Spiced Orange Ginger Cranberry Sauce

As preparations for a vegan Thanksgiving begin, I thought I would throw a new recipe into the mix. I love cranberries, so I wanted to try making my own cranberry sauce this year. It turned out really well and was easier to make than I thought it would be. After minimal prep time, you just need to occasionally stir this sauce as it reduces on the stove. It really takes very little effort for a yummy addition to your Thanksgiving meal. You can also make it a day ahead and let it cool in the fridge overnight, so it’s one less thing you need to make on Thanksgiving day.

If you want some other ideas for vegan Thanksgiving recipes, check out some of my past recipes. I would really recommend the stuffing recipe. It’s my mom’s recipe and a family favorite!


Main Dishes:



2 12-ounce bags of fresh cranberries
1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger
1 orange (zest and juice) + about 1/2 cup of orange juice
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
2 cinnamon sticks
pinch of cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg


  • Rinse the cranberries. Finely grate the ginger. Zest and juice the orange. Add enough orange juice to total 1 cup of juice. I used bottled orange juice, but you could use more fresh oranges if you have them on hand.
  • In a large enough saucepan, combine the cranberries, orange zest and juice, ginger, water, brown sugar, white sugar, cinnamon sticks, pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir to combine the ingredients and coat the cranberries.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce it to a simmer and allow it to simmer for 20-25 minutes until the sauce is thickened. Remove from heat, take out the cinnamon sticks, and cool. Serve cool or at room temperature.

Vegan French Toast

I went to Eataly the other day, which is right around the corner from where I work. It’s an Italian Market that has all kinds of imported food from Italy as well as lots of places to eat within the market. I picked up a loaf of bread while I was there called Mais, which is made with corn. It turned out to be pretty dry, and after reading up on it, it’s intended to be eaten with soup, stew, etc. so you can sop up the liquid. This makes it a perfect bread for making French toast.

I’ve used bananas in the past to make vegan french toast, but I decided to try out apple sauce to replace the eggs this time. It turned out really well and the French toast ends up tasting like an apple cider donut. Perfect for fall!


4-6 thick slices of bread (I used Mais)
1/2 cup apple sauce
1 cup soy milk
5 tablespoons of flour
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
vegan butter
maple syrup


  1. In a mixing bowl, combine the apple sauce, soy milk, flour, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and pumpkin pie spice. Whisk it until it’s fully combined without lumps.
  2. Slice your bread in thick slices. Soak the slices in the batter allowing it to absorb into the bread for a minute.
  3. Heat a skillet over medium heat. Melt some vegan butter in the skillet so the French toast won’t stick. Place the battered bread slices into the skillet. Keep an eye on it as it cooks and flip it with a spatula so both sides cook evenly. Vegan French toast will probably take a little longer to cook than non-vegan French toast, but it turns out best when you cook it slowly on medium heat. The French toast is ready when it’s crispy and golden brown on both sides.
  4. Drizzle with maple syrup and enjoy!

Cinnamon Buns From Vegan Yum Yum

In the morning when I get off the bus, there’s a Cinnabon right next to the stop. The smell always hits me as I walk through the door, and it was making me really crave cinnamon buns last week. I decided to try making some at home.

I found an amazing recipe on Vegan Yum Yum. The cinnamon buns come out just as good or better than Cinnabon. They also probably have just as many calories.  I must admit I felt like I gained 40 pounds just by making these before I’d even tasted one. They contain a lot of vegan butter and sugar. Healthy, they are not, but they are really, really yummy.

One batch made three containers or about 14 cinnamon buns. I would definitely recommend having a plan in place to share these with friends and family. They got good reviews from everyone who tried them. They are addictive, but you really don’t want to eat these all by yourself. You’ll see when you make them.

They rise quite a bit. The dough stays soft and the perfect texture when baked. They don’t dry out, which can happen sometimes with cinnamon buns. I would really recommend making these at least once. This is not a recipe for all the time, but if you want to splurge, these are really worth it.

I’m not going to copy and paste the recipe here, because there are great directions, photos, and a video on Vegan Yum Yum. I would recommend you follow the recipe right from that site, watch the video, and they will turn out perfectly. I’ve included my photos of the process. Hope you enjoy these cinnamon buns!

The yeast proofs while you are prepping the other ingredients.

Mixing all the dough ingredients together.

This is the dough after mixing, but before the first rise.

This is the dough after it’s risen the first time. You can see that it rises quite a lot compared to the last photo.

Once the dough is rolled out, a generous layer of vegan butter goes on top.

On top of the butter goes a generous sprinkling of cinnamon and sugar.

After the vegan butter and cinnamon sugar layers, the dough gets rolled up. On Vegan Yum Yum there are instructions on how to cut the rolls with a piece of thread. This technique works really well, and I would recommend trying it out.

Once the cinnamon buns are in the pans they need to rise again. This recipe made three tins this size, which was about 14 cinnamon buns.

These are the cinnamon buns right out of the oven.

A cinnamon bun, ready to eat, with vegan cream cheese frosting on top. They were yummy warm and cold, whichever you prefer.


If you haven’t had a snickerdoodle before, they are essentially sugar cookies rolled in cinnamon sugar. They’re simple and very yummy! This recipe originally comes from Lois Dieterly’s book Sinfully Vegan, though I did change a few things in the recipe. I would recommend picking up a copy of her book if you want to make rich and yummy vegan desserts. She lives in Reading, Pennsylvania, so some of the recipes are veganized versions of Pennsylvania Dutch desserts such as Fasnachts and Apple Dumplings.


