For weeks now I’d been looking forward to attending the local PPK brunch meet-up that was being hosted by Your Vegan Mom. I’d planned to make the delicious sounding recipe from Vegan Planet for the Pumpkin Rum Couscous Cake. The recipe seemed super easy to make and I liked the idea of trying couscous as an ingredient in something sweet.

Pumpkin Couscous Cake from Vegan Planet

I realize couscous is not something you usually associate with cake, or dessert for that matter, but trust me… this cake is really wonderful and doesn’t taste weird at all. It’s not much like a cake actually, the texture is similar to thick pudding (like bread pudding) or a lumpy cheesecake. The flavor is a lot like pumpkin pie… so basically imagine a textured, pumpkin pie cheesecake. Yeah, it’s kinda like that… only better than it sounds. And vegan. As hoped for the recipe is beyond easy to follow… there is no cooking involved, the most complex things you need to do are boil water, measure out some spices and run a blender. Since there were going to be kids at this gathering, and because I’m not big into the hooch myself, I left out the rum (though I’m sure the rum in the recipe makes it that much more extra special).

Anyone who likes pumpkin pie, or cheesecake, or even just the idea of those two being in the same room together should like this cake-pie-pudding. I’ll also note that this cake makes for not only a delightful dessert, but also a perfect breakfast. No one needs to be told it’s vegan or even that it’s made from tofu and couscous. Just tell them to put it in their mouths & shut up until they are ready to thank you and ask for more (believe me, they will ask you for more). I’m not saying that the fact that it’s vegan needs to be a secret at all, but you know how some people are… they’ll turn up their noses and won’t even want to try it if they hear the words “vegan” or “tofu”, so with these types of folks it’s best to hook ‘em in first through their tastebuds before laying your cards out on the table.

Now back to this party and why I titled this post “the cake that no one almost ate”. The thing is, I’m a moron. I somehow got my days confused and thought the brunch was on Sunday (today) when it was actually on Saturday (yesterday). See? Moron. So after bragging all this time to the PPK folks about how my couscous cake was going to knock their socks off, I ended up being a no-show. What a dork! I’ve heard since that the gathering was a smashing and delicious success, so all’s well that ends well.

Thusly my cake was to remain mostly uneaten other than by myself, but thankfully my mom came to the rescue wanting to taste the thing (I told you I’d been bragging about it). Once she’d had a bite it was no work at all for me to convince her to take it home with her (the last thing I need is to be left alone in a house with an entire cake all to myself.. it wouldn’t end well for me, or the cake).

The moral of this story is twofold:

1. Always make a note of important dates so that you don’t miss events you’ve been looking forward to attending. Especially if you’re planning to make cake and are going to brag about it.

2. You should get a copy of the Vegan Planet cookbook because it rocks and is full of awesome recipes like this cake, and everything else under the vegetarian sun. The book is a mighty tome of all things vegan and delicious.


Vegan Planet CookbookVegan Planet:
400 Irresistible Recipes with Fantastic Flavors from Home and Around the World
by Robin Robertson

“Vegan Planet is a Joy of Cooking for vegans. Like that book, it is authoritative, encyclopedic, and complete.” -VegNews

Vegan Planet introduces a world of delicious choices to the millions of Americans who are vegans or non-vegetarians who have food sensitivities or are simply trying to eat healthier. A vegan diet contains no eggs, dairy, or other animal products but is chock full of delicious nutritious, and satisfying whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and proteins from plant sources.

In Vegan Planet, Robin Robertson shows how to make vegan cuisine exciting, flavorful, and full of variety. First she provides a complete rundown on the vegan pantry and the tremendous health benefits of eating vegan. Then she presents 400 tantalizing new recipes for breakfast (Pumpkin Pie Pancakes), lunch (Portobello Fajitas) and creative ideas for entertaining guests (Ginger-Scented Pot Stickers, Curried Cauliflower Pakoras). Taking advantage of the many cuisines around the world with large repertoires of naturally vegan recipes, Vegan Planet is truly global in its culinary offerings.
Buy Vegan Planet Cookbook…

Vegan Fire & Spice Cookbook

Robin Robertson is also the author of a brand new vegan cookbook:

Vegan Fire & Spice:
200 Sultry and Savory Global Recipes

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18 Responses to “The Pumpkin Couscous Cake That No One Almost Ate.”
  1. stonielove says:

    awesome! what an interesting combination – and the cake looks fantastic! thank you for recommending the book :)

  2. Trina says:

    Hey! I love the IDEA of this cake (though I think I would have loved the actual cake and your company even more). Alas, thanks for reminding me to blow the dust off my Vegan Planet and go make some dessert/breakfast.

