Tag Archives: cake

Old-Fashioned English Tea Loaf (Dairy-Free / Egg-Free / Fat-Free)

It might be old-fashioned, but I love tea loaf! It’s perfect for serving for ‘elevenses’ or as a mid-afternoon ‘pick me up’ with a lovely cup of tea

It also makes a great lunchbox treat, after school snack, or tasty sustenance for long road trips. While Lil’ L still won’t eat dried fruits in trail mixes or granolas (still a texture thing apparently!), he’ll happily eat them in this tea loaf. 😉

English Fruity Tea Loaf (Dairy-free / Egg-free / Fat-free / Vegan)

As cakes go, this tea loaf is pretty healthy. It’s filled with nutrient-rich dried fruits and wholegrain flour, contains a relatively low amount of sugar (compared to regular cakes) and it’s fat free!

English Fruity Tea Loaf (Dairy-free / Egg-free / Fat-free / Vegan)

I have my mum’s friend to thank for the recipe. I arrived at my mum’s house one day to discover this incredible smell wafting out of the kitchen. It turned out to be this tea loaf! Back home, I couldn’t wait to have a try at making my own. The original recipe contained an egg but I always bake it eggless and it turns out absolutely fine. I can’t actually tell the difference!

I’ve made countless loaves in the past year or so and I’ve yet to have a fail…

Vegan Fruity Tea Loaf (Fat-free)

… that said, I’ve yet to attempt a gluten-free version of the loaf. Lately, every time I try baking gluten-free, it ends up a total fail! If anyone does attempt a GF version of this loaf, I’d love to hear how you get on.

This loaf is incredibly simple to make! You simply soak the dried fruit in a cup of tea for a few hours, then mix all the ingredients together and bake!

Dried Fruit for Tea Loaf


Lovely cup of tea and English fruity tea loaf

 Are you a fan of fruity cakes? If so, what’s your all-time favourite? If you’ve got any recipes, please do link up below.

Have a great weekend everyone! xx

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Filed under Baking & Desserts, Healthy Snacking, Treats & Sweets

Lil’ L turns 10! and a Recipe for Scrumptious Vegan Chocolate Cake (Dairy-Free / Egg-Free)

At the start of the Autumn half term school holidays, Lil’ L moved into double digits. I’m still dumbfounded as to how my boy grew up so fast. Seriously, where did all those years go?

His day kicked off with present & card opening. I love watching his facial expressions as he opens presents!Lil L 10th Bday Morning 2013

Another sign that he’s growing up is the lack of toys on his birthday wish list. Instead, he wanted new wheels for his scooter, a skater helmet and books (so glad he still enjoys reading!)

We spent his birthday at Longleat Safari Park. We were able to use my Tesco vouchers, which meant we could enter the park for free (saving us over £70!)  There’s so much to see at the Park, including a whole bunch of cool Deadly 60 attractions that have appeared since we last visited.

Longleat Deadly 60 500

For me, the highlights of the day were seeing the penguins, taking part in the Deadly 60 challenge with Lil’ L, and watching a male lion playing with his cub. The highlight for Lil’ L was going on the simulators. It was the first time he’s been on a simulator and he found it thrilling (whereas I just felt incredibly sick & kept my eyes shut the whole time… I’m such a wimp!)

In the evening, we went to Lil’ L’s favourite Indian restaurant in Bath – Rajpoot on Pulteney Bridge.

Rajpoot Bath

The birthday celebrations then continued for the next few days (one of the perks of having a birthday in the school hols!) and included a Laser Quest party; a trip to Dorset to visit his Nan; walks in the forest; and bike rides with his Dad and cousin. What a lucky boy he is!

Lil L 10th Bday Activities 2013

As usual, he requested a vegan chocolate cake for his birthday. This year, I made a very simple chocolate victoria sponge sandwich cake, which worked out surprisingly well. It was moist, held together well when sliced, and wasn’t too rich or sickly sweet.

