Vegan Chocolate Coconut Banana Loaf {gluten-free}

Vegan Chocolate Coconut Banana Loaf is a glorious gluten-free cake, intense with chocolate, chewy with coconut and beautifully moist from the banana. Covered with glossy chocolate and snowy with coconut flakes.

Vegan Chocolate Coconut Banana Loaf on a wooden board

I have been doing a lot of vegan baking recently. I am not and never will be vegan because all my food intolerances mean that I would be a very malnourished individual if I were. But that doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate the way that veganism has opened up so many opportunities in baking (how fascinating is aquafaba!)and alternative ways of eating and drinking (you know I am a fan of non-dairy milk!). I really appreciate vegan baking and I find when it works well the results can be incredible.

slices of Vegan Chocolate Coconut Banana Loaf on a wooden board

Recently I made a big mistake with one of my cake orders and agreed to make a vegan cake for a client that was based on one of my non-vegan recipes. Since I wanted the cake to resemble my original recipe as closely as possible I made compromises in the ingredients. For example, when making the buttercream I just swapped out regular butter for vegan butter. Have you seen the ingredients on the back of vegan butter? Palm oil is such a problematic ingredient (not sure why then google it) and something I wouldn’t normally bring into my kitchen at all. I was totally unhappy with the choices I was making to produce this cake and when I sat back and analysed the situation I realised I was making the same mistakes a ton of people make when they first start free-from baking. I was thinking that with a just a few ingredients swaps I could turn a tried and true recipe into a successful free-from recipe. But it doesn’t always work like that. In making like-for-like swaps you will often be making compromises, in flavour, in texture and in this case, environmental. This is something I learnt the hard way when first baking gluten-free and now I’m learning it all over again with vegan baking.

Vegan Chocolate Coconut Banana Loaf on a wooden board

I totally believe that for the most part vegan and gluten-free recipes should be built from the ground up (there are of course many exceptions). It does not always guarantee a successful recipe if you just substitute in vegan butter for regular butter or a gluten-free flour for regular flour. In hindsight I realised that instead of making a vegan buttercream for this vegan cake order what I should have been doing was to research another way of icing the cake, maybe using a cashew icing or coconut milk frosting. Both of which actually would have been delicious.

overhead shot of Vegan Chocolate Coconut Banana Loaf on a wooden board

I have got a long way to go in vegan baking but luckily I already have a few corking recipes up my sleeve to offer to vegan customers and friends and the one that is currently my favourite I am sharing with you today. I sell an awful lot of this particular Vegan Chocolate Coconut Banana Loaf and I’m not surprised, it’s an amazing chocolate cake and holds its own even with non-vegans and wheat eaters. It’s so bold in flavour and texture; intensely chocolatey, moist from the bananas and flecked with chewy desiccated coconut. The slices of this cake cut up huge so it is not a dainty loaf. This is a cake you need when the chocolate craving hits hard, it will fuel you and treat you.

Vegan Chocolate Coconut Banana Loaf on a wooden board

The hardest thing to replicate in vegan cakes are eggs. They provide many roles within the bake of your cake but the most important are to bind your cake together so it doesn’t fall apart and also to lift your cake so you’re not producing a pancake. My favourite way to substitute eggs in a cake is by using chia or flax eggs for the bind. This is basically chia or flaxseeds which have been mixed with water to create a sticky gel which you then just mix into the batter. For the cake to rise here I have opted for using bicarbonate of soda and vinegar which react with the coconut milk to lift the cake up.

On the gluten-free side of things I have used a three flour blend of white rice flour, oat flour and tapioca flour. I use this blend a lot in my chocolate recipes and find it works an absolute treat. However, I have been very mindful of late that I use a lot of gluten-free oat flour in my baked goods. This is because I love it, quite frankly, and I can eat it happily. However, I know for a lot of coeliacs and gluten intolerant that oat flour can be hard to handle. If you struggle with it then I recommend swapping it out for sorghum or teff flour. I have tested the recipe with each one and they are both lovely substitutes, it’s just I slightly prefer the version with oat flour.

slices of Vegan Chocolate Coconut Banana Loaf on a wooden board

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If you make Vegan Chocolate Coconut Banana Loaf then please leave a comment below and/or give the recipe a rating. If you then go on to use this recipe as a launch pad for your own cake creation then I’d also love it if you’d share it and tag me on Instagram. It is so lovely for me to see your versions and variations of my recipes.

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Vegan Chocolate Coconut Banana Loaf on a wooden board

