Vegan Victoria Sponge Recipe

Adding a plant-based twist to this much-loved classic, we’re sharing our tasty recipe for our Vegan Victoria Sponge cake.

Gluten-free, dairy-free and completely delicious, why not try making this wonderful recipe at home in just 50 minutes and you could share it with up to 12 of your friends?


For the cake:

  • 300g dairy-free margarine (plus extra for greasing)
  • 300g gluten-free plain flour (plus extra for dusting)
  • 300g golden caster sugar
  • 2 vanilla pods
  • 200g organic soya yoghurt
  • 2 lemons (zest only)
  • 2 tablespoons gluten-free baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon xanthan gum
  • Rice milk (optional)

For the filling

  • 200g icing sugar (plus extra for dusting)
  • 100g dairy-free margarine
  • 100g fresh raspberries
  • 4 tablespoons raspberry jam


  1. Preheat the oven to 190ºC/375ºF/gas 5. Then grease two springform cake tins (roughly 20cm) with the margarine, and line the bottom with greaseproof paper – dusting the sides with gluten-free flour.
  2. In a bowl, beat the margarine and sugar for around 5 minutes, or until light and fluffy.
  3. Halve the vanilla pods lengthways then, using the tip of a sharp knife, scrape out the seeds. Add the seeds to the margarine mixture, along with the yoghurt and lemon zest, then mix until combined.
  4. Sieve the flour, baking powder and xanthan gum into the bowl, then fold through. If it’s a little thick, add a splash of rice milk and stir briefly until you have a nice, smooth batter.
  5. Carefully divide the mixture between the cake tins, then place on the middle shelf of the hot oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden and an inserted skewer comes out clean.
  6. Leave to cool for 5 minutes, before turning the cakes out onto a wire cooling rack. Then leave to cool completely while you make the icing.
  7. To make the icing, sieve the icing sugar into a large bowl, then add the margarine and beat until smooth. If it’s a little thick, add a splash of milk to loosen.
  8. Once cooled, place one of the sponges on a plate or cake stand. Carefully spread the butter icing on top and scatter over most of the raspberries. Spread the jam onto the second sponge and place jam side down, on top of the iced sponge, pressing down slightly.
  9. Dust the top with a little icing sugar and decorate with a few raspberries, if you like, then serve!
Food for thought

Where Can I Find Vegan Food on Campus?

We’re inviting you to celebrate Veganuary with us and explore our fantastic plant-based food range available at most of our Newcastle University food and drink outlets.

We’ve made it really easy to find plant-based food on campus. So, whether you’re vegan or simply fancy swapping your usual chicken sandwich for a plant-based substitute, we have plenty on offer to help satisfy your cravings.

From mouth-watering cakes to delicious hot meals, find your nearest vegan café and eatery on campus with our handy list below:


Here, you’ll be able to find a variety of vegan snacks and cakes. Cakes could include: lime & coconut, banana & cinnamon, raspberry & coconut, and victoria sponge.


Bites has a number of plant-based sandwiches, sweet and savoury snacks, wraps, and jacket potato toppings including beans and vegan cheese.

Business School Café

You’ll be able to grab a vegan lunch on-the-go with our selection of cold sandwiches and snacks.

The Grand

Our vibrant café offers a variety of plant-friendly sandwiches, cakes, and snacks. Grab yourself a hot drink with your order and choose a milk substitute.

Castle Leazes

For those of our students living in our catered accommodation, Castle Leazes, we have plenty of vegan choices to choose from.


Our wonderful food court benefits from a number of weekly specials, complete with many different plant-based meal choices. For example, choose from roasted vegetable vegan pizza, jacket potato with vegetable chilli, or vegan soup of the day one week, then jackfruit curry, garlic and lemon roasted flatbread and hummus, falafel & roasted vegetable couscous salad the next!

Daysh Café

Here, we serve a brilliant assortment of vegan sandwiches, hot paninis and snacks. Perfect for when sitting in the study area and looking for a quick bite to eat.

