vegan school dinners jam sponge

Vegan School Dinners Sponge

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school dinners vegan jam spongeVegan School Dinners Jam and Coconut Sponge 

vegan school dinners jam sponge

School Dinners Vegan Jam Sponge is a plant-based remake of the old British school dinners favourite!

The term Old School Dinners refers to the school dinners of old the 70s, 80s, and 90s. And the traditional, classic bakes, desserts and meals that were served up during school dinnertimes.

Vegan Jam and Coconut Sponge is an easy, quick and delicious traybake using everyday store cupboard ingredients.

And best of all tastes just as good as the traditional dinners vegan jam sponge

Vegan Old School Dinners Jam and Coconut Sponge

Serves 12 depending on portion sizes of course!

The sponge recipe for this traybake is adapted from a recipe from Rose Elliot’s book Rose Elliot’s Book Of Cakes (1984). Over the years I have loved reading Rose Elliot’s books and she has written so many!

You can check out Rose Elliot’s website and some of her recent books over at

vegan school dinners jam sponge

Vegan School Dinners Jam and Coconut Sponge

Enjoy a slice of old British School dinners history with this Vegan Jam Sponge traybake. So simple yet delicious nostalgia!
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Course Afternoon tea, Dessert, Party, pudding, Snack, Supper
Cuisine British
Servings 12
Calories 238 kcal


  • Rectangular baking tray with deep sides/roasting tray. Size roughly about 10/11 inch by 6/7 inch.
  • Greaseproof paper if needed.


  • 225 grams self-raising flour, sieved 8 oz / or 1 and 1/2 cups.
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder, sieved
  • 175 grams caster sugar 6 oz/ or 3/4 cup and 1 tablespoon
  • 6 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence /extract
  • 225 ml water or 8 fluid oz/ or 1 cup but remove 1 tablespoon and 2 teaspoons of water to get the correct amount. (based on 1 cup equalling 250ml)
  • For the topping:
  • 6-8 tablespoons Jam I use strawberry or raspberry
  • 4 tablespoons desiccated coconut


  • Preheat oven to 160 Fan/ 180 Celsius/ 350 Fahrenheit/ gas 4.
  • Grease baking tray and line with greaseproof paper if necessary.
  • Add all ingredients to a mixing bowl.
  • Mix well.
  • Tip the cake batter into the baking tray.
  • Place baking tray on the middle shelf in oven.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes depending on your oven.
    Cake is ready when risen, golden and a knife inserted comes out clean.
  • Leave the cake for about 20 minutes and then carefully remove from the tin.
    Carefully peel the baking paper off.
  • Leave the cake to cool completely before adding the jam and coconut topping.
  • For the jam topping:
    Whip your jam with a tablespoon to loosen it up and make it easier to spread.
    Spread over your cake.
    Sprinkle coconut over the jam to cover.
Keyword British, classic, coconut, icing, jam, school dinners, sponge, sprinkles, traditional, traybake

The following nutritional information is for guidance only and is not a strict analysis as ingredients vary. The analysis is based on 6 tbsp of strawberry jam and 4 tbsp or 3/4 oz of desiccated coconut.

vegan school dinners jam sponge

 Vegan School Dinners Jam and Coconut Sponge Recipe Notes

  • I iced half my traybake and scattered sprinkles over. The other half I topped with jam and coconut.
  • For an iced topping with sprinkles: Sieve about 12 tablespoons of icing sugar and mix with a few drops of water at a time until the desired consistency. Spread over your sponge. Scatter sprinkles over. If only decorating half the traybake with icing just use about 6 tablespoons of icing sugar.
  • If your icing is too thin just add some more icing sugar and mix until its how you like it.
  • For icing that is too thick add tiny amounts of water and mix.
  • For a lemon traybake, you could add some grated lemon zest to the sponge mix. Use lemon juice to prepare the icing in-place of the water. Decorate with sprinkles or some more lemon zest.

Serving Suggestion For Vegan School Dinners Jam and Coconut Sponge

School dinners jam sponge is traditionally served with pink custard!

Usually pink custard would be made with a packet of strawberry or raspberry blancmange mix. But I haven’t been able to source one that is dairy free.

My first attempt at pink custard didn’t go so well. I prepared some normal custard and added a few drops of red food colouring.  I discovered too late that the dye was not to be heated!

So I think the dye must have reacted badly to simmering in the custard!

The second time I used a few squirts of red dye paste. The colour was not exactly the same as the traditional pink custard as it’s a bit more of a mauve-peachy colour.

Your custard could always just be served its normal colour. Which is what I prefer.

cake in bowl

Vegan Pinkish Custard Recipe:

Serves 3-4 people, depending on portion sizes!

  • 2 tablespoons of custard powder
  • 2-3 tbsp of granulated sugar or any sugar, syrup or sweetener of choice
  • 400-500 ml of plant-based milk. The amount depends on whether you prefer your custard thick or thinner.  I tend to use the Alpro Soya (no sugars) milk.
  • A squirt or two of red food colouring paste or gel. Or just leave this out.
  1. Mix the custard powder and sugar together in a medium saucepan.
  2. Add a few tablespoons of milk and mix thoroughly to a smooth paste.
  3. Over a medium heat slowly add the rest of the milk to the paste, whisking with a wooden spoon or hand whisk to avoid lumps.
  4. Bring to the boil, stirring all the time.
  5. When boiling turn heat to low and simmer for a few minutes. If the custard is too thick just add a little extra milk and stir. If its too thin then simmer for a bit longer to thicken up. Stir all the time to avoid burning or sticking to the pot.
  6. Enjoy.

For a traditional pink custard vegetarian recipe, check this one here at


Looking for another traditional pudding?

Why not try my classic pineapple custard tart? vegan pineapple custard tart


Or a slice of Vegan Chocolate Concrete Cake!

Another old British school dinners bake!

vegan school dinners chocolate concrete cake

Baked one of my recipes?

I’d love to hear how you got on.

All comments very much appreciated.

Snapped a photo to share on social media?

Be sure to tag us @traditionalplantbasedcooking #traditionalplantbasedcooking

So I can admire your awesome baking!

Take care.

 Vegan School Dinners Jam and Coconut Spongeschool dinners vegan jam sponge

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