Friday, March 27, 2009


I needed a nice cake to bake for my Da's 75th birthday and I know he loves carrot cake, so I've adapted this recipe to suit. Da's not a vegan but he is a healthy eater. This is an insanely simple cake (though it’s a bit of work) and it’s low in sugar and fat per slice; it hits a few food groups too, what with the carrots, walnuts and flour. It’s positively healthy, I think!
(I know some vegans object to honey but Mr Vegan doesn’t, so I use it in this recipe.)
This cake is 'low-sized' - a euphemism for squat-looking - so if you really wanted to scrape and grate six carrots, you could make two, and sandwich them with vegan cream or butter cream.

For the cake

100 gr wholemeal flour
100 gr plain flour
100 gr light muscovado sugar
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
100 gr vegan margarine
6 tblsps honey
225 gr (2 medium/3small) carrots, grated

For the lemon icing (optional)

Royal icing – I used 175gr
Finely grated zest of ½ lemon
15ml water
2 tsp (10 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice
50 gr chopped walnuts to decorate


• Preheat oven to 160°C
• Grease and line an 8 inch cake tin
• Peel and grate the carrots
• Mix together the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and baking powder
• Melt the marg with the honey and sugar, then mix into the flour
• Stir in the grated carrot and combine well
• Spoon into the cake tin and bake for 1 hour until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, turn onto a wire rack to cool
• Make up the Royal Icing as per pack, mixing the lemon juice, lemon zest and water where the pack just says water
• When it’s cooled, ice the cake with a small spatula and dot with the walnuts before the icing sets

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Finn decorating the buns

Citrusy tricolour buns for Paddy's Day

Happy Saint Patrick's Day, everyone!!

And here are some festive buns to celebrate our national saint. At home we always called these buns, others called them fairy cakes or queen cakes, and nowadays they are called muffins or cupcakes. Whatever you choose to call them, they are a zesty treat and kids LOVE helping with the decorating, as you can see.

Makes 12 small buns.

Preheat oven to 180˚C

1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 small orange, zested and juiced
250 gr (9oz) wholegrain spelt flour
50gr (2oz) light muscovado sugar
2 tsps baking powder
1 tsp mixed spice
150ml soya milk (or ordinary milk for non-vegans)
1 tsp NoEgg mixed with 2tblsps water (non vegans can use one beaten egg)
2 tblsps vegetable oil
12 muffin or bun cases

I used a mix-with-water Royal icing. Vegan versions available.
Greeen and orange jelly tots!! (Or any suitably festive sweeties...)

• Put cases into bun tray
• Zest the orange and lemon, then half them and squeeze them. Strain the juice and put to one side
• Mix the citrus zest, flour, spice, sugar and baking powder in a bowl
• Make up the NoEgg as per pack (or beat your egg)
• In a jug, mix together the soya milk, oil and NoEgg mixture
• Make a well in the flour and beat in the milky mixture
• Mix in the lemon and orange juice until combined
• Divide the mixture between the muffin cases
• Bake for 30 minutes
• Leave the buns to cool, then make up the icing (as per pack) and decorate. Leave to set for about half an hour (not in the fridge) and eat!