Egg, Dairy, Soya Free Birthday Cakes

It was my boyfriends birthday recently and we had a little celebration with his children. I wanted to have a cake to celebrate properly but due to allergy restrictions couldn't just go to the stop to buy a good ol' Colin the Caterpillar classic.
I found a recipe online and adapted a little to suit what I wanted and this was the result! 
Rustic and stacked!

Egg, Dairy, Soya Free Birthday Cakes


195g plain flour
130g sugar
1tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp white wine vinegar
5 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
140ml water
Large marshmallows

Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
In a bowl, add the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder and mix. Then add the oil, vinegar, vanilla extract and water and mix well. 
Once fully combined add this mixture either to a lined cake tin or to cupcake cases. As the mixture is quite thing I first poured this into a jug to make it easier to pour into the cases. We didn\"t have a cupcake tray so, as expected, the cases didn\"t stay upright and we ended up with "rustic" looking cupcakes...I wasn\"t too disappointed and thought they looked cute. 
Bake for 20 minutes, check that these are baked and then leave to cool.
I wanted to top with marshmallows rather than icing so placed a marshmallow on top of each "cupcake" and then placed under the grill until it started to toast. 
I then used the back of a spoon to spread the melted marshmallow over the top of the cupcake...slightly messy and they seem to cool quite quickly so you need to be quick with not only the spreading but also then placing the sprinkles on top.

I then stacked these on top of one other but as they are quite light I did use a small cocktail stick to keep them all upright. 

I was quite surprised at how nice they tasted and I think I preferred these to a usual cupcake which may have tasted quite heavy.
I\"ll defintely make these again either as a tray bake, as proper cupcakes or as a rustic cupcake.

Edited to add:

We remade these 2 months later, in cake cases and a cake tin and it worked out really well again! This time I made "accidental S'mores" cakes using marshmallows and dairy free chocolate melted on top.



Vanilla and Strawberry Cheesecake

We had a weekend of celebrating and along with locally made cupcakes, I wanted to make a treat dessert for us myself rather than buying something from the shop. 

I’ve not made a cheesecake for a long long time, always intimidated by whether or not to go for one which you bake or a no-bake recipe instead. 

I went for no-bake and a simple flavour too. 

I opted for a vanilla cheesecake with strawberries on top, although did also have some raspberries to add alongside the strawberries but felt they weren’t needed in the end.



  • 300g Digestive biscuits
  • 200g Unsalted Butter


  • 750  Full Fat Cream Cheese (I used Philidelphia)
  • 2 tablespoons Vanilla Extract
  • 100g Icing Sugar
  • 300ml Double Cream
  • Strawberries (I used approximately 8)



Either use a rolling pin and a food bag/cling film to smash the biscuits into a fine crumb or use a food processor/hand blender. 

Melt your butter and add it to the crumb mixture. I mixed this with a wooden spoon at first and then used the hand blender to finish.

Press the mixture into a cake tin. I lined the base of the cake tin with greaseproof paper so it didn’t stick and would remove easily.


In a bowl add your Cream Cheese, Icing Sugar and vanilla and whisk until combined. I used a hand whisk and a wooden spoon to fold the mixture every now and then.

Add the double cream, and whisk the mixture until it thickens.
Once this is complete, gradually spoon the mixture onto the biscuit base. Smoothen it out as you go so the mixture is level.

Cut your strawberries into slices and arrange on the top of the vanilla cheese mixture.

Then cover (I used cling film loosely) and place in the fridge for around 6 hours.

I also sprinkled some icing sugar on mine to try and make it look fancy...lasted 2 minutes before it dissolved but still...

Then serve and enjoy! 



Never See Him Race Again

2015, Douglas, Isle of Man

I'm stood in the driveway of a house of the rudest Manx people I have ever met, but have given £20 towards the air ambulance for the pleasure so I will bloody well enjoy it.

Agos Leap, the watching spot most TT fans dream of being able to view from and here I am.
First time on the island, first race I've ever seen and I am technically "Living the dream".
At this point though I still don't really like bikes. I am still just here to spend time with my brother and am a fan of William Dunlop after watching the film Road. I wasn't quite a fan of Michael at this point. William was the one I was drawn to initially.

