Cake · Little treats · Sweets

Dandelion Shortbread

Ingredients

  • 200g dairy free spread (I use Vitalite)
  • 1tsp vanilla
  • 30g dandelion honey (if you haven’t made the honey then just use 30g more of sugar)
  • 70g caster sugar
  • 300g plain flour
  • 20 dandelions – you just want the yellow petals.

Method

  • In a bowl cream together the butter, vanilla, dandelion honey and sugar.
  • Then add in the flour and dandelion petals.
  • Stir it together, you might need to get your hands in! Until it forms a soft dough.
  • Pop in to a covered dish in the fridge for an hour.
  • Preheat the oven to gas mark 7 / 200c.
  • Take the dough from the fridge and on a lightly floured surface roll out until is is 5mm thick.
  • Cut our your biscuits, we like them small but you can make larger ones!
  • Pop on to a baking sheet and into the oven for 8-10 minutes until they start to turn a light brown.
  • Take them from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack until cool.
  • Store in an air tight container.

Tips and cheats

My children love to make these. They love to pull out the yellow petals into the bowl. They love to dip them into the dandelion honey to eat them too! (Sugar overload!). They keep for a few days but are best fresh and they are just so buttery and light. They look so pretty on the plate too.

Cake · Recipes · Sweets

Chocolate Cake

Ingredients

  • 220g self raising flour
  • 30g cocoa powder
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 70ml vegetable oil
  • 200ml oat milk (or any dairy free milk)
  • 1tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp white or cider vinegar

Method

  • Preheat the oven to gas mark 5/180c
  • Put all of the ingredients in to a large bowl and beat to a smooth batter. I always do this by hand.
  • If making cupcakes place 12 paper cases into a cupcake tin.
  • Split the mixture equally between the 12 cases.
  • Pop into the oven for 15 minutes.
  • Allow to cool before topping with chocolate buttercream!

Tips and Cheats

If you don’t fancy cute cupcakes you can split the mix between two 7inch cake tins and cook at the same temperature for 25 minutes. or you can pop in to a tray for a tray bake and cook for 40 minutes. It is so versatile! I like to chuck in cherries sometimes or nuts or even dark chocolate chips! As with all cake it is best served fresh!

Cake · Sweets

Cherry and Marzipan Cake

Ingredients

  • 250g self raising flour
  • 150g sugar
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 70ml vegetable oil
  • 200ml oat milk (or other dairy free milk)
  • 1tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp white or cider vinegar
  • 200g marzipan
  • 200g glace cherries

Method

  • Preheat the oven to gas mark 4/160c
  • In a large bowl add the flour, baking powder, sugar, oil, milk, vanilla, and vinegar and beat into a smooth batter. It doesn’t take long so it is super easy by hand,
  • In an 8 inch tin add a layer of baking parchment to the bottom. The tin will need fairly deep sides.
  • Pour in about 1/2 of the cake batter.
  • Roll out the marzipan in a disc the size of your tin and lay over the cake batter .
  • Chop the cherries in half and add on top of the marzipan in an even layer.
  • Pour over the rest of the cake batter making sure all the cherries are covered.
  • Pop the cake into the oven and cook for 50 minutes. It may need a little longer if a skewer doesn’t come out clean.

Tips and Cheats

This cake is so good warm from the oven. It is also good a day old with lashings of custard! (Birds custard powder is vegan!) If you want a more almond taste, or don’t have marzipan you can either add almond essence in place of the vanilla, or you can swap out 1/2 of the flour for ground almonds. This does result in a heavier cake! However, you eat it enjoy it!

Recipes · Sweets

Victoria Sponge

Ingredients

  • 250g self raising flour
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp white wine or cider vinegar
  • 70ml vegetable or sunflower oil
  • 200ml dairy free milk (I use oat milk)

Method

  • Pre heat the oven to gas mark 5 or 180c.
  • Put all of your ingredients in to a mixing bowl and beat together. I like to use a Norwegian flat whisk but a wooden spoon or regular hand whisk will be fine too! You need a smooth-ish batter (no lumps of flour thank you!)
  • I then line two 7 inch cake tins (just the bottom) and split the mixture evenly between them.
  • Pop the tins in to the pre-heated oven for 25 minutes.
  • Take the cake out of the oven and leave it in the tin for a couple of minutes then transfer out to a cooling rack.
  • Once the cakes are cooled you can fill with jam. I love strawberry or raspberry jam! If you are feeling luxurious you could even add cream or buttercream!

