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Vegan pumpkin cake with walnuts and spices. Marinated mushrooms. Oh, and a Happy New Year!

January 17, 2013

pumpkin cake_manitaria_collage

What kind of person are you?

Do all these christmas, shiny, bright, colourful ornaments, lamps, shops, streets make you smile? Do you love “Last Christmas” every time you hear it, everywhere, all the time?

Or are you depressed, deep in melancholy, from all this consuming games of marketing? Boring that you have to decorate a shiny christmas tree one more time just for a few days? And have to think of what presents your folks would like this year -one more year?

Well, whoever you are, whatever you like, there is one common thing among all of us:





Don’t worry, I don’t judge you, how could I?

Because all of us are the same, as far as this point is concerned, at Christmas, at New Year’s Eve and the days before and after that -some of us all year long!

There is one thing though that you shouldn’t have: guilts.

Don’t have guilts for whatever you ate and drank, for the calories or anything. You must be happy and thankful for being able to have food and drink at your table this year too and for being healthy to do it again next year with your beloved ones, wherever you want, with any way you want.

Happy New Year!


Two buffets were set up this year, a vegan one for my friend Maria at her place and one with everything (!) at mine’s. See some of the plates served:

  • Vegan pumpkin cake with walnuts and spices from my delicious new book “Joy the baker cookbook” by my beloved one Joy the baker.
  • Marinated mushrooms over baked small breads
  • parmesan chips (to the next post)
  • arabic bread chips with spices and yoghurt sauce (to the next post)
  • “ladenia” -a simple vegan pizza with olive oil, tomatoes and onions (to the next post too)


Vegan pumpkin cake with walnuts and spices

By Joy the baker


  • 3 and 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 cups light brown sugar
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp grated nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp ground allspice (I didn’t have any, didn’t use it)
  • 425 gr pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup of olive oil (the recipe calls for vegetable of canola oil -I always use olive oil, do as you wish)
  • 1/2 cup honey (the recipe calls for maple syrup, use whatever you like)
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
  • 8 whole pecan or walnut halves for garnish (didn’t use any)


  1. Preheat the oven at 180 C (350 F). Grease and flour a big cake loaf or two small ones.
  2. In a big bowl: sift flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and all the spices. Add sugar too in the bowl and whisk them together.
  3. In another bowl whisk together pumpkin puree, olive oil, honey and water.
  4. Pour the liquids into the flour mixture and and stir well with a spatula until you get a nice, smooth batter. Add the chopped walnuts too and stir them all over.
  5. Pour the batter into the loaf and if you want decorate with the walnut halves on top.
  6. Bake for 1 hour or 1 hour and 15′, or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted to the center of the cake -after the 1 hour.
  7. Take it out of the oven, let it cool over a rack and then unmould.
  8. Serve to vegan people. They will love you.


Marinated mushrooms over baked small breads

From the series “The chefs propose” by  the magazine Gastronomer, Mirsini Lambraki, “Salads” issue.

The quantities are for 40 people.


  • 500 gr fresh small white mushrooms
  • 2-3 celery branches cut in small pieces and peeled from the tough strings
  • 1 onion finely cut
  • 5 fresh green onions finely cut
  • 2-3 tbsp mustard (whatever you like)
  • 2-3 tbsp vinegar (from red grapes or balsamic)
  • olive oil (about 6 tbsp)
  • salt and pepper


  1. Wipe the mushrooms with a wet cloth and cut them in thin slices. Put them in a bowl with a lid.
  2. Add all the other ingredients and mix well. Put the lid on and put the bowl into the fridge for at least 1 hour to let all the flavours mix together.
  3. Serve as you like: as a salad in a nice big bowl and let everyone help himself. Or, as I did in a case of a buffet,  take a tsp of the salad and put it over any kind of nice bread you like. I chose those nice thick small sized souvlaki breads, because they absorb any delicious sauce that may come from the salad. I halved them too and grilled them for about 5′ so as to become crispy and nicely coloured. Choose your favourite bread for small bites and taste it!

The rest plates of the buffets to the next post!

3 Comments leave one →
  1. January 17, 2013 9:07 pm

    This sounds great!!

  2. January 18, 2013 2:25 pm

    These both sound great Artemis – but is the mushroom recipe really for 40 people?? Wow.
    Can’t wait to see what else you made!! Happy New Year to you and f++k guilt!!
    You only live once so stuff your face when the food is goooood!! xox Karin

    • January 18, 2013 3:11 pm

      yes it is for 40 people, because you only use a not full teaspoon of the salad to put on the breads, if served to a buffet. And yeah, guilts are not for us! Enjoy life, enjoy food, enjoy all the good stuff of this lifetime!

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