The Orange Almond Chocolate Cupcakes

by Anda Mtshemla

If you’ve been following this blog for any period of time, you may have noticed that I love to bake. I can confidently tell you that I bake almost weekly and there is nothing that brings me more joy than sharing my love with friends and family in the form of baked treats.

If you’ve ever baked, you know that baking is a science so as a regular person and not a scientist, my kitchen experiments sometimes flop. There are a number of other things that can go wrong in the kitchen when you bake from a temperamental stove (quite literally) giving you hell to the disaster that ensues when you over-bake your treat. It’s important to have a back-up plan for moments when you need to produce fresh baked goodies, fast and I have just the trick.


1 4pk Vegan Cocoa & Goji Berry Muffins (Woolworths)

160g Beacon Orange Almond Dark Chocolate

1 cup milk alternative

1 tsp orange zest (optional)


Transfer milk into a pot and heat it until just before it boils

Remove milk from heat and add chopped chocolate

Swirl pot gently to ensure all chocolate is covered

Allow to sit for 5 minutes

Whisk the chocolate and milk until mixture is smooth and glossy. This is your ganache

Refrigerate ganache for 30 minutes or until hardened

Remove almonds from the tops of the muffins and spread ganache over your muffins

Garnish with the almonds you removed and orange zest as desired


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3-Ingredient Orange Almond Chocolate Cupcakes



The World’s Best Vegan Pancakes

by Anda Mtshemla

Seeing that it’s been three months since my last post, it was going to take something very special to bring me out of my uninspired state. And it seems that a little weekend away from my fast-paced life as a vegan mogul (lol, what?) did the trick.

I don’t think I can take credit for this recipe as I’m sure I’ve seen many ones like it online. However, I will take credit for putting my family and all of you on to this as the BEST vegan pancake recipe in the world. I mean, how can it not be, with only 4 ingredients used to achieve the perfect mixture of sweet crispness and light fluffiness? Not to mention, I made these while on a weekend away at an Airbnb, so you can imagine my resources were limited but they still came out spectacularly.

As someone with an affinity for pancakes (because dessert for breakfast), I’ve tried many versions vegan pancakes. In an earlier version of this recipe I used sunflower oil instead of bananas as I wanted to achieve a more neutral flavour. I used bananas for the first time a few weeks ago and fell in love with this version. Unless you’re highly allergic to banana, I would strongly urge you to try this recipe– you will not regret it!

EDIT: If you are strongly opposed to the banana flavour of these pancakes, substitute the bananas in this recipe for 1/3 cup of vegan mayo.

You will need:

1 1/2 cups milk alternative

2 ripe bananas

2 cups all purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda


In a large bowl, mash bananas with a fork until they form an egg-like consistency

To this, add milk and whisk until well combined

Add dry ingredients to wet and mix until just combined (its going to be lumpy, thats okay)

Heat up non-stick pan to medium-low heat

Spoon about a quarter cup’s worth of the mixture into the pan for each pancake

Once bubbles have formed on the surfaces of the pancake and the edges appear dry, flip the pancake and allow about 30seconds for the other side to cook

Serve warm with syrup or whichever toppings you prefer



Vegan Pancakes served with golden syrup

The Sweet Potato Brownies

by Anda Mtshemla

It’s become a bit of an obsession of mine to incorporate fruits and veggies into as many dishes as I possibly can– especially desserts. Adding veggies to a vegan sweet treat makes something that already feels guilt-free (since you’ve eliminated the animal products) actually feel good for you, not that I needed any more reasons to eat dessert!

I add sweet potatoes to every variation of brownies that I make (see here), but I especially love it for this baked version because it creates an unreal, fudgy texture that I love in brownies.

You will need:

1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced

3/4 cup cocoa powder

1/4 cup canola oil

1/2 cup almond milk

1 cup all-purpose flour/almond flour if you’re GF

1 cup brown sugar (add more if you prefer a sweeter brownie)


Preheat oven to 180°C

Line 20cm square baking tin with baking paper and set aside

Boil sweet potato until tender

Drain and puree sweet potato

Add oil and sugar into sweet potato and blend until well combined

Add flour and milk to mixture and blend until combined

Add cocoa powder and blend mixture until smooth

Pour brownie mixture into baking tin and bake for 30-35mins

Once baked, allow to cool, slice into squares and serve with a light dusting of confectionery sugar


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Vegan Sweet Potato Brownies made with almond flour and dusted with icing sugar



The 3-Ingredient Apple Pie Pockets

by Anda Mtshemla

One of my favourite things about grocery shopping is finding accidentally vegan items. My latest “Not-Made-For-Vegans-But-Perfectly-Suitable-For-Them-To-Eat” discovery is ready-made puff pastry. The stuff famous for being packed with a tonne of butter to produce its flaky texture? Yup, vegan.

