Triple Chocolate Swirl Buns

triple chocolate swirl buns, dairy-free and egg-free

I love making sweet swirled buns, there’s something magical about using a yeasted dough and making the swirls, then watching them come’ alive’ in the oven. They’re also a fantastic bake because they’re simple but look mightily impressive. As I’ve mentioned before Little S’s class gets a home-baked treat every Friday partly so she can enjoy sharing nice treats that she can have with her friends and partly to install in her friends that ‘friendly’ foods are also delicious (and I get to bake too)!

Since everyone always loves chocolate I thought we’d bring a ray of sunshine to cold dark January with these rather exciting and original triple chocolate swirl buns. Whilst we all love cinnamon buns sometimes it’s nice for a bit of variety and triple chocolate certainly hits the mark. The dough is subtly flavoured with cocoa, the swirl is a sugary cocoa paste flecked with chunks of white chocolate and the whole thing is drizzled with dairy-free milk chocolate. It makes for a stunning combination both to look at and eat. These have now been declared an all time favourite by some recipients so they must be ok!

making swirl buns

Triple Chocolate Swirl Buns

(dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, sesame-free, can be soya-free, vegetarian and vegan)

vegan nut-free chocolate buns

100ml dairy-free yogurt, I used Alpo

220ml water

3 tbsp dairy-free spread, such as Pure

475g plain flour

2 tbsp cocoa powder

2 tsp dried yeast

75g soft brown sugar

1/2 tsp salt

2 tbsp cornflour

For the filling:

1/3 cup caster sugar

2 tbsp cocoa powder

3 tbsp dairy-free margarine

1/2 tsp chocolate extract [optional]

75g dairy-free white chocolate, finely chopped [optional]

For the glaze:

2 tbsp soft brown sugar

2 tbsp water

2 tbsp pearl sugar/sugar crystals


50g dairy-free ‘milk’ chocolate, melted

  1. Melt the margarine and water together – you want it to be warm and melted but not hot, stir in the yogurt
  2. In a bowl mx together the flour, yeast, sugar, cornflour and salt
  3. Make a well in the centre and pour in the warm liquid mix
  4. Bring together to a soft dough and knead until its smooth and bounces back when poked. Cover and let double in size in a warm place.
  5. Mix together the filling ingredients (except the chopped chocolate) and set aside.
  6. Knock back and roll out to a large rectangle. Spread on the chocolate filling. Sprinkle over the chopped white chocolate, then roll up tightly into a long sausage
  7. Cut into even slices, probably about 1.5-2cm each – I managed to get 25 small slices from mine
  8. Place on lined baking sheets, cover with clingfilm and leave to rise again for another half an hour. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Centigrade/Gas Mark 4/375 degrees F
  9. Bake for 17-20 minutes until risen, golden and cooked through.
  10. Melt the brown sugar with the water and brush over the top and sprinkle with the pearl sugar (if using)
  11. Remove from the pans and peel off the paper. Drizzle with the melted chocolate if desired.

triple chocolate swirl yeasted buns

Gingerbread Spiced Swirl Buns

Gingerbread cinnamon swirl buns

I reckon it’s about time to get a little bit festive and Christmassy round here – I’ve got so many ideas which have been simmering away since last Christmas and I just didn’t get time to action, and despite all my best intentions to be prepared, there’s just something that prevents me from Christmas cooking before the start of December!

These delightfully gingerbread scented swirl buns give a nod to the forthcoming festive season without seeming too full on Christmassy. In fact you could happily eat them at any time of year. I think spiced swirl buns are such a successful and rewarding bake – they take time but are essentially very simple, look delightfully irresistible and make the house smell heavenly! You can’t get better than that!

gingerbread spiced swirl buns, dairy-free, egg-free

Gingerbread Cinnamon Swirl Buns

(dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, vegetarian and vegan)

vegan gingerbread spiced swirl buns

makes about 24

250ml dairy-free milk, I used Oatly

3 tbsp dairy-free margarine, such as Pure

1tbsp black treacle

450g plain flour

2 tsp dried yeast

60g sugar

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp salt

For the filling:

