Express & Star

Meet the vegan baker who makes decorative cupcakes that look just like flowers

When Ranj Patel decided to challenge herself by signing up to Veganuary, she knew there was one thing she wouldn’t be able to live without.

Ranj Patel who runs Wolverhampton-based VECakes with one of her cupcake bouquets

“The first thing I thought was, I need to know how to make a good vegan cake, or it’s never going to work,” she explains.

“Baking has always been part of my life. I have baked ever since I was really young and I’ve always baked for family and friends.”

Ranj headed to the kitchen to experiment with dairy-free ingredients and egg substitutes to ensure she could still enjoy her favourite treat.

After completing her one-month challenge in January 2020, she continued to follow a plant-based diet and began perfecting her recipes through the first Covid lockdown.

“It took about six months to get it right. It was important to me to invest the time in the recipe.

WOLVERHAMPTON COPYRIGHT NATIONAL WORLD PLC STEVE LEATH 19/01/2024..Heather Feature with Ranj Patel and her sideline Hobby business: VeCakes. They are stunning boquet type flower cakes that taste great and even better they are also Vegan. Ranj lives in Wednesfield..

“I’ve tried vegan cakes and I have been really disappointed. It had to taste good,” says the 49-year-old, who lives in Wolverhampton.

It involved a lot of trial and error but Ranj’s perseverance paid off.

Once she was able to bake a cake she was happy to share with others, she gave them to her family and friends and asked for their feedback.

Ranj substitutes the eggs for oat milk and the butter for vegetable oil.

She also adds a little bit of bicarbonate of soda and apple cider vinegar, which can’t be tasted but makes the cakes extra light and fluffy

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