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December 5, 2015


“More Great Good Dairy-Free Desserts Naturally”

by Anne Paddock

Eat your fruits and vegetables but make sure you leave room for dessert, as long as the dessert tastes excellent and is made with healthful, honest ingredients…

Imagine a cake without butter, sour cream, milk, or eggs that actually tastes rich and delicious with a light crumb and moist texture. Hard to do? Not if you’re making one of the cakes made from a recipe in More Great Good Dairy-Free Desserts Naturally by Fran Costigan, a professionally trained pastry chef who has shown the world that desserts – and especially cakes – don’t need dairy products to be truly great and absolutely scrumptious.

More_Great_Good_Dairy-Free_DessertsStep back, take a deep breath and forget everything you know about making a cake: having the butter and eggs at room temperature, creaming the butter with white sugar, and adding one egg at a time. Making really great dairy-free cakes is all about blending the dry ingredients separately from the wet ingredients and then mixing them together at the last minute before baking. It’s really that simple.

Craving a coffee cake? Make the Cinnamon Walnut Un-Coffeecake – a blue ribbon winning recipe that makes a big moist cinnamon-scented cake with a crunchy nutty topping. Perfect for breakfast or brunch, this coffeecake will disappear quickly because everyone has seconds. Try using a blend of toasted pecans and walnuts for a delicious variation (photo below).Fran_Costigan_Coffeecake

Or, how about a carrot cake with no added sugar and minimal oil? One bite of the 24 Karrot Cake and most people would never believe they are eating a dairy-free cake much less a cake without eggs because the cake is light, moist, sweet (thanks to maple syrup), and spiced just right with cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Serve as a layer cake with icing or simply sprinkled with a light dusting of confectionary sugar.24_Karrot_Cake

The Big Orange Bundt Cake took me back to the 1960’s when bundt cakes first gained popularity with their distinctive ring shape. Traditionally rounded, bundt cakes can also be chiseled and crowned thanks to the abundant choices in bundt pans that make cakes works of art. But, the real deal is in the ingredients that make a colossal moist citrusy orange cake that my husband counts as one of his favorites referring to it as the “Sunshine Cake” when served in Florida. The sweet aroma of this cake baking will have everyone asking “when will the cake be done?”Big_Orange_Bundt_Cake

Served with confectionary sugar (above) or the author’s recommended orange glaze (below), the Big Orange Bundt Cake is just plain scrumptious.Big_Orange-Bundt_Cake

The Lovely Light Lemon Cake is a lemony, moist, tender cake sweetened with maple syrup. The recipe makes two 8-inch layer cakes which can be filled with an icing (“Luscious Lemon Cream”) or simply sprinkled with confectionary sugar for a perfect ending to a meal.

The Virtuous Vanilla Cake is the classic layer cake we all know and love. Although I adore this recipe when made with unsweetened cashew milk, any non-day milk will do. The cake can be frosted with any number of frostings (“Chocolate Cream Filling and Frosting” or “Cashew Cream”), but can also be served with freshly sliced strawberries, a strawberry coulis, or a scoop of creamy cashew milk ice cream.

My favorite recipe in this book is The Chocolate Torte to Live For which is also in Costigan’s Vegan Chocolate cookbook – the quintessential cookbook for non-dairy chocolate desserts. A rich moist dark chocolate cake covered in a chocolate ganache (made with melted dark chocolate, almond milk, a touch of sugar and a few drops of vanilla extract) is one of the greatest culinary pleasures to live for.Chocolate-Torte-to-Live-For-GLAZE

More Great Good Dairy-Free Desserts Naturally also contains recipes for cookies, puddings, pies, tarts, and other confections which makes this cookbook a “Joy of Baking” for those who want all the flavor and taste of great desserts without the dairy.  The recipes are simply desserts with extra deliciousness added.

The book can be purchased at most bookstores and on-line at for about $16.

It is also important to note the cookbook, along with her others, form the basis for a vegan baking class called Vegan Baking Boot Camp Intensive. The next one starts Feb 24th-28th, 2016 at the Natural Gourmet Institute in New York City (48 West 21st Street). To learn more about the 5-day baking program, click on the following link:

1 Comment
  1. Shirley Brown
    Dec 7 2015

    Thanks for the good recipes. I look forward to trying them.

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