World Vegan Month: Cakes Around The World
November is world vegan month, a time when we can all recognise and celebrate the positive effect plant-based living can have on our planet, to our health and (our favourite) on our taste buds. In this series, we look at the range and diversity of specific foods across different cultures and corners of the world in order to share some of our favourite vegan variations with you.
Apologies in advance, but in this post, we’re going to use the term ‘cake’ very loosely; forget Victoria sponges (well, not entirely, it’s coming up first), we’re talking about any baked sweet desserts or treats that are traditional and of significance to their country, or culture, of origin. Keep reading and you might just discover a new afternoon favourite.
I warned you that you’d get your fix of Victoria sponge soon enough. Also referred to as a Victoria sandwich, this British staple on light sponge cake, jam and cream has been around at village fairs and afternoon teas for almost 200 years under this alias, named after Queen Victoria; but the concept for the cake can be traced back further to 1615. We owe a great deal of gratitude to the cake’s little-known Spanish heritage.
Have a look at our recipe for the perfect vegan sponge cake here from our trained pastry chef, Flo.
Whilst you may find this in every supermarket in the UK, nothing quite hits the spot like the original and traditional dark Jamaican gingerbread is fiery and sticky wonder to behold. This recipe for vegan ginger cake from By The Forkful comes with an irresistible treacle graze on top.
Photo credits: By The Forkful
The Italian Panettone has become a festive icon that transcends its country of birth. This traditional sweet bread is made from an enriched dough that isn’t usually vegan, but this recipe from Baking Mad uses oat milk and aquafaba to create a tasty bake.
Mochi is a colourful traditional Japanese cake made from rice paste and filled with red bean and lotus root paste that is usually reserved for New Year’s Eve celebrations, but versions of the treat are enjoyed throughout the year. We love this recipe from One Green Planet.
Photo credits: One Green Planet
Despite its French origins, this Sans Rival cake has thoroughly been adopted into a Filipino favourite. It’s a layered cake that sits somewhere between a giant macaron and a pavlova with layers of meringue, incorporated nuts and thick buttercream. We love this vegan recipe from Positively Filipino: The Happy Home Cook.
Photo credits: Positively Filipino: The Happy Home Cook
What better example of Portuguese baking to give than the Bolo De Bolacha (Portuguese biscuit cake). It’s a no-bake dessert that’s at home at any traditional Portuguese party table made from Maria biscuits (similar to rich-tea) and coffee buttercream. Here’s a great plant-based recipe from Food Rhythms.
Photo credits: Food Rhythms
Parsi Mawa is a cake traditionally found in Irani and Parsi bakeries in Mumbai where it’s a tea-time favourite. It’s a delicate sponge cake flavoured with cardamom and topped with pistachios and flaked almonds. Mawas are milk-based cakes which means the cake caramelises ever-so-slightly in the oven leaving you with a world of flavours and textures in every mouthful. This recipe from Holy Cow Vegan is one to try.
Mkate wa Mayai is a Kenyan sponge cake that simply translates to ‘bread made from eggs’ but each slice offers more than any regular bread ever could. This vegan recipe from Pro Veg is gently flavoured with cinnamon.
Photo credits: Pro Veg
Remember to let us know any impressive cakes we’ve missed in the comments and we’ll be sure to try them next!
By Fabian Jackson
Fabian is one of our lovely Content Marketing Assistants who loves writing almost as much as he loves coffee, old episodes of Escape to the Country (no judgement here), and cooking up a storm in his kitchen.