  3. Evan says:

    i have (a signed!) copy of vegan planet and that was one of the first recipes i made(january last year) and i thought it was pretty gross.mabye it’s just me though.

  4. FoodEater says:

    stonielove: You’re very welcome… it’s an excellent book. I’m looking forward to checking out her new one.

  5. FoodEater says:

    Trina: Ditto… I would have enjoyed it more had I been sharing it with the lot of you. And I even had presents to bring for your little one (welll they’re more for you, via him). Next time…

  6. FoodEater says:

    Evan: Really, you thought it was gross? That’s too bad, I am so digging it! Different strokes for different folks I guess. At least you’ve got about another 399 potentially delicious recipes in the book to choose from :)

  7. I’m glad you like my pumpkin couscous cake recipe — I love your idea of experimenting with quinoa. (the cake actually works great with millet too!) Thanks for reminding me about how much I love these wholesome fruity “cakes” — for another version check out my January 16 blog post for Apricot Pineapple Couscous Cake from Quick-Fix Vegetarian. (I made them in individual spring form pans.) Even though they look like “cheesecakes” the taste and texture is most similar to a moist bread pudding.

    Love your blog. I’ve just added you to my blog roll!

  8. vegyogini says:

    Wow, Robin Robertson commented on your blog!!! That is beyond cool. The cake does look/sound wonderful and I love the plate on which it’s resting.

  9. FoodEater says:

    Robin Robertson: The apricot pineapple version sounds divine! Next I think I’m going to try my hand at the other one from you book, the ‘Breakfast Cake with Pear and Dried Plum Compote’. I can’t even write that out without salivating!

  10. FoodEater says:

    vegyogini: Plates courtesy of Target.

  11. VeggieGirl says:

    Haha, no worries – I get the dates wrong for events TOO often!! :0D

    Very intriguing cake variety – I like it!

  12. vegoftheweek says:

    I have some millet in my cabinet I need to find a use for…Maybe I’ll try Robin’s suggestion.

  13. FoodEater says:

    vegoftheweek: Yeah, Robin’s millet idea sounds great… let us know how it turns out!

  14. jd says:

    what an intriguing cake!

  15. Amey says:

    I have that cookbook, but I really don’t use it almost ever. I guess I’m intimidated by it. What other recipes do you recommend?

    :) Amey

  16. Cookiemouse says:

    That cake picture is fantastic! I wanna check out that cookbook too.

  17. fakefur says:

    one of my favorite flavors is PUMPKIN! this cake looked so yummy (and i was SO HAPPY that is was from one of my already favorite cookbooks) that i made it this morning for a vegan potluck tonight. do you think it needs some tofu whipped topping or any ideas for a garnish on the pieces that would make it prettier? (what goes well with pumpkin? would a sliced strawberry be bad?)

    LOVE your blog – i am slowly following in your footstep. Went to healthyCA two days ago – and YUM – it was fab!


  18. FoodEater says:

    Amey: This was the first recipe from the book that I’ve tried. It drew me right to it because of it’s simplicity (and to fill my need of something to bring to a brunch). I’m surprised you find the book intimidating because there’s so many yummy sounding recipes in there that seem very easy to make. I’ve got my whole book all of full of bookmarks already with all the dishes I want to try! Check out some of the grain, rice or pasta recipes… there are many that seem pretty straightforward. And good luck!

    fakefur: Absolutely I think a “whipped cream” type topping would be perfect… It’s nearly begging for it! Or maybe even a yummy sweet cashew cream. And I think the strawberries would be delicious too. Or maybe a sprinkling of some currants or raisins… or… what about even mixing some raisins right into the cake as it sets? When I gave this to my mom she immediately mentioned it would go good with Cool-Whip. There’s a similar couscous cake recipe in Vegan Planet that gets a topping of “Pear and Dried Plum Compote”. Robin also mentioned in her comment above an apricot pineapple version that sounds amazing too.

    I’m so glad you tried HealthyCA, I can’t think of a tastier place to go for lunch. Too bad they’re not open for dinner, eh?