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!

Baking Burn Out and Kindness

My loves! This month has been CRAAAZY to the nth degree 😳 honestly I’m surprised I’m still standing. I’ve had orders coming from left, right, and centre, a new puppy in the mix, a 10 year old daughter that is going on 16, and my own mental health and trying to get diagnosed for ADHD…. BUUUT, it’s also looking up in so many ways. And I’m so thankful, and so grateful. Because life is good my guys. I have no complaints…actually that’s just a big fat lie. Because my Lordy I have complaints. I’m not sure if it’s just because I’ve been SOOO run off my feet, but the last few weeks…I have been having far too many thoughts about giving up cakes altogether and I’m triggered. My very spiritual side and higher self is telling me that I’m triggered because there’s some unresolved issues in the midst, but then my ego is telling me that that’s bullshit and I’m triggered because so many people are just so so entitled, and rude, and ignorant. Today especially I just feel like throwing in the towel altogether. I’m just DONE, ya know? Like, why do I always have to take the high road? Always. I want to be mean, and bitchy and tell everyone what’s on my mind and tell them where to go and for once bring them down to the level that they’re trying to bring me down to…but I know that will get me now where…and it’s really not who I am and what I’m all about. It doesn’t really make me feel good hurting others…I digress

I have some AMAZING clients. 90 percent of the time, my customers are fantastic. Legit, good people. Others, I can take on an order and then my gut says ‘don’t do it, this one will give you grief’ but I do it anyway. And guess what? My higher self ALWAYS says ‘told ya so!’ Because they turn out to be nightmares. So I’m listening to her lately. My higher self that says ‘Carrie, you get to dictate how people are going to treat you. You get to take that dreaded high road and leave them to it. You make the decisions about your business, BECAUSE it’s YOUR business!

In the last few weeks these have been some of my conversations with people and really a guide on what not to say to your baker/decorator. My aim here is not be bitchy, or mean. I just know that I’m not the only baker that goes through this. Cakes are our livelihood, it’s not a joke, it’s HARD work! We’re just asking for a little bit of respect, simple. So here you go. My list of grievances most of us cakers deal with on a daily…and a guide on how to be more kind and just a little bit more enlightened the next time you’re ordering a cake 🥰

1. ‘Wow! That’s so expensive for a cake! I LOVE this one 🙄 One, how RUDE!!! Do you EVER think about the time and ingredients it takes to make a cake?! And if it’s just a cake…make it yourself! Two…imagine me going in to your work and asking to speak to your boss about how I think you earn too much for what you do. It’s insulting. Straight up. Don’t do it! It’s f@&king INFURIATING!

2. ‘Show up an hour late to collect your cake’ I KNOW life happens. I know we all can be running late. If you call me, text me. I’m way way way more understanding. If you just don’t show up at said time, that’s rude. Despite what you may believe…I do actually have a life outside of my home. I have errands to run, I have kids to collect and drop off at school, I have a dog to walk and even if I am home..my time is so so precious to me. If I expect you at a certain time, I won’t turn start vacuuming my stairs at that point. I won’t hit play on my work out, I won’t start mixing another batter with my loud as balls mixer! I will wait until you’ve collected your cake so I can carry on with my day.

3. Do NOT ASSUME that I will be delivering your cake. My husband and I share our car..I work from home, therefore 99 percent of the time. He will have the car. If you absolutely need your cake delivered, I am MORE than happy to oblige if and where I can. But if you text me wondering where your cake is…and you thought I was delivering, and not having once supplied your address?! Then there’s very little chance I would have assumed you’d want me to deliver in the first place. I mean….C’MON!!!!

4. I will not, and legally CANNOT use your products. Please don’t ask me to use your ingredients. I won’t. My recipes are my own. I know which products work for me, and unless you have an allergy or intolerance etc, I will only use the products I know, and know work well with my recipes. And absolutely never will I make you 6 + different flavoured cake samples using the ingredients you’ve supplied. Unless you’re willing to buy every sample I’ve made in each different flavour?! For real?….Guys…

5. I have a non refundable retainer for a reason! It goes towards the cost of your cake, and I take it so I don’t have time wasters, and that I can reserve your place and not book 5 more cakes in at the same time. If you decide you no longer need or want the cake, then I will quite happily move your date, although this is because I’m too nice. Most times I’ll even return it. But please realise that it’s non refundable for a reason. I’m not being a greedy bitch, but I have ingredients to buy for your cake too. I’ve had to let other people down in order to make your cake…so no, you can’t get it back…or then I’m out of pocket. Big time.

6. I don’t provide sketches for your cakes. Unless it a wedding cake, I might bring out my sketchpad. Drawing and sketching takes me a very long time, unless you want that added to the cost of your cake, you’re just going to have to take my word on it and take a look at my previous work to get an idea of what your cake might look like. I promise it will be nicer than any sketch I could scribble up anyway.

