Like many other campervans our Devon Tempest has just a small combined oven and grill that runs on gas. While the grill is useful for comforting toast, I use the oven much less. I sometimes whip up some garlic bread or make pitta breads but we don’t heat up ready meals in the ‘van [preferring to cook from scratch] and I usually cook meals on the hob. I know there are those who cook a full Sunday roast in their oven but for others the oven is just the place to store the frying pans. Recently I decided to get my money’s worth out of this piece of campervan equipment and make cakes.
We were taking a camping trip in the Peak District and were being joined for the weekend by working friends who were due to arrive on Friday evening. As the two retirees with time on our hands we had arrived a day early and were in charge of the first evening cooking rota. We wanted to spoil our hard-working friends and as well as a selection of curries we were keen to provide a pudding, but with one friend joining us who is a vegan, a shop-bought cake was not an easy option.
I spent a happy hour on the Friday morning having my very own bake-off in our tiny kitchen, not really expecting it to be too successful. I have made vegan cakes at home and they are generally easy to throw together, not requiring the time consuming techniques you need for traditional sponge cakes. In the ‘van I used reusable silicone cup cake cases to make a dozen lemon cup cakes and was pleased when they came out looking great. Decorating cakes is not my strong point, I don’t have the patience for delicate work, so I cheated with ready-made icing to give the cakes the finishing touch to make them look special.
That evening the cakes were all wolfed down in no time and there is now no stopping me in terms of campervan baking, look out Martin Dorey!
Recipe for Vegan Lemon Cakes – makes a dozen cup cakes or one loaf
- 255 gms plain flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder + 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 65 gms sugar + pinch of salt
- Zest + juice of 1 lemon [around 60 mls]
- 120 mls vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 tablespoons of water
- 240 mls of vegan yoghurt [milk-based plain yoghurt is fine if you are not vegan]
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
- 50 gms melted vegan margarine
Preheat the over to 160C or similar. Grease & line a 1 lb loaf tin if you are using this.
Sift the flour with the baking powder & soda and salt in to a bowl. Add the lemon zest & sugar.
Add water, oil, yoghurt, lemon juice & melted margarine, combine quickly so that the flour is mixed in but do not over mix.
Pour your mixture in to your cup cake cases or loaf tin & bake until firm [about 40 minutes for the loaf tin, around 15 mins for the cup cakes].
Remove from the tin or cup cases & cool. A simple topping is a glaze of 100 gms icing sugar mixed with the juice of a lemon [add this while the cake / cakes are still warm] or with other icing or topping of your choice.