Wednesday, 29 December 2021

Gingerbread Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing

Spiced gingerbread cupcakes with a sweet and tangy cream cheese icing, perfect for a treat over the Christmas holidays!


I have had these cupcakes on my list for years and I wanted to get them just right. I may have gone overboard with the gingerbread flavours this year, but I have zero regrets as for me gingerbread is essential at Christmas time! These cupcakes packed full of ginger and cinnamon, they're fluffy and moist and the cream cheese icing marries those spices perfectly. I drizzled a velvety caramel sauce on top for a little sweetness and some texture then topped with a little gingerbread man. I find the best cream cheese is from Oatly, it's the perfect thickness, doesn't have too much water in it which can ruin your icing. Trust me I've tried lots of different vegan brands and this one really is the best for me. All in all, these cupcakes are the epitome of Christmas, perfect for sharing around the dessert table and also a really fun activity to do over the holidays if you're looking for some baking. And on that note I've got a lot of other Christmas baking recipes you can try whilst you're here!

If you love Gingerbread and Christmas....

Check out these recipes for more inspiration!

Recipe

Prep: 15 minutes + 1hour for the icing
Cook: 18 minutes
Serves: 12 cupcakes

NOTE: every ingredient I use is vegan so make sure you check your ingredients if you're following a Vegan lifestyle.

Ingredients

Cupcakes
200g Plain flour
180g Soya milk + 1 tbsp Apple cider vinegar 
120g Dark brown sugar
60g Treacle 
70g Butter. melted
1 tbsp Ginger
1 tsp Cinnamon
Pinch of salt
¼ tsp Ground cloves
¼ tsp Allspice
1 tsp Baking powder
½ tsp Bicarbonate of soda
Icing
150g Butter, room temp
70g Cream cheese - I used Oatly at room temp
350g Icing sugar
Optional
Caramel 
12 Gingerbread men

Method

✿Preheat the oven to 170℃ and grease and line a cupcake tray with cases.
In a jug mix together the soya milk and apple cider vinegar to create a 'buttermilk', leave for 5 minutes.
Melt the butter and mix in a large bowl with the sugar and treacle until combined. 
In a separate bowl combine the flour with the dry ingredients then mix in the wet ingredients into a batter.
Spoon about 2 ½ tbsp of the batter into 12 cupcake cases and then bake in the oven for 15-17 minutes until a knife inserted comes out clean. Leave to cool on a wire rack. 
Meanwhile make the cream cheese icing. Beat the butter until smooth then mix in the cream cheese until just combined - don't overman as it starts to become more fluid. 
Add the icing sugar gradually and then pop in the fridge for 1 hour to firm up. I find it best to do this so that the icing is firmer for piping but you can skip this if short on time. 
When the cupcakes are cool enough and the icing is firm, spoon the icing into a piping bag with a star tip and pipe a swirl on top of each cupcake. 
Drizzle some caramel on top if using, and then top each cupcake with a gingerbread man. Store in the fridge to keep the icing firm and then serve or serve straight away. Enjoy!

Christina
xx


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Wednesday, 22 December 2021

Christmas Tree Brownies

Turn a simple traybake into beautiful Christmas tree - definitely one to enjoy making with children!


I saw the Christmas tree brownie idea on Pinterest and knew I had to make a vegan version of my own, plus it looked so much fun and so simple I was an excited little girl! And when I say how simple this is, I really mean it. I used my existing gingerbread brownie recipe (seemed apt as its Christmas) and then left the brownies to cool completely. Do not skip  this step, you need the brownies to be firm for cutting them into triangles. I did also see someone cut the brownies into tree shapes with a cutter which I also thought looked so cute and effective. I just cut them with a knife, made some green buttercream, piped some swirls and sprinkled them! See, simples! You don't need to be a pro baker to make these. And I can imagine if you have children, nieces/nephews, friends or work in a school etc, this would be so much fun to do with them, children will love it. They are the perfect traybake for a Christmas Day dessert!

If you love brownies....

Check out these recipes for more inspiration!

Recipe

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes for brownies
Serves: 8-10 Christmas trees

NOTE: every ingredient I use is vegan so make sure you check your ingredients if you're following a Vegan lifestyle.

Ingredients

400g Vanilla buttercream - I used Dr Oetker which is vegan 
Green food colouring
Sprinkles
Peppermint candy canes

Method

✿Follow the instructions for the brownie recipe then leave to cool in the tin. 
Once cool, place in the fridge for about 1-2 hours so they firm up, this makes it easier to cut neat shapes out of the brownies so they don't fall apart.
When firm enough, slice the brownies in half. Then cut 4-5 triangles down one side then repeat on the other half of the brownies. If you're using a cookie cutter you may not get as many brownies as I did with the triangles.
Prepare your buttercream and mix with the green food colouring. Spoon into a piping bag with a star piping tip and pipe a pattern on top however you like.
Then add lots of sprinkles on top to decorate. Eat straight away or you can place in the fridge to keep the buttercream firm but they can also be stored at room temperature in an airtight container up t 3 days. Enjoy!

