Accidentally Vegan Treats – Chocolate Cola Cake

I used to be an absolute fiend for sweet treats. One of the reasons I laboured over becoming vegan was my love of desserts. Dining out in restaurants and seeing Mr. Canny offered sorbet when I had a choice of Sticky Toffee Pudding, Cheesecake and Chocolate Fondant made me question whether I’d ever make the transition. Finding places in Newcastle like Super Natural Cafe serving up delicious egg and dairy-free cakes allayed my fears, as did Bella Italia’s gluten-free Morello Cioccolato mentioned in our review this week (which you can read here). Eventually though, it became about more than just my taste buds. I’m going to miss Wispas and Trio Biscuits, sure, but knowing what I do now about animal agriculture puts me right off eating them.

I’ve noticed that I’m more appreciative of savoury snacks now too, and my love of Tyne Chease is well-documented in this blog. That said, sometimes you can’t beat a cuppa and some Bourbon biscuits while watching something on TV! Many sweet snack items you will find of the shelves of your local supermarket are what is called ‘accidentally vegan’, that is in as much as they aren’t marketed as such but contain nothing that is unsuitable for those following a free-from diet. Always check the labels to make doubly sure though, as many brands can change their recipes without warning.

  • Lotus Caramelised Biscuits (and the yummy Biscoff Spread!)
  • Fox’s Party Rings
  • Bourbon Biscuits (Check the ingredients with supermarket brands)
  • Belvita – Breakfast Biscuits Choco-Hazelnuts, Breakfast Biscuits Strawberry Jam, Soft Bake Red Berries, Soft Bake Golden Grain
  • Alpen – Light Jaffa Cake
  • Oreos
  • Ginger Nuts (Supermarket own brands – check the label)
  • Nairn’s Biscuits – Dark Chocolate Chip Oat, Stem Ginger Oat, Mixed Berries Oat, Fruit & Spice Wheat Free
  • Crawford’s Pink Wafers
  • McVitie’s – Ginger Nuts, Fruit Shortcake, Fig Rolls, Hobnobs, Chocolate Chip Hobnobs
  • Mr Kipling – Apple & Blackcurrant Pies, Treacle Tart
  • Sainsbury’s – Free From Mince Pies and Iced Mince Pies (seasonal), Free From Chocolate Chip Cookies, Own Brand Oaty Biscuits
  • Lazy Day Foods – Free From Belgian Rocky Road Chocolate, Millionaire’s Shortbread, Belgian Dark Chocolate Tiffin
  • Tesco – Free From Chocolate Chip Cookies

Quite the list! That said, sometimes only a cake will do so I started to look at ways to make cakes using egg substitutes. I have my Yorkshire Pudding recipe now, but it took me a long time to perfect the use of powder replacements and flaxseed seems like a bit of a fiddle. When I heard that Lemonade and Coke could be added to cake mixes instead of oil, eggs or butter I decided to give it a go. Buying Betty Crocker’s Devil’s Food Cake Mix and Indulgent Chocolate Fudge Icing (both sfv) I decided to test the theory. We had guests coming round and I wanted to make a relatively simple dessert. This seemed like the perfect option – something I could bung in the oven with minimal mess or fuss.I added 300ml of Diet Coke to the mix and whisked. It was as easy as that. The rest of the packet instructions were followed and this was the result.

Our guests liked it so much they had seconds, while Mr. Canny – who dislikes any carbonated drinks – wolfed it down. The use of coke seemed to create a slight crust on the cake, while the inside remained moist. It was similar in texture to a Brownie. It was only afterwards I told them what I’d used instead of egg and oil. Many of these packet mixes become unsuitable for those who are dairy and/or egg-free during the preparation, so don’t necessarily waste your money on the specific Free From mixes you find in supermarkets. Making your own is pretty easy too, especially if you have a store cupboard of staples to hand, but I understand many like the convenience and ease of a ‘box cake’. Below is a handy guide of what can be used instead of an egg in recipes they are required.

My next attempt at making a pud to sate my sweet tooth will be vegan meringues using aquafaba (chickpea water). Wish me luck!

Thanks for reading,

Pip x

Like desserts too? Check out my recipe for a dairy-free Apple Crumble here.


  1. Hebe

    This may have revolutionised my diet ha ha! Just a can of Diet Coke – no oil? Thank you so much!

    1. Emma Phillips (Post author)

      Yes, nothing else. Two ingredients. So simple.


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