, that’s a good thing. That means it isn’t dry. Dry brownies are the devil. Remember that Ghirardelli Triple Chocolate brownie box mix? The one that comes in a huge economy size at Costco? That’s my perfect brownie.

    I’ve made some bomb brownies throughout the years. Like these Brownie Christmas Trees? Those are made from a darn good brownie that holds up well and goes perfectly with the frosting. But as far as a rich, decadent, fudgy, fall-apart-in-your-hand brownie? Those aren’t it, chief.

    But THESE. These are the perfect vegan brownies. First of all, they check all my crazy-picky boxes. And on top of that, you would never be able to guess they’re vegan, which is my goal with every dessert I make. If it tastes “vegan”, then I failed. But THESE. These are just a darn good brownie.

    The Best Vegan Brownies... EVER

    The Best Vegan Brownies… EVER

    Gooey, fudgy, decadent brownies topped with a peanut butter swirl. The perfect (vegan) brownie!
    Prep Time10 mins
    Cook Time30 mins
    Total Time40 mins
    Course: Dessert
    Cuisine: American
    Keyword: brownies, chocolate, peanut butter
    Servings: 12
    Author: Brit Wolfe

    Ingredients

    • 2/3 cup brown sugar
    • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
    • 1/3 cup vegan butter, such as Earth Balance melted
    • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
    • 1 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 cup cocoa powder (I used extra dark cocoa)
    • 3/4 tsp. baking powder
    • 1/2 tsp. salt
    • 1/4 cup brewed coffee, cold
    • 1/2 cup nondairy milk, such as Silk
    • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
    • 1/3 cup creamy peanut butter

    Instructions

    • Preheat oven to 350ºF.
    • In medium-sized bowl, combine the sugars and the melted butter. Add the vanilla and mix well.
    • In a separate bowl, sift together the dry ingredients (flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt).
    • Alternate adding the wet and dry ingredients to the butter mixture. The easiest way to do this is to add half of the sifted dry ingredients, then add the wet ingredients (coffee and nondairy milk), and then add the remaining dry ingredients. Fold together until just combined.
    • Fold in the chocolate chips and pour into a parchment-lined 8"x8" baking pan. Swirl the peanut butter into the top of the brownie batter (I usually melt the peanut butter, then pour it in lines or squiggles over the top of the brownie batter, then use a knife to swirl it together).
    • Bake until the brownies are set along the outside but still a little bit wet in the middle, about 30-35 minutes. Taking the brownies out before they're fully done is what gives brownies that fudgy texture!
    The Best Vegan Brownies... EVER

    © PANTHERS & PEONIES. All text, recipes, and photographs on this site are my own. Please do not use my images without permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please link back to this post.

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