Since I just proclaimed summer the best time to use your slow cooker I thought I better get some new recipes up for you to try! I will have more not-so-quick bread recipes coming in the next few months. I have added detailed instructions to help you through your first few batches!
This one is great because the variations are almost endless. Think almond thyme, lemon basil, coconut lime-basil, vanilla mint… Of course, the best thing to do with a pound cake is to top it with fresh seasonal fruit from your local farmers market or your very own garden. It’s summer, so I take the lazy route whenever possible. Instead of topping it with vegan whipped cream I use So Delicious Vanilla Yogurt.
I made a lemon mint version and it has been my breakfast all week, I also have a pineapple-sage coconut one in the slow cooker right now - yum! Cakes in the slow cooker cook up extra-moist so the texture may be a little different than you are used to.
I am using unbleached flour to capture the full pound cake effect, but feel free to use whole wheat pastry flour instead. You can also try using a gluten-free baking mix in place of the wheat flour to make a gluten-free version.
If you haven’t baked in your slow cooker before, the first time will be a bit of an experiment. Some slow cookers run very hot and others don’t. This will make the time vary a huge amount. You’ll have a good idea on just how long it will take after your first try.
I like to use a loaf pan and one of my oval 6 quart slow cookers. It takes longer than putting it in the crock, but you have more control over the end result. Most slow cookers, like most ovens, have hot spots. If you are cooking in the crock make sure to turn it every hour or so it will cook evenly. In fact, you should do the same if you cook it in a loaf pan or one side may be darker than the other.
Vegan Herb Pound Cake
Makes 1 loaf (I used 1.5 quart loaf pan in my 6 quart oval slow cooker)
- 1⁄2 cup (112 g) non-dairy butter (like Earth Balance)
- 1/4 cup fresh herb (mint, thyme, basil, etc.)
- 1 cup sugar (200 g) sugar
- 1 box (12.3 ounce/349 g) silken tofu
- 1 teaspoon extract of your choice (lemon, vanilla, coconut, almond, rum, etc.)
- 2 cups (240g) unbleached flour (or Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-free Baking Mix)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
Make sure to try putting the loaf pan you plan on using in your slow cooker before you start the batter! Some fit and some don’t.
Add non-dairy butter to mixer and mix until creamy. Put the whole herbs and sugar into a food processor, pulse until the two are integrated together. Add the sugar mixture to the mixer and beat until creamy.
Add the silken tofu to the unwashed food processor bowl and purée until smooth. Make sure to scrape down the sides so you get all of it the same silky-smooth texture. Then scrape the tofu into the mixer bowl with the rest. Also add the extract of your choice and mix until everything is well combined.
Mix dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Add 1/3 of the dry mixture at a time to the mixer. Mix until just combined and repeat until all dry in mixed in. Remove bowl from the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula and make sure everything is mixed in.
Add batter to an oiled loaf pan that fits in your slow cooker, or directly to your pre-oiled crock.
If you are using a loaf pan: take a long piece of aluminum foil, roll it into a snake, and pinch the ends together to make an ‘o’. Put this on the bottom of your crock, then set the loaf pan on top of it. Press the pan so the aluminum foil is even and doesn’t make your pan tip or sit at an angle. (You can reuse this when you make your next loaf.)
Cook on high, with a clean dish towel doubled and placed over the top of the crock. Then place a wooden spoon on top on that, and finally the lid. The lid will be cracked open some to let the moisture evaporate, but will still hold the dish towel in place. What doesn’t evaporate the dish towel will absorb. If you cook it normally with the lid closed the condensation will drop onto your cake and keep it from cooking.
Cook until the edges start to brown and it’s mostly cooked through, but the very middle will still be softer. (about 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours cooked in crock, 3 to 4 hours cooked in loaf pan).
I touch it to see how springy it is. The edges will feel like a normal loaf from the oven and the middle you can still indent.
Remember if you cook it as a loaf, it will continue to cook a little more after you remove it from the slow cooker. So you are taking it out of the slow cooker sooner than you would the oven.
Note: If you let the edges brown too much the brown parts will be hard to cut (more so than in an oven-baked loaf.) Better to get them lightly brown and be a little nervous about the middle. If the middle is too moist you can always toast it a little or if you’re like me and eat the middle of the loaf in a day or two you may find that it’s dried out by then anyhow.
The time will vary depending on how hot your slow cooker runs and older slow cookers may take longer than stated.
Yields: About 8 servings
Total Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Cooking Time: 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours cooked in crock, 3 to 4 hours cooked in loaf pan