April 5, 2013

Dairy free cakes? Easier than you might think…

After two ski seasons of chalet hosting, I was surprised by the number of guests staying each week who were on restricted diets because of food sensitivities or intolerances. It turns out at that I shouldn’t have been surprised at all as research shows that 1-2% of the UK population has severe food allergies, at least 1 in 70 people have coeliac disease and between 20 and 30% of the population suffer from some degree of food intolerance at any one time.

So, pretty much every week, we had to alter the menu to suit people with nut allergies or wheat and dairy intolerances and I found it an interesting challenge trying ensure that they received an equal standard of food as all the other guests. At first glance, the supermarkets in and around the Morzine area, seemed to be way behind what was available in the “free from” sections of most UK supermarkets and I certainly missed the amazing range of products available to me in my brilliant local health food shop, where we used to live in Belsize Park – especially the delicious dairy free Booja Booja ice-cream.

However as I looked more closely I discovered that with a little creativity, I could find plenty of alternatives to help meet the dietary requirements of our guests whilst maintaining the usual standard of the chalet menu. One very simple recipe that I used a lot was a play on the classic “yoghurt cake” – who knew soya yoghurt behaved the same way as normal yoghurt? Most of you will have probably have sampled this cake in some form or other but here is my dairy free version which was really popular for afternoon tea in the chalet:

Dairy free Lemon Drizzle cake:

  • 1 pot soy yoghurt
  • 2 pots caster sugar
  • 1 pot vegetable oil
  • 3 pots plain white flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • For the drizzle: 85g caster sugar & juice of 1 1/2 lemons


Combine all cake ingredients in a bowl and mix with a spoon or large whisk
Pour cake mix into an oiled loaf tin
Bake in an oven heated to 180 degrees for 30 minutes or until cooked
Mix the caster sugar and lemon juice together
Once the cake is cooked, prick some holes in the top and pour over the drizzle while it is still warm
Leave to cool

It really is as easy as that!