Tips and cheats

This cake can’t really get any easier! It is a chuck it all in give it a beat and bake kind of cake. I am sure Mary Berry wouldn’t approve but it works and the kids love it too. It keeps for a couple of days in a tin too (if there is any left!) Enjoy!

Christmas · Sweets

Mince Pies

Perfect mince pies

Ingredients

  • 300g Plain Flour
  • 2 Tbs Icing Sugar
  • 1/2 Tsp Salt
  • 150g Vegan spread (I like the Pure Baking one for this.)
  • 3 Tbs Ice cold water
  • 3 Tbs Vegetable Oil
  • 1/4 tsp Cinnamon (or mixed spice)
  • Jar of mincemeat (The Aldi one is vegan!)

Method

  • Heat the oven to GM 7/ 200c
  • In a large bowl add all the dry ingredients and give them a light mix together.
  • Add in the butter and rub it in. This means rubbing the butter and flour together between your fingers until it looks a bit like soggy bread crumbs!
  • Then add in the water and oil and mix together until it forms a dough.
  • Flour the surface and then roll out your dough to about 5mm thick.
  • Using a circular cutter the size suitable for your yorkie tin cut out 12 discs.
  • Pop the discs of pastry in the tin (one in each hole!) and fill them with a heaped teaspoon of mincemeat.
  • I like to put stars on the top but you can do full lids or any shape you like.
  • Once finished pop them into the hot oven for about 10 minutes or until they are a gentle golden brown.
  • You will probably get about 18 mince pies from this mix.

Tips and Cheats

I often make this and freeze some of the pastry or keep it in the fridge for a couple of days as nothing beats fresh mince pies.

You can also not put in the spice and sugar and use the pastry for savoury dishes.

Sweets

Lemon Drizzle Cake

Lemon Drizzle Cake

Ingredients

  • 250g self raising flour
  • 150g sugar
  • 70ml vegetable oil
  • 210ml dairy free milk
  • Rind of 2 lemons
  • 5 tsp lemon juice (I use the bottled stuff)
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 100g icing sugar

Method

  • Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 5/ 180c
  • Put the flour, sugar, oil, milk, lemon rind and 5 tsp of lemon juice into a mix bowl and beat to a smooth batter.
  • Pour in to a lined and greased round tin, I use a 7 inch loose bottomed tin but to be honest any tin will do!
  • Put the cake into the oven for 50 minutes. (If you use a bigger tin cook for less time) when you prick with a knife the knife should come out clean.
  • Whilst the cake cooks mix the juice of the two lemons with the icing sugar.
  • Once the cake comes out of the oven pour over half of the lemon and sugar mix. Wait five minutes then pour on the other half.
  • Allow it to cool in the tin.

Tips and Cheats

Don’t worry if you have no lemons and just a bottle of juice. You can omit the rind! I like the flavour and texture it gives but it works without it. You can make it as cupcakes (cook for 15 minutes) or you can cook as a tray bake (30 minutes). It is lovely warm with some plant based cream on top too!

Recipes · Sweets

Poached Pear Tart

Poached Pear Tart

Ingredients

  • 3 large conference pears
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 6 Vegan Caramel/toffee sweets
  • 1 pack of ready rolled puff pastry

Method

  • Pre heat the oven to Gm 6 or 200c
  • Peel the pears and slice them in half. scoop out the core leaving enough room for the caramel.
  • Pop the pears in to a pan with the maple syrup and cover with boiling water.
  • Cook the pears until they just start to soften, this should take less than 5 minutes but will vary depending on how ripe the pears are.
  • Remove from the heat and drain from the liquid.
  • Roll out the pastry and lay the pears on top leaving enough room to cut them out.
  • Cut around each pear leaving a 1cm edge.
  • Pop the caramel in the hole where the core was.
  • Lay the pastry pears on a baking tray
  • With the scraps of pastry cut out leaf shapes and adore the pears (get as fancy as you like!)
  • Place into the hot oven for 12-15 minutes until the pastry is puffy and golden.
  • Serve warm with either vegan cream or vegan ice cream!

