The lockdown period has given me the incentive to try out some vegan small businesses that are a bit further afield, and I’ve been loving the excuse to tuck into a box of sweet treats on the regular. This week’s order came from Lottie’s Vegan Bakery, who I had come across before at Gloucester Green Market on the odd occasion already. With vegan versions of some of those trickier to master classic bakes on offer such as millionaire’s shortbread and cherry bakewell, I bought a box of six, all ‘for the sake of the blog’ don’t you know…
As a flavour that I’d added onto my order to fill up my box of six, but wasn’t as fussed about trying as the others, this cake surprised me with how much I loved it. Probably my favourite in the box in fact! The punchy ginger flavour was stunning, and the sponge was so light and fluffy it was the most beautiful thing to eat. I could also imagine warming this up with a bit of custard and being in absolute heaven.
I split this in half with my boyfriend and I think from the sound of it he got the better half as we had slightly different opinions. He definitely got more caramel and said he loved the salty and sweet combination along with the sticky peanut butter centre (of which I’d had none in my half – sad times). The brownie was more on the cake-y side than fudgy, which makes sense given that it has to survive delivery. I liked the crunch of the generous handful of peanuts on top. It was a very nice brownie, but moral of the story, don’t share your damn brownie with anyone.
Another light and fluffy sponge, with the perfect ratio of cake to icing on top. Most of the biscoff flavour was in the icing, and the flavour wasn’t quite as strong as with the ginger cake for example. As far as I’m concerned, the more biscoff the better! However, it was still really tasty – not too sickly sweet as this kind of thing could easily be, and I was impressed the biscuit on top hadn’t gone soggy, so it made for a very pleasant eating experience.
Who doesn’t love a classic lemon sponge, but somehow this one was on another level. The lemon was just so zingy and delicious, giving the perfect balance between the moist citrusy sponge and creamy sweet frosting. Again there was just the right amount of each, and I loved the addition of poppyseeds sprinkled on top. Classic flavour combinations and a nice textural element that meant I’d finished the slice before giving a second thought to sharing it this time…
It wasn’t quite the perfect millionaire’s shortbread I’d built up in my head about tucking into, though still absolutely hitting that sweet tooth. The balance of chocolate/caramel/shortbread was just right, and overall the texture was quite accurate to the non-vegan version, but unfortunately the caramel was a little grainy. Although, having attempted making one of these myself before and ending up with something perfectly edible but absolutely not worth the time commitment it required, for anyone else who is desiring a caramel shortbread themselves, this might be the better bet.
Best til last? This one was everything I’d dreamed it would be. There is something so nostalgic for me about a Bakewell (fond memories of finding those little Mr Kipling ones wrapped up in clingfilm in my lunchbox perhaps), and a vegan version of this has sadly yet to reach supermarket shelves. I savoured every bite of this bake, apart from the glacé cherry, which my boyfriend was happy to take off my hands. Deliciously sweet, almondy, beautiful texture, and pretty much indistinguishable from the non-vegan version. Will definitely order again.
The fact that you can build your own box of vegan goodies and try one of everything is a major bonus about shopping at Lottie’s Vegan Bakery, and I thoroughly enjoyed looking forward to trying something different each day. The packaging it arrived in was good quality, with a full ingredients list enclosed (something I noticed a lot of home deliveries are missing), and was delivered by courier for a very reasonable price. I think this should be the way to go for businesses selling perishable foods at this time, and I was happy to pay an extra pound for the reassurance that my cakes would arrive as fresh as could be. If you’re looking something for someone as a little pick me up, or a treat for a special occasion, I’d recommend choosing Lottie – just be quick because I know the goodies in the online shop go quite quickly once they get added!