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Pecan Cake

From: Linda McCartney’s Home Cooking, p. 163

A light and fluffy cake that rises very well and is just perfect in the afternoon with a cup of tea.

As I do not like cakes too sweet, I reduced the sugar to 120g- and it still was quite sweet. I also made one cake with chocolate chips instead of pecans as my son is allergic to nuts.
The batter is very fluffy and light and rises very well- the only problem is that the pecans or chocolate chips sink to the bottom of the cake tin during baking. My daughter thought this was great- she asked me to share a slice with her. She chose the bottom half (with the chocolate!) and gave me the top…

Gluten-Free: I tried a flour mix from Austria, called “Biskuit& Kuchen Mix” from Mantler MĂĽhle. It contains mainly corn-, potato- and rice flour plus some stabilizers with threatening E-numbers. It worked well for the cake, but seeing the list of ingredients I think I will not buy it again. You can use any gluten-free all-purpose flour for this recipe (e.g. Doves farm).

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Cocoa Cake

From: Linda McCartney’s Home Cooking, p. 158

A lovely moist chocolate cake with divine chocolate-flavoured icing (see p. 156)! A recipe to dream about and definitely worth having at hand to pull out of the drawer when friends come around for a relaxed afternoon and chat. A favourite!!
This cake uses amazingly little butter/ margarine and just one egg and still turns out springy and moist. The comparatively low amount of calories in the cake gives a good excuse to put some butter icing on top 🙂

I have made a gluten-free variation of this cake; it can be found here.

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Lemon Bread Cake

From: Linda McCartney’s Home Cooking, p. 162

A great, lemony cake, topped with lemon icing. Makes one small cake.

As my parents and siblings were staying, I made this cake and the Spice Cake (p. 165) to have with a cup of tea in the afternoon. They all loved the Lemon Bread Cake, thought I would say I preferred the Spice Cake with its dried fruit.
As my son is allergic to nuts, I omitted the nuts- I think it is at least as good without as with nuts.

For my gluten-free version I replaced the flour with 50g corn flour, 40g potato flour, 80g rice flour and 3 tsp potato fiber. The gluten-free cake tasted great when fresh but turned dryish on the second day. Better to slice and freeze any leftovers and defrost in the microwave before eating.

Variations: I did not have any vegetable suet and used 70g coconut oil instead, which worked fine. I reduced the sugar to 140g, and only used 50g of icing sugar. For my gluten-free version, using less milk ( around 80ml) seemed to be enough.

The cake was ready after 20 minutes of baking and retained a lovely moisture.

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Almond Cake

From: Linda McCartney’s Home Cooking, p. 152

A great and simple, yet elegant cake with a sublte taste of marzipan.

I did try a vegan and gluten-free version of this cake, using
115g of vegan margarine,
140g sugar,
100g puréed silken tofu,
1tsp. vanilla essence,
100g rice flour,
70g potato flour,
2 tbsp. potato fiber,
1 tsp. baking powder (gluten-free),
120ml plant-based milk,
55g ground almonds,
2 vegan “egg-whites” (I used the egg white powder from Vantatsic foods).

The cake had a lovely taste and kept moist for 2 days, but was rather soft and crumbled easily. Next time I will try using some flour that will give a bit more texture, such as oat flour or cornflour.

The stated baking time of one hour seemed to be far too long; 40 minutes was enough for my cake to bake.

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Banana Cake

From: Linda McCartney’s Home Cooking, p. 153

A great recipe for a not too sweet Banana Cake (you could call it “Banana Bread” instead) that keeps well for two to three days.

Vegan and Gluten-Free: I substituted the eggs for 100g pureed silken tofu and the sour cream for 6 tbsp. plant-based yoghurt. Using gluten-free flour and 3tsp. potato fiber and 1 tsp. psyllium husk helped the cake retain some of its moisture.

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Almut's recipes

Vegan yoghurt and chocolate cake

This recipe is based on Linda McCartney’s “Sour Cream Cake” (on p. 165 in “Home Cooking”)

Ingredients: 115g margarine, 150g sugar, 150g silken tofu, 1 tsp. vanilla essence, 1 pinch of salt, 170g gluten-free flour, 1 tsp. baking powder, 2tsp. potato fiber, 1tsp. psyllium husk, 130g plant-based yoghurt, 100g dark vegan chocolate.

Method: Pre-heat the oven to 180°C and grease a 20cm round baking tin.
Puree the silken tofu in a blender. Beat the butter and sugar together and add the silken tofu, salt, vanilla essence, and yoghurt. When fluffy, add the flour, baking powder, potato fiber and psyllium husk and stir until well combined. Chop the chocolate and stir into the mix.
Spoon the mixture into the baking tin and bake for 30 to 40 minutes.

The cake keeps well in an airtight container for 2-3 days.

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Brown Sugar Loaf Cake

From: Linda McCartney’s Home Cooking, p. 155

A lovely moist loaf cake with well-balanced spices and pecan nut pieces.
I tried out a gluten-free version of this cake, substituting the flour for gluten-free flour (from Doves Farm) and adding 3 tsp of potato fiber to retain the moisture and springyness. I also reduced baking time to 40 minutes, which worked well.
The cake keeps well in an airtight container for one or two days.

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Heather’s Lemon Pudding Cake

From: Linda McCartney’s Home Cooking, p. 161

A surprisingly fresh and interesting cake, and a creative (and low-fat) version of a traditional cheesecake.

Serve chilled as a desert or at room temperature alongside a cup of tea or coffee.

When baking the cake as in the recipe, it was still very runny at the bottom. Increase the baking time to one hour but reduce the temperature to 180°C to avoid the cake getting too dark on the top.

Gluten-free: Substitute the flour for the same amount gluten-free self-raising flour.

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Apple Sauce Cake

From: Linda McCartney´s Home Cooking, p. 152

The Apple Sauce Cake is very rich and has a lovely taste of spices. It is a perfect autumn or winter cake and makes a great desert when served warm with vanilla ice cream. Also good when served at room temperature with a cup of tea.

Plate with Apple Sauce Cake
Apple Sauce Cake. Photo by Almut Späth CC AT-NC license

This cake freezes well. Defrost and warm in the microwave for a few seconds before serving.

Gluten-free: Use same amount of gluten-free flour mix (e.g. “Freee plain white flour” from Doves Farm) and add 2 teaspoons of potato fibre or 1 teaspoon of psyllium husks.

Vegan: Use margarine instead of butter and replace the egg with 1 tablespoon flaxmeal and 3 tablespoons water (to be mixed with the flour).

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Sour Cream Cake

From: Linda McCartney´s Home Cooking (p. 165)


A lovely cake with a good balance between the spices and the pecans.

It keeps in an airtight container for 2 or three days and freezes well. I cut it into pieces, separated the pieces with greaseproof paper, and froze it in an airtight container. This way, it was easy to take out as many pieces as needed and reheat them in the micowave for 45 seconds. I left them for another two minutes to warm through and served them slightly warm with a cup of tea. Divine 🙂

If you (like me) like your cake to be not too sweet, try using 150g (or even less) of sugar instead of 170g.

Gluten-free: 170g of self-raising gluten-free flour mix, 2 tbsp. potato fiber, 1 tsp. psyllium husk, 150g sour cream (instead of 120ml).

Variations: I tried using this recipe as a basis for a vegan and gluten-free cake. You can find my recipe here.