Print Recipe
Vegan Chocolate Coconut Banana Loaf {gluten-free}
Vegan Chocolate Coconut Banana Loaf is a glorious gluten-free cake, intense with chocolate, chewy with coconut and beautifully moist from the banana.
Vegan Chocolate Coconut Banana Loaf on a wooden board
Course cake
Cuisine British
Keyword cake, vegan
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Servings
10 people
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon ground chia seeds
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 150 g white rice flour
  • 75 g oat flour
  • 50 g tapioca flour
  • 100 g desiccated coconut
  • 60 g cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 200 ml coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 3-4 bananas peeled and mashed, 300g
  • 300 g soft light brown sugar
  • 140 ml coconut oil melted
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Chocolate Glaze
  • 125 g vegan chocolate
  • 50 g coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • pinch of salt
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 70 g coconut flakes
Course cake
Cuisine British
Keyword cake, vegan
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Servings
10 people
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon ground chia seeds
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 150 g white rice flour
  • 75 g oat flour
  • 50 g tapioca flour
  • 100 g desiccated coconut
  • 60 g cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 200 ml coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 3-4 bananas peeled and mashed, 300g
  • 300 g soft light brown sugar
  • 140 ml coconut oil melted
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Chocolate Glaze
  • 125 g vegan chocolate
  • 50 g coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • pinch of salt
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 70 g coconut flakes
Vegan Chocolate Coconut Banana Loaf on a wooden board
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas mark 4. Grease and line a 9 inch loaf tin.
  2. Make the chia egg by mixing the ground chia seeds in a small bowl with the 3 tablespoons of water. Place in the fridge and it should be ready to use by the time you get to that step.
  3. Mix the flours in a large bowl with the desiccated coconut, cocoa powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt and set aside.
  4. Pour the coconut milk and apple cider in a food mixer and beat until it's frothy, do not overbeat in case the coconut milk should separate.
  5. Add the bananas, sugar, coconut oil, vanilla and the chia egg and beat together until smooth.
  6. Spoon one third of the flour mixture in and mix until smooth, then the next third then mix, then the next*.
  7. Pour the cake batter into the loaf tin and smooth the surface.
  8. Bake for 1 hour or until an inserted cocktail stick comes out clean.
  9. Turn the cake out onto a cooling rack and leave to cool before adding the glaze.
Chocolate Glaze
  1. Combine all the ingredients (except the vanilla) in a bain marie or a glass bowl sitting over a saucepan of simmering water and melt together.
  2. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
  3. Leave the glaze to thicken slightly until it is at a consistency where the glaze will cling to the cake rather than running straight off down the sides.
  4. Pour over the surface of the cake then sprinkle over the coconut flakes.
Recipe Notes

*You add the flour in thirds to ensure an even mix.

SHOP THE RECIPE

I have a few loaf tins but this Loaf Tin 2lb Alan Silverwood is my absolute favourite. It’s just a great size, slightly bigger than your average 2lb loaf tin so bear in mind for some recipes. It is made of anodised aluminium so conducts heat brilliantly, making the cake bake evenly all the way through. It’s really hard wearing and pretty much completely non-stick but has no coating. However because of the anodised aluminium you mustn’t put it in the dishwasher or it will ruin.

It’s quite difficult to find good quality vegan chocolate that’s also well priced. I buy Dairy Free Dark Belgian Cooking Chocolate 1kg Bittersweet 55% Cocoa and I really like it. The only small issue with it is that it does contain soy but if that isn’t one of the allergies you need to be concerned about then I highly recommend it.

It’s not easy to buy certified gluten-free sweet rice flour in the UK, for some reason Bob’s Red Mill is astronomically expensive. However I have finally found a brand which is 100% certified gluten-free and it’s fantastic. The brand is yourhealthstore Premium Gluten Free Sweet Rice Flour (glutinous) 1kg

Oat flour can be picked up at most health food shops and if I run out that’s where I head to. However, like all alternative flours it can be expensive so I find the most economical way is to buy it online. I go through bags of the stuff as it’s the flour I use most regularly so I like to buy in bulk. My favourite brand is Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Whole Grain Oat Flour 400 g (Pack of 4) at a reasonable price. Even better if you go the subscribe and save option.

It’s not difficult to get hold of tapioca flour in the UK. You can often find 100g pots of Doves Farm Tapioca Flour in the supermarket but it’s quite costly and doesn’t give you very much. You can find more varied brands in health food shops in bags of about 500g. The cost depends entirely on the brand you purchase. My preferred brand is Bob’s Red Mill GF Tapioca Flour 500 g (Pack of 2) as it’s certifiably gluten-free and I order it through Amazon.

For the ground chia seeds I use Linwoods Milled Chia Seed, 200g which I love and you can get almost anywhere. I use ground chia seeds for my chia egg rather than whole chia seeds as I find it gels more effectively and quicker.

This post is not sponsored but the images above are affiliate links which means if you decide you want to use these link to make your purchases then Amazon gives me a small commission at no cost to you whatsoever. I will only recommend products I use in my kitchen and love. To learn more about how the data processing works when using these Amazon affiliate links then please visit my privacy policy page.

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Vegan Mango Lime Fro-Yo

This Vegan Mango Lime Fro-Yo is made using just three ingredients. If you can get hold of Alphonso mangos then your frozen yoghurt will be the sweetest, most fragrant and refreshing treat you’ll make this summer.

Vegan Mango Lime Fro-Yo

When I was sixteen one of my close friends moved to Singapore with her family for a year. I seized on this opportunity to visit her during the school Easter holidays and had a brilliant time. But of all the things we did and experiences we had the three major memories about my trip are as follows.
1. How amazing the food was at the food court in the mall.
2. I had the worst sunburn of my life. Then the next day I went out and got sunburnt again. Ouchy.
3. The only cure for sunburn, according to my friend’s mother was plenty of aloe vera on the skin and lots of frozen mango in the tummy.

