From a carrot cake, to no-bake nests and a decadent chocolate sweet potato cake, here are 3 Easter recipes guaranteed to appeal to vegans and non-vegans alike...

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If you’re a vegan, you may have found that the Easter weekend has in the past proven pretty tricky in terms of chocolate, desserts and cakes. Times are thankfully changing though. The rise in popularity of a plant-based diet has seen not only our cookbooks but also our grocery shelves well-stocked with all manner of treats to please both vegans and non-vegans alike.

Here are five of our current favourites recipes and treats to bake and buy.

1. No-bake crispy cakes by Jenna Zoe

Image: Clare Winfield, © Ryland Peters & Small

"This is one of the most popular if not THE most popular product that I prepare for events and parties" says Jenna. "It’s so simple, yet it’s so addictive and impossible not to like. This is the treat I give to someone if I’m really trying to show them that living healthily while still enjoying indulgent foods from time to time IS possible. In other words, it’s a converter." Our tip for Easter is to make them into nest shapes and pop on a few Mini-Eggs.

Makes 24


100 g/3½ oz. dark/bittersweet chocolate, chopped

60 ml/¼ cup coconut oil or

60 g/¼ cup non-hydrogenated sunflower spread

1⁄4 teaspoon salt

110 g/2 cups plain corn flakes, with no added sugar

2 x 12-hole muffin pans, lined with (eco-friendly) paper cases


Put the chocolate, coconut oil and salt in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of barely simmering water. Leave until melted and completely smooth.

Tip the corn flakes into the melted chocolate. Mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon but don’t be afraid to crush some of the corn flakes. Scoop a generous tablespoon of the mixture into each muffin case, patting the mixture down as you go. Put the whole muffin pans in the freezer for 15 minutes.

Remove the cakes from the freezer just before serving. Store them in the freezer for up to 2 weeks.

Jenna's tip

"Sometimes when you want to overhaul your diet, the first steps are the hardest to establish. You swap your cereal for chia seeds, eat big salads and stock your fridge full of healthy snacks. This approach can often be overwhelming and send us straight back to our old ways. Even though it’s tempting to go 'all in' because you want all the benefits of a healthy lifestyle, you’re more likely to have success by doing what I recommend to all my clients – pick thee small changes you’d like to make each week. This will give you measurable victories and you’ll be able to pinpoint the effects of each change more finely. And you’ll be intrigued to keep going too!"

MORE GLOSS: 5 reasons you should go vegan

2. Sticky carrot bites by Jenna Zoe

Photography by Clare Winfield, © Ryland Peters & Small

"These gooey little bites are to carrot cake what brownies are to chocolate cake" says Jenna. "They are softer and more caramel-like than traditional carrot cake, and definitely less fancy. I have learned from catering tea parties that very often people are more willing to try smaller sizes of treats, because it only takes a few bites of something sweet to satisfy you. It’s also more convenient to eat while you’re chatting to friends.

"Although carrot cake was one of the most common requests we received, it used to remain largely untouched when we made it in the traditional triple-layer shape with tons of frosting. I designed these little bites to provide the same flavours, but in a way that’s easier to eat.

"Anyone who has tried these has told me that they prefer the texture of them to that of the normal cake too. The trick to a really addictive carrot cake flavour is to use olive oil – its savouriness really balances the flavour profile and stops it from being sickly sweet."

Makes about 32


1½ tablespoons ground flaxseeds/linseeds

4½ tablespoons water

150g/1¼ cups gluten-free plain/all-purpose flour of choice

½ teaspoon xanthan gum

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon bicarbonate of/baking soda

¾ teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground ginger

½ teaspoon grated nutmeg (optional) – I usually prefer this recipe without nutmeg, but carrot cake purists may want to add this in

190 g/1 cup xylitol

125 ml/½ cup unsweetened apple purée/applesauce

60 ml/¼ cup almond milk

125 ml/½ cup olive oil

190 g/1½ cups finely grated carrots (about 6–8 carrots) – the finer you can grate these, the better

Large handful of raisins (no need to measure)

Large handful of walnuts

23-cm/9-inch square baking pan/baking sheet lined with foil


Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) Gas 4.

