Go-To Chocolate Cake

This cake will be your go-to chocolate cake as it’s extremely easy to make; it rises easily, and produces a deliciously fudgy, flavoursome cake that’s perfect served warm with the glaze poured over it.

For the cake:
1 1/4 cups plain flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsp granulated stevia
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 cup strong coffee, warm, but not hot
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla essence
1/3 cup soy yoghurt
1/4 cup apple sauce
1 tsp white wine or cider vinegar

For the glaze: 
4 tbsp suitable-for-vegans margarine
1/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp granulated stevia
2 tbsp all-plant milk mixed with 1 tbsp cornflour
1 tsp vanilla essence
4 squares suitable-for-vegans 70% dark chocolate

1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease a round loose-bottom cake tin, and sit it on a baking tray. 
2. Mix all of the cake ingredients so that the flour is well incorporated. Pour into the cake tin. 
3. Bake for 30-40 minutes (ovens vary) or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool in the tin. 
4. Meanwhile, Place all of the glaze ingredients except for the chocolate into a saucepan. Bring to a simmer, but don’t allow to boil. Add the chocolate to melt, adding more if glaze is too sweet. 
5. Serve cake warm with glaze poured over the top.

Coconut Macaroons

Can’t bake? Don’t worry! We’ve got you covered with these Mini Coconut Macaroons!

1 1/4 cup desiccated coconut
1 tbsp plain (all-purpose) flour
1/2 cup soy (or other all-plant) milk
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
Generous pinch salt
Pinch chilli powder
8 squares of suitable-for-vegan dark chocolate, melted (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 180C, and line a baking tray with a silicone mat or baking parchment. 
2. In a saucepan, simmer the coconut, flour, soy milk, maple syrup, vanilla, salt and chilli powder very gently until the coconut has absorbed the liquid, stirring often. 
3. Take heaped teaspoons of the mix and with wet hands roll them into balls. Place the balls on the baking tray and bake for about 12-15 minutes or until golden on top. 
4. Drizzle with the melted chocolate, if using, and allow to cool fully on a wire rack before enjoying.

Peanut-Butter Chocolate Energy Balls

These sweets are just as delicious and moreish as chocolate truffles but far less processed and very quick to make. They make a fantastic pick-me-up after a workout, or are delicious with a cuppa as a sweet treat.

1/2 cup dates
1/4 cup pecans
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Pinch salt
1 tbsp maple syrup
Coconut flakes, ground almonds, or crushed pecans for dusting, if desired

1. Process all the dates and pecans in food processor until very fine.
2. Add the rest of the ingredients, and process further to combine.
3. Roll into small balls, roll in the coconut/ground almonds/crushed pecans, and refrigerate for 30 minutes for best results (although you should probably eat one while you wait for “research” purposes).

Peanut Butter Banana Overnight Oats

Ideal for those who don’t like to cook, this is more a breakfast suggestion than a recipe. It’s really simple to put together, and although it’s a single-serving, it’s easily doubled or even quadrupled for a great family breakfast.


1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup chocolate almond milk (or other chocolate plant milk)
1/4 tsp fairtrade vanilla essence
1 banana
1 tbsp peanut butter
Cacao nibs or suitable-for-vegan fairtrade chocolate chips to garnish, if desired

1. Stir the milk and vanilla essence through the oats. Leave to soak overnight or for at least 20 minutes.
2. When ready to serve, add a little more milk through the oats, if desired. Layer with peanut butter and banana, and top with chocolate chips.

Speedy Chocolate Mug Cake

Rich, spongy, sticky: this chocolate mug cake is wholewheat and free from refined sugar. However, if you’re feeling decadent, you can serve it with some suitable-for-vegans chocolate sauce and/or peanut butter. Serves 1-2, depending on how much of a sweet tooth you have.


Suitable-for-vegan spray oil, for greasing the mug
1/2 small banana
70g dates, pitted and soaked for 5 minutes in boiling water, then drained
4 tbsp wholewheat flour
1 tbsp fairtrade cocoa powder
3 tbsp plant milk
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
1/4 tsp bread soda/bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
Pinch salt
1/4 tsp vinegar

1. Grease the mug with some spray oil, or a kitchen towel dipped in a little vegetable oil
2. Blend the rest of the ingredients until smooth.
3. Transfer to the mug, and microwave on full power for 2-3 minutes until cooked.

Strawberry-Chocolate Parfait

Although this breakfast seems decadent, it takes under 10 minutes to prepare and will make enough for 4-6 servings. The strawberry cream, chocolate cream, and granola keep well in the fridge in separate containers. This is “technically” breakfast because it’s full of fruit and cereal, but it also makes a really delicious dessert.


