Barleycup and brown sugar cake (eggless)

Barleycup brown sugar cake

This cake is neither vegan nor sugar-free! But it is soft, sweet and has the grown-up, slightly bitter taste of coffee without any caffeine. It would be a good cake for entertaining, as it looks pretty with minimal effort. It's based on my basic cake recipe, with the addition of powdered Barleycup, a coffee-substitute made from roasted barley and chicory. It is really good topped with walnut halves, but as I didn't have any in the cupboatd (these days any whole nuts lying around in the cupboard get turned into nut butter in our new Magimix), I have shown it here with flaked almonds.

400g self-raising flour
200g dark brown muscovado sugar
4 tsps baking powder
3 1/2 tabs Barleycup (the powder, not the granules)
150ml sunflower oil
400ml soya milk
About half a packer of unsalted butter
an equal quantity of dark brown muscovado sugar
a little more Barleycup (to taste)
some walnut halves or flaked almonds for the topping
  • Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
  • Add the oil and the soya milk, beating the mixture for about a minute.
  • Bake in an 8-10" (approx.) dampened silicone mould/ oiled and floured cake tin in an oven preheated to 180C for about 20 minutes, or until a thin skewer inserted into the centre of the cake emerges clean.
  • Beat the butter and the muscovado sugar together thoroughly; the sugar will be lumpy unless you take time over it. Stir in the Barleycup.
  • When the cake has cooled completely, spread the frosting on top and scatter with the nuts. 
  • If you want to make the cake even more special, you can double the quantities, make it in two tins and sandwich it together with more of the frosting, perhaps with some chopped nuts inside.


  1. Hi, I know that barley is vegetarian, but according to wikipedia, barleycup
    is owned by
    'the world’s largest pork producer and processor'

    1. Thanks for commenting; this is an interesting and sad fact. I shop in supermatkets that also sell meat, I use products which are surely made by companies owned by the big multinationals which promote cruelty to animals and people.... I can see no way to avoid all of this, but I do try my best, by using homegrown produce whenever possible. We are living in an age called Kali Yuga, in which the purity and good qualities of everything are corrupted. By offering vegetarian foods to God (Radha and Krishna) for His pleasure before eating them ourselves, we can avoid picking up the karmic tab for this.


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