Vegan Maca & Tonka Choc Chip Pinecones

It never ceases to amaze me how the divide between our natural surroundings and our plates is seamless. Aside from the obvious, that plants provide our base fuel, it’s the inspiration from everyday natural entities that governs my creations.

From smooth pebbles on a beach transcribing to a perfect chocolate shell on a dessert, to these pinecone cakes, rich and spiked with the essence of Winter Comfort, as their natural counterparts

For me, The Pinecone IS winter. Each woody petal unfurling a little more as winter tightens its icy grip. So, what better flavours to use than deep, earthy spices, with undertones of caffeine and caramel?

These can also be made into cupcakes if you don’t have a pinecone mould


60g Plant Butter, plus extra to grease

50g Plant Milk mixed with 10g Lemon Juice, room temperature

75g Light Muscovado Sugar

3 tsp Maca Powder

1 tsp Espresso Powder

½ Tonka Bean, grated

2 tsp Boiling Water

1 tbsp Ground Flax Seed mixed with 3 tbsp Water

65g Plain Flour, plus extra for the pan

¼ tsp Baking Powder

1/8 tsp Salt

60g Plant Based Milk Chocolate, chopped into small pieces

Icing Sugar to dust


1. Brush your pan with softened plant butter and lightly dust with flour. Set aside in the fridge to chill. If you are making cupcakes, skip this step and simply pop 8 cupcake liners in a cupcake tin.

2. Preheat oven 175C.

3. Mix the Espresso Powder with the Maca and grated tonka bean and stir through the boiling water. Set aside.

4. Melt the plant butter with the muscovado in a small pan and transfer to a stand mixer. Add the flax mixture, plus the espresso mixture and beat well for 3 minutes.

5. Sift the flour with the baking powder and salt.

6. Add ½ of the flour mixture followed by ½ plant milk mixture and mix until only just combined. Repeat with the remaining flour and milk mixtures. It is important to err in the side of caution and under mix rather than over mix to prevent a dense, chewy cake.

7. Finally, stir through the plant-based chocolate chips.

8. Divide between your moulds, filling ¾ full. Tap the tin firmly 5 times on your worksurface to release any air bubbles

9. Bake for 14-16 minutes or until the mixture springs back when pushed.

10. Cool in the tin for 10 minutes then invert onto a wire rack to cool completely.

11. Dust with icing sugar and serve.