Victoria Sponge. Dairy Free and delicious

Rose and Pistachio please! Make mine a slice of Double Chocolate Oreo cake with salted caramel buttercream and honeycomb crumb. A Classic Victoria Sponge is often overlooked for more exciting options.  And yet, Victoria Sponge isn’t just the cake made for a Queen, it’s the queen of all cakes. Once you get the recipe right, a Victoria Sponge can be the basis for all future cake recipes, with a little tweaking.

I use a buttercream for this recipe but you could scrap the buttercream and use the vegan squirty cream. Or forget the cream altogether and just use jam. Strawberry jam is a must. Any other jam and it isn’t a Victoria sponge. .Try to find fresh strawberries as they really do make the cake.

If you are looking for something chocolate, have a look at my Chocolate Oreo cake. And if you’re looking for a recipe with jam, try the Best Bakewell ever. There’s also a microwave mug version of the Bakewell.

Here’s the Victoria Sponge recipe video with the written version below,

Dairy Free Victoria Sponge Recipe

Line 2 x 7” baking pans with cake liners or greaseproof baking paper. Preheat oven to Gas Mark 4.

1// Mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl, so

300g Self Raising Flour

180g Caster Sugar

1/2 Tablespoon Baking Powder

Pinch of salt

2// Then add

300 ml of dairy free milk. I’ve used soya but others work just as well.

120ml flavourless vegetable oil. Sunflower oil works too.

1 and 1/2 tablespoons Vanilla Essence

Mix the wet ingredients into the dry until well combined.

3// divide the cake batter between the 2 cake tins. Tap a few times to release the air bubbles and bake in the oven for 30 – 40 minutes. Or until golden brown and a butter knife or skewer comes out clean.

Allow to cool on a cooking rack.

Buttercream Icing Recipe

While the cake is either baking or cooling is a great time to be whizzing up the buttercream icing

You’ll need 115g of vegan spread at room temperature. I tend to use Vitalite but there are many more. Also 60g of vegetarian shortening, like Trex. Trex is the only one I know of but I’m sure that there are others.

Whiz the spread/shortening up with 1/2 tablespoon vanilla essence and a pinch of salt using a handheld mixer on the lowest setting.

Once mixed, start adding the icing sugar. You’ll need around 300 – 500g. Start adding around 100-150g then mix it altogether with your handheld mixer. Keep adding the icing sugar in smaller stages until you have a thick but spreadable mixture.

If the icing is too thick or even like a dough, just add a drop of Soya milk and mix. If you’re icing is still too thin keep adding the icing sugar.

Putting it all together.

I tend to pipe my buttercream and jam on as it seems less messy. But it’s just as easy to use a spoon or a butter knife.

Add a thick layer of buttercream first followed by a good layer of Strawberry jam.

Sandwich together with the top layer of sponge. I’ve piped on a dash of decorative icing mostly to allow the strawberries to stick to the cake.

Add the fresh strawberries and sprinkle with  a generous dusting of icing sugar.

Et voila!

A cake fit for a queen. Or your mom when she comes to visit!

Hopefully you’ll enjoy this one, let me know how it goes.









Coffee & Pecan Cake

I’ve got a confession to make. I’m not a coffee snob. I’m not even a coffee drinker. It all tastes the same to me. From smart price, freeze dried instant to the most expensive beans from the Dalai Lamas own garden – I cannot tell the difference.

However, I can taste the difference between teabags and loose leaf tea in a cuppa and I can smell the difference between shop bought and homemade cakes at 20 paces.

So making a coffee cake is a bit of a challenge for me. My Coffee and Pecan Cake recipe is soya and dairy free amd this cake recipe is even better as you can drizzle stronger coffee in if you wish. I use a double quantity of instant coffee but you can easily use triple or quadruple the concentration. If I’m in the cafe, I make a double strength cafetiere of ground coffee for this recipe. The pecans and maple syrup really add a nice smokey flavour to this too.

I promise that I will make a mug version of this as I think that a microwave coffee mug cake would be amazing.

If you like the size of the loaf cake, take a look at the Lemon and Lavender Drizzle cake.  And for other hot beverage based cakes, try out the Green tea and White Chocolate mug cake for when you need good cake, and fast.

If you’re nuts about nuts, give my Bakewell Tart recipe a go. It really is the best around and there is also a Bakewell tart mug version.

So here’s the recipe video. Written recipe to follow,


Coffee and Pecan Cake Recipe

Make your coffee first – I used 2 teaspoons of instant with around 200ml or 1 mug of hot water. Allow to cool. Pre heat your oven at Gas mark 4, 350F or 175C and line a loaf tin with a tin liner or greaseproof paper.

Take 10 – 12 whole pecans out of approx 100g of pecans and set aside for decoration. Break the rest of the pecans into smaller size pieces.

Now we’re ready to begin.

Add the Dry Ingredients to your mixing bowl first

1//  275g Self Raising Flour

2//  200g dark Brown Sugar. For a finer texture, sieve the sugar. I don’t as I like the caramelised ‘holes’ left behind, however you will need to break apart the larger lumps.

3// 2 Teaspoons Baking Powder

4// Pinch of salt

Stir all of the dry inredients together

Now add the wet ingredients

1// 100ml Cooled double strength coffee

2// 200ml flavourless vegetable or sunflower oil.

3// 1 tablespoon vanilla essence

Stir the wet and dry ingredients together until combined

Now add the broken up pecans and stir.

Pour the mixture into your lined baking tin and pop into the middle shelf of your oven. After about 30 minutes, check the consistency of the cake with a skewer or knife. Poke the skewer through the top centre and if it still has liquid cake batter attached when the skewer is pulled out, the cake isn’t cooked yet.

Keep testing every 10 minutes or so until the skewer comes out clean.

When cooked, leave on a wire rack to cool.

Once cool, poke holes in the cake with a skewer and drizzle some maple syrup in.

If you want a more coffee flavoured coffee cake, add a couple of tablespoons of brown sugar to your leftover coffee and stir. Spoon the coffee into the holes in your cake and let the cake absorb the liquid.

Finally, make up a coffee drizzle with around 1 cup of icing sugar and 1 Tablespoon cooled coffee. Pour the drizzle over the cake and decorate with pecans.

I like to use a black treacle decorative glaze with coffee cake – it just adds a richness when eating. Sit back and enjoy!





Breakfast Mug Cake

I’ve got to say that I was intrigued by this recipe. I genuinely like the ‘500 calorie Diet Planner’ made by Woman magazine. A lot of the recipes are easy and different but very rarely vegan. I quite often veganise them for personal use and although I can’t stick to a 500 calorie fast ( the downside of owning a vegan cafe and being constantly surrounded by good food) I do use the recipes.

So the idea of a cake for breakfast really appeals. Specifically, the banana mug cake from the June – Sept 2017 issue. It’s microwaveable in a mug! And 100 calories!! Wowsers, this is the stuff of dreams.

Unfortunately it’s not my favourite mug cake – maybe it’s the banana. I will make this again at some point and possibly use apple and raisins instead of banana. Or maybe raspberries. It definitely needs more flavour, I think.

A breakfast mug cake is such a fabulous idea though. It’s a recipe worth trying as I think it’s easily personalised to taste.  So I will update as I change it.

Anyway the recipe is below. But if you fancy something sweeter but just as easy try one of my other mug cake recipes. There’s a Chocolate banana mug cake, Bakewell in a mug recipe, Chocolate & Raspberry mug cake, Jelly Baby (lemon & raspberry) mug cake, and my absolute favourite White Chocolate & Green Tea Mug cake.

Let me know what you think of this one and if you change it, what you do.