Vegan Poppyseed Orange and Polenta Drizzle Cake

About two years ago, I visited a little cafe in Parbold, Lancashire, and had the best piece of cake I’d had in a long time.  I can pretty much go without sweet stuff, which makes for lower dental care costs and cheaper shopping trips, but this cake was off the charts good.  One of the first things I did when becoming vegan was try to make this cake vegan to convince myself eggs and dairy weren’t essential to good baking.  I’m exceptionally convinced, as are all who have stolen been given a slice. So, here’s the recipe to impress your vegan friend:

Difficulty: 2/5

Cost: about £5

Time: 45 minutes

Rebecca says: “this cake is a like a beautiful dream, you won’t know it’s vegan…because it’s an excellent cake and you should make it for your next social occasion.”


100g vegan marg (vitalite or pure, can be found in most supermarkets)

100g caster sugar (or any sugar really, crunch is good)

100g Alpro Soya Custard (if soya is no good then make up custard from powder using hemp/almond/rice milk)

120g plain flour

70g Polenta*

2 tsp baking powder

Pinch o’salt

1 tsp orange extract or not, whatever

zest of 1 orange

As many poppyseeds as you want (I recommend as many as possible)


Orange Syrup


100ml orange juice

100g caster sugar


Mix up the cake. It really doesn’t matter how.  I just use an electric whisk and add things in pretty much whatever order I grab them in.  No point lying, baking is easy.

Bake about half an hour in a tin, in an oven about 160c.

Make syrup by heating the orange juice and sugar, keep going until the syrup thickens.

Once the cake is cooked, let it cool in he tin for about 10 mins, turn it out, bang some holes in the cake with a cocktail stick then pour the syrup on.

Put cake in face. Directly.  Or serve it with some vegan coconut and coriander ice cream…recipe to follow.

*Polenta is flour made from ground corn. In supermarkets they sometimes call it cornmeal, it’s yellow and quite grainy. It’s not to be confused with cornflour or cornstarch which are used to thicken sauces. Polenta is more finely ground than cornmeal so it’ preferable, usually it’s made by  company called Natco.

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