Vegan Mango Lime Fro-Yo

We would halve our mangos and put them in the freezer in the morning and when we returned from our gallivanting around the city we dug into our frozen mango halves with a spoon. At first they were rock solid but half way through the fruit would yield and become the most delicious and deserved treat after a day in the smoggy heat. In my mind there is no better respite from a muggy June in the city than copious amounts of frozen mango. But just to take it up a notch I have been treating us all these past couple of weeks to this easy Mango Lime Fro-Yo.

Vegan Mango Lime Fro-Yo

This Fro-Yo has just three ingredients and as such the quality of the ingredients really matters. Lately our local farmers’ market (Stroud Green Market – where you can usually find me behind my cake stall when I’m not on maternity leave) has had an Alphonso mango stall. Now in general Alphonso mangos are considered to be quite expensive but on my recent Ocado shop I was astounded how much they charged me for two rock hard, bland and pale regular mangos. The Alphonso mangos I bought from the farmers’ market were actually about a similar price, £7.99 for a box of six. Now the mangos might have been a little small but inside they harboured the most beautifully vibrant orange flesh and were the sweetest, creamiest and richest mangos I have ever tasted. When you are making a three ingredient mango fro-yo, these are the mangos you need. However, playing devil’s advocate, I also made this fro-yo using my regular Ocado mangos and another version with the packets of pre-frozen mango and all fro-yo iterations were still pretty fabulous so if you can’t get hold of Alphonso mangos then you can certainly make do and still be a happy bunny.

Vegan Mango Lime Fro-Yo

I am not vegan but chose to make this Mango Lime Fro-Yo vegan stylee because dairy and I don’t always get on so well. I don’t avoid it as such but if there is a recourse to switch it up without compromising on a recipe at all then I’m all for it. Plus using coconut yoghurt adds a little sweetness meaning that teamed with the luscious Alphonsos there is no need to add any extra sweetener.

Vegan Mango Lime Fro-Yo

The recipe is so simple, peel and de-stone your mangos, cutting the flesh into cubes. Place in the freezer overnight and then the next day blend it up with the limes and coconut yoghurt. You might need to really push the mixture down to the blender’s blades and scrape the sides often as there is not a lot of liquid in there. But really that’s all there is to it. I like it best straightaway out of the blender, it’s very scoopable and smooth. However, you can decant it and place the fro-yo into the freezer for a couple of hours to firm up a little. The longer you leave it in the freezer though the more icy it will become.

Vegan Mango Lime Fro-Yo

In our house every season is fro-yo season but it’s pretty exciting now we are dangerously entering summer territory and there is absolutely no excuse not to be eating homemade fro-yo.

Vegan Mango Lime Fro-Yo

Print Recipe
Vegan Mango Lime Fro-Yo
This Vegan Mango Lime Fro-Yo is made using just three ingredients. If you can get hold of Alphonso mangos then your frozen yoghurt will be the sweetest, most fragrant and refreshing treat you’ll make this summer.
Vegan Mango Lime Fro-Yo
Prep Time 10 minutes
Servings
6 people
Ingredients
  • 600 g frozen mango*
  • zest and juice of 2 limes
  • 250 g coconut yoghurt
Prep Time 10 minutes
Servings
6 people
Ingredients
  • 600 g frozen mango*
  • zest and juice of 2 limes
  • 250 g coconut yoghurt
Vegan Mango Lime Fro-Yo
Instructions
  1. Place all the ingredients into the blender.
  2. Blend on medium speed, pushing everything down to meet the blade and scraping the sides often until the fro-yo is smooth.
  3. Eat straightaway or decant and place in the freezer for a couple of hours to firm up a little.
Recipe Notes

*If using fresh mango then peel, de-stone and cube the mango and place in the freezer overnight before using. I used Alphonso mangos in this recipe.

SHOP THE RECIPE

The blender that I have been using these past seven months since Luke was kind enough to buy me one for my birthday is the Vitamix® Pro750 Food Blender, Copper UK Model. This blender is amazing! I loved the Kitchenaid blender I had before but my Vitamix produces the smoothest smoothies, most cohesive sauces and fantastic soups. I have been using it most frequently at the moment for making my iced matcha lattes and I now could not be without it. Okay, it isn’t cheap but if you have the budget for it and you are looking to be really spoilt then I really recommend it. Plus I love the colour!!

The links above are affiliate links which means if you decide you want to click through to buy then Amazon gives me a small commission at no cost to you whatsoever. It’s just a way for me to fund the blog so if you do click through then many thanks!! To learn more about how the data processing works when using these Amazon affiliate links then please visit my privacy policy page.

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A glass of Watermelon Mint Granita on a table in front of plants

Coconut Lime Drizzle Cake {gluten-free}

Gluten-Free Coconut Lime Drizzle Cake is one of my favourite cakes, beautifully moist and zesty with a crunchy frosted adornment.

Coconut Lime Drizzle Cake {gluten-free}

It’s not that I had forgotten how hard it is with a newborn, just conveniently misplaced the memory as I concentrated on the trials of pregnancy and getting our new life here safely into our family. Pretty much just like Cole was when he was first born, Beau doesn’t want to be put down. When he’s not feeding in my arms he likes a nice comfy snooze in my arms or maybe snuggled in a ball as he rests against my chest with his little head nestled between his tiny arms. He can mix it up. That goes for daytime, nighttime, mealtimes, loo breaks, dog walks.

