It’s almost mandatory to have sugary treats on hand while you make the big meal. For vegans – or really anyone – with a sweet tooth, whip up a batch of your own ‘jaffa cakes’ from Gaz Oakley’s festive book – and then you can really settle into the age-old debate: Is it a cake or is it a biscuit?

Makes: 24

For the sponge layer:

  • Coconut oil, for greasing
  • 120ml soy milk
  • 55g vegan spread
  • 1tsp orange essence
  • 120g plain flour (can use gluten-free)
  • 100g unrefined caster sugar
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 1/4tsp fine sea salt
  • 1/4tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4tsp ground nutmeg

For the orange jelly:

  • 2tbsp agar agar flakes
  • 120ml cold water
  • 240ml freshly squeezed
  • Orange juice
  • 2tbsp caster sugar

For the chocolate topping:

  • 2 x 100g bars dairy-free chocolate, finely chopped
  • Pinch of sea salt
(Simon Smith/PA)
(Simon Smith/PA)


1. Make the jelly first as it needs two hours to set. Line a baking tray with cling film. Heat the agar agar and water in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to the boil, whisk until the flakes disappear, remove from the heat and add the orange juice and sugar. Whisk until combined, pour onto your lined baking tray and place in the fridge until set.

2. Preheat the oven to 180°C (360°F). Grease two non-stick muffin trays with coconut oil.

3. Put the soy milk, vegan spread and orange essence into a saucepan and set over a low heat until the spread has melted and everything has mixed together. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and spices in a mixing bowl. Make a well in the middle and pour in the orange-milk mixture. Stir well until you have a thick batter. Spoon a couple tablespoons of the batter into each hole in your greased tray. Smooth the mixture level, then bake for eight minutes until lightly golden. Allow to cool slightly in the trays before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

4. Put the chocolate into a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water. When melted, lift the bowl off the pan, allow the chocolate to cool slightly, then stir in the salt.

5. Remove the set jelly from the fridge and use a round cutter (just smaller than the cake bases) to cut the jelly. Lift the rounds onto the top of each cake base, then spoon over the chocolate. Spread the coated jaffa cakes out on a plate and allow to set completely in the fridge. It should take about one hour. They will keep for two to three days in the fridge.

Vegan Christmas by Gaz Oakley is published by Quadrille.