Earlier this month, the beautiful Bubba Belle ‘came of age’ and turned the big 18. She’s going to hate me for it, but here’s a pic of the little darlin’… Well, this was her 8 years ago, anyway!

Happy birthday, Belle!

So Belle is not only a gorgeous young lady, but also a passionate one. See, she’s a strict vegan staunch defender of every animal on the planet. Which is very admirable, but makes it very difficult to bake her a speccy 18th birthday cake… And so to my friend Google for some advice!

One of my most favourite cakes is the red velvet cake. It has a moist texture, a slight chocolate flavour and the bestest frosting in the world – cream cheese! The problem is, red velvet cake has many animal-derived ingredients – butter, eggs, milk, cream cheese and red food dye (which apparently is made from beetles…). Always up for a challenge, I decided to find a suitably animal-free version of the cake (of which there were many). Unfortunately, none were to my liking (read: none involved creaming a butter-substitute and sugar as a first step), so I decided to adapt a few recipes to form my own.  And might I say, very successfully!

Vegan Red Velvet with De-Animalised Cream Cheese Frosting
2/3 cup vegan margarine (I used Nuttelex)
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2tsp vanilla
440g white flour
10g bicarb soda
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp cocoa
Just under 2 cups unflavoured almond milk (you could use soy or rice milk too)
2Tbsp vegan red or pink food colouring (alternatively, fresh beetroot juice can be used, but not from canned beets!)
30mL of red wine or white balsamic vinegar

1. Grease 2 x 20cm cake tins and line the bottoms with baking paper. Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
2. Cream Nuttelex and sugar, then add vanilla. Mix until sugar has dissolved as much as possible.
3. Sift all dry ingredients. Fold all dry and wet ingredients into the butter mixture.
4. Divide mixture between the 2 tins and bake until cooked through – should take about 40min.
5. Cool on racks. While cooling, make frosting:

Frosting (this stuff is so tasty we made ourselves sick on the leftovers – tastes 100% non-vegan, but promise it is!)
1 tub Tofutti soy cream cheese (or other vegan cream cheese)
1/2 cup Nuttelex
2 cups pure icing sugar, sifted (plus extra if the icing doesn’t thicken)
A squeeze of lemon juice

1. Beat Tofutti and Nuttelex until well combined.
2. Add icing sugar, a third at a time, beating well in between each addition.
3. Add lemon juice and beat well.
4. Put a layer of frosting between the 2 cakes, then use the rest to ice the cake.

I topped the cake with vegan-friendly chopped pecans (although I was tempted to use 100’s and 1000’s – good job I didn’t! Apparently there are animal products in them…). The end result?

Belle’s Vegan Cake

Red Velvety Goodness!

Happy baking!
Lyn x


Turns out Lyndal was right – it’s been a hella long time since we got off our lazy butts and wrote anything. That’s not to say that we haven’t been cooking, baking and eating in that time. We just hadn’t been doing it in any kind of organised manner. And since she’s spending the weekend primping and preening in a wedding, I guess that means it’s my turn. (more…)

I’m a self-confessed food tourist. I see food, I photograph it (badly) from as many angles as possible, then I eat as much of it as I can. I love making it, going out for it and sharing it. I think its safe to say it’s my (cliche alert!) passion. So I thought I’d indulge myself and post a whole bunch of pics of great meals I’ve had in the last 12 months. Enjoy the food porn! (more…)

So it’s been nearly a year since our last post. A lot has happened in that time! I’ve been to Viet Nam, and Jo’s been to NZ. We’ve eaten plenty of Japanese food (tip: if in Sydney, Sushi Choo at the Ivy has $25 all you can eat sushi train between 5.30pm and 7.30pm weeknights, and its awesome!), cakes and Christmas goodies, given up boxing, taken up gymming and running and generally lived our lives. (more…)

Is it sad that a 30 year old woman has never roasted a chicken before? In my defence, it’s just never come up and now that I live on my own, there didn’t seem much point roasting a whole chicken for one person. However, earlier this week I was struck with twin urges: to roast a chicken and to write a blog post. (more…)

Those who know me well know I have a few obsessions.  Shoes, Michael Buble, Heston’s Feasts, ridiculously priced designer duds that I can neither afford or fit into, and dumplings.  Possibly the latter is why I don’t fit in said designer clothes,  Oh well.  I’m more obsessed with dumplings than the clothes! (more…)

The beautiful Miss Toni Louise tweeted me this afternoon.  This was exciting, not many people do.  But what was even better was that I could help her 🙂

What did T need?  A good apple pie filling.  And don’t I have a cracker! (more…)