Baking can be a great way to relax, spend time with friends, or give someone that cake they sorely need (even if that person is you). But if you’re like me and have many awkward intolerances to work around, know a friendly vegan in need of some sweet treats, or maybe just fancy trying some new recipes, these are some of my favourites. 

Image by Ruth Walbank

Banana Breakfast Bites 

Whether you’re bored of toast or need breakfast on the go, these little nuggets of breakfast health are perfect. They’re sort of like a hybrid between flapjack and banana bread, and this recipe makes about 20 of these beauties. 

Ingredients:

2 mashed bananas

200g rolled oats

50g ground almond (or desiccated coconut, whichever you prefer)

1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1 tsp chia seeds

50g dried cranberries, or dark chocolate chips, or nuts or whatever else you fancy!

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Line and lightly grease a baking tray.
  2. Firstly, add the mashed bananas to the ground almonds, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg and stir until combined.
  3. Next, add in the oats. There are a lot of oats in ratio to the banana but stick with it. The mixture should become quite thick, but the banana should coat the oats.
  4. Add in the dried cranberries, chocolate, or whatever other bits and pieces you fancy. Any other dried fruit will work, and some cashew nuts or pumpkin seeds will also add an extra crunch.
  5. Finally, add in the chia seeds. These will just add a bit of texture to the bites as well as those additional health benefits (antioxidants, fibre, Omega 3 and protein).
  6. Use approximately 1 tablespoon per ball. You can either use an ice cream scoop to shape the mixture or get your hands dirty (my preferred option). Mould the mixture into ball shapes and place on the baking tray, well spaced.
  7. Bake for 10-15 minutes until they are lightly golden and lift off the baking tray. They should still be slightly soft to the touch.
  8. Allow them to cool, and then tuck in!
Image by Ruth Walbank

My Mum’s Perfect Cookies

Most people argue that their grandma’s cookies are the best. However, in this case, my mum’s cookie recipe beats them all. They’re hardly a healthy choice, but I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t used them as friendship bribes before now. 

Ingredients 

100g Vegan Margarine (I recommend Sainsbury’s Baking Block)

50g Muscovado Sugar

50g Caster Sugar

2 tbsp Golden Syrup

175g Self Raising Flour

100g Vegan Chocolate, chopped.

1 Medium Orange

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
  2. Cream the margarine and sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Add in the syrup. This acts as a binding agent rather than the eggs.
  4. Fold in the flour gently, and a bit at a time. The mixture should become very thick and stick to the spoon.
  5. Mix in the chocolate chips with the zest of the orange. Add in the juice of half the orange.
  6. Spoon a tablespoon of the mixture onto a greased baking tray and press down with a fork for each cookie.
  7. Bake for 10-15 minutes until golden and just holding their shape. They should be a little soft still, but let them cool on the baking tray.
  8. To finish, drizzle a bit of chocolate mixed with some of the leftover orange juice on the top.

I hope you enjoy these vegan baking treats. They’re some of the simplest and quickest recipes I know and are always delicious. Enjoy!