Food

Vegan baking: 3 delicious cake mixes from independent brands on the health food scene

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Megan Murray
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Vegan, gluten-free and dairy-free baking mixes are the next big thing and here are three cool brands giving the people what they want. Give these a try and you’ll be a baking whizz in no time.

Baking looks idyllic, but sometimes the reality is different to the fantasy. You might imagine a beautiful cake stand ready, as you effortlessly turn out that chocolate cake from its dish, and decorate it with professional-worthy icing and strawberries.

But sometimes a scene with clouds of flour floating in the air, a smoke alarm going off thanks to a burnt sponge and never ending piles of pots and pans in the sink feels more accurate. Baking is actually pretty tricky, and it gets even harder if you’re trying a vegan, gluten-free or dairy-free recipe.

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However, a change is coming. Baking mixes have traditionally been in short supply, with a small range of options, especially for those that cater for dietary requirements. But in 2020, when consumers are looking for healthier, more wholesome and diverse products, independent brands with founders who really care are rising to meet the challenge.

We’ve seen a trend emerging for female-founded, alternative baking brands, offering baking mixes that everyone can try. These mixes make trying your hand at the likes of cookies, cupcakes and brownies super easy, using just a few simple ingredients and no expensive kitchen equipment. If you’re new to baking, they’re a brilliant way to get started and will save you loads of time.

All of the brands below are a must-know if you’re interested in vegan, gluten-free or dairy-free baking, and they’re small businesses which are great to support, too. Check out the selection of delicious mixes and get baking.

  • Superfood Bakery

    Ksenia and Tania founded Superfood Bakery together in 2017 after struggling to find a range of baking mixes in the supermarket to bake a last-minute birthday cake. 

    They have both always enjoyed eating wholesome food, but didn’t want prioritising healthy, organic ingredients to mean an end to sweet treats. 

    Together they created this brand to make baking good for you, using only natural, organic ingredients. But also inclusive and accessible, making sure each mix is gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan friendly so that anyone can enjoy them, no matter their dietary requirements. 

    Their mixes are also supposed to be super easy to use, so there’s no need to buy lots of hard-to-find and expensive ingredients. In fact, most can be whipped up using just a few things from your cupboard.

    Ksenia and Tania started the business out of their own homes, storing ingredients by their beds and spending hours experimenting with recipes and posting everything by hand. They now have an all-female team and are stocked in Whole Foods, Tesco, Asda, Morrisons and Ocado. 

  • Try... the Joy Makers Brownies

    Superfood Bakery’s range of baking mixes includes oat and cranberry cookies, pancakes, banana loaf, chocolate cake and chocolate cookies. 

    We particularly like the chocolate brownies, though, which are gooey, fudgy and delicious topped with strawberries and cream.

     Shop chocolate brownie baking mix at Superfood Bakery, £4.99

  • Lele's

    Lele’s is a local, east London cafe which specialises in beautifully presented vegan cakes and treats. It’s founded and run by Valentina, who would say that her Italian nature contributes to her absolute adoration of food (especially pizza).

    If you’re local to Clapton, the cafe is an absolute must-visit thanks to its relaxed, creative vibe. But if brushing up on your baking skills at home is what you’re after, you need to try Lele’s vegan baking mixes, which have been created with rustic simplicity in mind.

    Working with Planet Organic, the initial range includes vanilla cupcakes, banana bread and brownies – but Victoria sponge cake and chocolate cupcakes should be added by the end of 2020. 

    Being environmentally sustainable is the cornerstone of the Lele’s brand. As well as creating exclusively vegan products which are all hand made in the Lele’s lab in east London, all packaging is also zero waste and completely recyclable.

  • Try... the vanilla cupcakes

    These vanilla cupcakes are super easy to make. All you need is the dry mix and either only water, oil or/and plant-based milk.

    Not only are they vegan and dairy-free, but they’re also gluten-free, too.

    Shop vanilla cupcakes at Planet Organic, £4.99

  • Creative Nature

    As someone who has anaphylaxis to all nuts, some seeds and certain additives, Julianne Ponan had always struggled to find satisfying, tasty but healthy snacks. So, she made her own.

    Creative Nature began in 2011 and for three years Ponan ran every aspect of the business with just her partner for support. She started building ranges of snack foods before moving on to baking mixes, prioritising superfoods and a high nutritional contents.

    Now, the brand is stocked in a range of stores including Asda, Co-op and Ocado.

  • Try... the chocolate chip muffin baking mix

    This chocolate chip muffin baking mix is free from the top 14 allergens (including coconut) and is organic, wholegrain, refined sugar and sweetener free. 

    Shop chocolate chip muffin baking mix at Creative Nature, £4.49

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Images: Superfood Bakery / courtesy of brands

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Megan Murray

Megan Murray is a digital journalist for stylist.co.uk, who enjoys writing about London happenings, beautiful places, delicious morsels and generally spreading sparkle wherever she can.

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