Coconut Lime Drizzle Cake {gluten-free}

The buggy is a no no and if he’s placed into it for five seconds or more then it’s as if his whole world is crashing down. This is completely different to Cole as he loved the gentle movement of the buggy and it was the only time I could get a reprieve if I took us for a walk. So I’m slinging it, which is great for giving me both hands to make toast, boil the kettle, do some household chores and get the bus into Crouch End whilst holding Cole’s hand but the sleep deprivation is making me wacky.

Coconut Lime Drizzle Cake {gluten-free}

As such my carb and sugar intake has risen sharply to keep my eyes open and my brain a little less blurry. A homemade cake is pure loving indulgence and thank goodness I put one of these Coconut Lime Drizzle Cakes into the freezer when I was pregnant as it’s an absolute godsend at 3am. Which is also when I’m writing this post by the way. Baby against my chest, cake in one hand, keyboard in the other. When I put it like that, it actually sounds quite appealing.

Coconut Lime Drizzle Cake {gluten-free}

Loaf Cakes do hold a special place in my heart. There a few things more comforting and homely than a thick slice of moist sponge, bursting with deep fresh flavour, washed down with a cup of strong tea. It’s pretty much why I bake. I have been making this Coconut Lime Drizzle Cake for a few years now, for the cake stall and for my family and every time I serve it up anew I surprise myself with how much I adore it. I have been asked countless times when it’s going to feature on the blog and to be quite honest I had completely forgotten that it hadn’t already made an appearance as this cake is so ingrained in my life. But it hadn’t, so here it is.

Coconut Lime Drizzle Cake {gluten-free}

Coconut Lime Drizzle Cake is actually a perfect spring cake, bridging the gap between wintry citrus flavours and the brightness of the coming months. The sponge is super coconutty with a slight chew from the desiccated coconut but also ultra citrusy from the lime zest and juice. The gluten-free element is also easy to navigate with no hard to purchase flours, just a simple gluten-free plain flour of your choice (I used Doves Farm) and homemade almond paste, which is no big deal as it takes a couple of minutes to whizz up in the food processor. Warm out of the oven the cake is frosted with a crunchy coconut and lime drizzle and an optional adornment of fresh lime slices. It’s the perfect excuse to be up at 3am, that and a two-week old baby.

Coconut Lime Drizzle Cake {gluten-free}

Print Recipe
Coconut Lime Drizzle Cake {gluten-free}
Gluten-Free Coconut Lime Drizzle Cake is one of my favourites, beautifully moist and zesty with a crunchy frosted adornment.
Coconut Lime Drizzle Cake {gluten-free}
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Servings
10-12
Ingredients
  • 225 g caster sugar
  • Zest of 4 limes plus one extra lime for decoration
  • 225 g unsalted butter
  • 110 g almonds
  • 110 g caster sugar
  • 1 tablespoon golden syrup
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 egg white
  • 5 eggs
  • 115 g gluten-free flour
  • 75 g desiccated coconut
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
Drizzle
  • Juice of 3 limes
  • 40 g desiccated coconut
  • 170 g granulated sugar
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Servings
10-12
Ingredients
  • 225 g caster sugar
  • Zest of 4 limes plus one extra lime for decoration
  • 225 g unsalted butter
  • 110 g almonds
  • 110 g caster sugar
  • 1 tablespoon golden syrup
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 egg white
  • 5 eggs
  • 115 g gluten-free flour
  • 75 g desiccated coconut
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
Drizzle
  • Juice of 3 limes
  • 40 g desiccated coconut
  • 170 g granulated sugar
Coconut Lime Drizzle Cake {gluten-free}
Instructions
  1. Line and grease a 9 inch loaf tin and pre-heat oven to 160°C on the fan setting*.
  2. Mix the caster sugar with the lime zest until fragrant.
  3. Beat the butter into the sugar until light and creamy.
  4. In a food processor make the almond paste by whizzing up the almonds with the caster sugar until they resemble fine breadcrumbs, then add the golden syrup, vanilla extract, lime juice and egg white and whizz again until well combined.
  5. Add the almond paste to the creamed butter and sugar and mix together.
  6. Beat in the eggs one at a time.
  7. In a separate bowl whisk together the gluten-free flour, desiccated coconut, baking powder and salt then add to the rest of the batter. Beat well until fully combined.
  8. Pour into the prepared baking tin and bake for 60 minutes or until an inserted cocktail stick comes out clean.
  9. Remove from the oven and leave to cool slightly in the tin whilst you prepare the drizzle.
  10. Mix the lime juice, coconut and granulated sugar together.
  11. Turn the cake out of the tin and turn the right way up. Poke holes all over the surface using a cocktail stick, then pour the drizzle over.
  12. Cool completely before serving, slicing a fresh lime to decorate the top of the cake.
Recipe Notes

*I find that due to the moistness of this cake that the fan setting helps set the cake a bit better. However, if you don’t have a fan setting on your oven then 180°C is fine for a conventional oven but do check after half an hour to make sure the top of the cake isn’t browning too much. If it is, then pop a piece of loose foil over the top of the cake.

SHOP THE RECIPE

I have a few loaf tins but this Loaf Tin 2lb Alan Silverwood is my absolute favourite. It’s just a great size, slightly bigger than your average 2lb loaf tin so bear in mind for some recipes. It is made of anodised aluminium so conducts heat brilliantly, making the cake bake evenly all the way through. It’s really hard wearing and pretty much completely non-stick but has no coating. However because of the anodised aluminium you mustn’t put it in the dishwasher or it will ruin.