Christina
xx
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Tuesday, 21 December 2021

Gingerbread Men Biscuits

These gingerbread men are super easy to make and are vegan!

It was never a tradition for myself or my family to make gingerbread men every Christmas, but as I've gotten older I've found myself wanting to make them every year. Not only do I love the taste, the snap of the biscuit, perfectly dunked in tea (essential to dunk all biscuits no?) the spicy ginger, I do love decorating them as tedious as it may be. do they all look the same? Absolutely not. Could I improve my soya icing skills? 100% yes. But that's all the fun of it. This tradition I do solely by myself, I'm not surrounded by creative bakers but that doesn't stop me having a little fun. And why can't traditions be done alone? Nevertheless, gingerbread men are so much fun done with others, especially if you have children, nieces, nephews, friends etc. It's the perfect day for some festive fun! The fact that the biscuits are vegan means that they're even simpler to make and you wouldn't be none the wiser. 

If you love gingerbread...

Check out my other recipes for more inspiration!

Recipe

Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Serves: 28 biscuits with a 5cm cookie cutter - may make ore or less depending on the size of the cutter

NOTE: every ingredient I use is vegan so make sure you check your ingredients if you're following a Vegan lifestyle.

Ingredients

100g Plain flour
80g Caster sugar
10g Ground ginger
1 tsp Bicarbonate of soda
60g Golden syrup
40g Vegan butter
Vegan royal icing for decorating - I use this recipe

Method

✿Preheat the oven to 160 and grease and line a large baking tray. 
Melt the butter and golden syrup together in the microwave. 
In a large mixing bowl, add the dry ingredients and mix. Then add the butter/syrup mixture and mix well till a dough is formed. 
Dust the work surface with some flour and roll the dough out to 3mm thick. Use a cookie cutter to cut out cookies and place onto the lined baking tray.
Bake for 10 minutes but no longer as they can burn really easily. Leave to cool on a wire rack before decorating. There are lots of decorating ideas on Pinterest that are really easy to copy and look amazing. I went for something simple but try different techniques :) Enjoy!

Christina 
xx
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Friday, 17 December 2021

Mince Pie Brownies

If you love mince pies and brownies, combine them together for a very festive traybake!

I had seen some inspiration for a mince pie brownie last year and I quite honestly thought it was the best combination for a Christmas treat. And I'm pleased that this vegan brownie recipe turned out as well as it did, if you've been following for a while, you'll know I struggle with vegan brownies sometimes! But this one is just magical, it was a Christmas dream come true and these brownies are perfectly fudgy, slightly spicy and a little chewy from the dried fruit that works so well against the chocolate. i also really recommend sticking to using both brown sugars, they both add some deeper tones to the brownies, and especially the dark brown sugar is full of molasses which helps keeps these brownies nice and moist. These mince brownies, are the perfect traybake in the lead up to Christmas and are really quick and simple to make. Enjoy with some mulled wine and a your favourite festive film (hello aliteration), you've got a cosy day lined up. 

If you love chocolate and mince pies....

Check out these recipes for more inspiration!

Recipe

Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Serves: 16

NOTE: every ingredient I use is vegan so make sure you check your ingredients if you're following a Vegan lifestyle.

Ingredients

200g Plain flour
150g Light brown sugar
100g Dark brown sugar
80g Cocoa powder
1 tsp Baking powder
½ tsp Bicarbonate of soda
Pinch of salt
1 tbsp Ground ginger
1 tbsp Cinnamon
¼ tsp Allspice
¼ tsp Ground cloves
Zest of 1 orange + 90ml orange juice
100g Applesauce
100ml Soya milk 
70g Butter, melted
200g mixed dried fruit
Icing sugar, for dusting


Method

✿Preheat the oven to 180℃ and grease and line an 8x8 inch cake tin with baking paper.
✿In a large bowl, mix together all of the dry ingredients except for the dried fruit. Use a whisk to do this to help break up the sugar as it can clump easily.
✿In a separate bowl, mix together the soya milk, butter, applesauce and orange juice. Add to the dry ingredients and combine.
✿Fold in the dried fruit trying not to over mix the batter anymore.
✿Spoon the brownie batter into the prepared cake tin and spread out evenly. 
✿Bake for 20-25 minutes - try not to bake any longer than this, as it the brownies will lose their moisture and can dry out.
✿Leave to cool in the cake tin before transferring to a wire rack. Dust with icing sugar and then serve. Best kept at room temperature for up to 5 days in an airtight container. Enjoy!