1/2 cup soft brown sugar

3 tsp cinnamon

1 1/2 tsp ground ginger

2 tbsp dairy-free margarine

christmas swirl buns, vegan

For the glaze:

2 tbsp soft brown sugar

2 tbsp water

2 tbsp pearl sugar/sugar crystals


1/4 cup icing sugar

Sprinkle cinnamon

Water to make into a runny paste

  1. Melt the spread and milk together – you want it to be warm and melted but not hot, stir in the treacle.
  2. In a bowl mx together the flour, yeast, sugar, cinnamon, ginger and salt
  3. Make a well in the centre and pour in the warm milk mix
  4. Bring together to a soft dough and knead until its smooth and bounces back when poked
  5. Cover and let double in size
  6. Knock back and roll out to a large rectangle
  7. Smear on the dairy-free margarine. Sprinkle over the sugar and cinnamon and ginger, then roll up tightly into a long sausage
  8. Cut into even slices – I managed to get 24 small slices from mine
  9. Place on lined baking sheets and leave to rise again for another half an hour.
  10. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Centigrade/Gas Mark 4/375 degrees F. Bake for 17-20 minutes until risen, golden and cooked through
  11. Melt the brown sugar with the water and brush over the top and sprinkle with the pearl sugar (if using). Remove from the pans and peel off the paper. Drizzle with the cinnamon water icing.

dairy-free christmas spiced cinnamon swirls

Sticky Toffee Scones

sticky toffee scones, vegan

I do like scones, they’re such a delightful teatime snack. Not too sweet, light and fluffy, the perfect accompaniment to some tasty or interesting jam and a doddle to make as long as you’re light handed and respectful of the dough. I’ve made any varieties, with particular favourites being lemon drizzle and blueberry. I recently bought the fantastic 80 cakes by Claire Clark and its providing me with lots of inspiration. She features some ginger and molasses scones which for some reason got me thinking of combining the flavours of sticky toffee pudding and transporting them into a scone recipe. Sticky toffee scones! Now that sounds like a great idea.

In fact it turns out to be an awesome idea, why don’t people make sticky toffee scones all the time? The mellow sweetness of the whizzed up dates is perfect in the not so sweet scone template and who can resist a sticky, crunchy top?

Sticky Toffee Scones

(dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, sesame-free, soya-free, vegan, vegetarian)

sticky toffee scones, dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free

makes 10-12

100ml dairyfree milk

25g dates

1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda

220g flour

50g caster sugar

1 and 1/2 tsp baking powder

75g dairy-free margarine

1 tbsp golden syrup

Extra dairyfree milk for brushing

2 tbsp Demerara sugar to sprinkle on top

  1. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees centigrade
  2. Simmer together half (50ml) of the milk with the dates until soft. Whizz up in a food processor/ blender to form a puree. Add the bicarbonate and set aside.
  3. Into a bowl sift the flour and baking powder, stir in the caster sugar.
  4. Rub in the margarine with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  5. Pour in the date puree and the remaining 50 ml of dairy-free milk. Gently bring together to a soft sticky dough. Do not knead.
  6. Turn out onto a floured surface and pat out to about 5cm thick. Cut out circles and place on a floured baking tray.
  7. Brush with the extra milk and sprinkle with Demerara.
  8. Bake for 20 minutes, until golden and risen.
  9. Cool on a wire rack.

sticky toffee scones, vegetarian and vegan

Marmite Bagels

dairy-free marmite bagel

I love making bagels; ok it’s a slightly convoluted process but they make me feel like a real, proper baker! When I saw a picture of some marmite bagels on the cover of Olive Magazine, I just knew I had to make my own version. Big S loves bagels and marmite and isn’t so keen on sweet breakfast options – these bagels could have been made exclusively for her!

They really are a delicious savoury bagel variation – certainly not too ‘marmity’ but with add oomph and umami flavours, these certainly aren’t a bland plain bagel! Don’t worry though, if you’re not a marmite fan you will still enjoy these, they’re more savoury and moorish than overpoweringly marmite flavoured.

dairy-free bagels

We had them warm from the oven with Tofutti better than cream cheese, served with carrot soup – a complete winner of a lunch!

