Vegan Elderflower and Berry Cake

To continue our Birthday celebrations, vegan blogger and baker, Kat of Kelham Island Kitchen has created this special celebration cake recipe exclusively for us.

Its just the sort of treat you’d expect to find at one of our events. For now, while we’re all staying home to keep ourselves and our community safe, we thought we’d share this gorgeous recipe with you in the hope you might want to get baking and create something truly scrumptious!

A vegan cake with pink icing sits sliced and ready to eat.

Kat says,.. ‘Enjoy a slice of this wonderfully summery Vegan Elderflower and Berry Cake. Making the most of seasonal ingredients,this cake is perfect for enjoying outside with a cup of tea (or a glass of wine). The elderflower gives a subtle floral flavour while the berries add freshness and cut through the sweetness of the cake’

If you do bake your own, tag us in any pics, we’d love to see! Enjoy! (If this recipe is a bit ambititous for you, check out Kat’s Vegan Banana Bread recipe instead; its pretty simple and also totally delicious!)

Ingredients 
  • 400g Self raising flour
  • 200g Caster sugar
  • 2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 400ml Plant Milk
  • 160ml Vegetable Oil
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 5 tbsp Elderflower Cordial, plus extra for brushing the cake
  • 100g Vegan Butter softened
  • 200g Icing Sugar
  • 150g berries, I used frozen raspberries
Method 
  1. Pre-heat oven to 160’C (fan)
  2. Grease and line two cake tins
  3. Combine the flour, sugar, and baking powder in a mixing bowl
  4. Add the milk, oil, vanilla and elderflower cordial to the dry ingredients and mix until you have a smooth batter
  5. Fold in half the berries then split the batter evenly between the two tins
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the cakes are golden and a skewer comes out clean when inserted in the centre
  7. Allow the cakes to cool in the tins before moving to a cooling rack
  8. Brush the top of the cakes with some elderflower syrup
  9. To make the icing. Put the rest of the berries in a small saucepan with a splash of water
  10. Cook on a low heat until the berries are really soft and you have a compote consistency
  11. Strain the berries through a sieve. Keeping the liquid to add to the buttercream
  12. For the buttercream beat together the butter and icing sugar until you have a smooth, fluffy icing
  13. Once the berry sauce has cooled, add to the buttercream
  14. To assemble the cake put half the icing in the middle of the sponges, then the rest on top.
  15. Smooth the buttercream on top of the cake then use a pallet knife to create a simple flower pattern on top of the cake.

 

Finding My Community

‘I struggled to find a community that would really support me in my drag journey’

For years, I’ve been interested in becoming a drag king – partly because of my theatre degree and fascination with gender as performance – but I’ve struggled to find a community that would really support me in my drag journey. So, when I saw a poster advertising Andro and Eve’s Drag King Workshop in November 2019, I simply knew I had to sign up for it.

Drag king louis Cyfer tutors workshop participants in drag makeup skills
Drag king Louis Cyfer teaches some drag makeup skills

Before the big weekend, I was buzzing with anticipation, but there was also a fraction of performance anxiety, as the practical workshops, especially comedy and character development, sounded challenging. On the second day of skills workshops, brilliantly facilitated by Katherine and Natalie, I found myself literally crawling on the floor whilst performing my first ever comedy improvisation that made my audience laugh. This wasn’t just confidence-boosting, it really made me realise I could “do” things, if only I was brave enough to take the plunge.

Workshop participants enjoy exploring gender as performance
Exploring gender as performance

The talent within our group is incredible. Some are charismatic performers, there are actors, singers, musicians and dancers, but everyone is warm and supportive. Our little community thrives on WhatsApp and some of us have met up at local events, such as Andro and Eve’s own Reyt Queer Do. The friendships forged at the workshop are proving an invaluable source of positive energy and inspiration during these strange times. I admit I can’t wait until I see the other Kings again on the other side of lockdown.

Andro & Eve director Katherine leads a session in gender as performance. They are sat in chairs having fun 'manspreading'.
Katherine Warman, Andro & Eve creative producer leads a session in gender as performance.

Developing Tristan – my drag king alter-ego – brings me a lot of joy. He still hasn’t quite found himself but he started his own life on social media and I’m looking at developing more comedy material, especially bad poetry. I’m truly grateful to Andro and Eve for giving me the tools to this wonderful, creative outlet and helping me find my place within the queer arts community.

Maria.

A group discusses creative ideas about creating scenes

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