Is it teething time for your little one?
Januarys dessert menu covered with Deliciously Ella

I don't know about anyone else, but the few weeks after Christmas going into the new year, I always try to to eat healthier just to fail...miserably. Blame my sweet tooth, weak will, or just the leftover festive sugar cravings, it doesn't matter. Either way, my day ends with a face full of toffee. 

But Veganuary has opened up a whole new challenge for me - satisfying cravings while sticking to the challenge. Luckily for me and for all us sweet tooths out there, Deliciously Ella, food blogger, mum and plant-based queen has all the plant-based snacks and sweets recipes sorted for us! If you love cocoa and almond butter, she's your girl.

We've shared some of our favourite sweet recipes she's put on her Instagram, Deliciouslyella, to satisfy those cravings and keep going with our Veganuary challenge!

Chocolate orange truffles

Makes 12

Ingredients

  • 1 orange
  • 11 Medjool dates, pitted
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil, melted
  • 3 tablespoons of cacao powder, plus more for dusting

Grate the orange and place the zest into a powerful food processor, along with ½ of the juice, the pitted dates, melted coconut oil and cacao powder. Blend until a smooth paste forms.

Scatter any reserved cacao powder over a baking tray.

Using a large spoon, scoop out equal amounts of the mixture and roll into small balls using your hands.

Roll each ball in the cacao powder to form a coating on the outside.

Place in the fridge to firm up before enjoying.

 

Tahini Brownies

Perfect as an afternoon snack or after dinner dessert with a big scoop of coconut ice-cream. Make a big batch and freeze them for busy days. 
Makes 1 tray

Ingredients 

  • 5 ½ tablespoons of cacao powder
  • 300g coconut sugar
  • 200g plain flour, we use gluten-free
  • 7 tablespoons of coconut oil
  • 4 heaped tablespoons of tahini
  • 200ml almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • Pinch of sea salt

Preheat the oven to 180C (350F), fan setting.
In a large bowl mix together the cacao powder, coconut sugar, plain flour, bicarbonate, baking powder and salt until there are no lumps.
Melt the coconut oil in a small bowl over a low heat. Once melted, add the coconut oil, tahini and almond milk and mix well.
Pour the mixture into a lined baking tray and cook for 30-35 minutes until cooked through, but still a little fudgy in the middle.
Once cooked, remove from the oven and leave to cool before cutting into brownies.

Chocolate coated, almond butter stuffed dates - genuine heaven!

 

Ingredients

  • 10 Medjool dates
  • 10 teaspoons of almond butter (or any other nut butter)
  • 60g cacao butter
  • 3 tablespoons of cacao powder
  • 4 tablespoons of date syrup

Place the cacao butter, cacao powder and date syrup into a pan over a low heat and cook until everything has melted.
Pit the dates and stuff each with 1 teaspoon of nut butter.
Place the dates on a wire rack with a tray underneath and drizzle a tablespoon of the chocolate mixture
over each.
Place in the fridge until the chocolate has set, about 1 hour.

Sweet and nutty, chocolatey peanut butter flapjacks

 A dream snack for anyone as obsessed with chocolate and nut butter as we are!
Ingredients for the flapjacks

  • 180g porridge oats
  • 160g smooth peanut butter
  • 130g brown rice syrup

For the top (optional)

  • 100g chocolate (we use either dark or plain vegan chocolate)
  • Handful of toasted peanuts, roughly chopped

Preheat the oven to 180C, fan setting. Line a loaf tin with baking paper.
Place the oats into a large bowl.
Place a pan over a medium heat and add the brown rice syrup and peanut butter. Stir well and cook for 5 minutes until the mixture comes together and begins to bubble.
As soon as the mixture begins to bubble, remove it from the heat and pour into the oats. Mix well until all of the oats are coated in the mixture.
Spoon the mixture into the lined loaf tin and bake for 10-15 minutes until golden.
Once cooked, remove from the oven and leave to cool - during this time it will continue to set.
If making the chocolate topping; melt the chocolate in a pan over a low heat. Once melted, stir through the chopped peanuts.
Pour the melted chocolate mixture over the top of the peanut flapjack and place in the fridge to set - this could take at least 1 hour.
Once set, remove from the fridge and cut into equal flapjacks. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Almond Butter Cookies

There's nothing better than a big batch of gooey almond butter cookies! Chewy and rich, with large chunks of chocolate chips running through them - this is how we're spending the next few weeks! If you'd prefer not to use chocolate, you can replace with crunchy chopped almonds. Stored in an airtight container, they'll last up to a week.