But make sure you leave some for breakfast, toasted and with added marmite if you’re a real marmite addict!

Marmite Bagels

(dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, vegetarian and vegan)

egg-free nut-free bagels, marmite flavour

Makes 10

500g strong bread flour

1 tbsp caster sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1 tbsp dried yeast

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 and 1/2 tbsp marmite and 1 tbsp syrup dissolved in 300ml water

1 tbsp bicarbonate of soda

1 tbsp marmite

1 tsp marmite dissolved in 1 tbsp dairy-free milk, for brushing

A few flakes of sea salt to sprinkle

  1. Sift the flour into bowl; add the salt, sugar and yeast.
  2. Pour in the water (with marmite and syrup dissolved in) and oil and and mix until you have a nice smooth, pliable dough (if you have a mixer with a dough hook use that)
  3. Knead until the dough is silky smooth and bounces back when you make an indentation (probably 5-10 minutes)
  4. Place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover and leave to rise for about an hour, or until doubled in size.
  5. Bring a pan of water to the boil. Cut the dough into ten equal sized pieces, weigh them if you want them to be exact.
  6. Shape each into a ball, then insert a wooden spoon handle in the middle to make a hole. Twizzle about until the hole is at least 2cm/1 inch across. (Or leave as balls if making burger buns)
  7. Stir in the 1 tbsp marmite into the boiling water. Once all the bagels are shaped, tip the bicarbonate into the water.  Place each bagel in the boiling water for about 30 seconds, turning over once. Lift out, drain off the excess water by placing on a clean tea towel. Then place on the baking sheet. Leave to rise again for 30 minutes, covered with cling film bagel making, freefrom
  8. Heat the oven to 220 degrees centigrade/gas mark 7. Oil a baking sheet.
  9. Brush with the marmite infused dairy-free milk and sprinkle with the salt.
  10. Bake for 15-18 minutes until golden
  11. Cool on a wire rack.

marmite bagels, vegan

Cinnamon Swirl Brioche


dairy-free cinnamon briocheMmmm, is there any more comforting and wonderful smell that cinnamon scented baked items cooking in the oven? It’s such a sweet, warm and cosy aroma, with the promise of an irresistible treat nice the baking has finished. This cinnamon swirl brioche loaf hits the spot in so many ways – it looks stunning, smells amazing whist its cooking and tastes absolutely delicious – you can’t go wrong with that!!

vegan brioche loaf

I always find the brioche loaves and rolls look tempting on the supermarket shelves, to me they look rich, delicate and indulgent. A sort of luxury loaf for times of celebration. Obviously free from brioche are pretty hard to come by with their reliance on eggs and butter to enrich the dough! This recipe is pretty simple but gives beautiful results – the dough is enriched enough to be luxurious without being sickly, there is just a hint of sweetness in the dough, with the sugary cnnamon swirl giving the favour punch. We loved the slices plain, toasted or turned into a luxurious bread and butter pudding.

vegan cinnamon brioche

I also fancied making a show stopper loaf, one with ‘bake off’ worthy wow factor. I’d seen this technique of splitting and twisting the dough before and thought how stunning the results are for a technique which is essentially totally simple and straightforward. The swiss roll style spiral of cinnamon filled dough is basically split into two lengthwise with a little join left at one end. The two sides are then twisted so the cut edges face upward and then it’s twisted over itself giving a wonderfully gnarly and twisted effect, especially once risen and baked. I think we definitely ended up with the ‘wow effect’ I was looking for!

dairy-free brioche loaf

Cinnamon Swirl Brioche Loaf

(dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, vegetarian and vegan)

