SIMPLE Vegan Swiss Meringue Buttercream!

Happy New Year my loves! How’s everyone doing? Not gonna lie, this year has already been an emotional shit show for me. I’m in maximum burnout mode, and the only thing that’s keeping me going right now are my meds….

Jump to Recipe

Pre ADHD diagnosis my burnouts would last a good few weeks. I’d have suicidal thoughts, sleep all day, make zero cakes, or when I did make them, I would cry during the whole process and just not enjoy any of it. My house would be a mess, and my husband would have to do EVERYTHING. Post diagnosis burnouts……My medication, they alleviate my symptoms…they don’t get rid of them, I still have intrusive and obsessive thoughts, I still have zero filter…I still lose my keys, my purse, my head…multiple times a day 😜 The meds keep the ADHD paralysis at bay. It keeps me focused and on task. And that my loves is such a godsend. I still have suicidal thoughts (I also know this will pass so if you feel the same…just feel the emotions and know that it won’t last. I promise!) but I keep those negative and intrusive thoughts at bay by using cleaning as therapy…and baking…but not work baking…I bake for me, for the therapy, for the feeling of being productive, clearing the clutter of my home and at the same time clearing the clutter in my head. I bake and create all the new recipes that I’ve been meaning to try but haven’t had the chance to. Enter Swiss Meringue Buttercream. My all time FAVOURITE buttercream. Since day one of my cake business it’s been Swiss Meringue…and then I went vegan…and I still made it, eggs and all and the guilt of not having a vegan business TORTURED me!! Cue obsessive, overthinking, guilt ridden thoughts. So when I did transition to a cruelty free business…I gave up my Swiss Meringue Buttercream. I spent so long perfecting the perfect vegan vanilla sponge cake, that I just didn’t have the time and mental capacity to focus on the buttercream too. In fairness, American buttercream is the go to in the U.K…but it’s never been a favourite of mine. Will I eat it? Absolutely. And I definitely tweaked it until I found a smooth and not to sweet buttercream, alas. I felt like I’d let myself down…

Then I had a customer order a cake and she mentioned how much she loved the buttercream from the last cake she had of mine…when I went to check the dates it was during my pre vegan days. Fuck my fucking life…and I just couldn’t. WOULDN’T, American buttercream this one. So I went straight to the drawing board and obsessed, because now we know that’s another thing I do really well 😅.. I’d made a vegan Italian Meringue buttercream before but it’s just sooo faffy. I hate working with hot sugar. It’s not fun for me. And I get anxious. And I have a son who quite often comes in to the kitchen when I’m working and he’s a wee bit all over the place like his mom…so I get the fear. I’ve had too many 2nd degree burns to count..so that’s off the list! So I decided to stick with the Aquafaba and use that instead of eggs just like in the Vegan Italian Meringue buttercream. And the Aquafaba is sooooooo much easier than egg whites. No mess…no curdling, no tortured hens…it’s a win all round and that just makes me happy 😃 there’s no flavour, like, at all, so it’s the perfect substitution!

Finding the Aquafaba can be a bit daunting. Ok so not daunting because it’s ridiculously easy to find. It’s literally just the water from your tin of chickpeas. But as I’ve mentioned in my post about vegan vanilla cakes, if you bake as much as I do…it’s just waaay too many chickpeas to ever know what to do with. You can now buy JUST Aquafaba in a carton, but it is expensive for what it is. So I buy it on sale…or I just use the water from tinned chickpeas (I use Tesco’s own or Asda’s own brand) and then make a batch of hummus, falafel, curry, or any other dinner favourite 😍 sooo enough Jibber Jabber! Let’s get started!!!

As for regular Swiss Meringue Buttercream, you want a stand mixer…by all means do it with a hand held..it will take longer though. Make sure ALLL your bowls, attachments, etc are grease free. You’ll need your whisk and paddle attachment for this. Definitely only use metal. Or if you do use the silicon blade…make sure it is absolutely grease free. You want that chickpea water to whip up pretty stiff!

