Brookside Babycakes

As I have mentioned here many times, I am about 90% Vegan (at the pleading of my oncologic nutritionist, I have wild caught fish once or twice a week). The good news is that being Vegan is not only not that hard, but there are FABULOUS vegan options available now, which makes both going out and eating at home quite fun!

On another note (I promise that I’ll tie it all together shortly), we have had a great deal of rain in Santa Barbara. I happen to love it when it rains here (though you can’t imagine the kvetching of long-term residents)! It makes the grass greener and the flowers more colorful (Silver Lining).  It has also made me want to go to the kitchen and bake.

As I have also mentioned, when I have a “good week” (which I am starting to have 3 1/2 weeks after my last chemo), I try to spend as much time with our daughter, a/k/a Finally Five, as possible.

We create Silver Lining experiences.  Sometimes this involves a Silver Lining Movie. Other times it means a Silver Lining Trip to the Zoo.  Whatever it is that we do, we call it a Silver Lining because when I have any kind of energy, it IS  a Silver Lining!

So, this morning, Finally Five and I decided that after school, on this cozy and rainy day, we would make Silver Lining (Vegan!) Cookies.

There is no better place to turn for a Vegan recipe than to my favorite baking cookbook, Babycakes.

Babycakes by Erin McKenna

Because Finally Five is the HOTY’s (a/k/a Husband of the Year’s) daughter (and as such, looooooves chocolate!), we decided to go with the Double Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Babycakes Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.


  • 1 cup coconut oil
  • 1 1/4 cups evaporated cane juice
  • 1/3 cup homemade applesauce or store-bought unsweetened applesauce (organic, which is what I used)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour (can be ordered online, by the way)
  • 1/4 cup flax meal
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons xanthan gum
  • 1 cup vegan chocolate chips


  • In a medium bowl, mix together the oil, evaporated cane juice, apple sauce, cocoa powder, salt and vanilla.
  • In another medium bowl, whisk together the flour, flax meal, baking soda, and xanthan gum.
  • Using a rubber spatula, carefully add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture and combine until a dough is formed (I used an electric mixer, which worked just fine).
  • Gently fold in the chocolate chips (I happen to use 3/4 of a bag!) until they are evenly distributed throughout the dough.
  • Using a mellon baller, scoop the dough onto cookie sheets spaced 1 inch apart. (The author suggests parchment paper over cookie sheet.  I used non-stick baking spray on a plain cookie sheet. Whatever your pleasure.)
  • Bake the cookies on the center rack for 14 minutes, rotating the sheets 180 degrees after 9 minutes.  The finished cookies will be crisp on the edges and soft in the center.
  • Let the cookies stand on the sheets for 10 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack and cool completely before covering.
  • Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Yes, they come out this beautifully!

Is there anything better than walking into a home to the smell of baking?  I mean, really.  The HOTY came home mid-bake and said, “What’s cooking?”  Under normal circumstances, I don’t mention that I’m making a vegan delicacy (because of the persistently pejorative stereotypes around vegan food).  However, when it comes to the HOTY, he is a perfect guinea pig…and I always tell him the truth!

He sat down to our table and I give him a partially crunchy, partially oozie cookie and confess that it is indeed Vegan. Mid-chew, he nods his head and says, “Not bad.”  He then proceeds to finish the entire cookie and say, “It’s really good!”

This day has been WIN-WIN-WIN:

  • Cozy, rainy day.
  • Cooking with Finally Five.
  • Satisfying the HOTY’s sweet tooth (not to mention mine!)

A balanced diet is a cookie in each hand.

~Author Unknown

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  1. Jo says

    Isn't Babycakes wonderful! Do you know that they now have a Los Angeles store – Yum! The cupcakes that I entered in the bake-off were from that cookbook. In context – relatively healthy, vegan, sugar/gluten free they are quite good. Against carmel cake they don't stand a chance. So glad you had a fun mother/daughter baking day!