2 cups frozen strawberries (or substitute with other frozen fruit, if you prefer)
2 tbsp + 1 tbsp maple syrup
2 cups suitable-for-vegan muesli or granola
300g silken tofu (available in your health-food shop, or in the Japanese aisle of your supermarket)
1 tsp lime juice
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1/4 cup peanut butter
1 pear per serving, chopped


1. Place the strawberries and 2 tbsp maple syrup in a bowl in the microwave and zap for 2 minutes, until the strawberries start to thaw and soften. If you have got a microwave, you can use a saucepan over a medium-low heat.
2. Meanwhile, in a frying pan over a medium heat, toast the muesli until golden brown (2-3 minutes).
3. Transfer the strawberries to the blender with the tofu and lime juice, and blend until smooth.
4. Remove half of the strawberry mix and set aside. To the rest, add the cocoa powder, the peanut butter, and the remaining 1 tbsp maple syrup. Blend again.
5. Layer a glass or bowl with alternating layers of pear, strawberry cream, muesli, and chocolate cream.Top with some granola, and some more chopped frozen strawberries.

Lagusta’s Luscious

Lagusta’s Luscious

Please note: These links are not an endorsement of these suppliers in that many of these suppliers do support welfarist organizations.


Peanut butter, chocolate breakfast bar with dates and figs

Simple, nutrient dense, no baking, no gluten, no added sugar, no added oil, and covered in chocolate.


1/4 cup whole grain teff
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup unsweetened plant milk (I use soy)
1T cocoa powder (I use a Dutch-processed, fair trade brand)
A pinch coarse sea salt
1/4 cup unsweetened, unsalted peanut butter (I use crunchy)
1/4 dried, soft figs, stemmed and finely chopped (I use calimyrna)
1/4 dried, soft dates, pitted and finely chopped (I use medjool)
2T boiling water
1T tapioca flour dissolved in 2T  water
80g dark chocolate (I use a fair trade, organic bar)

Optional: Add a little chili to the chocolate. Double the chocolate for more of a dessert. Use cashew or macadamia nut butter or even sesame seed butter as an alternative to peanuts. Add a tablespoon or two of coconut sugar for a sweeter tooth.


In a small, heavy-bottomed pan with a lid, toast the teff on medium heat for 2 minutes. Add the water and bring the pan to a simmer. Cover, reduce heat to low and and simmer for about 20 minutes (until the teff is pulling away from the sides of the pan), stirring more frequently at the end).

Add the plant milk and cocoa powder. Stir to combine. Increase heat to medium low. Simmer another 5 minutes. While the teff finishes, add the boiling water to the figs and dates and rehydrate a little. Add the tapioca mixture to the teff slowly, stirring continuously until it thickens. Remove from heat.

Mix the peanut butter in with the dates and figs but leave it marbled rather than fully combined. Pour into a 3″ x 9″ loaf pan and let cool 1 hour to setup.

When the bar has setup, turn out of the pan onto plastic wrap top down. Let stand about 15 minutes. Melt the chocolate using a double boiler, two doubled up pans, etc. When the chocolate has melted, turn the bar over. Spoon the melted chocolate over the bar and spread evenly.

Let stand about 30 minutes at room temperature for the chocolate to firm up. Chill uncovered about an hour. Wrap with plastic and chill until ready to serve (at least a few hours, or overnight).

Lemon, coconut milk panna cotta with blueberries and a chocolate, teff brownie crust

Teff is a versatile, nutrient dense cereal grass commonly used in Ethiopian cuisine. If you’ve had injera, you’ve likely had some teff; cooked as a whole grain, it’s also an easy to prepare and flexible alternative to corn meal in many savory, polenta style recipes.

In this application, the grain is cooked whole to give it a soft, chewy cake-like texture. Along with the cocoa powder, the white miso, and the blueberries, it provides a rich but not too sinful dessert. No baking required.


For the teff brownie:
1/4 cup of teff
1 cup of water
3T of cocoa powder
3T of agave nectar
2t of black strap molasses
2T of coconut oil
Pinch of sea salt

For the panna cotta:
1 1/2 cups of coconut milk*
1T of white miso
1T of lemon juice
1T of agar flakes
3T of agave nectar
Pinch of sea salt

For the blueberries:
2 cups of blueberries
2t of lemon juice
Pinch of sea salt
1/4 cup of sugar
1T of arrowroot powder dissolved in 1T of cool water***


Prepare the teff, the panna cotta and the blueberries in that order.

For the teff, in a pan with a lid, bring 1 cup of water to a boil.
Add a pinch of sea salt, the teff, and the coconut oil.
Reduce to very low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring frequently.
Remove from heat, add the remaining ingredients and stir thoroughly to combine.
Spoon the teff out into a 6″ pie plate (or similar) to cool and smooth with the back of a spoon.
It will be a little gooey and sticky at this point still — that’s expected.
Refrigerate uncovered while you make the panna cotta.

