Vegan Lemon Cake with Blueberry Compote

Don’t be put off by the title, you’d never guess that this tender, zesty lemon cake is vegan. Feel free to omit the icing if you’re not a big fan of coconut.

Ingredients (serves 10-12)
1¾ cups flour
1½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon bicarb soda
¼ teaspoon fine salt
⅔ cup canola oil
¾ cup caster sugar
1 cup full fat coconut milk (including as much of the thicker cream as possible)
Zest of 2 lemons, plus 45ml lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Blueberry compote
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon caster sugar
1½ teaspoons cornflour

Coconut icing
1 cup coconut yoghurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 teaspoons icing sugar


Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced). Grease the sides and line the base of a 20cm round cake tin with baking paper.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, bicarb soda and salt.

In another bowl, whisk together the oil, sugar and coconut milk, then add in the lemon zest, juice and vanilla.

Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl of dry ingredients, whisking to combine, then pour into the prepared tin and bake for 30–35 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Leave the cake to cool completely in its tin.

To make the blueberry compote, place the blueberries, lemon juice, sugar and 50ml of cold water into a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Turn down the heat and leave to simmer, stirring occasionally, until the blueberries have softened. Remove from the heat.

Combine the conflour with 1½ teaspoons of cold water in a small cup. Stir the paste into the blueberries, put back on a medium heat and stir for about 30 seconds, or until thickened. Pour into a jug to cool and set.

To make the icing, combine yoghurt, vanilla and icing sugar in a small bowl.

Just before serving, invert the cake onto a serving plate or cake stand and top with icing and compote (I like to swirl the two together). Enjoy!

Adapted from ‘Lemon Tendercake with Blueberry Compote’ in Nigella Lawson’s At My Table.


Passionfruit Slice

Passionfruit is one of my favourite fruits – I love its intense tangy flavour which, to me, tastes like summer. It should come as no surprise then, that I love this slice which pairs passionfruit with lemon in a creamy cheesecake-like layer on top of a chewy coconut-ty base – delicious! I also love it because it’s so quick and easy to make, perfect for whipping up quickly the night before a morning tea at work.


It smells so good that Bailey wouldn’t leave it alone! 

Ingredients (makes 24 pieces)
1 cup self-raising flour
1 cup desiccated coconut
½ cup caster sugar
100g butter, melted
395g can condensed milk
½ cup fresh lemon juice
4 tablespoons passionfruit pulp


Preheat oven to 180°C. Line a 16 x 26cm pan with non-stick baking paper, allowing it to hang over the sides.

Combine the flour, coconut, sugar and butter in a large bowl. Use your hands to bring it together into a dough. Using a metal spoon, press dough into the base of the prepared pan.

Bake for 12 minutes or until lightly golden. Set aside to cool.

Reduce oven temperature to 150°C. Whisk together condensed milk, lemon juice and passionfruit pulp in a large bowl until well-combined. Pour onto the cooled base and spread evenly.

Bake for 15 minutes or until just firm. Set aside to cool completely before cutting into squares. Enjoy!

thumb_IMG_0282_1024Adapted from Passionfruit Slice on


Tropical Ice Cream

This delicious, easy dessert has all the tastes of summer and is perfect served with fresh fruit on a balmy evening. thumb_img_3009_1024Ingredients (serves 6-8)
1 litre good quality vanilla ice cream
100g unsalted pistachio nuts
¾ cup desiccated coconut
Pulp of 2 passionfruit
2 tablespoons honey
Fresh fruit, to serve

Allow ice cream to soften at room temperature until just soft.

Remove pistachio nuts from shells. Cover nuts with boiling water and remove their dark skins. Dry thoroughly.

Place coconut in a dry pan and cook over a gentle heat until golden, stirring constantly. Remove from pan.

Combine ice-cream, nuts, ½ cup of the coconut, passionfruit pulp and honey. Place in a glad-wrap lined container (I use a log tin), cover and freeze for at least 2 hours

Serve topped with the remaining toasted coconut and fresh fruit. Enjoy!


Recipe adapted from Sydney Market Authority

Coconut & Raspberry Bread

This is a ‘bread’ like banana bread, in that it’s really more like a bread-shaped cake. Name aside, it’s super simple to make and perfect for brunch, afternoon tea or dessert. I like it because it’s deliciously moist and not too sweet, but feel free to dust it with icing sugar to make it extra decadent. thumb_img_2444_1024

Ingredients (serves 8-10)
1 ¾ cups desiccated coconut
1 ½ cups coconut milk (I use Vitasoy unsweetened coconut milk found in the longlife milk section at most supermarkets)
¾ cup caster sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 ⅔ cups self-raising flour
1 cup frozen raspberries


Add the coconut and coconut milk to a large bowl and stir to combine. Cover with Gladwrap and let it stand for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 170°C. Spray a loaf pan with cooking oil and line with baking paper, ensuring you have overhang at both sides to help get it out.

Stir sugar, egg and vanilla essence in to the coconut mixture. Gently stir in the flour and then fold through the frozen raspberries.

Spoon into prepared pan and bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until a skewer inserted come out clean. Cool in pan for 5 minutes, then lift onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Dust with icing sugar to serve if desired. Enjoy!

thumb_img_2449_1024It’s also delicious toasted with margarine or butter!

Recipe adapted from a 2006 issue of Super Food Ideas.