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Cranberries are synonymous with the Christmas season and underused in desserts. The juicy tart taste cuts through the rich dense chocolate cake to make a dessert that vegans and non-vegans can allow enjoy. The recipe makes at least 20 squares, so plenty to share the next day over a cup of tea.

INGREDIENTS - (Makes at least 20 squares)

360 ml unsweetened almond milk 

2 tsp apple cider vinegar

200g apple sauce

120 ml strong coffee 

160 ml melted coconut oil

100g dark chocolate

4 tsp pure vanilla extract

325g self-raising flour

250g caster sugar

100g unsweetened cocoa powder

300g cranberries

4 tsp brown sugar


  1. Mix the almond milk with the cider vinegar, and allow to curdle slightly to create a vegan buttermilk.

  2. Heat a pan and add the cranberries, 2 tbsp water, brown sugar and 2 tsp vanilla extract. Cook for 5 minutes until the cranberries are burst. Allow to cool.

  3. Melt the chocolate and the coconut oil over a bain marie until melted.

  4. Add the apple sauce, strong coffee and remaining 2 tsp vanilla extract to the curdled almond milk and mix well.

  5. When the chocolate and coconut oil are melted, mix well and when cooled, add to the almond milk mixture.

  6. Preheat the heat oven to 180c/ 375c/ Gas mark 4.

  7. Line a deep baking tray (approx. 20cm x 16cm) with parchment paper or brush with oil.

  8. Mix the caster sugar and self-raising flour with the chocolate and almond milk mixture until there are no lumps- use a hand mixer or stand-alone mixer.

  9. Pour in half the cake batter into the lined tin.

  10. Top this batter with a layer of cooled cooked cranberries.

  11. Pour over the remaining cake batter over the cranberries and ensure they are covered.

  12. Bake for 45 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.

  13. Allow to cool and decorate with icing sugar and edible glitter.



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