Saturday, May 12, 2012

Gluten-Free, Vegan Coconut Millet Cake with a Sweet Basil Citronette

What blogoversary would be complete without cake?  

You're probably thinking, "But wait, Jonathan.  Wasn't your blogoversary like a week ago?"  And while the answer is "Yes," I would then respond additionally with the question, "Do you only celebrate your birthday or anniversary on the day of?  Or do you spread it out over a few days or even a week?"

Speaking for myself, I'm at a point where my actual birth day is rarely a "big deal."  A phone call from the family, wall posts up the wazoo on Facebook, perhaps a card or two, and maybe, just maybe, a birthday dinner.  I'm not suggesting that birthdays don't need to be celebrated past a certain age or that my birthday isn't important.  It's more along the lines that the jam-packed nature of my schedule dictates that on my 'special day' I'll usually be rehearsing, working, and/or teaching.  So choosing another day that's more convenient to celebrate or gather is pretty standard.

Such a "proud papa" moment when these beauties released from the pan.

The case for this post is not so different.  I made the final tweaks to the recipe last Thursday, and between working from 9-4pm, arriving at home at 4:45, and then reporting to the theatre at 6:30pm that day, I somehow managed to bake a batch of mini bundt cakes.  Knowing that I wouldn't be home until around 11pm though, with my official blogoversary the next day, I briefly considered burning the midnight oil to make the post happen.  But taking into account that I had to be at work at 8am the next day, I took a few steps back and surprisingly thought better of it.  Though publishing the post on my actual blogoversary would make the control freak in me grin from ear to ear, the rest of me, sleep-deprived and delirious, would be left with little reason to smile or celebrate.

So belated as it may be, here is my blogoversary cake post featuring coconut millet mini bundt cakes served with a sweet basil citronette.  Because, as I'm learning, good things really do come to those who wait.

And this recipe is totally worth it.

Make a wish...

Coconut Millet Cake
Gluten-Free & Vegan

Prep Time: 10-15 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: none
Baking Time: 10-15 minutes
Yield: 12 mini bundt cakes or cupcakes

2 heaping tablespoons ground flax
6 tablespoons hot water

2 tablespoons (14g) Bob's Red Mill GF all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons warm water

1/2 c (4 oz) unsweetened So Delicious coconut milk beverage
1 teaspoon fresh lemon/lime juice

1/2 c (56g) millet flour
1/4 c (28g) almond meal/flour
1/4 c (28g) potato starch
2 teaspoons GF baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 heaping tablespoons (14g) whole uncooked millet seeds
1/4 c (14g) unsweetened dried coconut

4 tablespoons (56g) Earth Balance coconut butter, slightly softened
1/2 c (56g) coconut sugar
4 teaspoons melted coconut oil
4 teaspoons fresh lemon/lime juice
1 tablespoon zest

1-2 teaspoons melted coconut oil (to grease mini bundt pan)
1-2 teaspoons extra almond flour/meal (to dust mini-bundt pan)

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.  Make your "eggs" and "buttermilk."
  • Combine ground flax with hot water and stir briskly.
  • Stir warm water into Bob's Red Mill all-purpose flour.  I chose this particular flour blend because of the predominance of garbanzo flour along with potato and tapioca starch - all of which make lovely egg substitutes.  But if you don't have this particular brand, using all garbanzo flour will achieve a similar result.
  • Stir lemon or lime juice into coconut milk beverage to curdle it.
 Set these aside for 5-7 minutes.
3.   Sift millet flour, almond meal, potato starch, baking powder, and salt.  Once sifted, add whole millet and dried coconut and stir to combine.
4.  In a separate bowl, beat coconut sugar into slightly softened coconut butter until lighter in color and fluffier in consistency.  Add flax egg and stir to just combine.  Repeat with hydrated all-purpose flour, "buttermilk," melted coconut oil, lemon/lime juice, and zest.
5.  Gradually add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and stir until just combined.
6.  If using a mini bundt pan, brush each mold with melted coconut oil and dust with almond meal.  Fill each mold until nearly full.  If using a cupcake tin, fill each liner 2/3 to 3/4 full.
7.  Bake for 10-15 minutes.  Using my aluminum mini bundt pan,  baking time was shorter (approx. 10 minutes) and the batter hardly rose at all.  The second part worried me at first, but I found that the texture and flavor of the cake was unaffected.  If making cupcakes, they will rise slightly until just rounded and will be done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out cleanly. 
8.  Allow to cool for 15-20 minutes before releasing from the mini bundt pan or cupcake tin.
9.  Flavor is best when served slightly warm or at room temperature.

