Plant-Based Chocolate Truffles (3 Ways)

Truffles Three Ways
Truffles Three Ways

Store bought truffles are good, but homemade truffles are even better. This Valentines Day, I highly suggest making one of these: Chocolate Truffle, Espresso Truffle, or a Raspberry Truffle. Your family or special someone will love you even more for showing up with these amazing and rich treats, which is why I highly recommend giving these a try. Whether you like plain chocolate, coffee or raspberry, I’ve got you covered with my simple ganache recipe for wonderful truffles (that look store bought!) Whose ready to start melting some chocolate?

Chocolate Truffles
Chocolate Truffles

Chocolate Truffle Base

Yields 8 truffles


1 cup chocolate (60-70% cocoa)

1/2 cup heavy coconut cream, well mixed

2 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 cup cocoa powder, to roll in


  1. In a heat proof bowl, add the chocolate. Warm the cream up on the stove for 3-5 minutes on medium-high heat.
  2. Pour cream over chocolate and whisk until combined. Pour into a parchment lined pan and place into the refrigerator for 1-2 hours or until it is scoop-able.
  3. Remove from the fridge and quickly scoop an even amount into your hand, roll into a ball, dust with cacao powder, and place in the fridge until ready to serve.

Espresso Truffle
Espresso Truffle

Espresso Truffle

Yields 8 truffles


1 Tbsp. espresso powder

1 Chocolate Truffle Base Recipe

1 cup finely chopped pecans


  1. Combine the espresso powder and Baileys liqueur to the ganache.
  2. Place into a parchment lined pan and refrigerate for 1-2 hours. Remove when it is scoop-able and ready to form into the round shapes.
  3. Quicky scoop an even amount into your hand to shape, roll into chopped pecans, and place in the fridge until ready to serve.

Raspberry Truffle
Raspberry Truffle

Raspberry Truffle

Yields 8 truffles


2 tsp. raspberry syrup

2-3 Tbsp. raspberry jam, heated

1 Chocolate Truffle Base Recipe

Additional chocolate to melt


  1. Add the raspberry syrup and jam to the cooling chocolate ganache. 
  2. Place into a parchment lined pan and refrigerate for 1-2 hours. Remove when it is scoop-able and ready to form into the round shapes.
  3. Quicky scoop an even amount into your hand, place a raspberry in the center (optional).
  4. Place onto a baking sheet and repeat until all finished. Place back into the fridge until ready to dip in melted chocolate.

Chef’s tip: This chocolate truffle base recipe is a great to make your own!

Easy Tiered Almond Cake

Almond Cake with Vanilla Meringue Buttercream
Almond Cake with Vanilla Meringue Buttercream

Cake: A spongy-flavorful dessert that we get to treat ourselves with during the holidays, gatherings, and of course- Birthdays! We all have our go-to cake or cupcake, and this Almond Cake with a Vanilla Meringue Buttercream is surely mine. To make the imaged cake, you will need to double this recipe and if you are looking to make two 8-inch rounds, this cake is perfect for that too! Even though I baked this cake without the use of diary and eggs, it is still moist, spongy, and does the job. What’s better than an organic cake made by yourself in the comfort of your own home? I hope that this recipe brings you, your family and friends a lot of good memories and birthday cheer!

Almond Cake

Yields 45 servings for 6 and 7-inch or 60 servings 6,7, and 8-inch cakes


Cake (double recipe for tiered style):

3-1/4 cups King Arthur organic flour

3/4 cup vegetable oil

1-3/4 cups organic sugar

2-1/2 cup buttermilk (2-1/4 cup plain almond milk+ 1/4 cup lemon juice, mixed)