This post is not sponsored but the images above are affiliate links which means if you decide you want to use these link to make your purchases then Amazon gives me a small commission at no cost to you whatsoever. I will only recommend products I use in my kitchen and love. To learn more about how the data processing works when using these Amazon affiliate links then please visit my privacy policy page.

Picnic Slice

Picnic Slice basically lives up to its name, a perfectly portable treat to slip into your picnic basket for days out. Naturally gluten-free by eschewing all flour and focusing on its coconut macaroon-like tendencies, these are light, packed with fruit and nuts and covered in plenty of chocolate.

Stack of Picnic Slices on a chopping board on a wooden table

When the weather is good, the inclination to picnic is ever so tempting. I have romantic notions of a tartan rug strewn politely across lush grass, an iced bucket housing a chilling fizz, bountiful strawberries, an array of carefully curated salads fresh with herbs and leaves. Perhaps a roasted chicken takes centre stage, with carefully carved slices fanned out on delicate china. I might have been influenced by a little too much Merchant Ivory.

Picnic Slice on a chopping board

The reality of picnics of course, especially in the UK, is laughably different. First off, if you are not dissuaded by the ominous clouds which will no doubt appear as soon as the magic words of picnic are uttered then really you’ve won half the battle. But there are also other little reminders of reality that can dispel your dreamy idyll.

• The rug is always forgotten, meaning a damp bum is inevitable.
• Picnic tables are a much better bet but if you find a free one on a particularly sunny day then it’s probably because it’s covered in bird poo.
• Cutlery always seems an afterthought, I usually end up eating my picnic with Cole’s plastic spoons having been unable to cobble together anything more civilised for the adults.
• There are no highchairs so toddlers are fully able to leap down off picnic benches without eating anything more than a chocolate biscuit and run off to chase the nearest squirrel.
• Or if you’re on the ground the same toddler will happily launch themselves across the rug towards the crisps, splattering houmous everywhere and squashing the sausage rolls.
• Plus on a slightly more personal bugbear picnics are just a little more of a bother if you’re gluten-free since you can’t just throw together an acceptable ham sandwich or do an M&S sweep of mini samosas and pork pies. Usually more time in the kitchen is in order which really puts the kibosh on impromptu picnic experiences.
• And if you really want to quibble with these lazy hazy summer days then fizz in the sun is the surest way to serve up hangovers to accompany the journey home.

Picnic Slice on a chopping board on a wooden table

Still we soldier on as visiting National Trust properties or a day trip to the zoo just isn’t the same without a picnic break. With our picnics I usually keep it simple with my standard Coronation Chicken Salad and of course a generous helping of cake.

I love a portable cake, something you can wrap in foil, tuck into a coolbag and it still look the business when you unwrap it a couple of hours later.

Picnic Slice on a plate on a wooden table

I found this recipe for Picnic Slice in an absolute gem of a cookbook called The Classic 1000 Cake and Bake Recipes. It was given to me as a secret santa gift a million years ago and it has an absolute treasure trove of quick, easy homestyle bakes that can be slammed together in no time. When leafing through it the other day for something fun and easy to make that Cole could get involved with this Picnic Slice caught my eye. I loved the name and was thrilled when I saw that the recipe contained no flour whatsoever so is the perfect naturally gluten-free bake. Although as I write this I can see my fatal error as I didn’t actually cut the cake into slices but bars instead. I’m sure no one will notice.

The finished result was a little bit like a glorified coconut macaroon but with more nuts and dried fruit going on. I added pistachios to the original recipe which was definitely a good idea. It is also pretty excellent for showing off your Homemade Glacé Cherries should you be so inclined. Usually Cole can get a little bored by baking with mummy but the thrill of plucking the odd pistachio and glace cherry out of the bowl kept him entertained the whole time.

Picnic Slice on a chopping board

It was an odd recipe though, requiring you to pour the melted chocolate into the bottom of the cake tin, then dollop the coconut batter on top before baking it in the oven. Usually I wouldn’t put my melted chocolate back in the oven as it messes around with the temper of the chocolate too much and would lead to white streaks across a dull surface. This did kind of happen, especially after I chilled it in the fridge afterwards which I would definitely recommend so they retain a better structure. Plus they are pretty yummy cold.

I debated over changing the method slightly so the melted chocolate is drizzled over after the coconut layer has been baked but I did love the way that the chocolate wraps around and sort of soaks into the coconut layer beneath in the original recipe. Plus if you scatter across enough accoutrements over the surface of the Picnic Slice then the slightly streaky chocolate beneath isn’t a problem.

Picnic Slice on a plate on a wooden table

So here’s to the next picnic, of which our tried and tested Picnic Slice will definitely be a part of. Now we just have to hope for clear skies, a free clean table and a compliant toddler. At least the Picnic Slice doesn’t require cutlery.

