Gooseberry Sauce Cake (Vegan)

As I’m enjoying my annual gooseberry harvest, I thought I’d share an excellent gooseberry cake recipe which I’ve cooked dozens of times over the years.   The recipe is a good way to make use of fresh or frozen gooseberries.  It’s also a great vegan cake recipe which can easily be adapted to use other allotment fruit (e.g. rhubarb or blackcurrants).

York Wholefood Restaurant CookbooThis recipe comes from The York Wholefood Restaurant Cookbook, published in 1985 and sadly long out of print.  It must be one of the most charming and useful books ever published.  My well-used copy was given to me about 25 years ago by my sister Chrissie who lived in York at that time.


half a cup of oil (I use sunflower)
1.5 cups of stewed, unsweetened gooseberries
1.5 cups of sugar (I normally reduce that)
8oz flour (wholemeal is fine)
1.5 tsp baking powder
2 level tsp mace (I use nutmeg as I don’t usually have mace)
pinch of salt


Mix together the oil and sugar, then add the stewed gooseberries.  Add to this the flour with the baking powder, salt and mace sifted in.  Your mixture may need a little more flour, it should be reasonably stiff.  Bake at gas mark 4 for 50-60 mins.

As I recall, I usually have to add quite a lot of extra flour, and bake it for at least 15 minutes longer than the time given above.

Because the book is out of print, I have taken the liberty of scanning the page from the cookbook so that you can download it as a pdf and print it out in its original form if you wish:  download recipe pdf of gooseberry sauce cake (vegan) .

3 thoughts on “Gooseberry Sauce Cake (Vegan)

  1. I found I could not taste the gooseberry with this recipe. In my fan oven at 180C it took 40-45 minutes to cook.I cooked it without the Mace and it just tasted sweet. So I tried again with just a couple of shakes of allspice, half an American cup of sugar, two cups gooseberries, about 240g of wholemeal flour. I cooked the gooseberries lightly, so they were largely intact. When I mixed it all, it barely stuck together. I baked it divided between two bread tins lined with parchment. The result was rather stodgy, mildly sweet, with frequent mouthfuls of gooseberry. When I make it again I will sprinkle some crumble on top (as in apple crumble) to get some crunch to contrast with the soft texture. I think this is more suited to being a pudding than a cake for tea.

  2. It was very nostalgic seeing the book cover, I grew up in York and remember the book in my mum’s recipe collection!

  3. I had gooseberries in my Oddbox this week and I’ve just made this exactly as the recipe except for nutmeg in place of mace. It’s moist, with a tart tang of gooseberry and absolutely delicious still warm . My batter was ‘runny’ like sponge batter rather than stiff but I still cooked in a 2lb loaf tin sideways in to the oven on 180oC for about 45 mins – got a little dark on top so could probably have done with covering with foil after about 30 mins when I turned the tin round.
    Definitely worth a try.
    I may try in sandwich tins another time with a fruit and cream filling.

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