Food

Juliet Sear's egg-free baking recipes

If you’re finding the shop shelves eggless right now - then don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with some easy bakes that are ‘no yolk’.

Juliet Sear is here with some chocolate cupcakes, nut butter cookies and is miraculously whipping up meringues using the liquid from a can of chickpeas! Genius!

Egg-free chocolate cupcakes

Serves: 16-18 cupcakes

Ingredients

For the Sponge

225ml milk, any kind

2 tsp apple cider vinegar

250g light brown muscovado sugar (or whatever sugar you have)

160ml sunflower oil or coconut oil melted and cooled

2 tsp vanilla extract (optional)

130g yoghurt, dairy or plant based

225 g self raising flour (or you can use plain flour and add an extra ½ tsp of baking powder)

80g cocoa powder

1tsp baking powder

½ tsp bicarbonate of soda

½ tsp salt

For the buttercream

200g butter or plant based spread

Vanilla extract (optional)

400g sifted icing sugar

2 tbsp milk (any kind)

Colourful sprinkles (optional)

Top Tips

- You can easily half or multiply the recipe subject to your requirements

- Or if you prefer you can bake it as a tray bake in a 20 x 30cm tin, or a two layer sponge cake in 2 x 8” round layers. If using larger tins grease and line with parchment paper.

- If you can’t get icing sugar, you can use a food processor or a nutribullet to make powdered sugar from white caster!

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. Grease and line your tin/tray/cupcake tins

  2. Mix together milk and vinegar in a jug; the milk should curdle slightly, set aside

  3. In a large bowl, whisk in the sugar, oil and vanilla extract together, then whisk in the yoghurt, making sure to bash in any sugar lumps, then add the soured milk in and mix together

  4. In another large bowl, sift or whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt to evenly distribute all the dry ingredients

  5. Gradually whisk the wet ingredients into the dry until smooth; be careful not to over-mix

  6. Divide the batter evenly between the cupcake liners, half in each round tin or fill the tray and bake for about 15-18 minutes for the cupcakes and a few minutes longer if doing the larger cakes, until well risen and springy and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out almost clean - it should still be a little pasty, but not wet/glistening, slightly underbaked makes for a more fudgy cake!

  7. Leave the cakes to cool in their tins for 20 minutes then carefully turn them out onto a wire rack to cool completely (they are delicate and breakable so be gentle, using a cake lifter is helpful). Allow to cool completely before icing. You can do this the day before if you wish and wrap the sponges in cling until ready to use, or the sponge freezes really well too.

  8. For the frosting: Make the buttercream by beating the butter and vanilla on high speed in a stand mixer for a few minutes until pale and whippy (or beat with a wooden spoon in a bowl vigorously)

  9. Gradually add the icing sugar, beating on a slow speed to start with then turning up the speed to max until the frosting is pale, light and creamy

  10. Loosen the frosting with 2 tablespoons of milk and mix again

  11. Spread with a palette knife or pipe in swirls onto the cupcakes, or spread over the traybake sponge, or sandwich and cover as required if doing the two layers. Sprinkles optional!

Nut Butter Cookies

Serves: 16 cookies

Ingredients

100g butter or plant based spread

200g light muscovado, light brown, caster sugar or granulated sugar (or a mix of what you have)

250g nut butter (I prefer meridian crunchy almond, but you can use any kind or a mix)

1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)

175g self-raising white flour

½ tsp salt to taste (optional)

3 tbsp milk, any kind will do plant or dairy

175g dark chocolate chips or chunks (or whatever chocolate you have)

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºc and prepare two large baking trays with baking parchment

  2. Add the butter and sugar to an electric mixer and cream them together. Then add in the nut butter and vanilla and mix together until well combined.

  3. Add the flour and salt, mix on very low until you reach a thick crumbly dough

  4. If at this stage you are able to mix it into a rollable cookie dough, so what you have is a proper cookie dough instead of a crumbly dough, then you may not need to add any milk. If you have a crumbly dough, then you need the milk. This usually depends on the moisture content of your brand of butter and/or peanut butter so you can just judge this by eye.

5 . Add in the milk, only as much as needed to get to a thick cookie dough that is able to roll into balls

  1. Add in your chocolate chips or chunks and mix in to the dough, or if you prefer you can stuff in a few pieces of any chocolate chunks to make different types through the batch. Roll into big balls and place onto a parchment lined baking tray, then press down to flatten slightly. Aim for around 16 cookies from your batch.

  2. Bake for 15 minutes until they are starting to turn a golden brown. The middles will still be very soft and wobbly, this is what you want, don’t be tempted to over bake as they will firm up as they cool.

  3. Let the cookies cool and firm up on the baking sheet before moving them

Meringue Kisses

Ingredients

1 x can of chickpeas (drain and use the aquafaba, mine yielded exactly 200g - reserve the chickpeas for cooking or making hummus)

½ tsp cream of tartar (optional)

200g white caster sugar

1 tsp Vanilla extract

Food colouring (optional)

Top Tips

- If you want to add any colouring, you can paint stripes along the inside of the bag with a little food colouring - any colour you like, with a pastry brush, going up the bag from the nozzle to the top.

- If you don’t have a piping bag you can just use two spoons and make little dollops on your trays.

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 140°C/120°C fan/275°F/Gas 1

  2. In a clean, dry bowl use an electric hand whisk to whisk the aquafaba either on it’s own or with the cream of tartar until it forms stiff peaks. This will take a few minutes.

  3. Whisking continuously, add the sugar 1 spoonful at a time, until fully incorporated and you have a glossy soft to stiff peak meringue consistency

  4. If using, paint the bag with food colouring using a pastry brush, or keep plain and load up the bag gently with the whipped meringue, taking care not to knock out any air from the mixture. Hold the bag vertically with the nozzle almost touching the baking paper, squeeze the bag to create a blob on the tray, then draw up slightly and stop squeezing to allow a little flick on the top. Repeat all over the trays, leaving about a meringue kisses worth of space in between each one as they will puff up when baking a little.

  5. Bake the meringues for 30 minutes, then turn the oven down to 120°C/100°C fan/250°F/Gas 1. Bake for a further 1–1½ hours, until the meringues are completely dried out. Turn off the heat and leave them to cool completely in the oven with the door closed to prevent cracking. Once the meringues are cool you can store them in an airtight container or wrapped in a food bag for up to 2 days, until you’re ready to eat as they are, or sandwich pairs together with a little cream or frosting of your choice.