Frederick Douglass Café

Visit FDC and choose from our plant-based sandwiches and sweet and savoury snacks.


Make your way to the INTO building and enjoy vegan food from our Asian-inspired menu. Opt for tofu and pair it with sticky jasmine rice with sweet chilli, katsu curry or sweet soy.

Robinson Library

At the heart of our library sits our café, providing you with the perfect place to grab a plant-based sandwich, snack or hot drink in between your studies.

Sports Centre Café

Grab a vegan sandwich and snacks on your way out or sit in the light and bright study space with a hot drink at out Sports Centre Café.


We have plenty of vegan sandwiches, paninis, and jacket potatoes on offer at Urban.

Walton Library

Grab a barista quality coffee with a plant-based milk alternative and a vegan snack during your visit to Walton Library.

Discover our opening times and where our units are on campus with our campus map. Don’t forget to download and use your Yoyo app to get exclusive access to promotions and discounts.

Download it on the App Store or Google Play.

In the meantime, why not have a go at baking a vegan recipe this Veganuary? Take a look at our recipe for a Vegan Victoria Sponge Cake and try it yourself.

We look forward to seeing you!

Events Food for thought

Did You Know? 8 Black History Facts

October marks an annual, month-long celebration of black history, its culture and its impact on our nation. Black History Month in the UK was established in 1987 – on the 150th anniversary of Caribbean emancipation – and raises awareness of important names and events in the history of people of African and Caribbean descent.

Honouring the countless accomplishments of black Britons, this month, our catering units at Newcastle University are celebrating what it stands for through the universal language of food and dedicating a week of our Street Kitchen to serving an African and Caribbean-inspired menu.

To mark this occasion, we’re sharing 8 interesting facts about black history in Britain, below:

  1. A group of African soldiers called the Aurelian Moors defended Hadrian’s Wall during Roman times.
  2. Tudor king Henry VIII employed a black trumpeter called John Blanke.
  3. Black people in Britain, including Olaudah Equiano, were some of the leading campaigners for the abolition of the slave trade.
  4. In 1833 the government paid £20 million to 46,000 British slave owners to “compensate” the owners for their “loss of property”, but not a penny was given to the former slaves.
  5. In response to the Notting Hill riots of 1958, Claudia Jones launched an indoor Caribbean carnival in St Pancras in 1959 to bring people. It was finally taken to the streets of Notting Hill in 1965. Five decades later, Notting Hill Carnival is second only in size to Brazil’s Rio carnival.
  6. When 18-year-old Guy Bailey was turned away from a job interview at the state-owned Bristol Omnibus Company because he was black, members of the community led a boycott of the buses in protest in 1963. After four months, the bus company relented – marking a significant step towards the UK’s first laws against racial discrimination.
  7. It was only in 1976 that the Race Relations Act, which banned discrimination in public places based on a person’s colour, became law.
  8. The ‘Ivory Bangle Lady’ was a middle-class woman of black African ancestry and is recognised as one of the wealthiest inhabitants of fourth century Roman York – challenging the assumption that Africans in Britain at the time were not wealthy and were likely to have been slaves.. Discovered in 1901, her grave goods included; jewellery made of African elephant ivory, a glass mirror and a blue glass jug.
Events Recipes

Black History Month Recipe: BBQ Lentils over Cheesy Grits

In celebration of Black History Month at the Newcastle University, we’re sharing some of the recipes available as part of our fantastic African and Caribbean inspired menu available at Street Kitchen from the 25th to 29th of October 2021.

You can learn more about what we’re doing to celebrate October’s Black History Month by reading our blog post and joining us at our Street Kitchen to taste some of the fantastic dishes, next week.