Christina
xx





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Friday, 10 December 2021

Orange Glazed Ginger Loaf Cake

 A gorgeous ginger spiced loaf cake with a zesty orange glaze!

I don't know about you but when I wrote 'ginger spiced' above I immediately thought of THE ginger spice. However no Union Jack dresses will be featuring in this post today I'm afraid! With this beautiful cake however, its the perfect cake I expect one to have with tea in the afternoon. it's simple, nothing too dramatic (except the little gingerbread men sprinkles) and its flavour packs a punch for those festive feels. It's the cake you need in the lead up to Christmas, I like my kitchen to be smelling ginger and that sweet sticky treacle and this does just that. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did!

If you love ginger and loaf cakes....

Check out my other recipes for more inspiration!

Recipe

Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 35-40 minutes
Serves: 8-10

NOTE: every ingredient I use is vegan so make sure you check your ingredients if you're following a Vegan lifestyle.

Ingredients

Cake
275g Self-raising flour
150g Dark brown sugar
3g Baking powder
15g Ground ginger
2g Mixed spice
Pinch of salt
70ml soya milk
60g Treacle or molasses
70g Applesauce
100ml Vegan butter, melted
Glaze
150g Icing sugar
4tbsp Orange juice
2-3tbsp hot water if needed
Glacé ginger optional
Sprinkles optional 

Method

✿Preheat the oven to 170℃ and grease and line a 2lb loaf tin with baking paper.
In a large bowl add the dry ingredients and mix well. In a separate bowl whisk together the treacle, butter and applesauce. 
Then add this to the bowl and whisk.  Add the soya milk gradually whilst mixing to slowly loosen the cake batter. 
Spoon the cake batter into the prepared cake tin and bake for 35-40 minutes being careful not to burn the top. 
Leave to cool completely in the tin before glazing. 
To make the glaze simply mix in the orange juice with the icing sugar. At first it will be quite clumpy but keep mixing. If the glaze needs to be loose, add some hot water until the glaze is smooth and pourable but not too runny or transparent as it will slide right off the cake. 
Coat the cake in the glaze and sprinkle on some of the glacé ginger if using. Best kept at room temperature up to 3 days. Enjoy!

Christina 
xx


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Sunday, 21 November 2021

Vegan 'Kinder Bueno' Cookie Bars

Gooey cookie bars filled with a vegan, creamy hazelnut filled chocolate!

I have been waiting for a day that a vegan alternative to kinder bueno graces our shelves and could not wait to get my hands on the delicious chocolate bars by Love Raw. Their cream filled wafer bars are SO similar to kinder buenos, the filling is super creamy and tastes like hazelnut with the right amount of crispy wafer. I managed to find them in my nearest Asda, so hoping they will merge into other supermarkets so they are more accessible. they truly are a fantastic replica and I can't wait to se what other products Love Raw will present us. When I made this recipe, I wasn't sure what to put these chocolate bars with, and had the idea of a cookie but fancied something a little bigger - enter the cookie bar! Now by no means have I invented the cookie bars, but cookie dough meets hazelnut wafer chocolate is right up my street and if you follow the same path you'll love this recipe too. And now that I know about Love Raw chocolate bars, this isn't the last of the 'Kinder Bueno' category on my blog :)

If you love cookie bars and chocolate...

Check out my other recipes for more inspiration!

Recipe

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 18 minutes
Serves: 16 bars

NOTE: every ingredient I use is vegan so make sure you check your ingredients if you're following a Vegan lifestyle.

Ingredients

275g Plain flour
1 tsp Baking soda
1 tsp Salt
1 tbsp Cornflour
120g butter
50g Caster sugar
140g Light brown sugar
50g Applesauce
1 tsp Vanilla extract
250g Love Raw Bars chopped
100g Chocolate chips

Method

✿Preheat heat the oven to 180℃ and line a 21cm tray with baking paper.
✿In a standing mixer, beat together the butter and sugars until fluffy. Then add the vanilla and salt and mix.
✿Add the applesauce and cornflour and combine - the mixture will probably split but don't worry!
✿Add the flour and mix together into a cookie dough then remove from the machine. Use a wooden spoon to fold in the chocolate chips and the 3/4 of the chocolate bars.
✿Spoon into the prepared tray and top with the remaining chocolate bars pressing them on top of the cookie dough. 
✿Bake for 15-18 until golden brown and still gooey, don't over bake as the cookies will be hard, you want them to be soft and they will harden nicely as they cool down. 
✿Leave to cool before slicing into 16 bars. Best kept at room temperature in an airtight container up 1 week. Enjoy!