While most store-bought variations are vegan, there are some brands that contain animal products so make sure you read the ingredient list.

For this recipe, I’ve used this amazing accidentally vegan find as a shortcut to one of my favourite desserts at the moment and yes, you only need three things!

You will need:

1 cup applesauce

1 roll puff pastry (400g)

splash of soy milk (to be used as egg wash)


Pre-heat oven to 180°C

Roll and smooth out the puff pastry sheet

Cut the pastry sheet into equal sized rectangles (a sheet this size gets you about 12 rectangles)

Spoon the applesauce into the centre of half of the rectangles, leaving room around the edges

Place the empty pastry rectangles on top of the applesauce filled ones, gently pressing down the edges of each one

Secure the edges of each pie pocket by gently pressing them down with a fork

Lightly score each of the pie pockets and brush generously with soy milk

Place in the pre-heated oven to bake for 12-15mins

Serve warm and enjoy on its own or with a serving of vegan ice cream

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3-Ingredient vegan apple pie pocket

The 3-Ingredient Chocolate Mousse

by Anda Mtshemla

As a vegan, most chocolate products are pretty much out so you’ll find yourself consuming a lot less chocolate. The upside, I’ve found, is that you consume higher quality chocolate because, with the animal products omitted from the chocolate you’re eating, there’s a lot more room for that cocoa to shine.

This is an important thing to remember for this next recipe. Since we’ll be using a little bit of an unconventional ingredient, you need to make sure you find a good quality cocoa powder, or just one you know you enjoy, to use because that’s what’s really going to transform the flavour of this simple dessert.

You will need:

1/4 cup cocoa powder (sub for cacao if raw vegan)

2 tablespoons sweetener of choice (agave, maple syrup, granulated sugar)

SECRET INGREDIENT: 2 ripe avocados

If you prefer a richer, more chocolatey mousse, you can skip the sweetner in the recipe completely!


Scoop avocados into blender along with your sweetener

Blend until completely smooth

Blend again while gradually adding cocoa powder

Serve as is or refrigerate and serve chilled

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Delicious and Healthy 3-Ingredient Rich Chocolate Mousse


The No-Bake Carrot Cake Bites

by Anda Mtshemla

Ever since my month-long raw vegan journey in February, I’ve been loving incorporating more raw foods into my diet. Raw foods are not only said to be better for you, as you avoid cooking away the nutrients in your food, but I’ve personally fallen in love with this diet because it encourages me to eat more whole foods which, even as a vegan, I often struggle to do.

I particularly enjoy creating raw vegan desserts because, I don’t know if you’ve noticed, I have a major sweet tooth. And there is nothing more fulfilling than a dessert that satisfies your sweet tooth without experiencing any guilt!

You will need:

2 large carrots, grated

1 cup coconut flour

1/2 cup dates

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon ginger, minced

desiccated coconut, for coating


Puree dates then incorporate coconut flour

Add the carrots, spices, and ginger then stir until mixture is a cookie dough-like texture

Scoop the mixture and roll into bite-size balls

Coat the balls in coconut and refrigerate overnight or until firm


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Raw Vegan Carrot Cake Bites– and a great new way to repurpose your old egg tray!






The Homemade Applesauce

by Anda Mtshemla

Applesauce is one of those versatile ingredients that can be added to a variety of dishes and absolutely make it. Whether you use it as an egg replacer when baking, a sweetener for smoothies or just to add that classic apple-pie flavour to your morning oats, it’s a staple for every vegan pantry.

While most store-bought variations of this smooth, sweet stuff are vegan, they’re packed with sugar and preservatives and I’m of the belief that if you can make something at home healthily, cheaply and easily, you should.

My favourite thing about this recipe is that it’s a great way to put your overripe apples to good use– plus the natural sugars your ripened fruits have developed will make for an even better sauce!