Vegan Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Silky Smooth, Easy and Fool proof Vegan Aquafaba Swiss Meringue Buttercream
Course: Dessert
Author: Carrie-Anne Dallas

Ingredients

  • 600 grams Granulated Sugar
  • 2 tins Chickpeas (just the water)
  • 1/2 tsp Cream of Tartar
  • 1/4 tsp xanthan gum
  • 625 grams Unsalted Vegan Butter (not margarine)
  • 1 Tbsp Vanilla
  • 1 tsp salt

Instructions

  • Drain the chickpeas and add the water to a saucepan with the sugar.
  • Bring to a boil to dissolve the sugar then remove from heat. Let the mixture cool to room temp. If it’s too hot, the butter will melt too quickly and create a slop. Yes it’s fixable but just avoid the drama in the first place 🤷🏻‍♀️❤️
  • Once cooled, prepare your mixer by adding a bit of lemon juice to some paper towel and wipe down the mixer to ensure there is no grease left in the bowl. This can affect how your aquafaba whips up.
    Mix the aquafaba and sugar mixture on high speed with the whisk attachment. Add the cream of tartar and xanthan gum (this is both for extra stability and to prevent weeping) Mix for 10 minutes.
  • Once the mixture has thickened and whipped up nicely (crazy stiff peaks is not necessary, just as stiff as you can manage!) start to add the butter in chunks.
  • Once the butter has been added, change to the paddle attachment and add your salt and vanilla. If you notice your mixture is curdled…do not panic! Mix on high speed until it all comes together, sometimes up to 7 minutes but not usually… and you’ll get a gloriously smooth, shiny, thick and creamy buttercream. TRUST THE PROCESS! ❤️
  • Use straight away or store in the fridge where it will keep up to a week, if not more! Flavour just as you would any other buttercream. For chocolate I recommend using melted dark chocolate or even ganache!

Notes

Shiny, Smooth, Vegan Swiss Meringue Buttercream Recipe

 

Easy Fluffy Vegan Vanilla Cake

You guys, baking vegan is not difficult…at all…until you need to bake a vanilla cake. I can’t tell you how many recipes I’ve tested and they’ve ALL failed. I finally thought I figured one out using chickpea water or aquafaba and the flavour was beautiful…but the consistently was so temperamental. It crumbled, it became too soggy, too dense…other times it was perfect. For the amount of vanilla cakes that are requested. This just wasn’t going to cut it. And my goodness the amount of chickpeas I was going through was CRAZY! And I’m not gonna lie. I have a slight (I’m being kind to myself here) intolerance to chickpeas. I mean it’s BAD. It causes me to bloat like no body’s business as well. My husband was not too appreciative of this little fact. Neither was I to be honest…or the kids. Let’s just say the WHOLE family have been much more thankful for the lack of chickpeas in my life 💨😬🙈 oh the absolute shame!!

I found the perfect vegan vanilla recipe, and to be honest…my non vegan customers…only ones to ever complain. And not all obviously, majority have come back with amazing feedback. And it’s simple. It’s because this recipe is ridiculously moist, and to be honest. I think people are so used to dry cakes, that I’ve been told a couple of times that the cake is underbaked 🙄 It ruffles my feathers guys. Not gonna lie. I’ve been baking for over 10 years. I bake in 2 tins per cake. Each cake is cooled, turned out, and then split horizontally….if it were underbaked do you HONESTLY think it would even leave my house? Absolutely not. So I torte the cakes, fill with jam and buttercream and refrigerate. I don’t even need to add any simple syrup, because it’s that moist. A customer actually sent me this photo of the inside of her cake to say it was raw and inedible…guys I was like ‘YAS Queeeen! Look at that lusciousness…no plant milk needed here to wash that down!’

Vegan vanilla cake absolutely does tend to go a wee bit dense, this particular recipe can actually be frozen, others not so much because they DO get denser …but not gummy, or heavy…it actually keeps that fluffy texture. I for one, love the flavour and texture. My good friend and her family (non vegans) agree that it’s a delicious recipe, and trust me…Kerry is the most honest person I know and she always keeps me grounded and I know for a fact that she would hundred percent let me know if my cake didn’t taste amazing! I was so so upset by this accusation that I sent this picture to another local vegan baker and she said the same thing ‘that looks exactly how mine look! Not dry at all and completely baked’

Soooo if you want a dry cake…this is just not the recipe for you. It’s not. This isn’t a Pound Cake, or a Madeira, it’s a lusciously moist cake that’s made with cake flour, and soya milk (the protein in soya milk is what creates the perfect balance of a stable cake when eggs aren’t being used). I’ve included pictures of what the cake looks like once out the oven, once cooled and sliced prior being filled, and also once cut in to. It’s beautiful. My all time favourite vegan vanilla cake that I will not change because a few people don’t understand good cake. Because I take this shit personally. I DON’T UNDERBAKE MY DAMN CAKES! I legit forgot to put baking powder in the last cake I baked and you can bet your ass it will not be leaving this house. Because it’s definitely not up to standard!