Print Recipe
Picnic Slice
Naturally gluten-free, these treats are light, packed with fruit and nuts and covered in plenty of chocolate.
Stack of Picnic Slices on a chopping board on a wooden table
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings
12 slices
Ingredients
  • 225 g dark chocolate
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 100 g unsalted butter room temperature
  • 150 g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs lightly beaten
  • 100 g desiccated coconut + 1 tablespoon for decoration
  • 75 g pistachios roughly chopped (+ a few roughly chopped for decoration)
  • 75 g sultanas
  • 75 g glace cherries roughly chopped (+ a few roughly for decoration)
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings
12 slices
Ingredients
  • 225 g dark chocolate
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 100 g unsalted butter room temperature
  • 150 g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs lightly beaten
  • 100 g desiccated coconut + 1 tablespoon for decoration
  • 75 g pistachios roughly chopped (+ a few roughly chopped for decoration)
  • 75 g sultanas
  • 75 g glace cherries roughly chopped (+ a few roughly for decoration)
Stack of Picnic Slices on a chopping board on a wooden table
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 150°C and line and grease an 8 inch square cake tin.
  2. Melt the chocolate with the salt in a bain marie or a glass bowl sitting over simmering water then pour into the bottom of the cake tin. Leave to rest whilst you prepare the batter.
  3. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time and mix until combined.
  5. Then tip in the coconut, pistachios, sultanas, cherries and again beat until the batter has come together.
  6. Pour the batter evenly over the chocolate.
  7. Bake for 30 minutes.
  8. Leave the Picnic Slice in the tin for 10 minutes to set a little then carefully remove, turn upside down so the chocolate is on the top and set onto a wire rack.
  9. Scatter the extra pistachios, coconut and cherries over the top then leave to cool to room temperature.
  10. Store the Picnic Slice in the for at least 4 hours to completely chill before cutting into bars.
Recipe Notes

Adapted from The Classic 1000 Cake and Bake Recipes, by Wendy Hobson

SHOP THE RECIPE

I see they still stock Classic 1000 Cake & Bake Recipes (Classic 1000 Cookbook) on Amazon which I would really recommend, there are few pictures but lots of little recipes that are so perfect to whip up for bake sales, take to pot lucks or school fetes.

I have had this KitchenCraft MasterClass Non-Stick Deep Square Cake Tin with Loose Base, 20 cm (8″) for years and it’s always served me really well. It has a loose base so ideal for removing more delicate bakes from the tin like this Picnic Slice which doesn’t really properly set until cool. I also use it for all my brownies for the same reason.

The images above are affiliate links which means if you decide you want to use these link to make your purchases then Amazon gives me a small commission at no cost to you whatsoever. I will only recommend products I use in my kitchen and love. To learn more about how the data processing works when using these Amazon affiliate links then please visit my privacy policy page.

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Coconut Lime Energy Balls

These Coconut Lime Energy Balls are the perfect snack when you need a boost. There is no sugar in them at all, refined, fruit or fake but instead loads of plant protein and of course plenty of yumminess.

These Coconut Lime Energy Balls are the perfect snack when you need a boost. There is no sugar in them at all, refined, fruit or fake but instead loads of plant protein and of course plenty of yumminess.

Billy Buddy is on strict bed rest for two months. We’ve been through this before a couple of years ago when he tore his cruciate ligament on his left leg and it was hard enough then. Looking back though I was being a complete drama queen about it. It couldn’t have been a better time to care for a sick dog, I was in the late stages of pregnancy so had all the time in the world to sit on the sofa with my poorly dog, encourage him to eat, drink, go to the loo, take his medication and watch re-runs of Jamie’s Fifteen Minute Meals with me.

These Coconut Lime Energy Balls are the perfect snack when you need a boost. There is no sugar in them at all, refined, fruit or fake but instead loads of plant protein and of course plenty of yumminess.

This time round, having torn his right cruciate this time, both Billy Buddy and I don’t have the same luxury of leisure. Since I’m keeping a main eye on a danger driven toddler I can’t afford to worry about Billy as well so he’s been resting in his crate most of the time, which to be honest is where the vet says he should be. Cole doesn’t quite appreciate our furry patient’s predicament though and keeps trying to shake the crate to smoke his best friend out or stick his little toy wooden bus through the bars for Billy Buddy to play with, dropping it unceremoniously on his head. Yesterday when we were getting our coats and scarfs on for our afternoon walk Cole dutifully fetched Billy’s lead and brought it to his crate. All three of us were very sad that the lead was put back. Not all of us threw a heaving tantrum though and had to be pulled out of the house kicking and screaming. Sorry Cole, I’ll behave better next time.

These Coconut Lime Energy Balls are the perfect snack when you need a boost. There is no sugar at all, refined, fruit or fake.

These Coconut Lime Energy Balls are the perfect snack when you need a boost. There is no sugar at all, refined, fruit or fake.

Strict bed rest means Billy Buddy is not allowed to run, jump or be left alone with any type of furniture where this might be an option. Basically he’s not allowed to be a dog which is causing a bit of an identity crisis. We tried for years to convince him he wasn’t a cat and now we’re trying to tell him to be more like his lazy feline housemates who love nothing better to be left alone to snooze all day.

Billy Buddy

But the real kicker is that Billy has to wear the cone of gloom, when all he really wants to do is itch and scratch the stitches in his leg. Earlier today it took him a good few attempts before he worked out how to pick up one of his toys with this monstrosity around his neck. He proceeded to throw Stick Man up in the air with glee, only to lose his balance, land on his bad leg, have his toy taken away and was then relegated back to his crate. Albeit with a bit of tripe, although only a small bit as since he’s not getting any exercise Billy is also not allowed to eat very much. I know, it gets worse. Well, we’re one week down, only seven more to go. How many is that in dog weeks?