2-1/2 Tbsp. almond extract

1 Tbsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. Vitacost Himalayan Fine Pink Salt


2-1/4 cup organic cane sugar

3/4 cup filtered water

1 cup concentrated aquafaba (chickpea liquid)- Two 8 oz. cans garbanzo beans

1 cup butter of choice, cubed

1 cup vegetable shortening, cubed

1 tsp. vanilla extract



  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a stand mixer, beat together the sugar and oil until light in color. Add the almond extract and buttermilk.
  3. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda and powder. Add the salt and combine the flour mixture to the wet ingredients, a little bit at a time.
  4. Beat until flour is well combined and cake batter consistency is achieved.
  5. Cut out parchment rounds to fit the bottom of the cake pans. Be sure to grease the parchment also, this will help your cakes not stick.
  6. Using two 8-inch round cake pan, distribute the batter between the two as listed below. If you are using a 6 and 8-inch pan for a 3 tier cake, you will need to triple the recipe and fill the cake pans up as provided below:
    • 6-inch: 350 degrees F for 35-40 minutes; 3 cups batter
      7-inch: 350 degrees F for 40-42 minutes; 4 cups batter, optional
      8-inch: 350 degrees F for 40-45 minutes; 5 cups batter
  7. Bake cakes for 40-45 minutes (rotating half way through) or until a toothpick comes out clean and cake edges are slightly browned and pulls away from pan.
  8. Place onto a wire rack to cool until bottom of the pan is cool to touch.
  9. Flip the cakes out of the pan onto the rack and allow to completely cool (roughly 1-1/2 hours).
  10. Using a knife, level the cakes so they are all even. Slice cakes in half, wrap in plastic individually, and place in fridge or freezer until ready to frost or leave out if you are making it that day.

Aquafaba Concentrate:

  1. In sauce pan over medium-high heat, pour in both cans chickpea liquid AKA aquafaba (save chickpeas for my hummus recipe). Reduce liquid until 1 cup remains. Pour liquid into container and cool in refrigerator overnight (this step is very important).

Meringue Buttercream:

  1. In your Kitchen-aid standing mixer, whip the concentrated chickpea liquid for 10-15 minutes until a medium peak has formed.
  2. In the meantime, melt the sugar and water in a medium sauce pan on high-heat, 2-3 minutes. Once rolling boil starts, remove from heat and pour into the mixer with chickpea liquid. Make sure to turn the speed down when pouring. 
  3. Turn the speed back up to high and whip together for another 8 minutes until meringue -like consistency forms.
  4. Once completely cool, add the butter and shortening slowly a little bit at a time until completely mixed. If for any reason it separates, place more fat into the meringue. If it still doesn’t hold, place in the fridge for a couple minutes and re mix or heat the bowl if it appears “curdled”.
  5. Add the vanilla and give a good mix. Once frosting has thickened and is a good consistency, you are ready to frost the cake.
Almond Cake with Vanilla Meringue Buttercream


  1. Smear a small amount of frosting on the bottom your cake boards and place the leveled cake on it.
  2. Place one 8-inch round layer down on the plate and add 2 ice cream scoops of the meringue buttercream in a smooth layer. Place the other 8-inch layer on top and use more meringue buttercream. Coat the outside as well for a crumb coat (light layer of frosting to keep crumbs from showing up in the final frosting layer). Place into the fridge to chill while you do the same process with the 6-inch round cakes.
  3. Remove from fridge and add buttercream to the outside of the cakes for a final coat.
  4. Put three wooden dowels into the bottom layer. Put the 6-inch cake on top and put another wooden dowel in the middle, smearing frosting to cover the hole. Frost the gaps and cracks once you are finished securing the cake.
  5. Top with choice of fruit, frosting design, sprinkles, or any other toppings you’d like.

Chef’s tip: If you would like to make a three tiered cake, you will need to triple the recipe.

Matcha Ice Cream

Matcha Ice Cream

This Matcha Ice Cream recipe is both creamy and has a great umami taste. Ice cream usually consists of dairy, sugar, and eggs but this plant-based version uses none. When you think of cold tasty creations, matcha green tea can be a unique alternative! A little background, this tea dates back roughly 900 years when Bhuddist monks brought it to Japan. It is known for its superfood health benefits, having lots of antioxidants, helps regulate the immune system, and detoxify your body. How cool is all of that in your ice cream! Desserts can still be delicious, healthy, and satisfying while living a vegan life. 

