Posts Tagged ‘cakes’

Easter cupcakes!

Who said a vegan Easter had to consist of lovely dairy free eggs alone? Well, I wouldn’t complain if it did… but these cakes really shouldn’t be missed out – they’re a slight twist on the typical traditional simnel cake. If there is one time of year you can guilt-lessly have chocolate and cakes all day and nothing else it’s Easter, so get baking! Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 100g butter replacement – I used Trex (and you need 20% less as it contains no water, therefore used 80g), but any vegetable shortening would be good
  • 100g golden caster sugar (white will do)
  • Egg replacement for 2 large eggs – I used vegan egg replacer, but check out the post ‘Egg replacement for use in baking’ for other ideas
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated orange rind
  • 25g ground almonds
  • 100g self-raising flour
  • 200g icing sugar
  • Food colouring
  • Other decorations of your choice (e.g. marzipan to make eggs)
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan assisted oven/gas mark 4. Line a muffin tin with 12 paper cases.
  2. In a bowl, beat together the butter replacement, sugar, egg replacement, baking powder, orange zest and ground almonds until smooth. Next, sift the flour then fold it in in a couple of batches, but don’t do this too much or the cakes won’t rise well, and try to be fairly quick.
  3. Spoon the mixture into the paper cases and bake them in the oven for 20-30 mins, or until they’re risen, goldenish, firm, and a skewer inserted comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.
  4. Now the decorating! 🙂 Sift the icing sugar and add just enough water to form a paste (approx. 2 tablespoons). Divide it up and colour it with different food colourings, then spread over the cakes. Use whatever other decorations you like – I coloured marzipan with food colourings to try to make them look like eggs but I don’t know if they do… Ah well, they taste good anyway…


Katy Perry is launching… vegan bras?!

I’m pretty confused about Katy Perry. She had a vegan wedding to the well-known vegetarian Russell Brand (himself, something of a vegan enigma), her perfume is not tested on animals when about 99% of other perfumes are, and she is allegedly dipping in and out of veganism all the time. But I don’t know if she would even list herself as vegetarian. Or maybe she would. Maybe she’s vegan. Who knows.

To add to the confusion as to whether she’s vegan or not, she’s now launching a range of vegan bras. The idea, entitled “Candyfornia” is a result of her California Girls video in which she wears a variety of different cakes to cover her assets. Now, I was all ready to pass this off as another cash-in gimmick until I read that the Candyfornia range will be entirely vegan, organic and gluten-free. Part of me still thinks this is ridiculous, but the other part of me is pretty excited about trying on some tasty vegan bras and then eating them off my own chest. Ok, perhaps that’s just a personal fantasy, but still, every bit of vegan news is good news, and when it involves vegan edible bra cakes, well, how can you go wrong?

Flavours are set to come in chocolate, vanilla, melon raspberry, banana cream pie, and fluffernutter (maybe some kind of nut and marshmallow combo?). As for where you buy edible bras… I don’t know, but if you do see any then let us know!

Best of the Fest!

So VegFest was yesterday, and it was absolutely awesome! Me and Ellie went along and we stuffed our faces for the whole day. We weren’t sure how long we were going to spend there at first, but we ended spending most of our day wandering around and eating freebies. This is a little round up of companies we saw who you should definitely check out! Whilst every company there was doing something cool for veganism (and you can check out the entire selection of companies and charities on display here), I just want to give a quick round up of some of the highlights and also some of the more interesting things we saw (and tasted).

One of VegFest's two floors. As you can see, the event was pretty packed.


The first thing we ate were some of Aunty Jee‘s delicious curries and pickles. I’m not sure how widely available the products are yet, and I certainly haven’t seen them before, but I shall be sure to be on the look out. The curries were delicious, and come in oven-bake packages. Thus, they seem to be breaking into the currently underwhelming vegan ready meal market, with some delicious soya mince imitations on classic curry recipes. Ready meals may not be for everyone, but keep on the look out if you’re keen on your curry.

After that, we went on a dessert rampage. We tried some great vegan eclairs which were messy but delicious from To Happy Vegans, and then wondered over to the Moofree stall where I got my hands on some Easter eggs (which I look forward to eating soon!) and some chocolate buttons. Moofree, for those who haven’t tried them, create arguably the best vegan version of plain milk chocolate money can buy. We got hold of a few bags of Goody Good Stuff, the most delicious gummy sweets available and completely free of gelatine. After that we tried out some of Provamel‘s new yoghurt flavours which are set to be released in May – Apple with Green Tea, and Lemon and Lime. Finally we got to our highlight – Ms Cupcake. I picked up a plain chocolate chip cookie, and Ellie got herself a watermelon cupcake and, to put it simply, we cannot recommend these enough. Vegan baking perfection, so congrats to the team at Ms Cupcake.

