21 Years Around the Sun + A Birthday Cake Recipe (a really good one)

Ok, here we are fall getting back into the blogging grind after summer. Summer is great and all, but fall is practically the start of a new year, and I am ready to get back to my writing and a schedule. Not to mention, I am pretty jazzed that I won’t be melting in my kitchen each time I crank the oven on.

This weekend I head out to NYC for the event with my friend Angie and Gabbie from Tru Haus Media. I seriously can’t believe I would be doing such a thing two years ago. So expect a lot of cafe photos, restaurant reviews, and the typical tourist photos. The connections and friendships I have made through Instagram is something I am incredibly grateful for, and the main reason I started blogging + sharing my recipes. I am incredibly humbled to be able to share my passions, cognitions, and special moments with others.

On Monday, I celebrated my 21st birthday. In all seriousness, when I was 16 I thought I would be graduating with a Law degree from a university in England, living in London, and living my best life. However, here we are and I wouldn’t change it for the world. Don’t put timelines on your life. You’ll never truly be able to be present without sometimes just letting yourself be. You don’t have to have everything figured out.

21 feels great so far, I finally have a better idea of where I am going in life, who I am, and who I want to be.

So here’s to 21 years, and all the things I have learned:

  1. Not everyone is going to like you, and that’s normal.

  2. Take a leap even when you don’t know the outcome.

  3. Go outside your comfort zone often, that’s where growth happens.

  4. You shouldn’t try to figure your life out at 16.

  5. No one knows you better than you.

  6. Your body is a vehicle in which you experience life.

  7. Cake mix from the box is the answer when your in a bind.

  8. Speak your truth without fear.

  9. Fully support other women.

  10. You don’t need a lot of friends, you just need a few good ones.

  11. Never get your eyebrows threaded.

  12. Travel expands your own world.

  13. The way you speak to others is a direct reflection of how you see the world.

  14. Take time for yourself.

  15. Wear what you want.

  16. Always have snacks in your bag.

  17. You can never overuse emojis.

  18. Don’t quantify your self worth in numbers.

  19. Always double check that your alarm is set to AM and not PM.

  20. Be grateful for all feedback (even when it’s negative).

  21. Choose kindness.

So here’s a recipe for a really good gluten-free almond cake with vegan cream cheese frosting, and possibly the best cake I’ve had in 21 years of my life:

A Birthday Cake Recipe (a really good one) w/ Cream Cheese Frosting:

(Serves 6-8)

3 1/4 cup almond flour

2 1/4 cup buckwheat flour

1 1/2 Tbsp Baking Soda

1 tsp salt

2 tsp cinnamon

2 cups maple syrup

1 1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk

1/2 tsp almond extract

Juice from one can of chickpeas

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.

  2. In an electric mixer, add the wet ingredients and slowly pour in the flours, baking soda, cinnamon, salt.

  3. In 4 greased 6 inch baking pans divide the batter and bake for 20-25 minutes.

  4. Allow to cool completely.

Cream Cheese Frosting:

1/3 cup vegan butter

1/3 cup vegan cream cheese (I use Scheese)

1 1/3 cups powdered lakanto or powdered sugar

Method:

In an electric mixer using the whisk setting, beat the butter, cream cheese, and powdered sugar together until fluffy. Divide the frosting between the 4 cakes and set in the fridge. Enjoy!

A few moments from the day!

First sweat of 21 was on the bike with my friend Hannah Mac. I appreciate you! We enjoyed some kombucha post class (definitely would recommend).

First sweat of 21 was on the bike with my friend Hannah Mac. I appreciate you! We enjoyed some kombucha post class (definitely would recommend).

Coffee at my favourite Bannerman Brewing Co. With some of my best pals from work.

Coffee at my favourite Bannerman Brewing Co. With some of my best pals from work.

Eyes closed like 99% of the time.

Eyes closed like 99% of the time.

Then I handed out some lunches and care packages to the homeless to end the morning. Do good. Feel good. Starting 21 with my only attitude as gratitude.

Then I handed out some lunches and care packages to the homeless to end the morning. Do good. Feel good. Starting 21 with my only attitude as gratitude.

Emma Hyslop