Tag Archives: dairy free buttercream

Apricot and Pistachio cupcakes with rose buttercream

I had one of those days when I said to myself “I just want some cake”. OK, I say that to myself most days. But most of the time I resist and have something to drink (because most of the time when we feel hungry we’re actually thirsty) like apple and blackcurrant squash which seems to distract my mind away from cake. Other times I whip up some plain old sponge cakes, or some slightly unseasonal mince pies with the leftover mince meat. This time, I saw apricots and pistachios. I tried out a basic recipe with them just chucked in, they were OK, nothing spectacular and a little dry. But I loved the flavour combination, so I tried again. Here’s what happened.

apricot and pistachio cupcakes 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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Plum Cupcakes and Gin and Tonic

The sun has finally come out. Therefore it is time for gin and tonic, and cupcakes obviously! Now I have my life back, Friday is baking day again, hurray!

The other day I attempted to make dairy free hollandaise (which it turns out is basically mayonnaise) so I had some left over egg whites. After browsing through pretty much all of our baking books (can you tell I’ve just finished uni for the year?) I found a recipe for Italian biscuits in my Pastry book using egg whites. So I had a go at these biscuits, which are just icing sugar, ground almonds, egg whites and honey, and some jam to fill them, easy peasy! I really felt like plum jam, so I bought a jar. And then I felt like I should bake some more, so I made some plum cupcakes.

SONY DSC Continue reading

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My definitive guide to dairy free baking and dairy free frosting

Dairy Free Baking

Dairy free baking is actually quite straightforward. In normal baking, butter is used as the fat, and there are plenty of vegetable fat alternatives, you just need to know which one to use when.

Hummingbird “sandy consistency” cupcakes

This method calls for the butter, sugar and flour to be mixed together using an electric mixer until it comes to a sandy consistency. Here, I think it’s quite important to use a fat which has a similar consistency to butter. Something like Stork, Trex or goat’s butter work well.

Hummingbird Vanilla Cupcakes, makes 12
120g plain flour
140g caster sugar 1 ½ tsp baking powder 40g butter, or vegetable fat such as Trex 120ml whole milk or Soya/Almond milk 1 eggs ½ tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt
Line a muffin tin with cases. Preheat the oven to 170° or 150° for a fan oven. Put the flour, baking powder, caster sugar, salt and butter or fat in a large bowl and beat with a hand held electric whisk, on a slow to medium speed, until you get a sandy consistency.  Beat the egg and vanilla extract with the milk then gradually pour this into the mixture and beat until it is just combined and the mixture is smooth, don’t overmix it.Spoon the mixture into the cases and bake for 20-25 minutes until well risen and golden.P1070425

Creaming the butter and sugar

Again, the firm consistency of butter and it’s ability to take a beating are important here, so I’d recommend a firm vegetable fat, like Stork, Trex, Cookeen etc. You could also try Coconut oil.

Devil’s Food Cake layer cake,

Serves 12
225g plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
50g cocoa powder
125g butter (or butter alternative, I used Trex)
250g light brown muscovado sugar
3 eggs
250ml milk (or milk alternative, I used lactofree whole milk)
1 tbsp lemon juice
40ml red food colouring (preferably Dr Oetker)
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease two 20cm cake tins and line the bases with baking paper.

Sift together the flour, bicarbonate of soda and cocoa powder into a bowl. Cream together the butter (or Trex) and half the sugar until light and fluffy, you really can’t overdo this part. Beat the eggs, and very gradually add them to the creamed butter. Then add the remainder of the sugar. If it looks like the mixture is curdling and not taking all the eggs, you can add some of the sugar before all the egg has been added. Mix the milk with the lemon juice to sour it, and stir in the red food colouring. Alternately add a quarter of the flour mixture and the milk mixture to the creamed butter. The mixture should be moussey but not stiff. Pour into the tins and level the surface of both. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes until risen, springy to the touch and slightly coming away from the sides. Cool the cakes in the tins for about 10 minutes, then upturn the cakes onto a wire rack to cool. Red Velvet Cake

All-in-one sponge

Occasionally, the simplest way to make a cake is to use equal quantities of everything and put it all in a mixer at the same time. For this, a soft spread is fine, such as Pure or any sunflower spread.

A two layer, 3 egg sponge cake, Serves 12
3 eggs, weighed. Approx 165g.
165g self raising flour
165g caster sugar
165g butter or Trex
½tsp baking powder
½tsp vanilla essence
pinch of salt
drop of milk or soya milk

Line two 19cm sandwich tins. The method is literally to put all the ingredients, apart from the milk, in your food mixer and turn it on. Add a drop or two of milk to give it a nice smooth texture and continue mixing it until light and smooth. Bake at 180°C for 25-30 minutes until risen, golden brown and just coming away from the edges. SONY DSC

Dairy Free Frosting

I have to give credit to The Vanilla Duck for solving my dairy free frosting woes. The trouble with a dairy free spread, like Pure, is that it can easily split due to the high levels of water in it. The solution? Trex. The miracle ingredient in dairy free frosting. It’s just vegetable fat, and I’m sure you could use other brands, but I’m sticking to what works. I use half Trex and half spread, and you honestly wouldn’t know it wasn’t butter. Because frosting is so sweet, it’s not really about the buttery taste. I recently found “buttery caramel” flavouring from Lakeland’s. A couple of drops of this and it enhances the buttery flavour, more than a couple of drops and you have caramel frosting… You can add other flavours like lemon or chocolate as well.

Dairy Free Vanilla Bean Frosting, makes enough to cover a two layer cake. 
500g icing sugar
225g butter or Trex
50ml milk or milk alternative, eg almond milk or oat milk
1tsp vanilla bean paste
buttery flavouring (optional)
Beat together the butter and half the icing sugar, gradually add the rest of the icing sugar and beat until the mix comes together. Mix together the milk and the vanilla paste, and gradually dribble into the mixture. Add drops of flavouring. Beat until light and fluffy, about five minutes. If the frosting is too stiff, add a little more milk. 
Vanilla Bean Frosting
Happy Dairy Free Baking!
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Devil’s Food Cake with Vanilla Bean Buttercream

SONY DSCIt’s so close to Christmas! It’s going to be a busy few weeks, and it’s already started. The kitchen is being inspected by food hygiene so that I can sell the cakes I make in it, which inevitably meant a very thorough clean. Who knew we had so many old tins in our larder?! On average, the things we threw away had a date life of 2006…. oh dear….

Yesterday I was back up in London to watch Jake in his first rowing race; so exciting, so proud! For a novice boat, they looked amazing, so smooth and splash free! And now I’m baking for the flat christmas dinner. I tried to do a red velvet cake, but I don’t think the red food colouring had enough ooomph so it’s more just a chocolate devil’s food cake. Normally, you’d couple a red velvet cake with a cream cheese frosting, but I decided to go for an old favourite, vanilla bean frosting, as it tastes like vanilla ice cream and I didn’t fancy trying to make dairy free cream cheese frosting. Continue reading

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