Christina 
xx
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Tuesday, 16 November 2021

Apple Banana Bread

This banana bread has lots of extra juiciness and sweetness from the delicious apples!

We are super lucky in the UK, that apples can be grown all year through which makes them a sustainable fruit to be eating. Depending on what apples you can get gives a different flavour - some are super sweet or juicier or even a little bitter. For this recipe I prefer to use Braeburn, Cox or Pink Lady apples as I like the balance of green and red on the skin :) Apples and bananas pair well together as they both have different textures and levels of sweetness which is great in an easy banana bread recipe. Grating the apple makes it easier to distribute that moisture and having some in cubes gives a little crunch. I recommend a spread of almond butter to balance out that sweetness!

If you love apples and bananas....

Check out my other recipes for ore inspiration!

Recipe

Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 50 minutes
Serves: 8-10

NOTE: every ingredient I use is vegan so make sure you check your ingredients if you're following a Vegan lifestyle.

Ingredients

210g Plain flour
300g Bananas, very ripe
150g Light brown sugar
2 tsp Baking powder
1 tbsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Ginger
1 tsp Nutmeg
60g Butter, melted
1 Flax egg = 3 tbsp ground flaxseed + 6 tbsp water mixed together
2 Apples 


Method

✿Preheat the oven to 180℃ and grease and line a 2lb loaf tin with baking paper.
In a bowl, mash the bananas with a fork then mix with the flax egg, butter and brown sugar.
Stir in the flour and spices, then grate one of the apples and fold through the batter.
Spoon the batter into the prepared loaf tin spreading out evenly. Chop up the remaining apple and scatter on top of the batter -you may only need half of the other apple.
Place in the oven to bake for 25 minutes, then cover with foil and continue to bake another 25-30 minutes until a knife inserted comes out clean. 
Leave to cool in the loaf tin before removing and slicing. Best kept covered at room temperature up to 5 days. Enjoy!

Christina
xx


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Sweet Potato Bread

Upgrade your morning toast with a slice of this beautiful sweet potato bread!

We've got banana bread, we've got pumpkin bread, but sweet potato bread is the new kid on the block! Adding fruits or vegetables to recipes like these add that divine moisture and gooey sort of texture which is why it's almost like a cake rather than a bread, but I am not complaining. This is another beautiful autumnal recipe that's perfect if you've got any leftover sweet potatoes to use up or you just fancy baking something a little different. I was blown away by the results of this bread, one of my work colleagues even said it was the best thing I have ever made - a bold statement but one I can get on board with, so I am sure you will love this bread too. I will say that I am not sure if the sweet potato can be substituted for another potato or starchy vegetable - they all have different water quantities so I would stick with the sweet potato to be on the safe side :) A slice of this toasted with a slathering of nut butter is a firm favourite of mine and it also works well with butter and vegan cheese, random I know but try it!

If you love sweet potato and bread....

Check out my other recipes for more inspiration!

Recipe

Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 50 minutes
Serves: 10 

NOTE: every ingredient I use is vegan so make sure you check your ingredients if you're following a Vegan lifestyle.

Ingredients

200g Plain flour
120ml Soya milk + 1tbsp Apple cider vinegar
100g Caster sugar
60g Light brown sugar
80g butter, melted
250g Sweet potato puree - either boiled or steamed then mashed 
½ tsp Baking powder
½ tsp Baking soda
1 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Ginger
½ tsp Nutmeg
¼ tsp Ground cloves
Pinch of salt
30g Pumpkin seeds
50g Pecans, chopped

Method

✿Preheat the oven to 170℃ and grease and line a 2lb loaf tin with baking paper. 
In a jug, mix together the soya milk and ACV then leave to the side for 5 minutes to create a 'buttermilk'. 
In a large bowl, combine the flour, spices and salt. 
In another bowl, whisk together the butter and both sugars. Then add the sweet potato puree and whisk. 
Gradually add some of the flour mix and then the 'buttermilk' alternating between the two until you have a smooth batter. Try not to over mix the batter, once the ingredients are combined stop mixing. 
Spoon the batter into the loaf tin and smooth out. Sprinkle on top the chopped pecans and pumpkin seeds then bake in the oven for 45-50 minutes until a knife inserted comes out clean. Half way through you may need to cover the bread with foil in case the top starts to burn. 
Once baked, leave to cool in the tin before removing. Best kept in an airtight container up tp 5 days. Enjoy!

Christina 
xx


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