  • 200g raw lentils
  • 600ml vegetable broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 100g diced carrots
  • 1 white onion (diced)
  • 1.5 lt barbecue sauce
  • 1/4tsp salt
  • 1/4tsp pepper
  • 1/4tsp smoked paprika
  • 350g cooked grits
  • 250ml milk
  • 2tbs butter
  • 100g cheddar
  • 50g vegan parmesan
  1. In a large pot, bring lentils, vegetable broth and bay leaf to a boil. Let simmer uncovered for about 30-35 minutes or until lentils are tender.
  2. In a large skillet, heat 10ml oil over medium heat. Sauté your onion and carrots with salt, pepper, smoked paprika until carrots are soft and onions are translucent.
  3. Add barbecue sauce and give it a good stir. Drain lentils and reserve the cooking water.
  4. Pour sauce over your lentils and mix well. If you find that your sauce is too thick, just add a little bit of your cooking water to thin it out.
  5. To make your grits, mix all Grits ingredients until cheese and butter has completed melted.
  6. Serve your lentils over grits.
Events Recipes

Black History Month Recipe: Trinidadian Beef & Vegetable Stew with Dumplings

To celebrate Black History Month, we’re sharing some of the recipes available from our African and Caribbean inspired menu available at the Street Kitchen.

To find out more about what we’re doing to celebrate Black History Month through food this year, you can read our blog post and join us at our Street Kitchen in the forum from the 25th to the 29th of October.


Green seasoning

  • 1 cup fresh cilantro (leaves and stems)
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 1/4 cup chives, chopped
  • 2 TBSP fresh thyme
  • 2 TBSP fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup water


  • 3/4 cup green seasoning
  • 1 lb stewing beef
  • 2 TBSP coconut oil
  • 2 TBSP coconut sugar
  • 2 cups carrots cut into 1/2 inch long pieces
  • 3/4 cup full fat coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt (plus more for seasoning)

Dumplings (optional)

  • 100g plain flour
  • 100g butter
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup water
  1. Add cilantro, garlic, onion, chives, thyme, lime juice and water to a food processor and pulse until combined into a relatively smooth paste.
  2. Place beef in a large glass bowl and sprinkle generously with salt. Add 3/4 cup green seasoning to bowl and combine with meat. Allow to marinade overnight or for at least 45 minutes.
  3. Once meat is ready, heat a large cast iron or stock pot with coconut oil on medium-high heat.
  4. Add coconut sugar and use a spoon with a long handle to stir and incorporate with coconut oil. Allow sugar to heat until it begins to melt, bubble and brown. It’s a good idea to keep your stove fan on because things will get smoky. Keep your seasoned meat handy.
  5. Once the sugar has turned medium-dark brown, it’s time to add in your seasoned beef. Add the beef, reserving most of the juices/seasoning in the bowl to add to the dish later on. Stir beef continuously into the caramelised sugar so that it’s fully coated (for about 1 minute).
  6. Reduce heat to medium and cover pot to allow meat to release water (3-5 minutes).
  7. Add chopped carrots, remaining reserved seasoning from meat, salt, coconut milk and water to pot. Bring to a low boil, reduce heat to low and cover pot. Allow to cook 40 minutes until beef is tender.
  8. Meanwhile, make dumplings by combining flour, butter and salt and mix until combined and then add the water. Roll into small balls.
  9. After 35-40 minutes, add dumplings to pot and gently stir to submerge in liquid. Cook 5-10 minutes more or until beef is sufficiently tender.
  10. Taste for salt and adjust as necessary. Serve warm.


Welcome to Catering and Hospitality!

Welcome to Catering and Hospitality’s blog – a place where we look forward to sharing exciting news and information about what’s going on at our fantastic cafes and restaurants, right here on Newcastle University’s campus.

From mouth-watering menu changes to irresistible promotions and more, we’ll use this space to detail all the things we have planned in at our units to celebrate a plethora of calendar events and National holidays, all told through the voice of food and drink.

We encourage you to keep checking in with us as we share news and updates directly from our kitchen. We hope to see you at one of our catering units soon!