I was all set to use cashew cream frosting (which I prefer a million times over to regular frosting) … but then had a change of heart. This cake wasn’t for me, it was for Lil’ L and his friends. Rather than impose my preferences on them, I ditched the cashews and dug out an old box of icing sugar from the back of the cupboard. I even went to the shops and bought some sugar sprinkles.

Vegan Chocolate Victoria Sponge Sandwich Cake 400 copy

The cake got great feedback from the family (including my mum!) as well as Lil’ L’s friends. I was particularly surprised when Lil’ L’s best friend came up to me after the party to tell me how much he’d enjoyed the cake. This meant a lot as he isn’t normally a ‘cake person’ (you’re much more likely to seeing him diving into a fruit bowl or tucking into roasted nuts and seeds!)

Vegan Chocolate Cake 2 copy

The cake was super easy to make. Here’s how I did it:

Products used in this recipe
Morrisons 23cm Non-Stick Springform Cake Tins – These are made in the UK, cost only £4 each and have a 5-year guarantee!
Salter Aquatronic Electronic Kitchen Scale – These scales are great as you can weigh everything directly into the same bowl. As an added bonus, they come with a 15 year guarantee!
Tesco Chapatti Flour – I use this flour in all my baked goods. It’s a very fine wholemeal flour and super cheap too!
– Dr Oetker Sugar Stars and Sugar Strands – Purchased from The Co-Op; also available from Tesco

Vegan Chocolate Cake 3 copy

For those of you that dislike the traditional Christmas fruit cake, I think this would make a great alternative. You could even add some festive sprinkles!

 

Please note: This post contains Amazon Affiliate links – if you click on the link and purchase something I will receive a small percentage from Amazon which will go towards the development of Bit of the Good Stuff. Thanks in advance!

 

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Filed under Baking & Desserts, Holidays, Treats & Sweets

Orange & Almond Cake Sandwich Cake (Dairy-free / Egg-free / Vegan)

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you’ll know that I’m a huge fan of Clarks Maple Syrups. I adore maple syrup but used to consider it a luxury product that I would ‘treat’ myself to now and then.  That changed when I discovered Clarks Original Maple Syrup, which is a blend of maple and carob syrups.  It has that delicious, rich maple flavour but it’s cheaper than pure maple syrup.

Clarks Original Maple Syrup

If you’d like to find out a bit more about this syrup and its benefits as a sweetener compared to cane sugar, check out this short video by Bob Clark, the Founder and Managing Director. I didn’t know that the syrup was diabetic-friendly until I watched this!

Rather than an occasional treat, maple syrup is now used every day in our household for drizzling on porridge, overnight oats and pancakes, and for sweetening smoothies, no-bake desserts and treats (including those scrumptious cashew cream cakes 😉 )

I’ve also started using the Clarks syrups in my baked goods, including one of my family’s all-time favourite treats: Orange and Almond Cake.  This is one of the most popular recipes on my blog and I’m loving hearing all the variations that readers have tried on the original recipe.

Almond & Orange Sandwich Cake 3 500 copy

Lately, I’ve been baking this cake in sandwich tins and filling it with an orange and cashew cream frosting.  I usually run a mile from frosting as I find it sickly sweet and greasy, but I love this alternative version which I created taking inspiration from my cashew cream cakes. It not only tastes yummy, but it’s healthy and nutritious too! Now there’s two words that you wouldn’t normally associate with frosting!

Almond & Orange Sandwich Cake 6 500 copy

Just in case you’d like to give it a try yourself, here’s how I make it:

Products I used in this recipe
Chapatti Flour (a super fine, very cheap wholemeal flour, which I use for all my baking)
East End
Desiccated Coconut (from the world food aisle in Tesco)
Tesco Organic Rapeseed Oil
Clarks Original Maple Syrup, available
from Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s supermarkets and Amazon
Natco Cashew Kernels (from the world food aisle in Tesco)
Essential Organic Raw Virgin Coconut Oil (I buy mine from my local Harvest health food store, but it’s also available online).