7. A message the day before your cake is due is welcome by all means…a message 3 weeks before your cake is due asking how your cake is coming along? Just no. One. That puts the absolute fear in me and my heart will fall out my arsehole thinking I’ve forgotten your order. 2…how long do people think a cake lasts?!!! I mean, Jeeepers. I don’t even think a Tesco’s finest Cake has a 3 week long shelf life. My cakes are baked the day before, 2 days before I decorate them MAX. 😅

8. I don’t love giving sneak previews of my cakes. You just gotta wait til the big reveal. Mostly because I’ll be working on your cake in to the wee hours. My cake room will look like the place has been ransacked, and when I’m in the zone. I cannot stop and do something else like take pictures. Mostly because there’s barely any room let alone a tidy bit of room! Also…a lot of the time, my creative juices start flowing as soon as I’m staring at a blank canvas. Not always , but I work that way a lot. I don’t always have a design in my head weeks before. It’s just how I’ve always worked.

Guys. When we call an electrician to come in and do work, we never ever question their prices. We pay them. When you make a reservation at a restaurant…do you show up when you feel like it? So why do it with us? Because we work from home…because it’s just cake? Why is my job any less valuable. I still have bills to pay, just like everyone else. Just think about this the next time you order a custom made, bespoke cake. It costs absolutely NOTHING to be kind. And kindness goes a LONG way. I’m just a small business trying to make ends meet. Being humble and kind, it matters x

If you’ve read this far. I appreciate you. Thank you for reading my wee rant. It’s been weighing on my mind too much, and I just couldn’t let it go this time 🙈 So I’m going to now have a hot cup of coffee, and a good cry. Put on my big girl pants, and breathe. Because I know I’m luckier than most. By a lot. And if horrible people are the worst of my problems right now? I’ll just give my puppy some extra cuddles and know that at least she loves me 🥰❤️ And that’s ok with me.

I’m making a list of recipes that I want to share with y’all so I’ll get those in my next few posts. They’ll include my Blueberry Cheesecake recipe, as well as Raspberry Shortbread bars! So so easy and incredibly delicious. Love and light my guys! Lots and lots of love and light x

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

New Orleans and my Kitchen…NOLA style!

Hey my loves, sooo I went to New Orleans last year. I know right?! It’s been a dream of mine since I was a little girl. I rented a little Airbnb in Marigny about a 20 minute walk from the French Quarter. I left my babies in Texas with their grandparents, and I did ALLL the touristy things. And it was so beautiful. It was so incredibly magical, and surreal, and PERFECT..well ALMOST but that’s neither here nor there😒🥺….

The problem with New Orleans though…is that it speaks to my soul the same way Scotland spoke to my soul when I was a teenager. And I yearn for it. I left so much of my heart there when I returned home. And the thought of it brings this sense of longing and sadness that I haven’t felt since I was 17 and I had that pull on my heart for the Highlands of Scotland. It’s this aching of knowing, of a life I’ve lived. I felt home. I felt feelings of joy, happiness, and belonging. So I know that it’s not the last time that I’ll see it. Just like I knew that when I first arrived in NOLA, it wasn’t the first time I’d been there either. It’s so hard to explain. But my heart knew. Little things that I look back on now makes me realise just how much of a pull New Orleans has always had on me. Growing up and to this day the Fleur de Lys has always been one of my favourite symbols, I had such an intense fascination with the Mississippi and the history of slavery and just African American culture in general. As a little girl I read every book I could get my hands on about the ghosts of New Orleans, the Underground Railroad, and the cotton plantations. So I’m not surprised at all with the intense feelings I have about a place I’d never traveled before. This past birthday Kyle even got me loads of books on Nola. Some about hauntings, others about history…and even a couple of romance novels set in the Crescent City 🤣🥰❤️Anyway…I digress…

We had big plans to renovate our kitchen in March…and then when the pandemic hit…our plans were put on hold. So we waited it out, and once lockdown was lifted, we got the contractors in and the work started. Of course when doing home renovations …there are always a wee bit of delays for a number of different reasons. We of course also experienced these delays. And I was left without an oven…and a hob for over 2 weeks. It was absolute chaos. I am so incredibly lucky to have a wonderful friend just across the street from me. Kyle was away doing his firearms course, I was a single momma with no working kitchen…so Kerry came to my rescue and we ended up cooking dinners together, and basically cohabiting while the workers got stuff done. EVENTUALLY, we got everything in…Kyle laid the laminate flooring. I plastered behind my sink, and painted the walls. Because we spent so much on the kitchen, we decided that a new fridge and freezer would have to wait. But that’s ok…because I bought some spray paint..and gave my current fridge and freezer a new lease on life! I mean it’s not everyone’s cup of tea but I ADORE THEM!