You will need:

(for 1 cup of apple sauce)

6-8 small apples, peeled and cored

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/2 cup water

sweetener, optional


Peel and core the apples then place in a large pot over medium-low heat

Add lemon juice and stir until apples are coated (add sweetener now too, if you choose)

Pour in water and give a final stir before covering

Leave to simmer for 20mins or until tender

Drain and allow to cool before pureeing in a food processor or blender

Store in airtight container and refrigerate for up to two weeks

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Homemade applesauce, ready to use





The Hot Cross Cinnamon Swirls

by Anda Mtshemla

With my first Easter as a vegan around the corner, I wanted to create a recipe with the feel of any other Easter, while minimising time in the kitchen and maximising on the long weekend.

While I was never a fan of hot cross buns as a non-vegan, there’s just something about things that you can’t have. So I put my own vegan twist (or swirl) on the classic Easter treat, which combines the ease of a cinnamon roll, using a simple hack, and the unique flavour of a traditional hot cross bun!

You will need:

1kg bread dough (get this fresh from your local grocer)

3 tablespoons coconut oil

2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

1 tablespoon nutmeg

1/2 tablespoon crushed cloves

1/2 cup raisins

1/2 cup sugar

for the “cream cheese” glaze

4 tablespoons icing sugar

1 tsp water

1 tsp lemon juice

pinch of salt


Pre-heat the oven to 180°C

Halve the dough to make it more manageable

Work the raisins into both sections of the dough

Roll out the dough to about 1-2cm thickness

Cut off the sides to make sure the dough is rectangular in shape

Combine coconut oil, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves in a separate bowl

Spread this mixture evenly onto the sheet of dough then roll the dough into a tight log

Slice the log horizontally into 3-5cm swirls

Pack the swirls into a greased baking pan of your choice, leaving space around the edges

Bake for 20-25 minutes

while the cinnamon swirls bake…

Combine the icing sugar, water, lemon juice and salt in a bowl until the mixture reaches a thick but pourable consistency

Once the swirls have baked, drizzle the cream cheese glaze over them and serve warm

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Vegan Hot Cross Cinnamon Swirls crossed with a “cream cheese” glaze

This article was featured in Joburg Style. Read it here.

The Raw Vegan Chocolate Brownies

by Anda Mtshemla

Valentine’s Day is upon us and with this Raw Vegan Challenge I inflicted on myself (because some days, it truly is painful), I’m thinking “Yikes, I’m going to be alone, eating cold food,” not that I have anyone to eat my uncooked meals with on any other night. There was just no way; I had to come up with something to treat myself!

When I originally started working on this recipe, I thought to use Agave or Maple Syrup to sweeten this decadent treat but the dates on their own added the perfect sweetness and gave the fudgy flavour we all love in brownies!

PREP TIME: 30mins  COOK TIME: Overnight/6hours  MAKES: 24

You will need:

1 cup sweet potato, grated
1 cup coconut/almond flour
1 cup dates (soaked, if they are dried dates)
1 cup cacao powder


Line a baking pan with baking paper and set aside

Place sweet potato and dates into a food processor and blend until combined

Add flour and blend again until well combined

Add the cacao powder and blend until combined

Fill the lined pan with the mixture, which should resemble cookie dough, and press until even all around

Place in the refrigerator or freezer for at least 3 hours to set

Once set, cut as desired and serve with fresh fruit or vegan ice-cream


Raw vegan chocolate brownies served with fresh strawberries

The 3-Ingredient Vegan McFlurry

by Anda Mtshemla

Believe it or not, “Milk’s Favourite Cookie” contains no milk. Or eggs. Or butter. Or any animal products at all, in fact, making them vegan-friendly. Many people’s favourite Oreo recipe, McDonald’s innovative take on famed “cookies ‘n cream” ice cream, is not vegan. But we can fix that.

PREP TIME: Overnight  COOK TIME: 5mins  MAKES: 2 servings

You will need:

4 frozen bananas

1 tsp vanilla essence

6 Oreos, crushed


Place frozen bananas in blender and blend until smooth and creamy

Add vanilla essence and blend until combined

Add crushed Oreos and pulse until combined

Transfer to mug or bowl and serve

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Yup. Just bananas.

NOTE: Keep in mind that this recipe should be enjoyed immediately as the “ice cream” will lose its creamy texture as the bananas thaw