Vegans Have Birthdays Too!

Vegans Have Birthdays Too!

vegan-birthday

by Mary Eileen Finch

The question I get asked the most about being a vegan is: “What do you make for your kids’ birthday parties? ” People always assume that my children are denied cute cakes and tasty ice cream. They assume wrong. Vegans can and do throw awesome parties. 

Birthday parties can range from the very elaborate to sweet and simple. For my daughter’s first birthday, wanting to impress skeptical non-vegans, I went all out. I had a fruit bowl, veggie tray, soy cheese and crackers, chips and salsa, three different kinds of finger sandwiches, carob chip bars, peanut butter cookies, and the cake and ice cream. It definitely proved my point but it was a lot of work. Now I tend to stick to the three basics: Cake, Ice Cream and Punch. 

 

Cake

I encourage my children to pick a theme for their parties and base the cake on that. After many trials and even more errors, I came up with a cake that holds up well for shaped cakes. As you can see from the picture, vegans can have cute cakes too! You can find all kinds of ideas online on how to cut and decorate your cake. 

Carob Birthday Cake

  • 2 cups soymilk
  • 2 cups pure maple syrup (or sweetener of your choice)
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 teaspoons vinegar
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 cup carob powder
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda

Blend first seven ingredients in blender. In large bowl stir together last four ingredients. Add wet to dry and mix well. Pour in greased pans and bake for 35 minutes at 350 degrees. Cool and frost with icing. This will make two 9-inch pans or a 9×12, with some left over for a few cupcakes to freeze for later. 

Carob Icing

  • 1 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 1 pack of silken tofu
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup brown rice syrup
  • 3/4 cup carob chips

Blend cashews, milk, vanilla, and almond extract in blender until smooth. Add maple syrup and brown rice syrup. If too thick add some soymilk. When blended well pour in small pot. Add carob chips and stir over low heat until melted. Chill overnight. 

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1 cup maple sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vegan butter
  • 1/2 cup rice cream cheese
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla

Beat butter, cream cheese and vanilla. Blend in sugar. Let sit overnight and blend again before use. 

Ice Cream

Ice cream is my personal favorite treat. All of these recipes I make in an Ice Cream Freezer. If you don’t have one, I have included a very simple recipe that can be made in your blender. 

Vanilla Ice Cream

  • 2 cups soymilk
  • 1 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 pack silken tofu

Blend all in blender and freeze in Ice Cream Maker. 

If you want, you can add some carob powder, a cup of carob chips, nuts, fruit, or anything that sounds good. 

Using the same recipe, you can prepare: 

COFFEE ICE CREAM
By diluting two teaspoons of instant coffee in the milk. 

CARAMEL ICE CREAM
Add one to two spoonfuls of brown rice syrup (it has a taste similar to caramel) in the milk. And one teaspoon of caramel extract. 

MINT ICE CREAM 
By leaving out the vanilla and adding a teaspoon of mint extract and several drops of green food color to the milk 

CHESTNUT ICE CREAM 
By adding seven tablespoons of chestnut cream to the mixture. For special occasions, you can add pieces of glazed chestnut. 

BANANA ICE CREAM
Add three ripe bananas to the mixture. 

MANGO ICE CREAM 
By adding 5 oz of mango pulp to the mixture. 

COCONUT ICE CREAM 
By adding 1 cup grated unsweetened coconut to milk. The coconut can be left in the milk or can be filtered by a sieve after standing for several hours, depending on personal preference. If necessary, add a little more soy milk (about 2 or 3 oz) to reach a certain thickness for ice cream mixture. For a richer flavor use coconut milk instead of soymilk. 

PUMPKIN PIE ICE CREAM
Add 1 can pumpkin and spices; cinnamon, cloves, ginger, nutmeg, allspice 

Easy Strawberry Blender Ice Cream

  • 1 bag of unsweetened frozen strawberries
  • 1 pack of silken tofu
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup (adjust to taste)

Blend tofu, vanilla and sweetener until smooth. Blend in strawberries a little at a time until desired consistency is reached. Serve immediately. 

Punch

For a great punch I usually pour two or three different kinds of juices together with some seltzer water. Frozen fruit makes attractive ice cubes. 

All Fruit Juice Punch

  • 1 can frozen white grape peach juice
  • 1 can frozen white grape raspberry juice
  • 1 can frozen orange juice
  • 1 lb frozen strawberries
  • 3 bottles carbonated water

Make juices (1 bottle of water for each juice) and stir together. I pour this in a gallon jug and place in the freezer for a few hours so it will be slushy. Pour in a punch bowl and top with strawberries. 

Now that you’ve got your food all ready, the rest should be a breeze. Just throw in decorations, games, and a handful of children and you are set to go! 

Mary Eileen Finch, CD (DONA) lives in rural Berryville, Arkansas along with her inspiring husband, Jason, and their two adorable children, Rebecca & Jarod. She is a certified labor doula and a vegan of seven years.
VegFamily

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