I knew that I wanted to incorporate my love of New Orleans in to my decor. So I hung Spanish Moss all along the ceiling between the breakfast bar and living room.

I got French Quarter street signs, Batik (I know…Indonesian but it has a french feel) style tile backsplash, art work, wooden shutters, and just lots of colour. At first I was worried because ‘oh my goodness, my kitchen is a wee bit….quirky..and strange’ but the more I thought about it, the more I realised that. If I love it. And my family loves it. That’s all that matters. Looking at my new kitchen brings me so much joy on a daily basis.

It always brings a smile to my face and I’m done with living for what other people think of me. So I’ve created my fun, productive, safe haven and I’ll continue to create. And I’ll do it with a sense of calm, of pride, and a full heart. So here’s a wee glimpse of my new kitchen! I’m so looking forward to having many more year of creating in this spaces.

I’m going to sign off now because I’m feeling a very heavy heart coming on. I’m missing New Orleans so so much…but it has inspired me and I’m off to work on bringing you my next creation…keep watching, and don’t forget to subscribe!!

Sending so much love and light my loves! 💓❤️

My Transition to a Cruelty Free Business

Hey my guys. This has been weighing on my mind A LOT! I’ve been baking professionally for over 10 years now and it’s been great. My business is getting stronger and stronger, and I’m actually finally making money. But I’ve been listening to the universe big time, and it’s time I start to re invent my business. I’ve been vegan for 2 years now. Much more strict for the past year. My husband has joined me on this journey and it’s been such a fun, and educational experience so far. Our kids aren’t quite vegan…our little girl is definitely much more aware of how our actions impact animals and our planet. Our little boy, he struggles a bit more. But there is a growing list of vegan meals that he absolutely loves, so baby steps 🤷🏻‍♀️

This is NOT a blog about convincing any one to go vegan. I have my reasons, mainly to do with not hurting animals. And if I can’t kill an animal with my own hands for food, I am certainly not ok with turning a blind eye to others hurting an animal for my taste buds. Protecting the environment and my kid’s future home, and just trying to make less of an impact on Earth is another reason. And because I know that my body doesn’t depend on the flesh of another sentient being…then I’m definitely all for it. It just doesn’t make me feel good.

I digress (easy to do when you get a wee bit passionate)

I just felt like if I’m going to be an advocate of veganism in my personal life, I needed to make more of an effort with my business. I was scared. Not gonna lie. I was worried people wouldn’t want to order my cakes and that I wouldn’t be making any money. It was very scary. But then I went inward and realised that I can’t deny my truth…for monetary gain. So over lockdown I experimented, and baked, and tried recipe and recipe, tweaking and substituting until I was happy with all my effort.

Weirdly enough, the smell of butter now makes my stomach turn, and it’s just so strong. My new favourite chocolate cake recipe just so happens to be vegan, and I’ve discovered the most DELICIOUS vegan butter that honestly tastes better than the real thing. I try not to buy the spreadable kind as I can literally eat a whole tub in a day, slathered on slices of thick artisan bread.

I replace my eggs with vinegar and plant milk (which is fabulous for leavening) or apple sauce, and sometimes even an egg replacement easily ordered online and really….there’s not much else you need to create a delicious cake once you’ve added the rest of the ingredients. There are so so many plant substitutes that there is literally no reason whatsoever to be using animal products. Not one.

I still make gorgeous buttercream and also create creamy ganache without the cream and milk. We are so lucky to have such fantastic products right on our door step. I quite often make vegan desserts and not tell anyone, cookies, pies, bars, breads, cupcakes…and no one realises they’re plant based. Because it’s much harder to tell the difference these days, if you’re using quality ingredients. And trust me, I’ve done my research. It’s taken me a while to find the perfect recipes, so I’ll only share them once they’re 100% up to my standards 😍

From now on, all recipes I share with you will be plant based, cruelty free, and tried and tested by yours truly. I’ve even developed a gorgeous vegan Italian Meringue buttercream because I couldn’t find a recipe that didn’t involve Aquafaba or bean water. For the amount of baking I do, I’d have to be consuming a LOT of chickpeas and I love chickpeas, I do, but I would have to be eating it for all meals of the day.

I use Naturli Block Butter. It’s the best vegan block butter I’ve found in the U.K. I’ve tried to get Earth balance here but it’s impossible, and the flavour of Naturli is gorgeous so I’m sticking with it 🥰

Going vegan in my business also means getting to bake for so many allergy sufferers. So many people can’t have dairy or eggs so now they can have their cake and eat it. Win win!!

Let me know what vegan recipes you’d like to see and I’ll do what I can!

Sending so much love and light,

Carr x

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!