Recipe: Easy Vegan Carrot Cake

Easy Vegan Carrot Cake

Carrot cake must surely be one of the nation’s favourite teatime treats, and there’s absolutely no reason why vegans should miss out, so here’s a plant-based cruelty-free version, with dairy-free cream ‘cheese’ icing to  top it off.  And it really is easy, I promise.  The list of ingredients is longer than I had hoped, but each one is there for a reason, and even if you’ve never baked a cake before, this is a really simple one to put together.

This was actually my son’s first birthday cake, (and yes, I cut out a slice for the purposes of these photographs before he had blown his candle out… poor kid!  Well, I won’t get away with it again as he’ll know what’s going on next year when he’s two, so this was my last chance….).

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Recipe: The Ultimate Vegan Coffee & Walnut Cake

Ultimate Vegan Coffee & Walnut Cake

Mmmmm…. cake alert!  I find it hard to resist the temptation to make a slightly-oversized triple layer cake from time to time, and I’m gradually working my way through vegan-ising all the Great British favourites.  My Ultimate Vegan Victoria Sponge is one of the most popular recipes on the blog, and if you’re looking for a failsafe rich fruit cake, my Ultimate Vegan Christmas Cake recipe is not far behind, (I’ve just had an e-mail from a reader who is using it as her wedding cake, isn’t that lovely?!).

And today I bring you… the Ultimate Vegan Coffee & Walnut Cake.  This one is a keeper, I promise.  The coffee buttercream is incredibly creamy and light, and the dark, nutty sponge has just the right level of coffee to be a strong flavour without turning bitter.

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Recipe: Jammy Star Biscuits (Vegan)

Jammy Star Biscuits #Vegan

In collaboration with Ciao Gusto

For what will (probably!) be my last post before Christmas, here’s a recipe for a fun and festive vegan baking project.  These jammy biscuits could either be served alongside an Italian ice-cream sundae for an alternative Christmas dessert (see below), or if you’ve already consumed your 99th mince pie of the season and just can’t face another, these would be a welcome treat for visiting friends and family in the run up to the big day.

The biscuit dough is actually a shortbread, which makes them melt-in-the-mouth crumbly, and I used some top-quality Italian cherry jam for the filling, (more on that later).

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Recipe: Ultimate Vegan Chocolate Yule Log

Ultimate #Vegan Chocolate Yule Log

In collaboration with OXO Good Grips

Traditional Christmas sweet things tend to involve quite a bit of dried fruit and booze, which isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but the traditional French Bûche de Noël (Yule Log) is such a treat for all ages.  A light chocolate sponge rolled up with buttercream, (I stirred chestnut purée through mine for an extra festive twist), then covered with yet more buttercream, chocolate this time, and decorated to look like a snowy log.

A traditional swiss roll sponge is made with whisked egg whites, and doesn’t have any fat added.  I’ve been meaning to test out the magic vegan ingredient ‘aquafaba’ (the liquid drained from a tin of chickpeas) Continue reading “Recipe: Ultimate Vegan Chocolate Yule Log”

Recipe: Marzipan & Mincemeat Chelsea Buns (Vegan)

Marzipan & Mincemeat Chelsea Buns (Vegan)

In collaboration with Thermapen

What do you have for breakfast on Christmas morning?  It is a meal I often forget about, with so much thought and preparation going into the plans for the rest of the day, but a bowl of soggy cereal seems so very underwhelming for the first meal of such a special day.

So this year I’m going to make a batch of these beautiful buns in advance, freeze them, then warm through in the oven just before serving, (possibly with a glass of Bucks Fizz….)!  Just perfect.

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Recipe: The Ultimate Vegan Christmas Pudding

Ultimate Vegan Christmas Pudding

What better way to round off a gut-bustingly enormous (vegan) roast dinner with all the trimmings, than a huge slice of boozy steamed fruit pudding with lashings of custard or and brandy ‘butter’?  Why do we do it?!  Well, because it’s a great British tradition of course, and Christmas dinner just wouldn’t be the same without it.

‘Stir Up Sunday’ is fast approaching, and if this is your first vegan Christmas and you thought you might miss out on all the fun – no need! This vegan pudding is every bit as rich, moist and Christmassy as the non-vegan original version – I bet you won’t be able to tell the difference.

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Recipe: Sticky Toffee Apple Cake (Vegan)

Vegan Sticky Toffee Apple Cake

Sticky Toffee Pudding…. good.  Toffee apples…. good.  Mix them together and what do you get?  You guessed it – this Sticky Toffee Apple Cake is just too scrummy.  It is such a ‘November’ cake: warm and sticky, dark and treacle-y, with cinnamon and cloves, huge chunks of apple and chopped walnuts.

I made two of these over the weekend, one for our little fireworks party and the other for Sunday afternoon choir practice, (which always involves tea and cake – yum!).  They both went down a treat, (with a pleasing number of “are you sure its vegan?!” comments – I’m sure people still think we eat nothing but salad!), so I thought you might like the recipe too.

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Recipe: Vegan Cherry Bakewell Tarts

Vegan Cherry Bakewell Tarts

What do you think of when I say Cherry Bakewell?  The factory-made treats with a neat circle of fondant icing and sticky, bright red glacé cherry on top?  Or the proper Derbyshire Bakewell Tart, a sweet pastry case filled with jam and almond frangipane? These are very much the latter, with a lovely vegan almond sponge on top of fresh cherries and cherry jam.

These pretty little tarts are surprisingly easy to make, and are as good served hot with a dollop of soya custard or vegan ice cream for a crowd-pleasing dessert as they are cold for a cake sale or to take into the office.

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Recipe: Choc-Chip Macadamia Flapjacks (Vegan)

Choc-Chip Macadamia Flapjacks (Vegan)

Is there anything better than a nice cup of tea and a sit down? Yes…. a Choc-Chip Macacadamia Flapjack, a nice cup of tea and a sit down. I made a big batch of these to take along on a summer holiday with friends, to our old university stomping ground of Durham.

The lovely thing about holidaying in a city you know so well is that you don’t feel the need for round the clock sightseeing, or to tick off all the ‘must-see’ attractions, (of which there are so many in this beautiful little city).  Instead, during a couple of fairly epic afternoon rainstorms, we could just sit around the kitchen table, putting the world to rights with tea and flapjacks, and letting the small army of toddlers and babies we had brought along run riot next door.

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