Recipes for tasty vegan bakes

A new Vegan Baking guide explains how to create a range of tasty vegan bakes, from light, airy sponges, to traditional puddings and eggless meringue.

Thursday, 1st October 2020, 1:36 pm
Updated Thursday, 1st October 2020, 1:38 pm
Banana bread

It is packed full of delicious recipes, the guide is aimed at care caterers, but is a valuable resource for anyone cooking for vegans.

Vegetarian for Life (VfL) is a registered charity that supports older vegetarians and vegans and those who cater for them. VfL also offers one-day vegan baking courses for professional caterers. These will give catering teams the tools for success to use tried-and-tested egg- and dairy- replacements to create a variety of delicious desserts.

The Vegan Baking guide can be downloaded free of charge from the Vegetarian for Life website vegetarianforlife.org.uk where details of the vegan baking courses can also be found, or order a physical copy for just £2 plus P&P.

Chocolate orange cake

In the meantime here are some recipes below from the book...

Banana bread

Time to prepare 10 minutes

Time to cook 40 minutes

Serves 8

Ingredients

3 large overripe bananas

75ml vegetable oil

100g/3½oz brown sugar

225g/scant 8oz self-raising flour

1 heaped tsp baking powder

1 tsp cinnamon

50g/1¾oz dark chocolate drops (ensure that they’re dairy-free)

Method

1. Heat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/360°F/gas mark 6.

2. Mash the bananas well with a fork.

3. Mix the oil and sugar together and then add the mashed bananas.

4. Add the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and mix well. Next add the chocolate drops.

5. Bake in a greased, lined 2lb loaf tin for approximately. 20 minutes. Check and cover with foil if the cake is browning. Bake for another 20 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.

6. Allow to cool a little before serving.

Chef’s tip: Instead of chocolate drops you could add dried fruit or nuts.

Rich fruit cake

Fruit cake needs no introduction. This recipe works well as a standard cake or can

be topped with marzipan and icing for a Christmas cake.

Time to prepare: 20 minutes

Time to cook: 2 hours 30 minutes

Serves 16

Ingredients

300g/10½oz mixed dried fruit

100ml brandy (or use orange juice instead)

160g/generous 5½oz dark brown sugar

30g/1oz black treacle

1 tsp red wine vinegar

175g/generous 6oz vegan margarine

Zest of an orange and lemon

120ml soya milk

110g/generous 3¾oz candied peel

100g/3½oz glace cherries, sliced in half

50g/1¾oz dried cranberries

½ tsp cinnamon

½ tsp nutmeg

¼ ginger powder

60g/generous 2oz ground almonds

340g/12oz plain flour

¾ tsp bicarbonate of soda

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 140°C/280°F/gas mark 1.

2. Place all the dried fruits into a bowl and add the brandy. Allow to stand for 30 minutes. This will help the fruit to swell. The longer you leave it, the more the fruit will plump up so feel free to do this overnight.

3. To the fruit add the sugar, treacle, vinegar, margarine, orange and lemon zest. Stir gently until the margarine has mixed in.

4. Add the soya milk, spices, ground almonds and mix.

5. Line a round cake tin (24cm x 7cm) with greaseproof paper.

6. Sift in the flour and bicarbonate of soda to the cake mixture and gently stir. Don’t over stir because this will make the cake too heavy.

7. Place your cake into the oven for 2 hours and 30 minutes. Test to see if the cake is cooked by carefully sliding in a skewer. If it comes out clean the cake is done. If uncooked cake mixture is left on the skewer pop back in the oven for another 10 minutes and retest.

Chef’s tip: Perfect with a cup of tea. Tastes great with a simple apricot glaze.

Chocolate orange cake

Time to prepare: 30 minutes (plus time to allow the sponge to cool)

Time to cook: 30 minutes

Makes 8 slices

Ingredients

For the cake

240g/8½oz self-raising flour

125g/scant 4½oz caster sugar

1½ tsp bicarbonate powder

25g/generous ¾oz cocoa powder

50g/1¾oz ground almonds

130g/4½oz vegan margarine, gently melted

½ tsp almond essence

½ tsp vanilla essence

200ml soya milk

125g/scant 4½oz vegan natural yoghurt

Zest of 1 orange

For the filling

30g/1oz cocoa powder

100g/3½oz icing sugar

50g/1¾oz soya cream

½ tsp almond essence

½ tsp vanilla essence

For the chocolate orange topping

150g/scant 5 1 / 3 oz dark chocolate

Zest of 1 orange

Method

1. Preheat oven to 180°C/360°F/gas mark 4.

2. Sift the flour into a large bowl and add all of the remaining dry ingredients. Set to one side.

3. In a large mixing bowl, add all of the wet ingredients and combine.

4. Fold all the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.

5. Divide the mixture into three lined cake tins and bake for 15 minutes. After this time the cake should have risen. To check it is cooked, carefully slide a skewer into the middle of the cake. If it comes out clean it is done.

6. While the cake is baking make the filling by combining all of the filling ingredients until smooth, then placing in the fridge. Once chilled, your mixture should have a thick consistency. If too thin, add a little extra cocoa powder.

7. Next make the topping. Break the chocolate into a bowl and add the orange zest. Balance the bowl over a pan with a little water in it.

8. Gently heat until the chocolate starts to melt.

9. Once melted, turn the heat off but leave over the pan. This will allow the chocolate to stay melted for longer until ready for use.

10. When the cake is completely cool, set the base layer onto your serving plate. Carefully spread half of the filling onto the top and add the second sponge.

11. Repeat with the remaining filling and add the final sponge.

12. Spoon the melted chocolate over the top and serve straight away while the chocolate is still warm.

Chef’s tip: Slice while the chocolate is still soft because once set the cake can be harder to cut.

Savoury rosemary and rye muffins

Time to prepare: 15 minutes

Time to cook: 15–20 minutes

Makes 6 large muffins or 12 smaller ones

Ingredients

1 flax egg (1 tbsp/7g ground flaxseed + 2½ tbsp/37ml water)

3/4 cup/180ml unsweetened almond, soy or oat milk

3/4 cup/100g/3½oz) self-raising flour

1¼ cups/155g rye flour (or use all-purpose flour)

1 tbsp baking powder

1/2 tsp sea salt

1 tbsp fresh rosemary, stems removed, roughly chopped

6 tbsp room temperature coconut oil (scoopable, not liquid or frozen) or use vegan butter

Method

1. Preheat oven to 210°C/410°F/gas mark 6. Line a muffin tin tray with muffin cases.

2. Prepare the flax egg in a small mixing bowl, then add the milk.

3. In a separate mixing bowl, combine flours, baking powder, salt, and rosemary.

4. Add coconut oil and use your fingers to rub the oil into the flour so that it’s crumbly and breadcrumb-like.

5. Whisk the flax/milk mixture and add to the dry ingredients a little at a time, while stirring with a wooden spoon.

6. Gently transfer to a floured surface. Use a spoon to divide the mixture between the muffin cases.

7. Bake for 15–20 minutes or until fluffy and light golden brown on top. Let cool slightly before enjoying.

Chef’s tip: Best enjoyed fresh. Can be stored at room temperature in a well- sealed container for up to 3 days or frozen for longer term storage. Delicious plain, or served warm with a little vegan butter.