Olive Oil Blondies with Chocolate Frosting (Dairy-free)

Heyyyy readers: I’m baaaack.

I know, it’s been a while. Sometimes that’s just how life goes. Lucky for you, I did bake this past month, even if I didn’t blog about it. So, you can expect lots of new recipes soon.

Now, about today’s treat. This olive oil blondie recipe from Molly Yeh swaps olive oil for more standard dessert fats like butter, vegetable oil, etc. The result is a flavorful, moist blondie base with an unusual amount of depth for a relatively plain batter. Olive oil adds a nice richness to batters, and a slightly earthy hint, too.

I’m always a fan of olive oil desserts, because they have a really unique flavor. Plus, olive oil desserts are often dairy-free. I have several friends who avoid dairy, so I’m always on the lookout for great dairy-free desserts.

The original frosting on My Name is Yeh does use dairy, so I looked around for an alternative. The frosting I swapped in from The Crafting Foodie uses a butter substitute and non-dairy milk to produce a fabulous, spreadable texture. I dialed up the cocoa a bit to make it a little more chocolate-y and was rather pleased.

These are a really satisfying treat with a unique flavor profile. Whether you’re hunting for dairy-free desserts or just looking for a new twist on blondies, you’ve got to give these a try.

Olive Oil Blondies with Chocolate Frosting (Dairy-free)

Original recipe:  My name is Yeh for the blondie base; The Crafting Foodie for the frosting.  I’ve rewritten things a bit and added commentary. 

Yield: 16 blondies 

Suggested equipment: Mixer 

Total Time: ~70 minutes 

Cook Time: ~35 minutes 

Ingredients

Blondies 

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups lightly-packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup olive oil (I prefer baking with light or standard olive oil vs. extra virgin)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Frosting

Note that these proportions were from a cake recipe so I had a lot of extra frosting! I froze my leftovers, but if you want to cut back, try halving this recipe.

  • 2 cups non-dairy, non-hydrogenated butter substitute, softened (I used Earth Balance)
  • 7 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup plus 1 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tbs vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup non-dairy milk (I used soy, but you could also use almond or rice milk)

Step by Step Directions

Make your blondies 

  1. Preheat your oven to 350F
  2. Grease and line an 8-inch square pan
  3. Whisk your dry ingredients in a big bowl
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together all of your wet ingredients
  5. Stir your wet ingredients into your dry ingredients. Keep stirring lightly until everything is mixed together
  6. Pour your batter into a greased and lined 8-inch square pan
  7. Bake 30-35 minutes. I started checking at 30 minutes, and it took 32 minutes overall
  8. Let the blondies cool in the pan all the way before you frost them

Make your frosting 

  1. Sift your powdered sugar and cocoa in a large bowl
  2. Beat your non-dairy butter substitute for a few minutes until it’s nice and creamy
  3. Add the sugar/cocoa mixture to your butter
  4. In a small bowl, mix your non-dairy milk, vanilla and salt until the salt is completely dissolved
  5. Add the milk mixture to your butter mixture
  6. Mix until you achieve your desired consistency. It should be smooth and creamy so it’s easy to spread!
  7. Frost those beautiful blondies, and enjoy!

These should keep for up to a week if you store them in your fridge.

 

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Olive Oil Apple Honey Cake

When I mention olive oil, you’re probably more likely to think about cooking than baking. I am here today, dear friends, to change that. Olive oil is truly great in baked goods, as a substitute for other fats, for dairy, or just to add some extra texture and nuance flavor. I see it used most frequently as an ingredient in cakes, where it adds a simple richness and a bit more moisture to the batter. I’ve also used it in brownies, where it added a nice depth to the flavor. You can’t quite pinpoint the source of this flavor in the finished baked good- it doesn’t taste like olives, oil, or olive oil. So it’s one of those wonder ingredients that imparts great benefits without adding complexity. A Secret Weapon, if you will.

I recently felt inspired to make an apple-based recipe and turned to the Interwebs for ideas. I’ve made a slew of apple recipes in the past, from Salted Caramel Apple Crumb Bars to Roasted Apple Spice Cake. I wanted to make a cake this time too, but had an important ingredient restriction: I couldn’t use any dairy. This cake was destined for a potluck, you see, and some of the guests couldn’t eat dairy. So to Google I turned, and behold: I came upon this fabulous recipe for Olive Oil Apple Honey Cake.

In this recipe, olive oil takes the place of any other sort of fat or dairy product. It makes for a somewhat custardy cake texture, moist and flavorful. The honey brings a tad of sweetness both within the batter, and in the topping layer. And then the apples bake nicely to be little bits of tasty fruit within the cake. There’s a “topping” of eggs and honey that adds a nice crackle and a bit more sweetness to your first bites.

The source blogger who posted this laid out her apples into a most-beautiful bottom layer that looks like a flower. I’ll admit mine was much less artistic- but it still tasted great!

Olive Oil Apple Honey Cake

My finished cake

My finished cake

Source: A Pickled Plum 

Yield: One 8-inch cake

Suggested equipment: Nothing- you can hand-mix this

Total Time: ~1 hour 

Cook Time: ~45 minutes 

I broke the original recipe into a few more detailed steps and wrote my own commentary below but the ingredients/process come straight from A Pickled Plum. 

Ingredients

Batter 

  • 4 red apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced (I used a mix of Honeycrisp and Gala)
  • 5 tbsp all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 5 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 large eggs

Topping

  • 2 eggs
  • ⅔ cup (150ml) honey

Step by Step Directions

Prep your apples

  1. Peel and core your apples, then cut them into thin slices. This sort of stuff always takes me longer than I think it should, which is why it’s important to factor in the apple prep time when you’re planning your prep logistics. 

Bake your cake 

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 350Fº
  2. Grease and line a 8-inch cake pan with parchment paper, then grease it with non-stick spray
  3. Place the apple slices into the pan. Mine were placed rather haphazardly but you’re welcome to make it prettier!
  4. Put flour, sugar, baking powder, olive oil and 2 eggs into a bowl, then whisk until smooth
  5. Pour batter over the apples in the pan and bake for 20 minutes

Add your topping 

  1. After removing the pan from the oven, increase the temperature to 400Fº
  2. In a bowl, whisk 2 eggs and the honey
  3. Pour the honey mixture over the cake, then bake it for another 15-25 minutes until it is golden brown and a fork comes out clean when poked in the center. I had to bake mine for 25 minutes to get the top to brown evenly- I suggest you check on yours after about 15 minutes to see whether it needs more time or not 

My dinner hosts served my cake cold topped with non-dairy ice cream, which was the perfect complement to a simple but delicious cake.