egg-free cinnamon swirl brioche

makes 1 loaf

500g plain flour

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1 tbsp quick action yeast

100ml warm water

150ml dairy-free milk

1 tbsp caster sugar

1/2 cup dairy-free margarine, melted

1/3 cup caster sugar

1 tbsp cinnamon


1 tsp cornflour

2 tsp oat milk

1 tsp honey/syrup

1 tsp oil

  1. Mix together the 1/3 cup of sugar and 1tbsp cinnamon and set aside.
  2. Mix together the flour, salt, cinnamon, yeast and sugar
  3. Pour in the water, oat milk and melted spread and mix to a soft dough
  4. Knead for a good 5 to 10 minutes until smooth and bouncy
  5. Cover and leave in a warm place to rise, you want it to double in size
  6. Knock back and then roll into a large rectangle. Sprinkle over the sugar and cinnamon and then roll up into a tight swiss roll type cylinder.
  7. Split in half lengthwise leaving a little join at one end. Turn the cut sides up so you can see the cinnamon sugar layers. Twist and then join the ends. Place in a loaf tin, cover with cling film and leave to rise again for another 30 minutes Mix together the glaze and set aside.
  8. Bake for 45-55 minutes at 180 degrees Centigrade until they are golden, risen and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom
  9. For extra shine, brush the top with the glaze 5 or 10 minutes minutes before the end of the baking

dairy-free brioche loaf

Sticky Toffee Hot Cross Buns

sticky toffee hot cross buns, dairy-free

I posted my recipe for chocolate chip hot cross buns last week, but toffee/fudge flavoured hot cross buns seem to be a big thing this year. I’ve noticed varieties in Waitrose and Marks and Spencer – it really must be the bang on trend flavour of 2016. Never one to miss an opportunity to play with new and exciting flavours, I thought I’d experiment myself with these toffee ones. Now, I haven’t eaten one of the commercial buns, as you can imagine there is no room or need to buy such items in our household, so this is entirely my take on the idea.

I’ve combined the flavours of sticky toffee pudding with hot cross buns and what a cracker of a combination it is. The mellow sweetness of the date purée and subtle spices do work. The purée also gives a rich colour to the dough, enhancing the whole ‘sticky toffee’ look and feel. The dramatic shiny glaze is simply  a thin coating of warmed golden syrup and the buns are then returned to the oven for a few minutes, giving the perfect sticky, shiny top.

vegan sticky toffee hot cross buns

I’ve hardly ever seen a baked item disappear with such speed, they were requested for breakfast, snack and puddings, working perfectly slightly toasted with a smidgen of dairy-free margarine and an extra drizzle of syrup for added sticky toffee naughtiness! I’d think I can safely say these are our new family favourite Easter treat!

Sticky Toffee Hot Cross Buns

(dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, vegetarian and vegan)

egg-free sticky toffee hot cross buns

makes 12 large buns

500-550g strong bread flour

1 tsp dried yeast

3 tbsp soft brown sugar

1 tsp salt

1/2-1 tsp ginger

1/2-1 tsp cinnamon

100g dates, makes approx 1 cup purée

2 cups dairy-free milk

1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

2 tbsp melted dairy-free margarine

For the crosses:

2 tbsp flour

2 or 3 tbsp water

For the glaze:

2 tbsp golden syrup

  1. Add the dates to 1 cup of dairy-free milk and simmer for 5-10 minutes, until dates are soft. Blitz, stir in the bicarb and set aside to cool. This should make approximately 1 cup of date purée.
  2. In a large bowl mix together the flour, yeast, sugar, salt and spices. Make a well in the centre and pour in the oat milk, date purée and melted dairy-free margarine, bring together to form a dough (adding more flour if too wet, or more liquid if too dry)
  3. Knead for about 5-10 mins until the dough is smooth and springy. Place in a bowl and cover, leave in a warm place to double in size
  4. Knock back, knead again and then form into 12 even sized balls (for a professional look, weigh them to make them all the same size). Place well spaced on a baking sheet lined with grease proof paper. Loosely cover with cling film and leave to rise for a further 30 minutes or so.
  5. Mix together the water and flour to make a paste and pipe onto the top of the buns in crosses
  6. Bake at 190 degrees/Gas Mark 5 for 20 minutes until risen, golden  and the buns sound hollow

    before the glaze...
    before the glaze…
  7. Make the glaze by warming the syrup. Brush over the hot buns. Return to the oven for 5 minutes.
  8. Leave to cool on a wire rack.
  9. These buns are best kept loosely covered or the glaze will make them go a bit soggy.

    toasted and ready to eat
    toasted and ready to eat