I love birthdays.

In my family, ever since I was a little girl, we have always had the tradition of birthday breakfast.

The best parts about birthday breakfast?


The good ol’ days, celebrating birthdays with Mom.


Ready for birthday breakfast

Waking up to a  festively set table, time together in the morning when no one is rushing and, of course, a far more elaborate breakfast than the average day.

As a chef, I can’t help but remember each of the foods that my family members likes and dislikes.

We celebrated my Mom’s birthday a while back, and in honor of her special day I decided to use all of my mom’s favorite sweets — hazelnuts, chocolate, coconut and “dry, Italian almond cake” as inspiration for one, crumbly, delicious birthday cake.

This cake comes out with a deep caramel flavor from the coconut sugar/hazelnut combination, the nutella is the perfect complimentary icing, and I highly recommend  topping it all off with some coconut whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Needless to say, my mom loved it and I think you will too!



Vegan Birthday Cake — Hazelnut Cake with Homemade Nutella (Vegan, Gluten-Free)

Vegan Birthday Cake — Hazelnut Cake with Homemade Nutella (Vegan, Gluten-Free)


  • 1 cup + 2 tbs light coconut milk
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup gluten free all purpose flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 1/2 cup hazelnut meal (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/3 cup unrefined coconut oil
  • 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract


  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and grease a flour cake pan (with coconut oil).
  2. Whisk the vinegar into the almond milk and set aside.
  3. Whisk together the flour, almond meal, baking powder and salt.
  4. In the same bowl as the coconut milk and vinegar, combine the coconut sugar, coconut oil, and vanilla extract.
  5. Make a well in the flour mixture, pour in the wet coconut milk mixture.
  6. Stir until completely combined, being careful not to over mix.
  7. Pour into the greased and floured cake pan.
  8. Cook for about 30 minutes, or until the edges brown and pull away from the pan.
  9. To test and make sure the cake is done, stick a toothpick in the middle, if it comes out dry it’s finished.
  10. Let sit for about 5 minutes before removing from pan and letting cool on a wire rack.
  11. Once cooled, top and serve with:
  12. Homemade Nutella or you can opt for a store bought version.
  13. Homemade Coconut Whipped Cream or ice cream.


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