I heard about the PETA 2016 bake off a few months ago, and after browsing the pictures from previous finalists I was completely in awe. The skill, creativity and patience it took to make some of those sweet treats was inspiring!

But I’m no baker…and the thought of making a cake gives me the cold sweats. I’ve baked some pretty hilarious cakes in the past, some might say more comedy than cake. Despite this, I was galvanised by the idea of spreading a bit of vegan inspiration, and wanted to come up with an idea that was tasty, healthy…somewhat 😉 and also felt playful. I wanted to motivate anyone who finds cooking daunting to pick up a spatula and get baking!

I discussed with family and friends and thought about it for ages, and then one day while thumbing through loads of Buddha Bowl images…it hit me. Why not turn the amazing savoury Buddha Bowl into a sweet treat?!

For anyone who’s not heard of a Buddha Bowl, there must be a million images of them on the internet. They seem to be especially popular in vegan circles, no doubt because they showcase the “eat a rainbow” concept so beautifully.

Buddha Bowl Cake – Sponge

For the sponge we used a recipe from Jamie Oliver for a Vegan Victoria Sponge and made a few tweaks. We needed a recipe that was both vegan and gluten-free so that all our family and friends could enjoy the finished product!

Instead of the soy yoghurt we used plain coconut yoghurt (we prefer the taste) and for the caster sugar we reduced it to 200g and added 75g of granulated maple sugar (maple sugar and I are currently having a love affair).

Make Buddha Bowl cakeMake Buddha Bowl cakeBuddha Bowl cake sponge beforeBuddha bowl cake sponge after




Buddha Bowl Cake – Frosting and Filling

For the frosting we opted for this recipe from Paleo Spirit because I’ve used it countless times and it’s always gorgeous. It’s also great for sneaking avocado into little ones food without them knowing…shhhhhh…

For the filling a delightfully tangy and sweet blood-orange marmalade did the job! Use the back of a large spoon to smooth it onto the cake…works a treat if you don’t want to damage the sponge.

Frosting for Buddha Bowl CakeAdd Marmalade to Buddha Bowl CakeBuddha Bowl Cake construct layersFrost the Buddha Bowl Cake

Buddha Bowl Cake – Decorations

We hunted down ready-to-roll icing that was vegan, and found a great range from Renshaw.

We sourced a few other things to try and recreate the healthy, savoury bits that adorn a buddha bowl and ended up making:

  • Green icing = green peas, including a pea pod which was so much fun making!
  • Red icing = slices of beetroot
  • Orange icing = slices of carrot, which we painted with red colouring to make them look more real
  • Yellow icing = batons of yellow pepper
  • Puffed chocolate quinoa = we wanted to include something that looked like seeds – they also helped to lift the ingredients in the bowl
  • Vegan vanilla marshmallows = tofu cubes

The chocolate “bowl” that sits on top of the cake was made using the balloon method. This was downright unnerving at times, and the bowl on the cake was our 4th attempt! Watch the Youtube videos at least a few times before you attempt to make it and jot down a few notes, so you don’t have to go back to it with chocolate all over your hands. Unless that’s your aim of course…

Breathe in and out slowly a few times, and take it nice and slow making the bowl. Don’t forget to spray the balloon with something non-stick (we used coconut oil), and do get it into the freezer to set as soon as you’ve got the shape you want.

Here’s our Vegan Gluten-Free Buddha Bowl Cake…

Vegan Buddha Bowl CakeVegan Buddha Bowl CakeVegan Buddha Bowl Cake
Vegan Buddha Bowl Cake

Vegan Buddha Bowl CakeVegan Buddha Bowl Cake
Vegan Buddha Bowl CakeVegan Buddha Bowl CakeInside the Vegan Buddha Bowl Cake



Simplifying Happy (PETA Bake-Off!) Choices

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About Michelle

Michelle grew up in a culture where it was normal to eat meat at every meal. Watching close family suffer multiple health problems drove her to learn more about eating for health. After watching Food Inc Michelle took the plunge into veganism and hasn’t looked back since. She is now on a mission to bring vegan inspiration to everyone!

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