1 cup Earth Balance vegan butter
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 teaspoons Ener-G Egg Replacer Powder
2 tablespoons plus up to 1/2 cup of water
3 cups all purpose flour
cinnamon sugar


  • Preheat your oven to 375°. Lightly grease your cookie pan with a little vegan butter.
  • In a mixing bowl, cream the vegan butter and sugar. Then add the vanilla and salt and stir until well combined.
  • In a small bowl mix together the egg replacer powder and 2 tablespoons of warm water. Stir well.
  • Add the egg replacer to the butter and sugar and stir.
  • Add the flour a little at a time, mixing well. If needed, slowly add up to 1/2 cup more water until all of the flour is incorporated. I didn’t need to use a full 1/2 cup and probably used about 1/4 cup of water. Add about 1 tablespoon at a time so you don’t add too much.
  • In a small bowl, mix together some cinnamon sugar. About 1/2 cup of sugar to 1 tsp of cinnamon is a good ratio, but you can use as much or as little as you like.
  • Roll the dough into about 1 inch balls, then roll the dough balls in the cinnamon sugar. Place the dough balls on a baking sheet and flatten them down. They don’t spread out much when cooking. Bake for 20 minutes. They are soft when warm and get crispier as they cool.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! – Vegan Irish Potatoes

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day coming up, here is a recipe for vegan Irish Potatoes. I was curious about the origins of Irish potatoes so I did a little research. Apparently, there are versions of Irish potatoes that do actually contain mashed potato, but the kind I’ve always had never contained any actual potato. The kind of Irish Potato that I’m familiar with actually originated in Philadelphia. Turns out it’s more of a local speciality from where I grew up than I thought!


1/4 cup Earth Balance vegan butter (softened)
1/2 cup Tofutti vegan cream cheese
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups of confectioner’s sugar
2 1/2 cups flaked coconut
ground cinnamon


  • In a mixing bowl beat together the vegan butter, vegan cream cheese, and vanilla until there are no lumps.
  • Add the confectioner’s sugar and beat until smooth.
  • Add the coconut. You’ll probably have to use your hands at this point to mix in the coconut, unless you’re using a stand mixer.
  • Roll the mixture into 1 inch balls and then roll the balls in cinnamon. Tap off excess cinnamon.
  • Place the Irish Potatoes in the refrigerator to firm up.

Rum Raisin Baked Apples

NYC is in the middle of a cold snap. It’s currently 16° but feels like 7°. This is definitely the kind of weather for warm comfort food! Baked apples seemed like the perfect end to a cold evening. To spice them up a little I added some rum and topped them off with a rum hard sauce. It was a very tasty addition and worked perfectly with the cinnamon and raisins! This is a really easy and quick dessert to make on a wintery night!

If you’re wondering what kind of apple to use, here’s an interesting blog post from Nancy Baggett’s Kitchen Lane about the best apples for baking.

3 apples
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup raisins
1/3 cup oatmeal
2 Tbsp rum
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

For Hard Sauce:
1/2 cup vegan butter
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 Tbsp rum
1 tsp vanilla

  • Preheat your oven to 350°.
  • Core your apple, but leave the bottom part in tact so the filling stays in the apple.
  • Mix together the brown sugar, raisins, oatmeal, rum, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice. Spoon the filling into the cored apples.
  • Place the apples in a baking dish with a little bit of water in the bottom. I put about a half inch to an inch of water in the bottom.
  • Bake the apples at 350° for about 30 minutes.
  • While the apples are baking you can make the rum hard sauce. Melt the vegan butter. Then mix the vegan butter and powdered sugar, rum, and vanilla together until well blended.
  • Once the apples are done baking, place them in a serving bowl and spoon the rum hard sauce on top.

Vegan Thanksgiving Idea – Side Dish – Cranberry Citrus Wild Rice

Here’s another recipe for you to try at Thanksgiving. It’s one that vegans and non-vegans will both enjoy! I came up with this recipe after having something similar at the National Museum of the American Indian. They actually have a pretty good cafe called the Mitsitam Cafe. Mitsitam translates to “Let’s eat!” in the language of the Delaware and Piscataway natives. All the foods in the cafe are indigenous Native American foods from different regions. They even have a cookbook, though it’s not all vegan. If you ever go to the museum, you should stop by the cafe to try it out!

Cranberry Citrus Wild Rice


6 cups of water
pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups of uncooked wild rice
1 orange
1 lemon
3 Tbsp brown sugar
1 green apple
3/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 tsp cinnamon
dash of pumpkin pie spice


  • Add a pinch of salt to the water and bring it to a boil. Add wild rice and cook for 45 minutes. All the water should be absorbed, but if there’s still some left you can drain it off. Stir the rice and place it in the fridge to cool down.
  • Zest the orange and the lemon and then juice them both. Add the zest to the juice. Stir in 3 Tbsp of brown sugar until it dissolves. You can use less if you want it less sweet. You can also substitute agave if you want. Set the mixture aside.
  • Chop the green apple into small chunks. You can peel it first if you want, but I don’t. I don’t mind the skin and it adds some color.
  • Once the rice is cool, add the juice and zest mixture, the apple chunks, and the dried cranberries. Add the cinnamon and just a dash of pumpkin pie spice. Stir well so the juice coats the rice and the spices are well distributed.
  • Transfer to a bowl for serving.