Tips and Cheats

If you can’t get hold of vegan caramels you can either make your own caramel sauce and spoon that in (Just melted brown sugar, vanilla and coconut cream!) or you can swap out for a spoon of vegan chocolate spread or lotus biscoff! My mum made me these as a child after seeing the recipe in a mother and baby magazine and they are still a firm favourite with my own children! They look so fancy yet are so easy to make. If you have ripe pears you don’t need to poach them first!

Recipes · Sweets

Lemon Cheese Cake

Lemon Cheesecake

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pack of plain hobnob biscuits (I use Aldi ones)
  • 1/2 cup melted vegan butter
  • 2 packs of vegan cream cheese at room temperature (I use Sainsbury’s which is 170g each pack)
  • 2/3 cup of icing sugar (check it is vegan!)
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1 bag of frozen forest fruits – defrosted (Aldi)
  • 7 inch tin – ideally spring form or with a pop out bottom

Method

  • Crush the biscuits in a food processor and add the melted butter
  • Use this to line your tin, a spring form tin is best as it makes getting it out a the end easier. work the mix up the sides pressing hard.
  • Put it in the fridge to set.
  • In a clean food processor add the cream cheese, icing sugar and coconut oil and blend until smooth.
  • Slowly add in the lemon juice.
  • Pour the batter into the tin with the base in it and leave it for 5 hours in the fridge to set.
  • Once it is set drain the defrosted fruit and adorn the top. Serve immediately.

Tips and Cheats

I used to make this dish when I wasn’t vegan and it was always a winner. If you can’t get forest or frozen fruit you can use fresh raspberries or any soft fruit. I like the tartness of the fruit against the richness of the cheese cake. You can swap the lemon juice for lime too if you want a key lime pie type flavour!

Cake · Recipes · Sweets

Scones

Scones with Jam and Cream

Ingredients

  • 500g self raising flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 80g caster sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 80g dairy free butter (I like the Pure sunflower or Vitalite for these)
  • 240 ml dairy free milk (Oat works like a dream)
  • Strawberry jam and vegan cream to serve (Food Heaven squirty or Elmlea plant based double. )

Method

  • Pre- heat the oven to GM 6 or 200c
  • Put all the ingredients in a bowl or food processor and mix into a dough.
  • Flour your hands and the work surface
  • Tip out the dough and bring it together to a smooth dough
  • Using a cutter cut out your scones.
  • Put on to a lined baking sheet and pop in the oven for 12 minutes.
  • Eat warm straight from the oven or allow to cool if you have the patience!

Tips and Cheats

If you want an even rise on your scones don’t twist the cutter as you cut them out. You can add sultanas to the mix, about 100g for fruit scones too, or cranberries, apricots, dates etc what ever takes your fancy! If you don’t eat them all at once the scones will keep for about 3 days in an air tight container, although I wouldn’t know because they never last that long!

Recipes · Sweets

Gingerbread

Perfect Gingerbread

Ingredients

  • 400g flour
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 175g brown sugar
  • 150g dairy free butter
  • 1 tbs molasses
  • 100g golden syrup

Method

  • Preheat the oven to gas mark 5/180c.
  • In a saucepan on a low heat melt the sugar, butter, golden syrup and molasses, just melt it do not let it boil.
  • In a large bowl add all the dry ingredients.
  • Pour the wet ingredients in to the dry and stir together until a dough forms. It will be quite a soft wet dough.
  • Put the dough in the fridge to cool for 30 minutes.
  • Flour the surface lightly and roll out the dough. You can cut it in to any shapes you like.
  • Place on to a baking try lined with baking parchment.
  • Bake for 8 minutes for chew gingerbread or 10 minutes for hard gingerbread (watch your teeth!)

Tips and cheats

Once the dough has been cooled you can roll in to a sausage and freeze it, you can cut out the shapes and freeze those too. It is a really versatile dough that I use as a pastry case for my Christmas chocolate torte and my son even made a viking longboat from it. If you want to build a gingerbread house then cook it for a little longer. In the oven the gingerbread will fluff up as you take it out it will then settle down and that is what makes it nice and chewy in the the middle. To store the biscuits pop them in an air tight container and they will last a week unless you eat them first!