Creating gluten free and vegan cake recipes that taste and look amazing

Our range of free from cakes

New Generation Range

We’ve been on a quest to create gluten free and vegan cake recipes that taste and look amazing.

We’ve been baking our Classic Range of highly indulgent gluten free cakes and cookies since 1998. We’ve focused always on creating the most delicious treats we can using thoughtfully sourced ingredients. We’re well known for our milk chocolate and dark choc and orange Heathcliff brownies as well as squidgy caramel slices and buttery flapjacks. Our customers have proved very loyal and complimentary.

Pretty and colourful traybakes with coloured icing and scatterings of fruit, nuts and seeds on top

So everything was ticking along beautifully until we started to experience something of a new creative urge. Having baked gluten free for nearly 20 years we were ready to go back to the test kitchen, get the pinny on and start brainstorming again. One of our central beliefs at Honeybuns is that there is no point bringing something to the market that isn’t different or better to what’s already available. Whatever we cook up in the Honeybuns test kitchen has to then work in the commercial bakery and then result, ultimately in customer delight.

Free from cakes

Specifically we wanted to see what we could create in terms of decadent, indulgent vegan and dairy free treats. Everything we create at Honeybuns is gluten free but we wanted to reach out to a new audience. Thus we hit upon the idea of creating our New Generation Range of goodies.

The other target we set ourselves was to create vegan and dairy treats that also looked really pretty and fun, whilst only using all natural ingredients. This is quite a tough aim as all natural can often mean all brown, mid brown and beige in the world of baking-I think it’s fair to say hitherto vegan food has been viewed as overly worthy and a bit dull.

We started out working on a base sweetened with a mixture of fruit puree and fruit juice concentrate. This produces a naturally intense fruit flavour. The base itself is a cross between a flapjack and a seeded granola bar, with lots of fruit and seeds lending texture to the oats.

We then worked hard on creating our own non dairy alternative to white chocolate using a mix of cacao butter, unrefined icing sugar and oat flour. It looks and behaves like a melted Milky Bar and we use it to cover the base, thus creating a creamy coloured blank canvas. The sweetness of the topping is offset by the punch fruity oaty layer beneath. We were happy with the flavours, now we had to figure out how to pimp up the visuals.

Happily, nowadays the availability of new and interesting ingredients is far ranging. Ingredients companies are far more proactive in developing new ingredients and bringing them to market much more quickly than before.

One example is the great choice of brightly coloured and intensely flavoured freeze dried fruits. They are naturally gluten and dairy free as well as being vegan. We’ve had great results using a mixture of raspberry, blackcurrant and peach in sliced and crumb form.

As a private, non trade customer, you can find a lot these ingredients online. We love Sous Chef and Healthy Supplies.

Hopefully, you can get an idea from the photo of just how pretty these guys look.

They are all gluten free, dairy free, free from refined sugar and vegan to boot.

The greatest test for us is setting them before our very discerning bakery team and waiting for the feedback forms to be returned.

There was a little bit of scepticism about the lack of butter (we’ve been ardent fans of the butter dish over the years) but it was pretty unanimous – they taste as good as the look.

Summing up: vegan is proving to be an exciting new area for us and we already have 5 vegan products in production. We’ll be adding seasonal fruity specials to this range in the Autumn.

As always, we’d love to hear your thoughts.

Thanks for reading.