JAMAICAN EASTER BUN (VEGAN)

Whether you celebrate Easter or not, I think it’s really interesting to explore festive food items from around the world. Easter is just around the corner here in Jamaica- and contrary to Europe (where I spent most of my life) where Easter is largely celebrated with chocolate, on this island, Easter Bun is what highlights this holiday. The history of Easter Bun is very much related to the historical British presence in the country and their Easter specialty- which happens to be Hot Cross Buns… which has become a not so distant relative of Jamaican Easter Bun.

If you choose to make your own this year, give this recipe a try! It’s fun to make and your kitchen will smell like a bakery! I also use stout beer here which gives a distinct flavour to the end product. I choose to use Guinness, who recently announced that they’ve stopped using fish guts to filter the beverage. You can read more about that here.

You’ll need:

  • 12oz/350ml stout beer (about 1.5 cups)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 3 cup flour of choice*
  • 3 teaspoon baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 teaspoon Jamaican Mixed Spices for baking*
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup of other candied fruit of choice (ex: cranberries, orange peel, cherries etc)

The process:

  • Preheat oven to 350F/180C
  • Put the following ingredients in a pot: beer, brown sugar, molasses, honey and coconut oil. Cook them all on medium heat for about 10 mins.
  • In a large bowl, mix the  flour, baking powder, mixed spices and pinch of salt.
  • Then add the liquid ingredients (from the pot) into the bowl. Mix everything well until perfectly smooth and with no lumps.
  • Add the raisins and other dried fruits- mix well.
  • Line a cake pan with parchment paper (or grease & flour), transfer batter and bake for 50 mins.
  • Remove, let cool and slice 🙂

Notes:

 * Flour: depending on the country you live in and if you’re not gluten-free, ideally you want to choose an unbleached flour. Note that this is different from whole wheat flour. Unbleached flour is similar to white flour, but is a tad darker and more grainy. It hasn’t received the same bleaching treatment as white flour. Another excellent affordable alternative is rice flour (which you can find at Mega mart in large packs at a very good price, look near the spice section near the Indian specialty ingredients). Rice flour is less treated than bleached white flour and is also gluten-free 🙂

 * Jamaican Mixed Spices for Baking: this is a BEAUTIFUL combination of Jamaican Pimento, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Anise Powder and Orange Peel. You can find it under the Island Spice brand.

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