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Cake recipes!

  • by Claire Ferry - Feb 26, 2024

I have always enjoyed baking and most of the recipes are from the Rose Elliot's Vegetarian Cookery book given to me by my parents for Christmas 1998. I can see now the book has since been updated. The carrot cake was always a hit and I adapted it to be vegan for our open day. In fact, I'm always adapting recipes so I honestly can't give you the exact recipes since I put in mixes of flours (plain, wholemeal, spelt...) in various amounts on the day, but go experiment! These recipes will get you going at least.

Carrot cake

Rose Elliot notes this cake is easy to make but best done by hand, rather that in a food processor, so that the nuts and fruit are not chopped up too much.

  • 175ml sunflower oil
  • 250g light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs - or to make it vegan I used 1 banana and 1 chia egg (1tbs chia seeds in 2-3 tbs water)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 175g cold puréed carrot (I steamed carrot first, puréed and cooled)
  • 150g canned pineapple chunks - but I didn't have any so soaked equivalent of sultanas instead
  • 75g walnuts roughly chopped
  • 75g unsweetened desiccated coconut
  • 200g plain flour (I used mix of white and wholemeal)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • Cheese frosting: 1 tub vegan philadelphia or other cream cheese (~125g) and ~40g icing sugar beaten together well

180C/350F oven, 2 x greased and lined 9" sandwich tins (or I did in one larger one)

Oil & sugar in bowl and mix well until no lumps. Beat in eggs or vegan replacement, vanilla, carrot purée, pineapple/sultanas, walnuts and coconut.

Sift in dry ingredients and mix gently but quickly. Pour into tins, level the tops and back 30 minutes or until skewer comes out clean. Turn onto wire rack and cool for 10 minutes before taking off lining papers. When cold sandwich together (if you've made two) and top with cream cheese frosting. I decorated with the first of the season's berberis flowers!

Sponge cake

This was the same recipes for the old school iced sponge as it was for the chocolate sponge, only one baked in tray and other in two sandwich tins.

  • 175g self raising flour
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • 175g sugar (light brown soft or granulated white)
  • 175g butter
  • 3 eggs
  • for chocolate version replace 25g of flour with 25g cocoa powder

170C/325F, grease and line your chosen tins

Beat together slightly softened butter and sugar by hand or in stand mixer until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, each with a tbs of the flour to stop the mix curdling (although it doesn't matter if it does really). Then fold in all the flour and baking powder and mix well. Spoon into the tins and back for 30 minutes until the cakes spring back to a light touch in the centre. You can also test with a skewer. Let cool in tins for a few minutes before turning onto wire rack. Don't decorate until completely cool.

NB. For the iced traybake version I let it cool in the dish because it's easier to pour the icing over and it doesn't go all over your sideboard!

Chocolate buttercream: 100g butter (or vegan replacement) & 200g icing sugar beaten together until smooth. Then loosen mix with 1 tbs cocoa powder dissolved into 1-2 tbs hot water

Vegan iced sponge

  • 250ml vegan mylk (I used oat)
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar (or use white vinegar or lemon juice)
  • 230 g self-raising flour (or I used plain flour at ratio 100g plain to 1 tsp baking powder)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 180g caster sugar
  • 95ml rapeseed or other neutral oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

180C/350F, grease and line rectangular tin

Mix milk and acid together and set aside for a few minutes. Mix dry ingredients, then add in milk mix, oil and vanilla extract and whisk until smooth batter. Pour into tin and bake 22-25 minutes until skewer comes out clean. Let it cool in tin. When completely cold decorate with icing (saves the mess) and when icing set, remove carefully.

Check the sprinkles you use are vegan - some contain beeswax! I found this recipe on the internet here.

Dorset Apple Cake

This is from a little booklet I picked up somewhere along the way of Favourite Dorset Recipes, probably since my parents moved there. I veganised the original recipe as indicated. I doubled these quantities for the larger cake I made.

  • 8oz self raising flour
  • 4os butter (vegan margarine)
  • 4oz caster sugar
  • 1/2 lb cooking apples peeled, cored and diced
  • grated rind of one lemon (use unwaxed, organic)
  • 1 egg (or one chia egg)
  • milk/vegan milk to loosen

Over 375F/gas mark 5, grease and line tin. Put flour into bowl and rub in butter until resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in sigar, lemon ring and egg/egg replacement and mix well. I then added some oat milk to loosen to a better consistency - it needs to be slightly batter like between all the apple, not too dry. Bake 30-40 minutes until golden in colour and skewer comes out clean. Mine needed a bit more and I covered in with foil at the end to prevent browning too much.

Serve warm or cold. I sprinkle coarse brown sugar on top for the crunch!

And finally.....boiled cake

Such a delicious traditional cake. Someone on the day mentioned they don't get this very often any more - I think you can't beat it! This recipe taken from a charity booklet my mother-in-law contributed to through the LEAH project with St Augustine's church in Derry called A Knife, a Board, a Blender.

  • 1 cup water (or I prefer using tea)
  • 3 cups mixed fruit (I only had raisins and currants left, but you can use chopped dates, adventurous...)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 5oz butter/margarine
  • 2 cups self raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 2-3 eggs (I only had 2 left I think - you can add some milk if you need to loosen a bit)

Moderate oven, greased and lined tin. I baked at same time as apple cake I think so about 180/190C

Bring water/tea, fruit and butter to boil in a saucepan and let simmer for about 10 minutes. Cool slightly. Sieve dry ingredients into a bowl. Add boiled mixture and mix well. Add beaten eggs and any milk if it seems too thick. Pour into tin and bake for about 1 hour. As with Dorset apple cake above you can cover if it needs more time to cook through but you're worried about burning the top. Let cool slightly in tin before turning onto rack to finish cooling.

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