These Coconut Lime Energy Balls are the perfect snack when you need a boost. There is no sugar in them at all, refined, fruit or fake but instead loads of plant protein and of course plenty of yumminess.

So what with my Florence Nightingale routine, vet appointments, hourly toddler life saving and my cake stall having resumed my meals are not as regular as I keep promising myself they will be. Organised food is such a bother. So I’ve turned to snacking.

Now, I could quite happily snack on cake all day long. Believe me there is enough hanging around the house all the time since recipe testing is my favourite pasttime. However, I’m struggling with all the sugar crashes, let alone the extra few pounds. So I wanted to create a snack that could be incorporated as part of my Sunday meal prep, would last all week, had loads of protein and no sugar. Not even dates, coconut sugar, honey or brown rice syrup.

These Coconut Lime Energy Balls are the perfect snack when you need a boost. There is no sugar in them at all, refined, fruit or fake but instead loads of plant protein and of course plenty of yumminess.

So these Coconut Lime Energy Balls are the end result and they are brilliant. I based them on Bounce Balls, which I love but are nearly £2 per ball. My balls are so much cheaper to make, about 30p per ball if my maths is right, which it never is I am dreadful at sums.

These Coconut Lime Energy Balls are the perfect snack when you need a boost. There is no sugar in them at all, refined, fruit or fake but instead loads of plant protein and of course plenty of yumminess.

There is sweetness here though, despite the lack of sugar. Coconut is naturally sweet and there is a hint of vanilla here to amp it up a bit. The combination of coconut and lime is ever glorious and the vitality of the citrus saves these balls from being too heavy what with the protein richness of all the cashews and hemp.

These Coconut Lime Energy Balls are the perfect snack when you need a boost. There is no sugar in them at all, refined, fruit or fake but instead loads of plant protein and of course plenty of yumminess.I am really loving these balls and not to brag but they are also vegan, gluten-free and paleo. They are giving me bags of much needed energy and I’m just trying not to eat too many of them in front of Billy who just looks at me balefully through his prison walls longing for treats. Only seven weeks to go my friend. Here, watch me eat another ball.

These Coconut Lime Energy Balls are the perfect snack when you need a boost. There is no sugar in them at all, refined, fruit or fake but instead loads of plant protein and of course plenty of yumminess.

Print Recipe
Coconut Lime Energy Balls {vegan, gluten-free, paleo, sugar-free}
The perfect snack for when you need an energy boost. There is no sugar at all, refined, fruit or fake.
These Coconut Lime Energy Balls are the perfect snack when you need a boost. There is no sugar in them at all, refined, fruit or fake but instead loads of plant protein and of course plenty of yumminess.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Servings
15 balls
Ingredients
  • 150 g cashew nuts
  • 150 g unsweetened desiccated coconut + 50g extra for rolling
  • 50 g sesame seeds
  • Juice and zest of 2 limes
  • 2 tablespoons hemp protein powder
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
Prep Time 15 minutes
Servings
15 balls
Ingredients
  • 150 g cashew nuts
  • 150 g unsweetened desiccated coconut + 50g extra for rolling
  • 50 g sesame seeds
  • Juice and zest of 2 limes
  • 2 tablespoons hemp protein powder
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
These Coconut Lime Energy Balls are the perfect snack when you need a boost. There is no sugar in them at all, refined, fruit or fake but instead loads of plant protein and of course plenty of yumminess.
Instructions
  1. First scatter the cashew nuts on a baking tray and roast in the oven for 10 minutes at 170°C.
  2. Then place the roasted cashews in a food processor with the desiccated coconut and sesame seeds and blitz for about 10 minutes or until nice and runny.
  3. Pour into a large mixing bowl and stir in the lime zest and juice, the hemp protein powder, vanilla extract and sea salt until the mixture thickens.
  4. Leave to stand for at least ten minutes then roll into 15 x 30g balls, then roll in the extra desiccated coconut to coat.
  5. They can be eaten immediately or stored in the fridge for about a week.
These Coconut Lime Energy Balls are the perfect snack when you need a boost. There is no sugar in them at all, refined, fruit or fake but instead loads of plant protein and of course plenty of yumminess.

Energy Boosting Snack Ideas – FREE PDF!

If you need more inspiration of energy boosting snacks to get your through your in between meal slumps then you can download my free PDF with 9 more ideas featuring exclusive content and also my favourite energy boosting recipes from the website. To access this amazing PDF you just need to click the link below!!

Blueberry Ricotta Coconut Crisp {gluten-free}

This Blueberry Ricotta Coconut Crisp is a quick gluten-free dessert to throw in the oven. Layered with plump juicy blueberries, creamy ricotta then topped with crunchy clusters of coconutty oats.

This Blueberry Ricotta Coconut Crisp is a quick gluten-free dessert to throw in the oven. Layered with plump juicy blueberries, creamy ricotta then topped with crunchy clusters of coconutty oats.

This Blueberry Ricotta Coconut Crisp is a quick gluten-free dessert to throw in the oven. Layered with plump juicy blueberries, creamy ricotta then topped with crunchy clusters of coconutty oats.