Yields 4 servings (per 2 scoops)


1 cup plain almond milk

2 cups full-fat coconut cream

1/4 cup organic raw agave

Pinch Vitacost Himalayan Fine Pink Salt

2-3 Tbsp. organic Matcha powder


  1. Place your ice cream bowl into the freezer overnight.
  2. In a Vitamix blender, place all ingredients in and blend until well combined.
  3. Pour into a mason jar and put into the fridge while you wait for your ice cream bowl to freeze overnight.
  4. Once ready, pour your mix into the ice cream maker and set until soft serve ice cream forms. Put into freezer for 1-2 hours to allow to firm up.
  5. Serve with whipped cream or toppings of choice. 

Chef’s tip: If you don’t have an ice cream maker, place the mixture into a metal bowl and into the freezer. Give it a stir every 45 minutes or so until you achieve your desired consistency. Can take up to 2 hours this way but works just as well.

Baked Granola Bars

Baked Granola Bar

Making your own granola bars is such a simple way you can add a snack or quick breakfast meal to your busy schedule. Instead of turning to the alternative “store bought” version, give these a go! In under 30 minutes, you will have an amazing healthy-wholesome bar for each day of the week, leaving you an extra bar to share with a friend.

Baked Granola Bar

Yields 8 bars 


2 cups rolled cooking oats

1/2 cup raw unsalted almonds

1/4 pumpkin seeds, shelled or unshelled

1/4 cup walnuts, roughly chopped

1/2  Vitacost pure maple syrup

3 Tbsp. Earths Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks

1/2 tsp. almond extract

1/4 tsp. Vitacost Himalayan Pink Fine Salt

1/2 cup dried cranberries  or 1/4 cup chocolate chips

Baked Granola Bar


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 
  2. Line a 9” square baking pan with parchment paper and lightly spray with cooking spray. Set aside.
  3. In a bowl, add all ingredients together and mix until oats have soaked up some of the moisture from the maple syrup and butter, pour mixture into the lined pan.
  4. Press granola down so that it is evenly spread across the pan.
  5. Bake for 25 minutes until it is golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly before removing bars and slicing. This way you can get nicely cut bars while they are semi-soft before they fully harden.
  6. You can place the granola bars into the refrigerator and store in an airtight container for later or you can enjoy them on top of your yogurt or alone as a snack.

Chef’s tip: Make sure that you use parchment paper so that you can pull the baked outs out of the pan.

Plain Almond Milk

Almond Milk - The Vegan Rhino

Almonds are a great source for an abundance of different nutritional benefits. To highlight a couple, almonds are filled with antioxidants, magnesium and it is non-dairy! Making your own almond milk is really easy and only needs a few ingredients. The best thing is that you can make this in big batches to last you for your week of smoothies, oats, sauces, and more!

Yields 32 oz


1 cup Vitacost Organic Raw Almonds, soaked overnight

4 cups filtered water

1/8 tsp Vitacost Himalayan Pink Salt- Fine

2 medjool dates, pitted

1 tsp Frontier Co-Op Organic Vanilla Extract, optional



  1. Combine almonds, water, salt, dates, and vanilla extract. Blend for 1 minute, or until thoroughly emulsified.
  2. In a fine strainer, pour almond milk to catch the pulp. Press as much liquid from pulp as you can. You can place this on a greased baking sheet to dry- bake at 175 degrees or lowest oven temperature until dry, place into food processor to make flour or meal.


Chef’s tip: For Chocolate Almond Milk- add 2 Tbsp cocoa powder. For Strawberry Almond Milk- add 1/2 cup fresh strawberries, blend till smooth.