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A vegan fruit cake, vegan pastries, and a gluten-free birthday cake comprise the trio of finalists for Free-from Bakery Product of the Year at the Baking Industry Awards 2023.

Sponsored by Foodology by Univar Solutions, the Baking Industry Awards category aims to find the bakery product that displays original, creative recipe formulation in meeting specific dietary requirements while overcoming the challenge of removing ingredients typically found in these items.

Here are the free-from products making the final three:

Happy Birthday Cake, Just Love Food Company

Source: Just Love Food Company

Happy Birthday Cake, Just Love Food Company

This celebration cake is a reassuringly safe option for kids parties with various allergy concerns, comprising gluten-free, nut-free, milk-free sponge and vanilla-flavoured frosting with plum and raspberry jam, soft icing and coloured decorations.

It is produced at Just Love Food Company’s site in Blackwood near Newport, Wales, following 12 months of development of the sponge recipe with Zero2Five food consultants at Cardiff Met University. This helped enhance the aeration and moisture retention of the gluten-free cake.

Judges were drawn to the product on an emotional level, expressing happiness with the texture, and calling the ‘gluten-free’ detachable label in the packaging a brilliant idea.


Sweet Potato Katsu Little Lattices, Higgidy

Source: Higgidy

Sweet Potato Katsu Little Lattices, Higgidy

Pastry specialist Higgidy, based in the coastal town of Shoreham-by-Sea, has created a snackable vegan product that is said to focus on “celebrating the glory of veg”.

Butternut squash puff pastry is filled with sweet potato and cauliflower in a mildly-spiced katsu curry sauce, before being hand-topped with black onion seeds. Blended onion and carrot were used to thicken the sauce, with coconut milk added for some creamy indulgence, while care was needed not to overfill the delicate 20g lattices.

Judges thought the overall presentation and taste of the product was appealing, and something that would help get more vegetables into kids.


Vegan Fruit & Nut Cake, Ginger Bakers

Source: Ginger Bakers

Vegan Fruit & Nut Cake, Ginger Bakers

Produced by Ginger Bakers in its purpose-built site near Kendal in Cumbria’s picturesque Lake District, this plant-based and alcohol-free offering is packed with vine fruits, pecans, and almonds.

Coconut oil and coconut milk provides the fat needed when removing the butter, while extra liquid from treacle and maple syrup replaces that lost when removing egg to deliver a consistent fruit cake that has proven increasingly popular with customers, including over in the US.

Judges commended the lovely appearance and stunning taste of the cake, with spices that weren’t overbearing but still allowing the cinnamon to come through.

Thanks to our category sponsor

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