In the Shadow of Tragedy, Cake.

At 10:00 at night on the day that has undoubtedly changed the lives of everyone in Newtown, the entire state of Connecticut, and so many throughout the nation and across the world, I made a giant cookie cake.

I did this because it was all I could do. I did it because I couldn’t stop crying otherwise. I did it because the next day, Vegan Connecticut Jr. would turn 11 (!), and on Friday I was reminded of what a true blessing a birthday is.

I made cake because it is my job to keep his world moving, to be strong no matter how shattered my heart, and to make sure he knows that when bad things happen, all we can do is just keep living the best lives we can. We give longer hugs. We tell our families how much we love them a little more often. We smile at strangers. And we play with our friends, run around tearing up the house, open gifts, sing songs, and eat cake.

Here is a recipe for a vegan chocolate chip cookie cake. I have no snarky comments or jokes or witty sayings for you. The frosting is a little messed up because my hands were shaky. It doesn’t matter. We ate cake together, and celebrated another year of life, because that was all we could do.

Vegan Chocolate Chunk Cookie Cake

(gluten-free, adapted from this)

  • 2 cans white beans or garbanzos (drained and rinsed) (YES, this is correct. I promise you, no one will know. I can provide six 11-year-old boys who happily gobbled up their cake to corroborate.)
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 and 1/2 cups brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup vegan chocolate chunks, chips, or chopped chocolate bar (or, ya know, however much looks like enough)

Preheat oven to 350. Spray or brush a pizza pan lightly with oil.

Blend all ingredients except chocolate chunks very well in a food processor (this could take several minutes).

Mix in chocolate chunks until dispersed throughout, and spread dough evenly into pizza pan.

Bake at 350F for 25 – 30 minutes or until edges begin to brown.

Let cool completely before frosting (cake will still be soft. This is good. What is better than a soft, gooey cookie?). Before serving, heat each slice in a microwave until warm.

Enjoy with someone you love. (required)

cookie cake


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