When you start cooking without animal products you can make millions of dishes that are easy and fast and entirely plant-based. Baking, however, is another story. Baking involves so many animal products – eggs for starters –therefore, trying to find replacements that work in the same way might not be the easiest thing. And by the way – ready-made vegan custard is a god sent. Just saying.
Now by the way of admission – I like to bake; however, you will find that a traybake is lots more common in my kitchen than an aquafaba meringue, besides my cakes need to taste first look second, and easier and faster to make the better.
Finding this recipe was a revelation of sorts, it is so easy and versatile that I am now constantly changing it to try new flavours. So far, we had lemon and poppy seed, chocolate, coffee and walnut, vanilla with coconut cream and strawberries, rhubarb and vanilla, rhubarb and gooseberry, plum, chocolate and raspberry, chocolate and cherry. Possibilities are endless if you follow a few rules. If you add liquid (i.e. coffee) remove some other fluid (i.e. mylk) if you add some dry ingredients (i.e. cocoa powder) remove some flour. Easy.
This cake works on proportions, it’s easy to downscale or multiply as needed. I’m using a mixture of measurements, as it was the easiest to do it for me so for a standard rectangular traybake I use:
3 cups of self-rising flour*
- cups of sugar**
500 ml of plant-based mylk ***
1 tbsp. of apple cider vinegar (or lemon juice)
12 tbsp. of vegetable oil
Mix dry ingredients in a bowl (you can sieve the flour if you want) then in a jug mix the mylk, vinegar and oil. Pour the wet ingredients into a bowl and mix it all well.
At this stage you add all the flavourings you would like. Like a grated lemon rind and a 0 .25 cup of dry poppy seeds. Substitute 0.5 cup of flour with 0.5 cups of cocoa powder then add some chopped dark chocolate pieces and few nuts or cherries, or a big pinch of chilli. Mix in vanilla powder and 3 chopped stalks of rhubarb. Let your imagination run wild.
Transfer into a lined baking tray and bake for about 30-45 min in 170ºC until an inserted skewer comes out dry.
Give this cake a go, unleash your adventurer in the kitchen. It will be worth it- I promise.
* plain flour with 1 tsp of baking soda works too. When making it chocolate substitute 0.5 cups of flour with the same quantity of cocoa powder – remember to use Fairtrade one!
** caster, granulated, brown – your choice, just remember that brown will be better for chocolatey cakes as it might add some chewiness and a bit of flavour. And avoid the white cane sugar, processing cane to white sugar involves animal products, namely bone char. Nobody needs that type of negativity in their life.
***Soy or oat or whatever you have to hand, just not rice. However, rice mylk does not behave the same way in bakes, also you can use hazelnut mylk for a delicate flavouring
Also, note that a cup always equals 250ml