Magimix 3200 Food Processor

I haven’t made a gluten-free version of this cake yet. If you make one yourself, please do let me know how you get on.

Almond & Orange Sandwich Cake 5 500 copy

 

GIVEAWAY TIME!

 

Clarks Syrups 2

It makes me so happy when I’m able to give away products that I love, and today I’ve got one fantastic giveaway for you 😀

The kind people over at Clarks have given me a set of 4 Maple Syrups to give away on my blog. The lucky winner will receive one each of the following:

Clarks Pure Maple Syrup No 1 (Medium Grade) 180 ml
Clarks Maple Syrup No 2 (Amber Grade) 180 ml
Clarks Original Maple Syrup blended with Carob fruit syrup 180 ml
Clarks Vanilla Maple Syrup Blended with Carob fruit syrup 180 ml

This giveaway is being run using Rafflecopter. If you haven’t used Rafflecopter before, a short video demonstration can be found here. It’s pretty easy… you simply ‘log in’ by entering a name and email address (which won’t be published anywhere) or via Facebook, then you follow the instructions.

The main way to enter the giveaway is to leave me a comment below, answering the question featured in the Rafflecopter. Make sure you tick the box in the Rafflecopter to register that you have done so!

There are a number of additional ways you can enter in order to increase your chances of winning. You will find these listed in the Rafflecopter. All entries will be verified prior to the winner being selected.

The giveaway is open to UK residents only (sorry international friends!)

The closing date is Sunday 29th September 2013 at midnight GMT.

THIS CONTEST IS NOW OVER!

Good luck everyone!

Please note: This post contains Amazon Affiliate links – if you click on the link and purchase something I will receive a small percentage from Amazon which will goes towards the development of Bit of the Good Stuff. Thanks in advance!

 

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Filed under Baking & Desserts, Treats & Sweets

Vegan Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins & Our 2nd Mother’s Day Treat

I hope all the international mothers had a wonderful day of rest, relaxation and pampering last Sunday 🙂  Unlike the rest of the world, here in the UK we celebrate Mother’s Day in March rather than in May but, despite this, last Sunday did feel like Mother’s Day as we had lovely day out with my parents’ in law at Wisley Gardens.  We even had some Mother’s Day gifts for my mother-in-law as we didn’t get to her on the UK Mother’s Day.

Rhododendrons at Wisley in May

www.rhs.org.uk/Gardens/Wisley/

Funnily enough, M thought it was Mother’s Day last Sunday as the date was printed on his works calendar.  Shame I didn’t keep my mouth shut otherwise I could have been in for another treat 😉  He said he was going to remind Lil’ L to make me a card.   I didn’t need another card though as the one I received on our first Mother’s Day was perfect.  In fact, I still haven’t put it away as it makes me smile every time I re-read it.  Here’s what he wrote:

My Mothers Day Card 2013

How sweet is that?

He sure knows how to encourage me to keep baking him treats 😉

Since he loves lemon cake so much, I thought I’d treat him (and M) to some lemon poppy seed muffins this week.  I’m happy to report that they turned out really well and received great feedback from the family 🙂  Even though they’re made with wholegrain flour, they’re light, fluffy and moist.

Vegan Lemon Poppy Seed Muffin

This is what they look like inside:

Vegan Lemon Poppy Seed Muffin

They’re very easy to make.  Here’s how I did it:

 

Here’s another of our favourite muffin recipes: Mama Pea’s Blueberry Streusel Muffin

Mama Pea Blueberry Streusel Muffin

And if you like lemon cakes, how about a slice of Vegan Lemon Drizzle Cake?