For the panna cotta, bring the coconut milk to a light boil (you won’t need a lid).
Add all of the ingredients and stir thoroughly to combine.
Simmer lightly for 15 – 20 minutes to dissolve the agar.
Aim to reduce the liquid to one heaping cup.
Remove from heat, and let stand 5 minutes.
Pour over the brownie and return to the refrigerator uncovered.

For the blueberries, warm a pan on medium heat.
Add half of the blueberries, lemon juice and sea salt, and stir to combine.
If the blueberries are slow to start, or don’t produce much moisture, add 1 to 2T of water to the pan.
Once the blueberries have started to lose their moisture, add the sugar.
Stir to combine, and cook for about 8-10 minutes, stirring regularly.
Add the remaining blueberries and cook for another 5 minutes.
Whisk the arrowroot with the water.
Add the mixture to the blueberries slowly, stirring continuously until thickened.
The blueberries should be quick thick.
Let stand to cool 5 minutes.
Pour the blueberries over the panna cotta.
Refrigerate for about 15 minutes uncovered.
Cover and refrigerate until ready to eat.

*To reduce the amount of fat from the coconut milk substitute a cup of unsweetened soy milk. The result will be lighter but not quite as rich.

**Although manufacturing processes are changing, some commercial table sugars are still filtered/bleached using animal bone charcoal. As a rule, organic sugar, beet sugar and a number of other types are not filtered using this kind of a process at all. Agave and other liquid sweeteners also provide substitutes, although you may need more thickening agent in this recipe.

***You can use corn starch in place of arrowroot powder if that’s what you have on hand. Add the mixture slowly and no need to add the whole amount if you don’t need it.

Raspberry ginger tart in a cup of bittersweet chocolate with orange sesame topping

A simple, no-bake dessert that really brings out the beautiful ruby red of fresh raspberries and combines their sour flavour with ginger, chocolate, orange and other flavours.


For the raspberries
4 cups of raspberries (separated in half)
1/2 cup of sugar*
2T of agave nectar
2T of vegan margarine
A small pinch of sea salt
1 1/2T of agar-agar flakes
2t of arrowroot powder dissolved in 1T of water
2t of fresh ginger, grated

For the chocolate cups
50g of chocolate**

For the topping
2-3T of sesame seed butter***
1T of orange juice
2t of lemon juice
2T of sugar (or to taste)*
A small pinch of sea salt
2t of orange zest for garnish

Add 2 cups of raspberries and the other ingredients to a sauce pan on medium heat.
Stir to combine, and once the margarine has melted, reduce heat to medium low.
Cook until reduced to about 1/2 to 2/3 cups and the agar has dissolved (about 20 minutes), stirring frequently.
Add the arrowroot mixture pouring slowly stirring constantly until it thickens (should be almost instantly).
Let stand to cool for 5 minutes.
Add the remaining berries and stir to combine.
Pour the mixture into two ramekins.
Chill for 30 minutes uncovered until the mix thickens (it will be springy to the touch).
Cover in saran wrap and chill at least another 2 hours (overnight is fine).
Freeze for at least 1-2 hours before melting the chocolate until good and solid (go by the feel rather than the time, since freezers vary).

When ready to add the chocolate, remove the raspberries from the freezer.
Carefully turn the raspberries out from from the ramekins onto a plate.
Use a microwave, a double boiler, or a make-shift double boiler (lightly simmering water in a pan with a second smaller pan poised at water level to ensure a consistent but soft heat) to melt the chocolate. If you haven’t worked with chocolate before, don’t add water, cold liquid, don’t put it directly into contact with high heat source, etc (your chocolate will likely seize and it’s very difficult to fix).
Stir continuously until the chocolate has melted, and then pour gently in spoonfuls over the raspberries and smooth with the spoon so that a bottom layer of chocolate forms, but the chocolate runs over the sides to form something that resembles a chocolate crust.
The chocolate will cool fairly quickly, but refrigerate uncovered for 10-15 minutes when done to ensure the chocolate is dry.
Wrap in saran wrap, freeze for 30 minutes or until firm but not frozen, unwrap and serve.

About 10 minutes before serving, whisk the sesame seed butter with the lemon juice, orange juice and water.
Add the remaining ingredients and whisk thoroughly until combined.
Let stand about 5-8 minutes to thicken.
Add a little more sesame seed butter if you find your topping is not very thick (consistence of the butter itself can vary quite a lot).
Spoon the orange and sesame topping onto the raspberry tarts.
Garnish with the orange zest.

*Production methods are changing, but some white cane sugars are still bleached using animal bone charcoal. Beet sugar, organic sugar and other unbleached sugars are typically fine.

**There’s no penalty for using more chocolate — up to 75g for a nice, thick cup. I use a nice fairly traded bar with organic beans and organic sugar.

***Although sweetened sesame pairs very nicely with sour flavours, it can be an acquired taste. Substitute cashew butter for something more neutral.