Archive for Vegan baking

Go Go Goji Berry Bar

We eat a lot of bliss balls in our house. Like these ones and these ones.

But when time is short and the lunchbox calls. I ‘press’ instead of roll.2015-03-12_154504

1 C dried coconut
1 C oats
2 cups dates, chopped (soak if hard)
½ C goji berries, chopped
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 Tbl maple syrup
1Tbl water

Process all ingredients until sticky. Press into a container and freeze for a few hours. Cut into bars and store in the fridge.

Vegan Christmas Cake

This cake is a good mix of ‘easy’ + ‘Xmas-spice-fruity combo’.

And with molasses and not too much sugar I call it health food. Actually I’ve been known to call it breakfast!IMG_0199 (Small)

It’s not a long lasting cake but never needs to be!

675 g mixed fruit
450 ml water
150 ml oil (rice bran)
350 g wholemeal self-raising flour
1 Tbl molasses
1 lemon, zested
2 tsp ground mixed spice
75 g raw brown sugar
3 Tbl sherry or rum

  • Heat the oven 150. 
  • Grease and line a round cake tin. 
  • Mix all the ingredients, except the sherry and beat well until evenly mixed. 
  • Bake for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours until risen and firm to touch. 
  • Allow to cool slightly in the tin, then spoon the sherry over the top and leave in the tin until completely cold. 

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Fruit loaf

Rhubarb cake

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Egg & dairy-free fruity loaf

As a child I remember bowls of dried fruit soaked in tea overnight ready for baking the next day. This recipe harks back to a rhythm and comfort of my mother’s kitchen.IMG_0099 (Small)

It’s hard to beat a thick slice of moist spicy fruit loaf. Of course in those days it was covered in butter. But it tastes just fine without.

Trust me. It’s delicious.

This loaf is based on the traditional Welsh Barabrith. Meaning a rich fruit loaf or yeasted bread made with tea.

Here we use health enhancing rooibos (red bush) tea for it’s antioxidants, minerals and flavour. It’s caffeine free and with less than half the tannins of normal tea it doesn’t impede the absorption of iron. Good news for vegans and women in general.

What no eggs? No milk?

Baking is often the new vegan’s Archilles heel. Don’t be discouraged.

Instead of egg we use soaked chia seed (chia gel). See here for a list of other alternatives.

You will need:

2 cups dried fruit (dates, raisins, prunes)
2½ Tbl molasses sugar
½ lemon, zested
400 mls hot rooibos tea

2½ cups wholemeal flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp mixed spice
1 chia egg (1 Tbl chia seed mixed with 1/3 cup water. Let it sit for 10 mins)

Soak the fruit, sugar and lemon overnight in a big bowl. Cover.
Heat your oven to 190°C (375°F).
Mix in the chia egg.
Sift the dry ingredients into the fruit.
Mix well.
Pour into a greased and/or lined loaf tin.
Bake for 45-60 minutes, until a knife comes cleanly out.
Cool on a wire rack.

Stuff into lunchboxes!

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Sugar-free sweet potato brownie

Energy balls

Rhubarb cake

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Sugar-free sweet potato brownie

Hail to Deliciously Ella for the idea of putting kumara (sweet potato) into a brownie recipe.

The satisfying starch works beautifully to fill up hungry children.IMG_0084 (Small)

The original recipe uses almond meal so can easily be gluten free.

I’ve changed it according to what I had in the pantry and it worked just fine. I’ve also added raisins instead of extra chocolate.

Importantly, how ever I make them I have queues of small boys lining up outside my fridge after school.

But first soak your dates.