Anyhow, I’ve been upping my game completely on my Donut Eat Bakery business. I’m being really good about working on it every day. Even if it’s only a bit of research, and then applying that knowledge to get the most out of my day/product etc.

My favourite candle designs and one of my customer’s favourites too is Birthday Cake! (Which you can buy here) And because I’m photographing all my products, I’m needing props..so the best prop for this fragrance is Birthday Cake of course 🙂 so I’m sharing with you my PERFECT vegan cake recipe. In the next few weeks I’ll bring to you all my other favourite recipes, like Blueberry Cheesecake, Banana Nut Muffins, Red Velvet Cupcakes, Chocolate cake…and even a Jammie Dodger shortbread bar 🥰

So here’s the very straight forward cake recipe!

Vegan Vanilla Cake

Simple, satisfying, incredibly moist vegan cake
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Vanilla, Vanilla Cake Recipe, Vegan
Servings: 20 People

Ingredients

  • 510 g Granulated Sugar
  • 250 g Flora Plant Butter
  • 80 g Trex or white vegetable fat
  • 2 Tbs Vanilla Extract
  • 360 grams Cake Flour HAS to be cake flour
  • 750 ml Soy Milk Soy milk is by far the best plant milk to use because of the protein content. This will make for a fluffier cake as well. You can substitute for oat milk, but the results will vary slighlty in texture.
  • 2 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp Baking Soda (Bicarbonate of Soda)
  • 2 tsp Cider Vinegar

Instructions

  • Make sure all ingredients are at room temperature or even slightly warmer if possible.
    Measure out the Soya milk and Cider Vinegar. Give it a whisk and set aside to curdle.
  • In your mixing bowl with the paddle attachment, combine the sugar, plant butter, vanilla extract and mix for no more than 2 minutes until the mixture is light in colour and fluffy.
  • In a separate bowl sift together the cake flour, bicarb, baking powder, and salt. Add half the flour mixture to the mixing bowl with the butter and sugar.
  • While mixing slowly add the soya milk and vinegar making sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  • Add the rest of the flour mixture and mix until all the flour is incorporated. Don’t overmix or your cake will become too dense and gummy.
  • Pour into 2 8inch cake pans. The beauty of this recipe is that you don’t even need to prepare the pans. The cakes do not stick to the tins!

King Cakes, Cinnamon Rolls and Mardi Gras

Finally it’s February!!! That seemed to take a lifetime…and this year Mardi Gras or Pancake Day comes a wee bit early on February 16th! In New Orleans Mardi Gras is celebrated with King Cake! They’re a gorgeous yeast bread filled with cinnamon and sugar, shaped in to a wreath, drizzled with icing and decorated with green, yellow, and purple sugar. There is generally a tiny baby Jesus baked in or hidden in the cake. Whoever gets the piece of sweet bread with the baby in it is traditionally meant to provide the next King Cake or host Mardi Gras the following year.
It’s available in New Orleans all year round but a MUST have during Mardi Gras! The traditional cake is make with cinnamon and sugar, but less traditional cakes are filled with cream cheese.


I never had the honour of trying King Cake when I was in NOLA, but I’m so delighted to bring it to you here. It’s so delicious and so fabulously New Orleans! And EASY!!! There’s no reason not to make it.
So I’ve included the recipe for King cake but veganised. Because when animals aren’t harmed…it tastes 10 times better….
It tastes very much like a cinnamon roll (because…umm it’s IS a cinnamon roll…same recipe shhhhh) sooo if you love them…you’re sure to love these, so what are you waiting for, give them a go 🥰

I’ve also created a gorgeous scented King Cake candle that you can purchase here!! It’s decorated with a ‘buttercream swirl’ and topped with all the coloured ‘sugar’ and even a wee baby Jesus. It’s pretty damn cute and festive if I do say so myself!!

Stay safe my friends, and let me know how your King Cakes turn out!! If you prefer Pancakes on Shrove Tuesday, I’ve got you covered! Try out this super simple and delicious recipe🥰

 

Lockdown 2 and Dobby Cake

Hey my guys! How is everyone coping this year? As always January seems to be never ending…but hey. We’ve almost made it! I’m dealing with a 10 year old girl that is going on teenager. And I’m not gonna lie. I’m struggling. I’m doing what I can, but jeeeepers it’s hard going!