If you think you are experiencing a bit of deja-vu, then you may be right. To go hand in hand with my blog re-design I am also doing a bit of an audit, revisiting old recipes and seeing how they have fared over the years and what I might do to encourage the wee stragglers. I first posted this recipe in October 2014 with some pretty dreadful photos attached. I remembered how delicious it was so I made it again and agreed that yes I was right the first time, this was really delicious and by gum I need the world to know.

I didn’t want to just get rid of my old post entirely though, so what follows below is the original post, just with much better photos.

This Blueberry Ricotta Coconut Crisp is a quick gluten-free dessert to throw in the oven. Layered with plump juicy blueberries, creamy ricotta then topped with crunchy clusters of coconutty oats.

These past two Sundays since I begun my market stall have diverted us from our traditional lazy Sunday lunches due to the utter pandemonium of cake carrying boxes and cake stands and plates to be washed up on our return. We have eaten on the hoof, our giant roasts of meat which would always do us through Monday and Tuesday have recently been foregone for quick suppers before we succumb to the sofa.This Blueberry Ricotta Coconut Crisp is a quick gluten-free dessert to throw in the oven. Layered with plump juicy blueberries, creamy ricotta then topped with crunchy clusters of coconutty oats.

Sunday nights have always been pudding nights in our house, for me they don’t seem right on any other evening. When I was a child I remember sitting down to the Darling Buds of May on a Sunday evening with a bowl of sticky jam sponge and hot custard so thick the spoon could stand upright in the bowl. There is something about Sunday night television which calls for the comfort of the old fashioned Pud. As the opening piano music for Downton Abbey is starting I am often spooning a steaming sponge into our glass dessert bowls, yelling into the other room for the TV to be paused so I don’t miss a moment.

This Blueberry Ricotta Coconut Crisp is a quick gluten-free dessert to throw in the oven. Layered with plump juicy blueberries, creamy ricotta then topped with crunchy clusters of coconutty oats.

This hot pud was perfect then for our new busy Sundays, it had to be a quick throw together dessert which didn’t feel like an effort and could be done whilst I was waiting for our burgers to grill (I know, a bit of a comedown from roast beef and yorkshires). Like any good idea, the inspiration came all at once as I knew precisely that it had to be a combination of blueberries, coconut and oats. Something hot but that felt full of light goodness; despite the change in the weather I am not quite ready for a treacly syrup sponges just yet. The fact that I had ricotta in the fridge was an absolute boon and brought the rest of the ingredients together in sweet harmony. The best thing about this pudding is that it takes no more than 10 minutes from all your ingredients being in the larder or the fridge to them being assembled and tucked into the oven for a 30 minute bake. It isn’t the grand affair pudding that you would necessarily present to guests, it doesn’t have the sophistication for that. However, it’s exactly the sort of pudding that brings your family together at the end of a weekend, squished up on the sofa, slippers on, a pot of tea on the go and Downton Abbey pride of place.

This Blueberry Ricotta Coconut Crisp is a quick gluten-free dessert to throw in the oven. Layered with plump juicy blueberries, creamy ricotta then topped with crunchy clusters of coconutty oats.

These photos were taken in collaboration with Tara at Fork and Dram. She has been a huge inspiration to me lately, assisting in the direction of my blog, cake stall and photography and has been marvellous to work with.

Print Recipe
Blueberry Ricotta Coconut Crisp {gluten-free}
This Blueberry Ricotta Coconut Crisp is a quick gluten-free dessert to throw in the oven. Layered with plump juicy blueberries, creamy ricotta then topped with crunchy clusters of coconutty oats.
This Blueberry Ricotta Coconut Crisp is a quick gluten-free dessert to throw in the oven. Layered with plump juicy blueberries, creamy ricotta then topped with crunchy clusters of coconutty oats.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings
6-8 people
Ingredients
  • 100 g porridge oats
  • 40 g coconut flour
  • 100 g unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 25 g coconut flakes
  • 300 g blueberries
  • 300 g ricotta
  • 225 g soft light brown sugar
  • zest of 1/2 lemon
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings
6-8 people
Ingredients
  • 100 g porridge oats
  • 40 g coconut flour
  • 100 g unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 25 g coconut flakes
  • 300 g blueberries
  • 300 g ricotta
  • 225 g soft light brown sugar
  • zest of 1/2 lemon
This Blueberry Ricotta Coconut Crisp is a quick gluten-free dessert to throw in the oven. Layered with plump juicy blueberries, creamy ricotta then topped with crunchy clusters of coconutty oats.
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 160°C.
  2. First make the coconut crisp by mixing together the oats, coconut flour and 75g of the sugar. Rub the butter into the dry mixture, using your fingertips until little oaty coconut clumps have formed and there are no big lumps of butter left. Mix in the coconut flakes then set aside for a moment.
  3. Take a medium sized baking dish (the one I used was 7”x10”) and grease the inside. Then pour the blueberries into the bottom so they are in an even layer.
  4. In a separate bowl beat together the ricotta, the rest of the sugar and the lemon zest for a few moments until fully combined and then pour on top of the blueberries.
  5. Scatter the coconut crisp on top of the ricotta.
  6. Place in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes when the coconut crisp has toasted and the blueberries are bubbling up from within.
  7. Serve warm with ice cream.