I had a few vegan related concerns about moving to the North last year. Whenever I move to an area there are two things I must have in close proximity. Falafel and cake. Having lived in London all of my vegan life, I know I’ve been very fortunate. I’ve never been more than 30 minutes away from either. I knew beforehand that I had nothing to worry about on the falafel front, there are a few places in Preston that serve my favourite savoury snack, but cake? I was at a bit of a loss.
Imagine my joy when I stumbled across the wonderful Cottage Cupcakes, a vegan baker based in the Manchester area, a mere 45 minute train journey from me. Cottage Cupcakes is run by just one person, the amazing Jenny, who manages to create all these beauties from her very own kitchen. I was lucky to meet Jenny at the Manchester Vegan Potluck a few months ago and, we got down to cake talk almost immediately. It was amazing to meet someone up here who is as passionate about great vegan cake as I am and who can provide amazing vegan baked goods to all the hungry mouths in Manchester.
We arranged to meet again at the Northern Vegan Festival in April and I was given a lovely selection of treats to try. I’m hating myself for not taking a photo of her stall (I see cake and my brain seems to melt apparently) because it looked beautiful! Being a keen baker myself, I like to see vegan cakes looking impressive, and these were definitely that.
Gluten Free Strawberry Chocolate Cupcake
I was very interested in trying one of the gluten free cakes. I honestly think that good gluten free bakes are a sign of a great baker. I’ve tried some really dense, hard and tasteless gluten free cakes in the past, but this cupcake was incredible. The sponge was moist, fluffy, light and full of flavour. Had I not seen Jenny pop this cake into the box, I would not have been able to guess that it was gluten free. It was fab, and has inspired me to get creative with the gluten free goodies in my own kitchen.
Cherry Bakewell Cake Slice
This cake immediately grabbed my attention at the stall. It looked so tempting. A lovely light almond sponge layer cake, filled with jam and buttercream, topped with more delicious buttercream, decorated with a sprinkling of almond flakes. It was everything I imagined it to be and more. This was definitely my favourite cake of them all and I was sad to see it go.
Ah peanut butter, my downfall when it comes to cake, I can never say no to peanut butter! This cupcake was ace. The perfect combination of sweet and salty and like the strawberry cupcake, not too heavily frosted. It was nice to be able to eat this cake and not feel like I’d just consumed buckets of sugar and fat, definitely helped prevent the cake guilts!
Chocolate decadence all squished into a conveniently sized slice. These rich, chocolate brownies were delicious. They were wonderfully moist but not too gooey in the middle. I’m always impressed to see brownies that can be neatly sliced and don’t fall apart in a wet mess when you pick them up.
After tasting all of these goodies, I can confirm that I had nothing to fear. There is amazing cake in the North and it can be found right here at Cottage Cupcakes. For anyone lucky enough to live in the Manchester area, you can get your hands on these treats at V Revolution or you can make an order to collect through the website.
If you like good cake, I urge you to do it. I promise you will not be disappointed!