Tomorrow is Shrove Tuesday [aka Pancake Day or Mardi Gras], the day on which, traditionally, all the eggs and butter are used up before the Lenten fast begins. For those of you observing it properly, I salute you, and offer this simple vegan recipe for fairy cakes to help see you through. Unless you feel that the substitutions might break your fast.

There is nothing very complicated about these fairy cakes – I do like a nice simple recipe – and you could probably make them gluten free, too, with very little effort, just by substituting the flour for coconut flour or something. Let me know how it goes if you try this!



100g each of coconut oil, sugar and flour (either self-raising or plain + 1 heaped tsp baking powder)

1 large, ripe banana, mashed

a splash of milk of your preferred variety (I used a rice/coconut combination)

1 tsp vanilla extract

(opt.) candied peel, lightly dusted in flour


Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 and line a twelve-hole cake baking tray with fairy-cake cases.

Cream together the coconut oil and sugar until light and fluffy, then beat in the mashed banana. Stir well, then fold in the flour and candied peel. Add the vanilla and milk until it has a proper cake-batter consistency (it should fall easily, but not run, off a spoon). I do wonder whether Malibu might work as well, in place of the milk. A later test, I feel!

Spoon into the prepared cake-cases and pop in the oven for about 15-20 minutes.

The icing is a simple glace icing with lemon flavouring.