Archives for posts with tag: banana


Kid #1 is 11 years old and has become interested in cooking. So far she has learnt how to make pancakes (mostly so that she can eat them more often) and last weekend she asked to make cupcakes.  We used Dreena Burton’s banana-scented vanilla cake recipe, except I replaced all the gluten-free flours by wholemeal plain flour, because we eat gluten and I didn’t have the gluten-free ingredients. This recipe is great for full-sized cakes so I thought we’d try it as a cupcake.


The design decisions were made by kid #1, including the fact that some cupcakes were blue and some were green. We have some cute silicon cupcake containers with feet, which we used, and the rest of the batter went into normal cupcake papers. My role was quite limited: kid #1 made the cupcake batter herself, measuring all ingredients and mixing them.  I scooped the batter into the cupcake bases/papers, and I made and spread the icing after kid #1 had coloured it (blue and green). Then kid #1 added sprinkles and stars. The cakes tasted really nice and had a good texture: she did a great job!  I am proud.

This also gave me a great opportunity to fulfil a promise I’d made last year to bake a vegan cake for a colleague of mine at work. The topic of vegan cakes had come up at a meeting last year, and I told my colleague I would make her one so that she could see that vegan cakes are great.  After eating this cupcake my colleague emailed me to say “That was… not bad at all!” and to ask what I used to replace the eggs. Let’s call that a win.


It was my youngest child’s birthday today. See if you can guess how old he was? Ha ha.

I tried this chocolate banana cake recipe from Madhuram’s eggless cooking, and it worked out really well. The cake was moist and tasted great. For the icing I tried cooked chocolate frosting from Let Them Eat Vegan. I was really happy with the icing: it held together, had a lovely shiny look on the cake and tasted delicious. I applied the icing straight after I’d made it: the recipe says that if you chill the icing in the freezer, then whisk it up again, it becomes lighter and fluffier.  I’ll try that another time, but it’s certainly good to use straight away.


To complete the decoration I applied vegan sprinkles that I bought from the Cruelty Free Shop. The kids at the party enjoyed the cake, and so did the parents who accepted a slice!

Cherry ice cream

Yesterday in Sydney it was a lovely warm day. The end of winter is near. Time to make some ice-cream in the blender. I adapted The Simple Veganista’s recipe for Banana Cherry Garcia soft serve, leaving out the chocolate and using a jar of Morello sour cherries instead of fresh cherries. The liquid from the jar has been a delicious addition to my green smoothies.

My partner said that the ice-cream was delicious despite “looking like refried beans”. The ice cream was very soft straight out of the blender, but froze pretty well: the photo shows some which had been frozen for a few hours before serving.

When it’s cherry season I will try this again with fresh cherries.

Herbisaurus sausage rolls

There’s a lot happening for vegans in the inner west of Sydney. But there is vegan life outside the inner west as well. Just down the road from where I live there’s an organic food market which happens every Saturday morning called the Ramsgate Organic Foodies Market. It seems to be attracting a growing number of vegan options. My current favourite is Herbisaurus. I enjoyed these sausage rolls for my lunch on Saturday. Delicious flaky pastry, yummy filling, very nice sausage rolls.

Herbisaurus lasagne

We also took home a Herbisaurus lasagne and salad for dinner and enjoyed both. The lasagne has a high bechamel sauce content, so of course the kids loved it.


The Herbisaurus folk are very friendly. On Sundays you can find them at Frenchs Forest markets. They also do home delivery and catering.

Ella's Wisdom banana and zucchini cake

Another all-vegan stall is Ella’s Wisdom. The main two ingredients in this cake are banana and zucchini. The cake was tasty, moist and had a good texture.

There are plenty of other vegan options that I haven’t tried yet… Will have to get out of the house on another Saturday morning soon to get back to the market.

Ramsgate Organic Foodies Market

baked oatmeal

Last year I visited my friend Eva in Milwaukee. She made baked oatmeal for breakfast and it was yummy. From time to time I made it on a weekend as something different. Eva based her oatmeal on this recipe from Cookie and Kate, with just a couple of adjustments required to make it vegan: omit the egg (it doesn’t need to be replaced with anything) and use vegan margarine in place of the butter.

The batch I made recently used soy milk and homemade almond milk, instead of coconut milk. I also used mixed frozen berries instead of the blackberries suggested by the recipe. I used a little less cinnamon and a little less maple syrup than suggested. I also ended up making only half a batch, since I had only 1 cup of rolled oats in the cupboard, and it was just enough for the 4 of us.

baked oatmeal

I only baked my oatmeal for about 20 or 25 minutes, not 45 minutes as suggested. Possibly the shorter time was enough because I had only made a half batch, so the mixture wasn’t very deep. But I suspect you might not need 45 minutes even with the full quantity.

Three of us really liked this: Child #2 did not. But that made Child #1 happy because they got to eat all of Child #2’s leftovers!

Mango and banana ice cream

Take some mango (frozen or unfrozen: I used frozen) and a frozen banana. Blend in a high speed blender and what have you got? You’ve got mango and banana soft serve ice cream. There’s a recipe here that suggests 1/2 cup mango to 1 banana. I don’t think you need to be too exact (bananas come in different sizes, in any case). I also thought that some passionfruit would be a nice addition.

Banana-scented vanilla cake

Dreena Burton’s banana-scented vanilla cake recipe (from Let Them Eat Vegan) is really good. So far I have made it with wholemeal flour (rather than the suggested gluten-free flours) because I don’t have any millet flour in the house… but I intend to buy some and try the recipe as written. The texture and taste of the cake is great.

The cake pictured here has got strawberry jam between the layers, and fluffy macadamia mallow frosting, also from Let Them Eat Vegan. My daughter artfully arranged the strawberry slices on top. Mmmm, strawberries.