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Five vegan Christmas baking ideas from Stroud foodies

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Christmas is just around the corner, and while you may still be searching for a few Christmas presents this weekend, many others may be looking for some fun festive recipes for a little bit of Christmas baking, writes Jess Saunders.

Here are some great vegan baking ideas for you from local bloggers and chefs. A perfect activity for the weekend, before settling into watching Love Actually for the millionth time!

Mince Pie Christmas Brownies

If you love mince pies and love heavenly indulgent brownies, then this recipe by Vegan Punks is for you.

You’ll need a jar of vegan mincemeat, which is found at most supermarkets, including Tesco which sells its own brand of mincemeat, clearly labelled vegan. In addition to standard baking ingredients like plain flour, cocoa powder and dark chocolate.

Vegan baking doesn’t need fancy or hard to find ingredients. The main ‘alternative’ ingredient you’ll need to find is ground flaxseed, which can be found in almost any supermarket. When it’s mixed with water, it forms a gel-like consistency and makes a great egg replacer. It acts as a binder in many vegan baking recipes, including this one. It’s bound to be a hit this Christmas.

No-bake Christmas Pudding Bites

This article is about vegan baking ideas, but this ‘bake’ includes no baking at all! However, it does make a great activity that can easily last a couple of hours with the kids.

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You’ll need just six ingredients. That includes a vegan Christmas pudding, dark chocolate, vegan white chocolate (Confection Affection in Stroud sells a great one by iChoc), maple syrup and glacé cherries (red and green). 

They’re so cute and delightful. Based on Nigella Lawson’s non-vegan Christmas puddini bonbons recipe, this version is great for vegans, dairy-free and gluten-free diets (providing you find a gluten-free Christmas pudding).

Christmas Tree Focaccia Art

Focaccia but make it Christmas! Based on the incredible recipe by local chef Erin Baker, this focaccia delivers an unusual but impressive take on the humble focaccia.

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The Christmas tree art looks hard but is actually super simple. I used a mixture of fresh rosemary, thyme and sage to make the Christmas tree shape.

Starting with rosemary for the trunk of the tree, sage leaves coming out from the stem (bigger leaves at the bottom, smaller at the top) and thyme sprigs to fill the gaps. It’s finished off with dried cranberries to act as baubles. 

If I made this again, I’d switch out the dried cranberries for fresh cranberries or small cherry tomatoes, to make it more colourful and impressive. Simply arrange the herbs before baking and they will cook into the focaccia beautifully.

Sticky Pear Gingerbread Cake

Local baker and chef, Erin Baker of The Natural Cookery School, makes the greatest Sticky Pear Gingerbread Cake.

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Photo by Kirsty Young

Although the ingredients list is on the longer side, the recipe is easy to follow and absolutely delicious. Poaching pears can be a bit long-winded. So if you can’t be bothered, Erin suggests simply peeling, coring and chopping three pears before adding them to the batter instead.

Vegan Christmas Pudding with Mandarin centre

This vegan Christmas pudding by former Head Chef of Forest Green rovers, Em Franklin, will be a hit on Christmas Day! It would also be great for the No-bake Christmas Bites (featured above). The article even features a vegan brandy butter to go alongside it!

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