Put the flaxseeds/linseeds and water in a small bowl. Whisk the seeds into the water with a fork until the mixture starts to feel like the consistency of a beaten egg – in fact, what you have is a “flax egg” that plays the same role as an egg in plant-based baking recipes. Place in the fridge.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, bicarbonate of/baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg, if using.

Separately, mix together the xylitol, apple purée/applesauce, almond milk and olive oil. Stir in the “flax egg”. Pour this into the bowl of dry ingredients and stir until smooth. Add the grated carrots and the raisins and give it a gentle stir just to make sure they are well distributed throughout the mixture.

Spoon the mixture into the baking pan – it’s a very wet mixture so you don’t need to grease your pan. Crumble the walnuts with your hands and scatter them on top so that they sit on the surface of the cake. Bake in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes. Now cover the cake with foil and return it to the oven for a further 10–12 minutes. This will ensure the cake cooks through without allowing the surface to burn.

Remove the cake from the oven – you will see the insides are still gooey. Cut it into little portions (about 5 x 3 cm/2 x 11⁄2 inches), and place the portions on the prepared baking sheet. Put them in the still-warm oven for a further 30 minutes, or less if you prefer them to stay gooey. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

MORE GLOSS: Amelia Freer’s Healthy but Tasty lettuce wraps recipe

3. Aduna Easter Super-Cacao Cake


Chocolate sweet potato cake

½ cup Aduna Super-Cacao Powder

1½ cups, diced, steamed & cooled sweet potato

½ cup maple syrup

1 cup + 2 tbsp water

1 tbsp vanilla extract

¾ cups spelt flour

2 tsp baking powder

1½ baking soda

¾ tsp salt

Chocolate ganache

100g dark chocolate

½ cup coconut milk

Toasted coconut, for topping

Chocolate mousse filling

2 tbsp Aduna Super-Cacao Powder

320ml coconut cream

2 tbsp maple syrup

100g dark chocolate

Marzipan eggs (optional)

½ cup (50g) ground almonds

1½ tbsp honey

A few drops of almond & vanilla extract

Fruit/vegetable powders for colour, e.g. turmeric, raspberry & Aduna Moringa


Chocolate sweet potato cake

1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Lightly grease 2x8” cake pans with coconut oil.

2. Blend potato, syrup, water and vanilla in a food processor until smooth.

3. Sieve flour, salt, Super-Cacao, baking powder and baking soda into a bowl. Stir in coconut sugar. Mix in sweet potato mixture until combined.

4. Pour into prepared tins and bake for 20-22 minutes. Leave to cool.

Chocolate ganache

1. Heat coconut milk in a small pan, until steaming hot but not boiling.

2. Remove from heat, add broken up chocolate and stir to melt.

3. Leave for 15 minutes to thicken until pourable but not too runny. Spread evenly over cake and top with the toasted coconut.

Chocolate mousse filling

1. Whisk the coconut cream until fluffy.

2. Chop dark chocolate into pieces and melt in a bowl over a pan of boiling water. Add to cream, along with maple syrup. Mix gently to combine and refrigerate for 20 minutes to thicken.

3. Sandwich the 2 cake layers together with the chocolate mousse.

Marzipan eggs (optional)

1. Add the almonds and honey to a food processor briefly until it comes together.

2. Divide into 3 and add the powders to colour. We used raspberry, Aduna Moringa Superleaf and turmeric powders.

3. Roll into 15-20 small “eggs” and stick to cake using leftover ganache.

Jenna Zoe's recipes courtesy of ' Super Healthy Snacks and Treats' by Jenna Zoe, photography by Clare Winfield, published by Ryland Peters & Small, all images © Ryland Peters & Small.