You will need:

2 cups pitted dates, soaked several hours to overnight
1 large orange kumara (sweet potato), peeled, cubed
1 cup wholemeal flour (or 1 cup ground almonds)
½ cup buckwheat flour
1 Tbl oil (rice bran or coconut)
2 Tbl dark chocolate cocoa (or raw cacao)
Handful of raisins (chocolate chips or hazelnuts)
1 tsp baking powder
2 Tbl nondairy milk of choice
1 tsp vanilla essence
½ tsp salt

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/356°F.
2. Bring kumara (sweet potato) to boil and simmer for 10 minutes over low heat until cooked. Drain well and set aside to cool.
3. In your food processor add sweet potato, soaked dates and oil. Mix until pureed.
4. Add flours, cocoa powder, vegan milk, vanilla essence, salt and baking powder. Process until smooth.
5. Mix in the raisins or nuts by hand.
6. Pour the mixture into a lined baking dish and cook for 25 minutes.
7. Test the middle with a knife to ensure it’s cooked. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes.
8. Cut into squares when cool. Keep in the fridge.

If you’re looking for another great lunchbox filler check out these energy balls.IMG_0088 (Small)

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Gluten free cookies for kids on the go (& adults)


There are a couple of occasions when my oil free mantra goes out the window – garlicky oil drizzled on homemade pizza – or worse the temptation of a hot chip.

Yes I’m imperfectly perfect.

So these cookies are one of the few recipes in these pages that contain coconut oil.

1 Tbl chia soaked in 3 Tbl waterSAM_2060 (Small)
1 cup all purpose gluten-free flour
2 Tbl shredded coconut
1 tsp baking powder
Dash of salt
1/4 cup coconut oil
2-3 Tbl molasses sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1. Prepare your chia ‘egg’ by soaking the chia in water, stir and sit for 10 minutes.

2. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt & coconut in a large bowl.

3 Soften the oil and mix in the sugar. Add the vanilla essence & chia egg.

4. Mix well.

5. Work the mixture with your hands if necessary. Make balls & flatten with a fork.

6. Bake for 9-12 minutes at 180.

PS those brown bits in the photograph are imperfectly stirred lumps of molasses sugar which come out all gooey + delicious + perfect 🙂

For more baking without egg ideas check out this post: How to substitute eggs

How to substitute eggs

An excellent resource! My favourite alternatives are flax & chia seeds.


Rhubarb Cake

Awesome Vegan Rhubarb Cake

This is a great example of an egg-free cake – full, moist with the

 sweet tart flavour of rhubarb.

On first bite my friend Jim suggested I open a cafe!

1 cup soy/almond milk
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar (white vinegar or lemon is ok)
1/2 cup rice bran oil
1 cup raw/brown sugar
1 Tbl ground flaxseed mixed in 4 Tbl water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups wholemeal flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 cups diced rhubarb (about 6 stalks, depending on their size)

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.

Mix the flaxseed & water and combine with other WET ingredients – soy/almond milk, oil, vanilla essence.

Mix DRYS – sift flour & baking soda and add sugar & salt.

Add dry to wet. Mix well.

Fold in rhubarb.

Bake for 20 mins rotate the cake pan and bake for another 20 mins or until cooked – it may need longer depending on your oven.

Vegan cookies for kids

Strangely it was the Edmonds cookbook I reached for when thinking what to feed the 6-year-olds after their last day of school before the Easter holidays.

Mmmm Easter biscuits seemed fitting – now how am I going to do that? Not all recipes adapt willingly to a vegan makeover but thankfully this one did.

Icing only a couple of them with the boys I used cocoa and drops of freshly juiced red cabbage and carrot to make the colours.

2 C wholemeal flour

1 tsp baking powder

3 Tbsp rice bran oil

1/2 C sugar

1/4 currants

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp lemon zest

1 Tbsp chia seeds

1/2 C water for soaking chia seeds

Soak chia seeds in water for 20 minutes until they form a gel. Sift flour and baking powder into a large bowl. Rub in oil to form crumbs. Add sugar, currants, cinnamon and lemon zest. Stir in the chia gel mixing to form a firm dough. You’ll have to work the dough and get your hands in the bowl. Wet your hands a little if necessary. You should get a firm dense dough that you can roll out. Dust off your cutters and bake at 180 for 20 minutes or until brown. Have fun decorating!

Steer clear of bought icing and colourful decorations as the red, pink, purple colours (carmine) are made from crushed up insects and can be allergenic. Tofu or cashew frostings make a good alternative or mix a few drops of bright veggie or berry juice into white icing.