Makes 8 cookies
Ingredients

  • 70g (2.5oz) almond butter
  • 1 tablespoon of melted coconut oil
  • 100g coconut sugar
  • 115g plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 50ml almond milk
  • 85g dark chocolate chips (or chopped almonds)
  • Pinch of sea salt

Preheat the oven to 190C (375F), fan setting
In a large bowl, mix together the coconut sugar, flour, baking powder and salt, until there are no lumps.
Spoon in the almond butter and pour in the almond milk and coconut oil. Mix well until a thick mixture forms.
Add in the chocolate chips (or chopped almonds) and bring the cookie dough together using your hands.
Place the balls onto a baking tray, ensuring their round shape is kept. Space them out evenly across the baking tray, leaving at least 3cm between each ball (they will expand).
Bake in the oven for 10 minutes until golden.

 

Dark Chocolate Coconut bars

Dark chocolate coconut bars are made using just 3 ingredients. The maple and coconut are blended together to create a thick, chewy centre while the rich chocolate coating adds a delicious crunch.
Makes 4x 60g bars
Ingredients 

  • 230g desiccated coconut
  • 6 tablespoons of maple syrup
  • 200g dark chocolate

Place 200g of the desiccated coconut and all of the maple syrup into a powerful food processor and blend until the mixture becomes a sticky, slightly liquidy substance - this can take up to 8 minutes. When the mixture is the perfect consistency, it will hold together in your hands.
Place a large pan over a medium heat and add the rest of the desiccated coconut. Toast the coconut for a few minutes, stirring continuously until golden. Remove from the heat and pour into the mixing bowl with the rest of the coconut mixture.
Mix really well to ensure everything is evenly distributed.
Spoon equal amounts of the mixture into 4x 60g bar moulds and press down firmly. If you don't have moulds you can simply roll them into small balls using your hands and place them onto a plate.
Melt half of the chocolate in a pan over a low heat, ensuring the chocolate does not burn. Pour the melted chocolate over the coconut and place in the freezer to set for at least an hour. If you have made them into little balls, simply drizzle them in the chocolate and place in the freezer.
Once the chocolate has set, remove the bars from the freezer and melt the rest of the chocolate. Pour the melted chocolate over the other side of the bars (or balls) and place in the fridge to set.

Chocolate, almond butter and raisin crunch cakes


Makes 12 cakes
Ingredients 

  • 170g of our new multigrain flakes
  • 200g dark chocolate
  • 6 tablespoons of almond butter
  • 6 tablespoons of brown rice syrup or date syrup
  • 100g raisins

Line a 12 hole muffin tray with cupcake cases.
Melt the chocolate, almond butter and brown rice syrup (or date syrup) together in a pan over a low heat, stirring to ensure the chocolate does not burn.
Once melted, pour the mixture into a large mixing bowl and add the raisins and flakes. Mix well until everything is coated in the chocolate and almond butter mixture.
Divide the mixture equally between 12 cupcake cases.
Place the cakes in the fridge and leave for at least 1 hour until set.

No bake apricot & peanut sandwiches

 

Ingredients

  • 400g dried apricots
  • 100g flaked almonds
  • 100g pumpkin seeds
  • 100g porridge oats
  • 3 tablespoons of brown rice syrup or maple syrup

For the peanut filling

  • 5 tablespoons of smooth, creamy, runny peanut butter
  • 6 tablespoons of maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons of coconut oil
  • 14 Medjool dates, pitted
  • Pinch of sea salt

Place all of the apricot bar ingredients into a powerful food processor and pulse until the mixture comes together to form a thick paste.
Spoon equal amounts of the mixture into 2 lined baking trays and smooth over using the back of a spoon (it can be easier to smooth them down using a slightly wet spoon) - these will form both sides of your sandwiches.
Place the baking trays in the fridge to set for at least 2 hours.
While the apricot bars set, make the filling. Place the peanut butter, sea salt, maple syrup and coconut oil in a pan over a low heat and heat until a thick syrup has formed. Be careful to watch it as you don’t want it to over bubble.
Once a thick syrup has formed, remove from the heat and leave to cool. Once cool, pour the mixture into a food processor and add the pitted dates. Blend the mixture until smooth.
Once the apricot bars have set, remove from the fridge and smooth the peanut butter mixture over one of the trays, before placing the other apricot bar mixture on top.
Place back in the fridge to set for 1 hour, before cutting into bite-sized snacks - we usually cut them into 24 pieces.

Fiona Murphy is a freelance writer, specialising in book-related content, fiction and poetry. She can be found drinking tea, craving tapas or attempting to finish her never-ending-novel.

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