THE school holidays are upon us, and it’s always good to have a few plans ready in case the weather turns wet (which it’s bound to do soon knowing our luck – regardless of the present heatwave!).

Most kids like having a dabble in the kitchen, especially if there’s a tasty treat to tuck into afterwards.

Don’t worry about the mess that might be created, the object is to have fun, and for children to enjoy the cooking process from an early age.

This recipe for Jaffa cakes is from Jane Reynolds, the Pembrokeshire farmer who has written a plant-based cookbook, Happy Beans.

Jane advocates that cooking should be fun for all – adults included – and that cooking and eating are two of life’s major pleasures.

I couldn’t agree more.

It’s also a good idea to get children used to cooking and having fun preparing food, so that it comes naturally to them as adults, and they can always conjure up a good meal without a second thought.

Jaffa cakes

Makes 12-15, Prep time 10 minutes, Cook time 15 minutes


100g self-raising flour

60g golden caster sugar

100ml soya milk

50ml rapeseed oil

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

200g dark chocolate

50g dairy-free butter

100g orange marmalade (smooth, without rind)


Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.

Mix the flour and sugar together, add the soya milk, oil and vanilla essence and stir until just combined into a batter.

Drop a small spoonful of the batter into each hole of a fairy cake tin.

Bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes until just coloured and firm.

Allow to cool in the tin for 1-2 minutes before removing to a cooling rack.

Melt the chocolate and butter together in a medium-sized saucepan over low heat, stirring often.

When the bases have cooled, spoon a teaspoonful of marmalade onto each one.

Coat each cake with chocolate and refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving. Keep refrigerated.

Happy Beans, by Jane Reynolds, is published by Graffeg