Orange and Rosemary Upside Down Cake – Dairy & Egg Free

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I love rosemary and to me, oranges and rosemary are one of the smells of christmas. So I decided to try this unique flavour in a cake.

I have to be honest, my kids were not a fan. But it is approved my friends. I, personally think it is delicious. But if rosemary is taking it too far for you, simply replace it with vanilla and you are good to go.

Ingredients:

2 – 3 Oranges, peeled and sliced

1 sprig of fresh rosemary or 1 tsp of dried rosemary

1 3/4 cup of plain flour

1/8 tsp of salt

1 cup of sugar

2 tsp of Baking Powder

1 tsp of Bicarb

1/3 cup of coconut oil

1 cup of plant milk

2 tsp of Apple Cider Vinegar

Method:

Preheat the oven to 160 degrees.

Mix the vinegar with milk and set aside. Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl. Pour in the liquid ingredients and mix well. Do not over mix, vegan cakes do not rise well if over mixed. So mix until all ingredients are incorporated and let it sit aside.

Now grease the cake tin. Sprinkle sugar generously but evenly. This is caramelise the tops of the sliced oranges and also make it look rustic and more yummy. Now arrange the slices oranges in a way that it covers the edges nicely so no batter escapes.

Now pour in the cake batter and pop it in the oven. Check after 30 – 40 minutes. If the skewer comes out clean, it is done. If not, cook a bit longer. If you see the cake is browning too much, put a foil on top. This way the cake will keep on cooking without browning too much.

Once ready, let it cool for 10 minutes or so and then pop it out on a plate. Garnish some fresh rosemary on top and serve. Enjoy!

Vegan Victoria Sponge (Basic Yellow Cake)

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One of things I missed since going vegan was baking. I tried and failed at baking good cakes so many times that I gave up. I used to bake some really good cakes before, and I used to find baking very soothing so I have missed it for a while.

Vegan cakes were so difficult to bake that I was this close to baking a non vegan cake for my not so vegan husband on his birthday but I ended up baking nothing. Anyhow, I did not want to do the same for my daughter’s upcoming birthday so I experimented until I nailed it!!

Chocolate cakes seem to be much easier and forgiving than yellow sponge cakes. But here is a recipe for a perfectly soft and moist yellow cake for your victoria sponge.

I am not going to share the recipe for the buttercream because there’s too many online. Just google it and you will find many.

So here it goes:

Ingredients:

300g dairy free margarine (plus extra for greasing)

300g self raising flour

300 g caster sugar (I used granulated)

200g soya yoghurt (I used alpro)

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon ground flaxseed (or xanthum gum)

any vegan milk (optional)

2 teaspoon vanilla extract/essence

Method:

Preheat the oven on gas mark 5/190ºC.

In a bowl, beat the margarine and the sugar for 4-5 minutes (this stage is important, unlike buttery eggy cake vegan cakes require some work). Now mix in the vanilla and the yoghurt.

In a separate bowl mix in the rest of the dry ingredients with a fork.  Once combined, mix in the dry ingredients with the wet. Mix it all in thoroughly so that there are no lumps.

Now grease two 6 inches cake tins with some margarine and dust it with some flour. Now divide the mixture half and half into the two tins.

Bake the cakes for about 20 minutes and then check if the middle is cooked with a skewer. If it comes out clean the cake is ready. The cake must have a light brown hue on it and it should come away from the sides of the tin quite visibly (don’t sweat if they don’t).

Let the cake sit in the tin but outside the oven for ten minutes and then take them out of the tin and cool it completely on a rack.

Once cool, decorate it whichever way you like. You can make your own buttercream or buy some from the supermarket. I simply out some raspberry jam in between the two cakes.

Please try it and let me know how it was!!

Tip: With Vegan Cakes I have learnt that it is best to divide the cake batter into two batches and then place them one on top of the other when ready. If you try and bake one fat cake, it end up very stodgy.