I’ve been keeping myself really busy with cakes and candles, and the super fun homeschooling aspect 🙄 ok but hardly. I’m not doing well with that if I’m being entirely honest. And you know what’s? That’s ok. I’m not even stressing about it. I’m doing what I can. Aren’t we all? Reading back at this I feel like I’m just a hot mess!! 🙈

But there have been a LOT of positives too. My husband had almost a month of holidays so it was so nice having him home. We haven’t spent that much time together in a while and it was exactly what we needed as a couple. We had a lot of fun together too. Going for walks with the kids, spending lazy afternoons playing Among Us, watching Bob’s Burgers, and just enjoying each other’s company. I ordered a greenhouse and we spent a very long cold day working on building it. We had lots of laughs though but man it was FREEZING!! Eventually he sent me inside and managed the rest by himself.

It was difficult too see him going back to work…but it’s also made me more productive 😜 I planted loads of vegetable seeds only a week ago and already my cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, Brussel sprouts, and sweet corn are growing! They’ll be going in our new greenhouse shortly! I just started a San Francisco Sourdough starter yesterday and it’s already got lots of bubbles with the fermentation process. I’ve ordered a wine kit and will be starting to make my own wine as well. My new packaging for my candles are arriving this too and I’m so excited about that! I’ve been creating candles, making tutorials, and also creating jewellery with polymer clay again. Oh I’ve also been focusing on my health lately and have been working out everyday for 5 weeks now and I’m feeling mentally and physically stronger. So it’s been good. No complaints here 🙂

Anyway…DOBBY!! I’ve always been a fan of Harry Potter. Not crazy obsessed, but I enjoyed the books and films, so when I have a Harry Potter Cake to make, I get pretty excited 🙂 When my client got in touch for a Harry Potter cake and mentioned Dobby…I couldn’t WAIT to get started. Usually the theme is centred around Gryffindor, the Sorting Hat, and of course the main character. Poor Dobby is generally left out of the equation. But not this time!! So I made a wee video on my process which you can find below. My camera ran out of storage just at the end, so I didn’t get any footage of the airbrushing process, but such is life right 🤷🏻‍♀️ Anyway I hope you enjoy the video, and stay safe my guys! It’s all going to be just fine.

Sending you all so much love and light xx

Vegan Peanut Butter Cookie recipe 🥜 🍪

Hey my guys! I think it’s safe to say that my all time favourite treat would have to be cookies! I would take a cookie over a slice of cake any day. Kinda weird being that I’m a cake decorator, but there’s something about a cookie that just makes me weak. I can’t resist them. What are you favourite sweet treats?! I needs ta know!

My family adores peanut butter, so when it comes to cookies, this flavour is a no brainer.

This recipe is almost like a shortbread in that it’s got a melt in your mouth tenderness, but a slight chewiness in the centre of the cookie as well. So for me, it ticks all the boxes.

I haven’t had any new videos for while because this whole lockdown thing has kept me BUSY! I honestly have been non stop with kids, school work, course work for myself, business goals, and baking. And video editing takes FOREVER! So today I treated it like a live video (so scary for me as I’m out of practice) with very quick editing, so that you guys can have the video, and the recipe all in one day. I hope you enjoy the craziness that are my kids! I’ll be bringing more videos for you featuring Yours Truly, because that’s just how I’m going to have to roll. It seems to work better for my crazy schedule 😜 So start getting used to this mug! 😅

Vegan Peanut Butter Cookies

A delicious, quick, and easy Peanut Butter Cookie recipe
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Cookies, Peanut Butter, Vegan
Servings: 15

Ingredients

  • 220 g Plain flour
  • 3/4 tsp Baking Soda (Bicarbonate of Soda)
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 210 g Creamy or Crunchy Peanut Butter Do not use all natural peanut butter if you can help it
  • 100 g Vegan Block Butter softened, or Margarine
  • 200 g Brown Sugar
  • 1 Tbsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Tbsp Water

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 150 degrees . Line 2 baking sheets with baking paper or a Silpat liner.
    In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda. Set aside.
  • Mix the butter, sugar, vanilla, peanut butter, and water together with a hand or stand mixer until light and fluffy. Slowly mix in the flour mixture. If you find the dough a bit stiff, add more water. Just a tablespoon at a time.
  • Using a scoop or your hands, roll out little balls of dough and place them a few inches apart on the cookie sheet. Press the dough with the back of a fork, and then again the opposite way to create a cross hatch. Place the fork in some flour before scoring if it starts to stick.
  • Bake for 12-15 minutes until golden around the edges. Let cool and serve.

