Monthly Archives: July 2013

Lemon Basil Cupcakes

My baking at the moment is mainly based around things that my boyfriend can take to work and will actually eat. Of course he’s well trained polite and says everything I make tastes amazing and he likes it, but when things make it home at the end of the day uneaten, it’s pretty obvious they weren’t a hit. I’m pleased to say the carrot cupcakes were a successful lunchbox addition. Let’s see how lemon basil cupcakes go down….

basil sugar Continue reading

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Carrot Cakes

This Saturday we were invited to the wedding of two of Jake’s friends from University. Having not been to a wedding for about ten years I was pretty excited. The bride was beautiful, the venue delightful, and the hand-made favours we got to take home were the stars of the tables.

For one of my university modules, we needed to use the rapid prototyping machines, otherwise known as laser cutters, CNC routers, 4-axis milling machines, just a load of awesome kit if you know how to use it. We were given pretty much free rein on what we could make, so naturally I made a cake stand.

You’ll see where I’m going with this…… I wanted to make some cakes to adorn my cake stand and we had an abundance of carrots in the fridge, so carrot cakes it had to be. So here we have my homemade cake stand, with my homemade cakes, topped with the handmade favours from the wedding.

dairy free carrot cakes Continue reading

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Simple dairy free cake recipes

Sometimes it’s really useful to have some favourite recipes stashed away in one place which you can always rely on. Here are my go-to dairy free recipes:

Mini cupcakes arranged on top of the cakeDairy Free Vanilla cupcakes, adapted from Hummingbird’s Cake Days

Makes 16, can be doubled for a three layer cake, or halved for 24 mini cupcakes.
80g Trex
280g caster sugar
240g plain flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
¼ tsp salt
240ml almond milk
½ tsp vanilla essence
2 large eggs

Preheat the oven to 190°C, or 170°C for a fan oven. Line two muffin tins with cases.

In a stand mixer with paddle attachment (or electric hand whisk) slowly beat together the Trex, sugar, flour, baking powder and salt until it resembles find bread crumbs.

Mix together the almond milk, vanilla essence and eggs by hand in a jug. With the mixer on low, pour three-quarters of the milk mixture into the dry ingredients and mix well, scraping down the sides to make sure everything’s incorporated. Add the rest of the milk and beat on a medium speed until the batter is smooth.

Spoon the batter into the muffin cases so that they are two-thirds full. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until they feel springy to the touch. Leave to cool slightly before turn onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Dairy Free Vanilla Bean Frosting

Vanilla Bean FrostingMakes enough to ice one batch of cupcakes, double it for a layer cake. 
500g icing sugar
160g Trex
50ml almond milk
1 tsp vanilla bean extract

In a stand mixer or with an electric hand whisk, beat the Trex for a minute until smooth. Add a quarter of the sifted icing sugar to the butter and beat on low, gradually adding the rest of the icing sugar. Once the icing sugar is full combined, gradually add the almond milk until the frosting is smooth and light. Add the vanilla extract and continue to beat until the frosting is really light and fluffy.

For piping onto cupcakes, you can add a little more milk so that the frosting is very smooth. For covering a cake, use a little less milk so that the frosting is slightly stiffer.

Dairy Free Lemon Cupcakes

Use the same recipe as above, but increase the sugar to 300g, and add 3 tablespoons of grated lemon zest to the flour mixture in the first stage.

Cut a cone out of the top of the cooled cupcakes and fill it with dairy free lemon curd (Tesco own brand) before replacing the cone and frosting.

Dairy Free Lemon Frosting

Use the same method as the vanilla bean frosting, but substitute the vanilla for 3 tablespoons of grated lemon zest and a few drops of yellow food colouring.

chocolate cupcakesDairy Free Chocolate Cupcakes

This recipe from Primrose Bakery Book really does make the most amazing moist chocolate cupcakes, a stand mixer really helps here.

Makes 16
115g plain chocolate (check the label)
85g Trex
175g soft brown sugar
2 large eggs, separated
185g plain flour
¾tsp baking powder
¾tsp bicarbonate of soda
pinch of salt
250ml almond milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 190°C, or 170°C for a fan oven. Line two muffin tins with cases.

Break up the chocolate and melt it either in the microwave on short 1 minute bursts on medium heat, or in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water.

In the stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. You really can’t overdo this stage so leave it beating for a few minutes.

Slowly add the egg yolks and beat well. Add the melted chocolate and beat well again.

Sift the flour, baking powder, bicarb and salt together in a bowl. Measure the milk into a jug and stir in the vanilla extract. Gradually add alternate amounts of flour and milk to the butter mixture, beating well after each addition.

In a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Using a metal spoon, fold the egg whites into the batter until combined.

Spoon the mixture into the cases until two-thirds full. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before turning onto a wire rack to cool completely.

rosewater cookies


Dairy Free No-Spread Cookies

Makes 30 medium cookies
225g Trex
225g caster sugar
1 large egg, beaten
450g plain flour
Any on of these additional flavours:
1tsp vanilla
zest of 1 lemon or orange
1tsp rosewater
1tsp almond essence
sub 50g flour with 25g cocoa powder and add 25g melted plain chocolate

Preheat the oven to 180°C or 160°C for a fan oven.

In a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until lightly creamed. Beat in the egg.

Gradually add the flour until a soft dough forms around the beater. Remove the ball of dough and put it in a freezer bag. Flatten the dough into a rectangle about 5cm thick. Chill for 1 hour.

Once chilled, divide the dough into four pieces. Roll each out to 5mm.

Cut out shapes with cookie cutter. Bake for 6-10 minutes until just beginning to turn golden at the edges.

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Milkshake and cookies

dairy free strawberry milkshakeI’ve decided you can make pretty much any recipe dairy free. Allow me to demonstrate.

Milk=Almond milk. Butter=Trex. Buttermilk=Almond milk+lemon juice. Condensed Milk=(surely not?!)Coconut Cream. Cream Cheese=Tofutti cream cheese.

The last two I’m yet to try but I definitely will be.

So this post is about two different things. I’ll start with cookies. My boyfriend’s family kindly gave me a baking book for my birthday (the only baking related present this year…. not sure what that means), Home Baking from Cook’s Favourites. As a really geeky aside, I like this book because it is printed on matte paper, not the shiny coated paper of my other commercial bakery books, but a nice, thick, arty/craftsy paper. And the text of the recipe is printed in grey, text looks much better in grey. (In case you don’t know/forgot, I’m an architecture student. It is obligatory to have an unusual obsession with paper, font, ink etc.) And it has lots of different kinds of recipes, victoria sponge and chocolate fudge cake are still there, but so are “date pistachio and honey slices” and “butternut squash and orange cake”. Continue reading

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Dairy free apple tartlets

dairy free apple tartsFor our birthday bash, we made some pastry nibbles. However, as a result of my scribbled shopping list, we ended up with about 5 times as much shortcrust pastry as we needed. So I have found a way to use it up. Apple tartlets.

Now I know if you want really good pastry you should make it yourself, but shop bought Jus-Rol shortcrust pastry is actually dairy free. So when I have a couple of kilos of dairy free pastry sitting in the freezer, it’s not very likely that I’m going to attempt to make it myself. After a couple of attempts at these tarts I consulted the book I probably should have gone to straight away, Richard Bertinet’s Pastry. Simple tips on how to prepare pastry and line tins, which I’ve incorporated into this recipe. I haven’t actually done the whole process with the resting and everything, but even the “tests” have tasted pretty good.  Continue reading

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