Sweet Treats

This post is part of our Easy, Waste-Busting Food and Drink Recipes resource.

This page includes recipes for:

  • Your Favourite Cake to a Winning Formula (can be V+, can be OF, can be NF, can be RSF)
  • Anzac Cookies (coming soon…)
  • Lemon Coconut Cookies (coming soon…)

Scroll down to find the recipe you are interested in.

Your Favourite Cake to a Winning Formula (can be V+, can be OF, can be NF, can be RSF)

Orange + cardamon cake (vegan and oil-free)

We love using what we unattractively call “formula recipes”. What we mean by this are recipes that go by categories of ingredients rather than being overly prescriptive, meaning that you can mix and match based on what flavours you feel like or what you have in your pantry. This works really well for cakes. Here’s the formula we have developed. If you’ve ever come to one of our talks and eaten the cake, it will have been made with this formula:



  • 1 and 1/4 cup plain white flour (we have never tried GF and we have also not had success using wholemeal flour)
  • 1/2 cup sugar (or coconut sugar for RSF). If you are a sweet tooth you can add more sugar. We find this to be enough.
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp (or so) of your spice(s) of choice – ginger/cinnamon/nutmeg/cloves/cardamon/lavendar/chai masala etc.
  • If you are making a chocolate or carob cake: 1/3 cup of cocoa/carob.


  • 2 tblsp of chia seeds or ground flaxseeds (or a tablespoon of each) mixed with 6 tblsp of cold water
  • 1 cup of liquid of your choice. For example:
    • luke warm water
    • squeezed lemon, lime, or orange juice
    • non-dairy milk
    • the leftover soaking water from soaking dates
    • OR a combination of the above (if we are making an orange cake we often juice 1.5 oranges and then top up the rest of the cup with date juice, or non-dairy milk).
  • 1/3 cup of oil OR your choice or oil substitute. Oil substitutes can be apple sauce, mashed banana, the mush leftover in the sieve or cheesecloth after making homemade non-dairy milks, grated/mashed zucchini, pumpkin puree, nut or seed butter. You can use butter instead of oil too, if you have a zero waste source of butter.
  • 1 tsp vinegar
  • Optional: 1 tblsp of syrup of your choice (golden syrup, maple syrup, apple syrup, agave, honey etc.)
  • If making a citrus cake: the finely grated peel from two of the type of citrus you are using (i.e. lemon, orange or lime <- if using lime which are usually small you may want to add lemon peel as well, to get enough peel).


  1. Preheat oven to 165 degrees celcius.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together the chia seeds/ground flaxseeds with the water and leave to sit for at least 10 minutes.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients until combined (you can sieve them if you want; we don’t because we are lazy…)
  4. In a pyrex bowl with a lip (if you have one) or some other small bowl, combine all the wet ingredients except for the chia/flax mixture. If your liquid of choice combines more than one liquid, measure it all out in a measuring cup first.
  5. Add the chia seed/ground flaxseed mixture to the wet other ingredients and then stir well to combine.
  6. Make a well in the centre of the bowl with the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients. Stir well to combine and ensure there are no sneaky lumps of flour, but don’t overmix.
  7. Put the mixture into a cake tin.
  8. Bake in the oven for about 45-55 minutes (until a toothpick/skewer comes out clean). We do not use baking paper, it is not necessary, the cake does not stick (we don’t even grease the pan). We have found that cooking time seems to vary dramatically based on the oven. We usually start checking to see if the cake is cooked from about 40 minutes in the oven.
  9. When ready, remove the cake from the oven, leave to sit for about 15 minutes before removing from the cake tin.
  10. If you are making a citrus cake, squeeze the juice of half a lemon/orange/lime over the top of the cake while the cake is still warm. If you want, you can add a dusting of sugar/coconut sugar or a drizzle of syrup as well (not so necessary to add a sweetener for an orange cake, but is nice if it’s a lemon cake).

Here are some examples of the kinds of cakes we make with this formula recipe:

  • Orange + cardamon cake
  • Lemon + lavender cake
  • Chocolate/carob + peanut butter cake
  • Apple + ginger cake
  • Lemon + zucchini cake
  • Plum/peach + chai cake (with this particular cake, BEFORE we put the cake in the oven, we actually cut up thin slices of plums or peach and then layer them, evenly spaced, over the top of the cake mixture once it’s in the cake tin. We then sprinkle brown sugar or coconut sugar over the top before putting the cake in the oven. This allows the stone fruit to caramelise in the oven).

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