Vegan Jaffa Cakes and Coping in Lockdown

Hey my guys! How is everyone doing during this lockdown? I hope you’re all thriving, or at least getting through it as sanely as possible. I had my first major breakdown last week. It’s not actually happened for a while but this night my emotions got the best of me and I uuuugly cried in to my pillow. It was just huge racking sobs and I just really hoped that I wouldn’t wake my kids. Kyle thankfully was on night shift so it was just me. I fell asleep from the pure exhaustion of it, had some crazy dreams, but in the morning I felt so much better. Eager to start my day with a clear and happy head, and heart. Burning incense, reading, exercising and creating. And making sure I’m not going too hard on myself when I just feel like eating cookies and drinking coffee all day 🙈

I’ve been going through all my vegan cookbooks in this gorgeous sunshine and I came across a Jaffa cake recipe that I though I would try from Ms. Cupcakes Naughtiest Cakes in Town. I used her base recipe for the sponge but because I wanted a gourmet kind of Jaffa cake, and also I had zero marmalade in the house, I made a beautiful vegan orange jelly for the centre. Very much like the store bought Jaffa cake, except BETTER! Guys I’m not even a huge chocolate orange fan but THIS. Absolutely STUNNING. I mean, I could have consumed the whole batch. But I promised to drop some off with some of my favourite people so…

Any way. If you have marmalade, it’s much easier and I’m sure will taste beautiful as well. But if you’re feeling a bit adventurous, absolutely try making this very easy yet fancy orange jelly…you will need agar agar, which I get online. It’s fairly cheap and you don’t need much so it’s worth it as a lot of vegan recipes use agar agar to substitute the gelatin..because I really don’t like the idea of boiled pig skin in my desserts 🥺🤷🏻‍♀️

So here we are! The recipe is below. Along with a little video too! And if you love Chocolate Orange, you will love this spectacular Chocolate Orange Cupcake Candle available at Donut Eat Bakery.

Vegan Jaffa Cakes

Gorgeous Chocolatey Jaffa Cakes that beats store bought any day!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Time to Set Jelly2 hrs
Course: Snack
Cuisine: British
Servings: 12
Author: Carrie-Anne Dallas

Ingredients

  • 250 ml fresh orange juice
  • 1 tsp orange extract
  • 1 tsp Agar Agar
  • 50 g sugar

For the Cake:

  • 100 g Self Raising Flour
  • 60 g sugar
  • 100 ml Plant milk Any will do, soy, oat, almond etc
  • 50 ml vegetable oil

Chocolate Ganache

  • 150 g dairy free chocolate chips
  • 50 g vegan butter or margarine
  • zest of half an orange

Instructions

  • Make the Jelly:
    In a smaull saucepan heat 125 ml water and 1tsp of Agar Agar. Once dissolved, add the orange juice, extract, and sugar. Heat until the mixture reaches a simmer. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
  • Line a jelly roll pan with clingfilm. Make sure the clingfilm comes up the sides of the pan.
  • Slowly pour the slightly cooled orange mixture in to the pan. Let cool either at room temperature or in the fridge. It should take about an hour or 2 to set.
  • Make the cake Mixture:
    In a Small bowl mix the sugar, self raising flour and a pinch of salt. Add the plant milk and vegetable oil. Mix until you have a smooth batter.
  • Spoon about a Tablespoon of batter in to a greased muffin or bun tin.
    Bake at 180 degrees C until golden brown (about 8 minutes). Let cool.
  • Using a circle cutter roughly the same size or smaler than your cakes, cut out 1 jelly disc per cake. Using an offset spatula, place one disc on to the flatside of each cake.
  • Melt 150grams of dairy free chocolate (I use Callebaut) and 50grams of vegan butter or margarine. Microwave or heat on a bain marie until the chocolate is JUST melted. If you overheat the chocolate you can risk burning it and your chocolate will have an unatrractive 'bloom' or white streak through it. Mix until all the butter is incorporated and you have a lovely shiny ganache.
    Add the zest and mix in.
  • Let the chocolate cool slightly then spoon over each cake until the jelly is covered.
    let the chocolate set...or not, and enjoy! You're done!