Flax and flour "eggs." Like whites and yolks.

Millet seeds, sifted flour, and dried coconut; the makings of deliciousness.

Brushing the mini bundt pan with melted coconut oil.

Fill 'er up.

Released with ease after cooling for 20 minutes.

As you may already know, I'm generally not a fan of icing or frosting.  And as beautiful as these cakes were on their own, I really wanted them to be "finished" with something.  At first, I thought I would serve them with a dollop of hand-whipped vanilla bean coconut cream.  But tasting them together, it didn't quite jive.  It needed something sweet but also tart to complement the flavors.  So after a bit of brainstorming and mad-scientist antics in the kitchen, I finally arrived at this dessert-oriented citronette infused with local, organic basil.


Basil-Infused Sweet Citronette
Gluten-Free & Vegan

Prep Time: less than 5 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: up to 24 hours (if making in advance)
Mixing Time: less than 2 minutes
Yield: 1/2 cup

4 tablespoons agave nectar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon/lime juice
1 tablespoon zest
4-6 large basil leaves, finely minced
2 tablespoons melted coconut oil

1.  Whisk agave nectar, fresh lemon or lime juice, zest, and basil together in a bowl.  To really bring out the flavor of the fresh basil, make this mixture in advance and set aside to allow the flavors to come together.
2.  Before serving, slowly drizzle the coconut oil into the mixture while whisking briskly to emulsify the oil.  The end result should be smooth and silky in texture and slightly thickened.

Ready for plating...


The idea for this cake has been marinating in my subconscious for the better part of the last three months.  And to have it turn out so wonderfully within the first few trials - soft, slightly sweet, with delightful flecks of crunch from the millet - was so gratifying.  And while this recipe was originally intended to belatedly celebrate The Canary Files' Blogoversary, it would be a beautiful dessert for any occasion: Birthday, Anniversary, Graduation, or I don't know...Mother's Day? [wink, wink]

Thank you, as always, for reading, and please enjoy both making and sharing this with those close to your heart.


  1. Happy Blogoversary! These cakes are so cute, and the basil citronette sounds fantastic. So pretty on the plate.

    1. Thank you, Lisa! Still hard to believe it's been just a year. Looking forward to what this next year holds... :)

  2. Looks good to me. I will probably make a cupcake version of them. Basil Citronette sounds like a stage name, Hehe. I'll probably make that with the Thai basil that I have right now. Well done, kuya =)

  3. It does have a nice ring, doesn't it? Hee hee. Looking forward to you trying this recipe, Jess. The combo of millet, coconut, and basil is delicious!

  4. did you come up with this recipe yourself? awesome! although i am not really GF and DF, i like experimenting with different flours - love the complex flavours they impart to a dessert! will definitely bookmark this! i love coconut + they're healthy! filipinos (like i am) have known the benefits of coconut for a very long time, but it's only now catching up in the Western world :) can't wait to try this!

    1. Thank you, Jen! I did come up with this recipe myself - I had been daydreaming about it for months before I finally got around to tinkering with it in the kitchen. And also growing up in a Filipino household, coconut was *everywhere.* So now that it's everywhere again, it's definitely a welcome change. :)


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