Ms Cupcake's delights

...and Ellie trying to eat them in a dignified manner.











Onto the other tasty goodies…

Both Fry’s and Heather Mills’ Redwood were out in full force, serving samples of their fake meats and cheeses (which seem to have improved since I last tried them). Redwood were also showcasing a couple of new products, the most delicious of which was hoisin infused duck, which I’m sure will become a staple addition to future stir frys. In terms of fake meat though, one company blew everything out of the water. TOPAS, a German vegan foods company, were showcasing their Wheaty range, which was nothing short of ridiculous (in the good way). The Wheaty range has gone to extreme lengths to recreate meat using, as the name suggests, wheat. So most of the products are seitan based, but come in the form of about 10 different sausage meats, various other greasy meat stuff, and most bizarrely (and I can’t decide if this is awesome or gross) a doner kebab spit, which was slowly turning whilst heating the largest piece of seitan I’ve ever seen. It was definitely delicious if you’re not averse to the taste of meat, and from what I can remember of the taste of meat, it seemed pretty authentic too.

The bizarre vegan doner kebab

Besides food there was a lot of other cool stuff on display. Any keen fitness junkies may be interested in getting involved with the UK Vegan Runners network. There was a showcase for a new vegan film, Bold Native, covering the issue of animal liberation being seen as a major form of terrorism. THTC were selling their great array of well-designed and interesting shirts, which fall somewhere between Banksy’s street art and Obey.

On top of this there were various important charities selling goodies. These included Animal Aid, Viva!, Sea Shepherd, and the Hunt Saboteur Association.

The event also had various shows on throughout the day. Me and Ellie watched Rubber Ritchie perform his bizarre yet comical contortionist act. We also caught a couple of the cookery shows which were hosted, with live cooking and taster sessions afterwards.

The Riverford cooking show, and some woman who decided to look round just as I took the photo...

Anyway, that’s a basic summary of some of the most interesting stuff that was on display but there really was a lot more. All in all, it was a great event and impressively busy. Only downsides were that I think I put on about 2 stone, and that I failed to win anything really in all the tombolas and raffles I entered, boo! Still, congrats to VegFest and props to everyone who took part. I hope to see more stuff like this in the future, and if you live in Bristol then look out for a future event near you.

Peanut butter banana cake

This cake is honestly as good as any non-vegan cake I’ve ever had, it keeps for absolutely ages as long as you cover it (not that you’d want to leave it for all that long, of course) and is actually pretty filling! I got it from a book by Kris Holechek called ‘The 100 Best Vegan Baking Recipes’, but thought I should share it with all you vegan cooks because it tastes so damn good! So, here’s what you’ll need, and it’ll serve about 12 (but like I said, keeps for days):

For the cake:

  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Two thirds cup melted soya margarine, cooled to room temperature
  • 1¼ cups brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 4 mashed bananas
  • ½ cup soya milk
  • 1 teaspoon mild vinegar
  • 2 bananas, sliced

For the frosting:

  • 1 8-ounce container soy cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons soya margarine, softened
  • About ¼ cup peanut butter (I used smooth, and actually ended up using a little more)
  • 2 to 2½ cups sifted icing/powdered sugar
  1. Preheat the oven to about 350°F/175°C/160°C fan assisted oven. Lightly grease 2 9-inch cake pans with melted soya margarine, lightly dust in flour, and line the bottom with parchment paper.
  2. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a small bowl. Mix melted margarine and brown sugar in a large bowl, then add vanilla and the 4 mashed bananas. In another small bowl, and vinegar to milk and leave to sit for a few minutes (this acts as an egg replacer for leavening the cake).
  3. Gradually add dry ingredients to the margarine and sugar mix, and then stir in the milk mixture. Mix the batter until it’s just combined, however make sure you don’t overly mix it or the cake won’t rise and will be rubbery.
  4. Divide the mix between the 2 cake pans and bake for about 25 or 30 minutes until the are lightly browned and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 20 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.
  5. Meanwhile, prepare the frosting. Simply beat together the cream cheese, margarine, and peanut butter in a large bowl, then add the powdered sugar. You can vary the amount of peanut butter or sugar to suit your taste.
  6. Once the cakes cooled, spread a generous layer of frosting on the 2 halves, and top each with the sliced banana. Finally, put the 2 together! The recipe also suggests serving it with melted vegan chocolate drizzled over the top, but we weren’t brave enough to try that. If you feel like going all out, though, I’m sure it tastes great!


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