Notes

You can skip the jelly step entirely and use marmalade instead! if you wanna be a little bit fancy and purist...the jelly is divine x

Homemade Tortilla Wraps

My daughter loves wraps. She will choose a wrap over sliced bread any day of the week.

Last week I made a gorgeous vegan burrito and I used store bought wraps. I had to hide them from my daughter because as soon as she saw them she wanted to open them…didn’t matter how many times I told her I was using them for dinner.

Next day all the wraps were eaten and she wanted me to go get some more. Guys I’ve just ordered a 16kg bag of flour, I told her I can’t just go to the shops as soon as we run out of something right now, so I’d make her some. Well she didn’t think I could do it….mainly because how was I going to get them so round and so thin?! I think she forgets I roll fondant on a nearly daily basis and I don’t think she realises I went to pastry school to learn how to make almost every type of bread in existence either. So I just guaranteed I would have wraps for her breakfast in the morning.

It took me less than 5 minutes to make the dough, another 15 to let them rest, and another 10 to roll them all out, and a minute to cook.

Hayden was NOT impressed with how my wraps were not very round, so she took the rolling pin from me, and showed me how it was done….and she did indeed. The shape of her wraps were absolutely perfect! Which was great because while I cooked, she rolled them out 🥰 win win.

She watched me put the first one on the pan and then was gutted because she wanted them to have freckles just like the store bought ones….so I flipped it and she gave a little gasp and squeal when she saw the ‘freckles’. Definitely my child this one ❤️

Both kids loved them (‘better than the shop ones’ 🙌🏻) and now I can make them on a regular basis…and I’m pretty sure to make 8 wraps only cost about 5p….so it was definitely a win!

Here’s the recipe if you want to give them a go. I made 8….but I think I’ll make 16 next time as mine were sliiiightly on the thicker side even though the tortilla fit my whole pan.

Tortilla Wrap

Easy, soft tortilla wraps
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time2 mins
Keyword: Tortillas, Wraps
Servings: 16

Ingredients

  • 380 g Flour Plain flour or Strong Flour
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 75 ml vegetable oil
  • 240 ml warm water

Instructions

  • In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine your dry ingredients and give a little mix.
  • Add the warm water and oil and mix for a minute or 2 on medium speed until the all the flour has been incorporated. You'll need to push the flour down from the sides of the bowl every so often.
  • Once all the ingredients have come together to form a smooth dough, turn it out on to a well floured surface.
  • Divide the dough in half, then keep dividing until you have 16 equal sized pieces.
  • Roll each piece of dough in to a ball and flatten with the palm of your hand. Set them under a clean tea towel to give the gluten a litte rest. This will make it easier to roll out. 15 minutes is all it needs.
  • Roll out the dough very thinly until almost transparent. The thinner the better as you willg et a teeny tiny rise out of the dough.
  • Heat a large frying pan on medium/high heat. No oil needed! Place the rolled out tortilla in to the pan and cook for about a minute or until the underside has golden brown spots or 'freckles'. Cook the other side for about 30 seconds nd transfer to a plate. Do not over cook or you will end up with a brittle wrap.

 

These will freeze really well, and best eaten the day they’re made. To reheat you can place a damp paper towel on top of the wraps for 10 seconds in the microwave.

Enjoy!!

Vegan Hot Cross Buns

I absolutely ADORE hot cross buns. When it comes to most holiday type foods I try not to buy them store bought, because it’s too easy to just eat a whole pack in one sitting….and I can eat a whole bag in one sitting 🤷🏻‍♀️🙈 this includes things like Mince Pies, Stollen, and Hot Cross Buns. So I decided I wasn’t going to eat any more hot cross buns until I made them myself. I’ve put together a wee video on how I made them, but the full recipe is just below, and printable too!

Of course I made them vegan, but to be honest, you’d never tell the diference. A lot of store bought ones these days are unintentionally vegan anyway. So it’s a win all round. My go to vegan butter in the UK is Naturli. To be honest, we don’t have a lot of options here for vegan block butter. Thankfully, Naturli Vegan Block Butter is absolutely delicious. They have a spreadable version too which is so so tasty as well.

If you’re in the States or Canada, you can use Earth Balance.I’ve tried to get it here but it’s almost impossible.

