Turning vegan doesn't mean giving up on indulgent foods such as cakes.
Did you know there’s actually an International Vegan Junk Food Day? Yes, apparently blogger the Fat Gay Vegan created it in 2014 – and why not?
But even better is the rise in number of vegan cake companies. It proves that even sugar addicts who like to bounce off the walls and hang from tree branches can have their vegan desires met.
The multi-award-winning Hannah Banana Bakery (http://www.hannahbananabakery.co.uk) based near Southampton is pretty awesome for a start and shows how one person can create a business based on what they love doing.
Then, of course, there Ms Cupcake (http://www.mscupcake.co.uk/) If you’re ever in Brixton, I strongly advise visiting that little shop of delights. They’re often at vegan fairs offering a range of tempting cakes to visitors – how can you refuse? They even offer vegan baking classes so you can discover the secrets of vegan baking yourself.
The Vegan Cakery (http://www.vegancakery.com/) is one company whose wares I’ve tried very recently and I can report that their cakes are Moorish, delicious and pretty awesome in general. They do a delivery service too, just to tempt you even further.
It goes without saying that vegan recipe books are filled with various cake-making ideas and there are plenty of Facebook groups for sharing ideas when it comes to plant-based desserts. And if, like me, you have a local vegan/vegetarian foodshare you can trade your culinary creations with other like-minded vegans.
But some of us are lazy, skint vegans who live in culturally dead towns and cities that are still catching up with the rampant rise of plant-based diets. So, we look to the big supermarkets and their accidentally vegan products to fulfil our sugar fixes.
For me, CO-OP doughnuts are the kings accidentally vegan cakes – if indeed a doughnut is classed as a cake – I’m sure the Confectionary Constabulary will have a view on that! Anyway, both their jam and custard doughnuts passed veganicity test, and the custard ones in particular will create a sugar party on your tastebuds that you won’t forget in a hurry.
Even more surprising is that Mr Kipling’s Apple & Blackcurrant Pies, Jam Tarts and Treacle Tart are all vegan! Yes, you can walk into any UK supermarket and grab vegan tarts off the shelf – but do remember to pay for them before leaving the shop. I have to add at this point, that if biscuits are your thing then you have an even greater choice on the supermarket shelves. The Rocky Road range is particularly yummy (and difficult to say when you’re drunk).
Cake mixes are a kind of halfway house when it comes to baking. They’re a sort of cheat if you consider yourself a “proper” baker, and an achievement if beans on toast is the height of your cooking ability. Many cake mixes are vegan, but the recipes ask for eggs or dairy and you can easily experiment with different replacements. Many vegan forums suggest using pop (fizzy drinks – not the music) in Betty Crocker cake mixes as an alternative – for example, Betty Crocker Devil’s Food Cake and 330ml of Sprite mixed together does the job apparently. There are different pops for different mixes. But things like mashed banana and soft tofu also work as egg replacers and, of course, plant-based spreads and milks can be used instead of their dairy equivalents.
The point is, that we’re in the 21st century, veganism is growing and so are the number of products available to vegans – we don’t have to go without treats and we can eat as healthily or unhealthily as we please – and we don’t have to miss out on special occasions! We can still have birthday cakes, wedding cakes and it’s not raining today cakes – if we so wish.