Cinnamon and citrus

You may have read my blog post lauding a simple recipe for chocolate cupcakes that did not require butter, eggs or milk but asked for a surprising amount of water and reassuringly little effort or money. Well, I’m bringing it back, baby. Having established it as my base cake-baking recipe from now on, it’s time to reinvent it.

Why am I going to imprint it on my brain, I’m going to pretend to hear you ask? Having not eaten meat or dairy for a month, I’m finding it extremely difficult to justify wolfing down a burger or buying a dozen eggs. Okay, the Malteaster bunnies have been impossible to resist. And I bought some quorn chicken pieces which weren’t the vegan ones. Eating them, however, didn’t leave a particularly good taste in my mouth. And I’ve continued to prepare vegan meals because I prefer them. So I suppose this recipe is here to stay because it is tastier. Maybe if you follow this recipe and other vegan ones posted here, or find inspiration from other vegan sites we all might start alter the way in which we live our lives (in not a particularly drastic way) and the culture of unsustainable eating might start to subside. It can be hit and miss – occasional dips into dairy are easy enough when it is everywhere. Not an expert, I do, however, love a bit of adventure and challenge.


So, having dived into a decadent, dark chocolate cake covered with coconut icing that suited the birthday occasion, I aimed to come up with a cake that can be wrapped up with a cup of tea, no fuss, simple but tasty enough. Naturally I turned to my cupboard staple, sultanas. Then I looked up what was in season and oranges and lemons popped up. The final member of the trio was a dusting of cinnamon. A well-known, well-loved combination. We’re good to go.


I omitted the cocoa powder from the recipe and replaced it with flour and cinnamon. The cake came out slightly cracked on top, which might be because I added baking powder, so we’ll forget that.

200g plain flour

200g caster sugar

3 ½ tbsp. extra flour

1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

Zest of one orange and one lemon

2 large handfuls of sultanas

5 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar (or lemon juice)

250ml (8 fl oz) water


  1. Preheat oven to 180 C / Gas 4. Lightly grease a 13x23cm loaf tin or a 20cm round cake tin.
  2. Mix the flour, sugar, cinnamon, zest, bicarbonate of soda.
  3. Add oil, vanilla, vinegar (or lemon) and water and mix until smooth.
  4. Pour into prepared tin and bake at 180 C for 45 minutes.
  5. Let them cool.


One thought on “Cinnamon and citrus

  1. Pingback: In praise of the potluck – …or failing that, food

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