Honestly, it’s such an easy and straightforward recipe.  I’m not a huge fan of mixed peel but if you’re feeling super traditional you can replace some of the raisins with the peel. I used orange zest as well, but lemon will do just as nicely. I used unsweetened Almond Milk in this recipe, but generally would use Oat milk. Almond is all I had because I’ve had to substitute with this Covid-19 Lockdown as Oat milk seems a bit more scarce. If you only have sultanas, use those! I prefer raisins, because they’re less mushy. I know! I’m a texture freak! 🤷🏻‍♀️

So experiment away, just keep the measurements correct and you’re good to go. An easy, fluffy, simply more-ish hot cross bun!

If you’re wanting to save even more time, forget the crosses! That’s just for show…but can you really call it a hot cross bun without it?

Vegan Hot Cross Buns

Simple, Fluffy, Delicious Hot Cross Bun
Cook Time25 mins
Course: Breakfast
Servings: 12 buns

Ingredients

  • 500 grams White Bread Flour
  • 75 grams White Sugar
  • 2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 2 tsp Mixed Spice
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • Zest of 1 Orange
  • 3 tsp Dried Active Yeast
  • 300 ml Plant Based Milk
  • 80 g Melted Vegan Block Butter

Instructions

  • Throw the Flour in to a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Place the sugar, spices, zest, and salt to one side of the mixer. Place the yeast in the bowl away from the other ingredients. Sugar and Salt will kill yeast if in direct contact. Turn on the mixer to combine. You might have to use a rubber spatula to combine more thoroughly.
  • Melt the vegan butter and add it to the plant milk. Mix until incorporated. There's no need to heat the milk too as you don't want the mixture to be too hot. Lukewarm will do!
  • Slowly pour the milk and butter mixture into the dry ingredients. Turn the mixer on medium high and beat the dough until it starts to come away from the sides of the bowl. This should take about 8-10 minutes.
  • Oil a medium sized bowl and form the dough in to a loose ball. Cover with clingfilm and set in a warm place to rise for about 2 hours or until doubles in size.
  • Once risen, knock the air out of the dough and add the raisins by hand. You can do this in the bowl or on a lightly floured surface.
  • Once the fruit is incorporated, cut 12 equal sized pieces of dough. Be careful not to tear the dough as this will damage the structure of the gluten.
  • Form the balls of dough tightly and place them on a parchment lined baking sheet or dish. Cover them with clingfilm and let rise for another hour.
  • Mix together some flour and water to make a pipeable paste. I used 50 grams of four and 40ml of water. Add the water as you need it. Place in a piping bag and pipe crosses on the buns. This step is completely optional!
  • Bake at 180F in a fan oven for 25 minutes, until golden.
  • Glaze the buns with warmed up apricot jam, or any other syrup you prefer.

Notes

These are best eaten the day they're made. You can freeze these beauties too or have them toasted a couple of days later.
If you prefer to prepare the dough the day before, you can let the buns rest in the fridge overnight and bake them in the morning so you have Fresh Hot Cross Buns for breakfast with a hot cuppa. Bliss!

 

 

Banana Cake, Baking and Creating through a Pandemic

Ugh you guys have got to, HAVE GOT to be soooo sick of hearing the C word this month. I thought I was doing ok. At first. Legit. I haven’t been panicking, I’ve been living my life as per usual, trying to stay away from the news. A few days ago though, it just hit me. I’m not worried for myself or my babies. We’re fit and healthy. But I’m afraid for my husband, who will be dealing with people that are panicked, angry, and scared. The people who might lash out at him because he’s got a job to do, nothing personal, I know. But I’ve seen the worst of people these last few weeks…though I’ve also seen the best. My husband unfortunately deals with the worst much more often. To keep his family and his country safe. I worry that he won’t have enough to eat, or that someone hurts him or that he’s too tired to drive home after a long shift. For the most part I don’t get concerned for his safety….because he’s strong, and smart and knows how to handle himself…but with all these other factors, it’s a LOT to take in.

The cake cancellations and postponements are overwhelming, but because of the circumstances is totally understandable, but I still get scared. Even though I KNOW how lucky we are, and how much more we have than so many. It’s daunting. So I’m surrendering to the universe, calling in my angels, spirit guides, and higher self, and really focusing on the positives.

During this lock down I’m going to make sure I’m creating new products and sharing recipes. Making videos, and baking ALL the things. I’ll knit with my babies, create art, learn sign language, create the vegetable garden I’ve been planning for months, meditate, workout, eat, drink and just BE!