We listen to the tannoy in the distance and the crackly radio.
A bike revs and then we hear "First bike away!".
"Ready Lauren?" my brother says and all of a sudden I become overwhelmed and the adrenaline rushes through me.
I burst into tears and start having a panic attack. Within seconds the first bike is shooting past. My body is so overcome with all of the emotions, the panic attack takes full force and this time I let it. Not worried at all.
I look at my brother. His smile as big as mine. We just look at each other in the eyes and he knows. He knows exactly how I am feeling, exactly what I am thinking.
I know that our bond, our almost 30 year old bond, just got even stronger.
I am reminded again, more than ever before, of how lucky I am to have this man in my life. And I will never ever forget and never stop being grateful to him for introducing me to this.

He tells me when William goes past, and even though it's a matter of intense seconds, the feeling of being so close to someone who was part of why I was there, not just stood at the paddock but on the machine he was so passionate about, and that made me admire him and his family, was incredible. So fast though that you can only just notice them, and they certainly don't see you.
But so close that it is enough to feel like a dream come true. To see someone racing, a hero of mine, was so much more satisfying than seeing them standing in a paddock.

Every lap my brother would point William out to me. I hadn't yet mastered the ability to read the bike numbers from a distance and at the speed they were going!
It was the last day I was on the island and I was watching part of a race before I had to go to the airport. That was when I noticed Michael. Just as I was about to leave we heard the commentator say that Michael hadn't made it to wherever he was next due.
I then had 5ish hours of not knowing if he was ok. Realising how worried I was made me know, for sure, that this was my passion. That the Dunlops, first and foremost, were my passion.

Going home I realised what a different person I now was. And a couple of months later, speaking to William Dunlop on the phone was a moment I will never forget. I never thought I'd be the type of girl to be excited and made up over speaking to a bike racer.

Soon enough I had the Legs of Man tattooed on my thigh, along with 15 stars to symbolise 2015 as well as other things.


My TT break was booked and I had set myself the challenge of meeting William. I'd even tweeted to say he was the celebrity I would most like a selfie with. He liked that tweet.

That year not only did I get to watch them race but I got to meet them both...and had a D tattooed on my wrist for Dale and Dunlop.
3 months after the TT I was in Ireland with my brother. An Irish road trip for our birthday with the soul purpose of visiting Ballymoney, to go to Joeys Bar and the memorial garden for Joey and Robert.


TT 2017 came and for two weeks I was there to enjoy the sport. I hadn't set myself a challenge of meeting them again. Seeing them race was enough for me.
I remember, clearly, the senior race. The red flag and then immediately wondering if it was a Dunlop.
Had they already gone past?
How the hell would I react?
The news came through that it was Ian Hutchinson and although I was still sad and in shock there was a big feeling of relief that it wasn't a Dunlop.
I left the island with a number 3 tattoo on my middle finger in tribute to Joey and Michaels race numbers. And as it was my 3rd year on the island.


I was gutted, gutted doesn't feel like a strong enough emotion really, that I didn't go to the TT. It affected my mental health which sounds so dramatic but that's just how much the sport and the island mean to me.
Listening on the radio wasn't enough.
William left practice early so it almost felt like a relief that at least I wasn't missing watching him race. Selfish I know. Really selfish. 

July 7th, 2018

He's gone. He'll never race again. I'll never see him race again. 
I didn't realise the hurt I would feel or the shock I would feel at someone who I didn't even know dying. 
I didn't realise I would cry for days. For weeks. That even almost 2 years on I still feel so heartbroken.


We're walking around the paddock and it feels different, to not be looking out for William as I had done before. To not be able to point him out to my boys. To have the memories of 2015, 2016 and 2017 flood back as if they were only yesterday.
To watch from Conker Trees, where the photo above was taken, knowing that I couldn't recreate that photo any more. That none of the bikes that were racing past were him. That I couldn't say to the boys "that was William".
And although there are other racers to support and follow, he was the first I was a fan of. He was the reason behind my passion.
And I hate that I will never see him race again.

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