passion cake

Sometimes it’s nice to do a bit of old fashioned baking. The sweet, warm aromas, the cutting of the cake around a table with friends: it’s full of heart. The purist vegan in me is a little offended by analogues – here soya flour providing the binding agent lecithin that you would get from albumin in an egg – but pah! Who’s complaining.

I’m still to discover what this ‘Passion’ cake has to do with events at Golgotha nearly 2000 years ago. It’s very homely, and the icing, made with coconut cream and orange juice always wins.  I was fascinated to read the ingredients for mixed spice: ground coriander seeds, cassia, ginger, nutmeg, caraway and cloves. Coriander in a cake!

You’ll find the cake itself not overly sweet; the icing kind of compensates.

Teatime. Serve with rooibos or yogi tea. Ahhh.

Ingredients c 12 slices

  • 250g self raising wholemeal flour
  • 1tsp mixed spice
  • 2tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3tbsp soya flour usually available in health food shops
  • 6tbsp water
  • 175g soft brown sugar
  • 50g walnuts, chopped
  • 75g dried fruit eg figs, sultanas
  • 1 large ripe banana
  • 150g carrots, finely grated
  • 175ml oil rape oil is good
  • about 2tbsp non-dairy milk, eg hemp


  • 200g block creamed coconut
  • 75ml boiling water
  • grated rind of an orange not the pith at all
  • 3 tbsp icing sugar or golden caster sugar blitzed with the handblender
  • 3tbsp orange juice
  • 50g lightly toasted desiccated coconut


  1. preheat oven to mark 5/190C/170 fan. Grease and shake round with flour a 20cm tin spring release is good
  2. combine the flour and spices in a mixing bowl, mix in the fruit and nuts and make a well
  3. mix the soya flour and water. Combine with the mashed banana, oil, sugar, carrots (I use a jug) and pour into the well bit by bit and mix in with a fork stirring from the centre
  4. add the milk to make a thick dropping consistency
  5. pour into the cake tin and cook for 40-50 minutes til firm to the touch
  6. allow to cool on a cake rack, releasing the tin once the cake has come away from the sides
  7. when cake is completely cool make the icing:
  8. cut up the coconut cream roughly and put in a bowl or pyrex jug
  9. add the boiling water and mash up with a fork when measuring scald your measuring jug first so that water is still v hot when you add it to the coconut 
  10. add the orange rind, sugar and juice and use a hand blender to make a smooth and slightly runny icing
  11. put the icing on the cake; it will set hard later
  12. in a frying pan over a low heat toast the coconut – don’t let it brown/burn – keeping it moving and sprinkly over the top

Update: this amount works well in a 12-bay muffin tin too