Lemon Drizzle Cake

I don’t know about you, but I find that muffins are a bit too big for me to eat in one go.  I often slice them and save half in the fridge for another day.  It’s my birthday next month and on my wish list is one of these mini muffin trays.  They look so cute and this muffin size would be perfect for me.  They’ll also be great for lunchboxes (and waistlines) too!

What’s your favourite muffin flavour?  The next two flavours I’d like to try baking are raspberry & coconut, and maple syrup with maple glazed walnuts.  I just need to wait until I have a bit of space in the freezer then I can get recipe testing 🙂

 

Please note: This post contains an Amazon Affiliate link – if you click on the link and purchase something I will receive a small percentage from Amazon which will goes towards the development of Bit of the Good Stuff. Thanks in advance!

 

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Filed under Baking & Desserts

Lanzarote 2013 & Three Ingredient Pineapple Cake

Hi everyone!

I’m back at long last!  Sorry I’ve been away so much longer than expected.  I hope you all had a wonderful Spring break.  While I’ve really valued my ‘unplugged’ time, I’ve been looking forward to my return to blogging world.  I’ve missed you guys!

So what have I been up to?  Well, over Easter, M, Lil’ L and I were very fortunate to escape the freezing cold weather in the UK and head to the Canary Island of Lanzarote.  It was wonderful to spend some quality time with my boys, without all the distractions and ‘busyness’ of life back home.

We enjoyed chilling out on the beach and at cafes, chatting, reading, playing card games and sketching (cartoon drawing was particularly popular this holiday!)

We’re huge fans of Cesar Manrique, and we loved spending time at the sites he designed, including Los Jameos del Agua, Jardin de Cactus and his own house (now a charitable foundation) which is situated in a lava field!

Lanzarote - Jardin de Cactus

Jardin de Cactus, Lanzarote

During the holiday, we also got to spend some quality time by ourselves.  M really enjoyed biking in the volcanic national park…

Biking in Lanzarote - 500

while I loved my daily runs along the coast path and meditation by the sea.

Meditating in Lanzarote 1 - 500

Lil’ L loved playing on the beach, rock climbing…

Playing on the Rocks in Lanzarote - 500

Lil' L at Los Jameos del Agua Lanzarote 2 - 500

and leaping!

Lil L at Los Jameos del Agua 2 Lanzarote - 500

However, in contrast to all this boisterous activity, sometimes you’d walk round the corner and find him meditating!

Lil' L Meditating in Lanzarote - 500

He also spent a lot of time reading.  He got through about seven books! (‘Big Nate’ was a popular read this holiday).

Beach Reading in Lanzarote - 500

We did some great walks along the coast and in the volcanic national park.  Away from the resorts and towns, you could easily start to feel like you were on another planet!

Lanzarote Volcanic National Park 2 - 500

To be honest, when I saw the newspaper headlines about the freezing temperatures and chilling winds in the UK, I wasn’t particularly looking forward to our return.  However, we seem to have brought the good weather back with us.  Perhaps Spring has finally arrived for sure (fingers crossed!)  I’m loving the lighter mornings and evenings too

Inspired by the sunshine and warm weather, I chose to make a pineapple cake for my study class this week.  It was no ordinary cake though… it was fat free, dairy free and egg free!  A friend gave me the recipe a few years ago.  She’d spotted it in a newspaper, but I believe it was originally published by Kim and Rachael of the 4 Ingredients phenomenon.

Fat Free Pineapple Cake - 500 copy

Since it has no fat, its texture is different to other cakes, but it’s delicious none the less.  It’s one of my all-time favourite cakes and I’m happy to report that it got the thumbs up from my study group friends too 😀

Here’s how to make it…

Fat Free Pineapple Cake 2 - 500 copy

I wonder if this cake will work with crushed mangoes too? I’m definitely going to have to give it a try 😉

Have a wonderful weekend everyone.  I hope the sun is shining wherever you are xx

Link of the day: Orange and Almond Cake

Orange & Almond Cake 2

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Filed under Baking & Desserts, Vacations