This year, instead of making New Year’s Resolutions that I know I am not going to have the will power or inclination to strive to keep, I opted for a promise to myself to spend more time individually with each of our children. So often, we all cook together and I love all the chaos this inevitably brings and the fact that no one misses out on the fun, but it does mean I am not spending time with each child on their own.
My New Year’s Day baking in pyjamas session was with Seb. It was considerably earlier than I would have chosen, but he was awake and seeing as he gets his early bird tendencies from me, I thought it fell to me to keep him occupied. I did not want three children awake at that hour slowly chiselling away at my patience! This did mean we were making these cakes at 7am and they were in the oven by 7.30am and cooled and iced before 9am.
As it is January, we decided on a vegan recipe to coincide with Veganary. Please don’t switch off here, because if I hadn’t mentioned that these were vegan and you tried one, I doubt you would realise. As an added bonus, they contain apple and blackberries so that definitely makes them healthier than the cakes without fruit, right?! It is an easy recipe to make, but young children may well need help grating the apple. We used frozen blackberries, but for the icing we did let them defrost so we could squish and squash them and mix with the icing sugar to create a vibrant icing for the cakes. This recipe makes 8 cakes and they will keep in the fridge for a couple of days if they last that long.
To make our Vegan Apple & Blackberry Cakes you will need:
- 100ml plant-based milk (we used hazelnut, but any will do)
- 100g caster sugar
- 30ml vegetable oil or rapeseed oil
- 1/2tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2tsp baking powder
- 120g self raising flour and an extra half tbsp
- 40g blackberries (frozen is OK)
- 50g grated apple
- 80g icing sugar
- 30g blackberries (defrosted if frozen)
- Preheat the oven to 160 °c fan and line eight holes of a muffin tray with paper or silicone cases.
- Put the sugar, grated apple and the liquid ingredients in a large bowl and mix to combine.
- Sift the self raising flour and baking powder into the mixture and gently fold together.
- Sprinkle half a tablespoon of flour over the frozen blackberries and ensure they are all completely coated – this should prevent them from all sinking to the bottom of the cakes.
- Add to the cake mixture and gently fold them in.
- Divide the mixture between the eight cake cases and place in the oven for around 20 minutes until springy to the touch and a cake tester comes out clean (unless you hit a blackberry).
- Remove from the oven and set aside to cool. While the cakes are cooling, squish and squash the defrosted blackberries until they are liquidy. Mix with the icing sugar and add more icing sugar if you want a thicker icing.
- Cover the cakes and allow to set. Store in the fridge.
This recipe was featured in Penguin News on 10 January 2020.