So far so good. Jaxon helped me plant our potatoes, while Hayden sat in the sunshine painting oat milk cartons. I sat outside with them in the moment. Just enjoying their company. Jaxon ran around the garden playing zombies and war games with his nerf guns and they were just being kids. And they know they’re safe, and fed. And that’s the main thing. And I’ll keep them from worrying as best I can.

I made 3 videos already that I’m just editing as I type and I’m going to be making many more. My husband is enjoying having me home more (he’s a bit of a traditionalist) and to be honest, I’m enjoying it too. I was in major burnout! So I’m taking this negativity of this pandemic and turning it to all the positives. I’m listening to my soul, spending time with my babies , and doing all the things I keep putting off or just don’t usually have the time to do. And this introvert is LOVING it! I can honestly say I feel so in my element being ordered to stay home.

Of course I get a bit restless, but that just means having my cup of coffee in the fresh, frosty air, getting my workouts in, and making sure I’m moving and being somewhat productive. Being on lockdown puts so much in perspective for me too, it’s such a truly humbling experience. And I know people are getting sick, and dying, and I’m not trying my to take away from that at ALL. But I’m definitely seeing the silver lining throughout this pandemic. And it gives me so much hope, and it makes me realise all the little, ‘insignificant’ things in life that we take for granted every single day. Because they’re actually much more significant than we think.

So here’s my first lockdown tutorial…it was made for my friends daughter who just turned one and LOVES bananas 🍌 so I made a banana flavoured sponge with Swiss meringue buttercream, and carved the cake to resemble a cute and fun peeled banana. Hope you guys like it! My next videos will include some good ol’ fashioned loaves that are so simple and satisfying both to make and eat. Happy Lockdown my loves, we WILL get through this. And if you need to talk, or if you’re just not handling the situation well, please get in touch. I am always here to listen.

Sending all the love and light and healing energy I can muster ❤️

PS…SEND FLOUR!!!

Rainbow Cupcake Tutorial

Rainbow Swirl Buttercream Tutorial

Everyone loves a rainbow 🌈 cupcake…am I right?! As an artist and customer..I love the look of a rainbow cake. But as a baker, I cringe at the thought. They’re actually a pain in the backside. We usually charge more…and if you don’t, you certainly should. They’re a faff. I internally groan when I hear that I have to make a rainbow cake. Yeah it’s the same vanilla cake recipe, but then you have to get out every bowl in the cupboard, divide the batter evenly, then use an ungodly amount of food dye to make sure the colour will still be vibrant after it’s baked. And then all the washing up. Oh, and you need to line 6 baking tins too. As I said, a faff! So it’s one thing to bake a rainbow CAKE…rainbow buttercream, slightly different, slightly easier. It’s still time consuming because… the BOWLS, and an all butter buttercream takes a lot of colour to get very vibrant, but I also used a very easy technique to get a gorgeous swirl with half the mess and all the colours.

What you’ll need:

Cling film (Saran wran)

Very large pastry bags

A Wilton 1B Piping tip

Rainbow Coloured Buttercream of your choice!

I actually used American buttercream for this project. Couple of reasons…it had been a very long week and I had to get 60 cupcakes iced and done before work.. (I managed to do it all in 45 minutes) Annd I also find my regular Swiss Meringue takes a little more time to for the colours to develop. I made sure I didn’t compromise on taste though. I will share my recipe with you at a future date.  It’s easier to make vegan too..

but you do you! 😉 x

Method:

Lay down a large strip of cling film. Make sure it’s not too much longer than your piping bag.

Spoon your buttercream into long lines in the centre of the cling film. I went in order of the colours of the rainbow…but you really don’t need to do this.

Rainbow Cupcake Swirl Tutorial

Bring one side of the cling film over to the middle, then bring over the other side. It’s kinda like making sushi! Then take the ends and give it a twirl, almost as if you’re playing jump rope.

Rainbow Buttercream Swirl Tutorial

Cut one end of the cling film bag and insert it in to your prepared piping bag that has the 1B tip in it.

Rainbow Buttercream Swirl Tutorial

Rainbow Buttercream Swirl Tutorial

Then swirl away! It’s super easy, super fun, and you avoid all the mess that you’d have if you were to line the piping bag with each individual colour.

Here a little video of the piping!Rainbow Buttercream Swirl

Hope you guys ike it! Sending so much love and light,

Carrie xx