Vegan school dinners jam and coconut sponge traybake is perfect for afternoon tea, picnics, parties and lunch boxes.
So easy and quick to prepare with every day store-cupboard ingredients.
It's likely that you already have the ingredients for this tasty classic retro traybake.
Vegan School Dinners Jam and Coconut Sponge Traybake
The term old school dinners refers to the school dinners of the 70s, 80s, and 90s and the traditional bakes, desserts and meals that were served up during school dinnertimes.
School Dinners Vegan Jam Sponge is a plant-based remake of the old British school dinners favourite. Best of all this cake tastes just as good as the traditional old school bake.
The sponge recipe for this traybake is adapted from a recipe I discovered years ago eggless sponge cake from the book Rose Elliot's Book Of Cakes (1984).
You can check out Rose Elliot's website and some of her recent books over at roseelliot.com.
I bake this traybake for picnics, afternoon tea, pack lunch, and whenever anyone comes to visit.
Jam and coconut sponge is also ideal as part of buffet or pot luck spreads, parties, cake sales, any celebration or special occasion where food is involved.
The topping can be adjusted to your favourite frosting or decoration. Try a thick water icing and finish with vegan hundreds and thousands sprinkles. So pretty.
How To Prepare Vegan Old School Dinners Jam and Coconut Sponge:
Recipe Notes And FAQS
Store this sponge traybake within a cake tin or covered food container for up to 5 days, in a cool, dry area.
Or cover with food safe wrap and store in the refrigerator.
Undecorated jam and coconut sponge can be frozen well wrapped with food and freezer safe wrap for up to 3-4 months.
Remove the wrap before defrosting. Decorate soon after defrosting.
It is traditional to serve jam and coconut sponge with custard especially pink or green!
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 and vegan.
However, for a vegan plant-based custard recipe the following is the one I always use:
Vegan Custard Recipe:
A tasty, easy plant-based custard that can be ready in under 20 minutes and used to compliment all your favourite vegan puddings.
- 2 tablespoons of custard powder
- 2-3 tablespoon of granulated sugar or any sugar, syrup or sweetener of choice
- 400-500 ml (2 cups) of plant-based milk. (The amount depends on whether you prefer a thin or thicker custard).
For a traditional pink custard vegetarian recipe, check this one here at littlestuff.co.uk.
However, the link to the little stuff recipe isn't vegan so only suitable for the vegetarians, etc in your life! Unless of course you can source a vegan blancmange mix and use plant-based milk.
You could always try adding some vegan-friendly pink food colouring to the vegan custard recipe above. I have tried several times to colour the custard pink but the colour was more peachy!
More Vegan Tasty Traditional Bakes To Enjoy:
Old School Dinners Chocolate Sponge (with a chocolate ganache frosting and can be served with hot vegan custard or chilled cream)
Vegan Fruit Loaf Cake (the only fruit loaf cake recipe you'll ever need! So good with a cup of tea or coffee.)
Crunchy Cornflake, Coconut And Chocolate Traybake
Scottish Smiddy Dumpling (easier cousin of the famous clootie dumpling!)
British Rock Cakes (similar to scones but much easier!)
Vegan Old School Dinners Jam and Coconut Sponge (traybake)
- Rectangular baking tray with deep sides/brownie pan. Size roughly about 10/11 inch by 6/7 inch. greaseproof paper/parchment if required
- 225 grams self-raising flour sieved, or plain/all purpose flour with an extra ½ teaspoon of baking powder
- 2 teaspoons baking powder sieved
- 175 grams caster sugar or granulated
- 6 tablespoons vegetable oil such as rapeseed/sunflower (this is not a strong tasting oil)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
- 225 ml water
Jam and coconut topping:
- 8 tablespoons fruit jam (jelly) Give the jam a good mix with a spoon so it's easier to spread.
- 4 tablespoons desiccated coconut
Prepare the sponge:
- Preheat oven to 160 Fan/ 180 Celsius/ 350 Fahrenheit/ gas 4.
- Grease the baking dish and line with greaseproof paper if necessary.
- Add dry ingredients to a mixing bowl.Mix.
- Add wet ingredients.Mix to a smooth batter.
- Scoop the cake batter into the baking dish. A spatula is amazing as it helps scrape all the batter off the bowl.
- Place baking dish on the middle shelf of the oven.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes depending on your oven. Fan ovens are often faster to bake. Check the traybake after 25 minutes.Cake is ready when risen, lightly golden and a skewer inserted comes out clean.
- Leave the cake for about 20 minutes and then carefully remove from the tin to cool on a wire rack.Or simply leave in the tin to cool. It will be fine.Carefully peel away the baking paper.
- Once cool finish the sponge by adding the decoration.
Jam and coconut topping:
- Whip your jam with a spoon to loosen it up and make it easier to spread. Spread over your cake.
- Sprinkle coconut over the jam to cover.
- Slice into 12 pieces.
- Nutritional information is provided for guidance only and is not a strict calculation as ingredients vary.
- Store jam sponge in a covered airtight container for up to 5 days in a cool, dry place. The container can also be placed in the fridge.
- Un-decorated sponge can be frozen, well wrapped, for 3-4 months. Defrost at room temperature, with wrappings removed. Once at room temperature toppings can be added.
- For an iced topping with sprinkles: Sieve about 12 tablespoons of sieved icing sugar (powdered 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 drops of water and mix.
- For a lemon traybake, add some grated lemon zest to the sponge mix. Use lemon juice to prepare the icing instead of the water. Decorate with sprinkles or more lemon zest.
- Check out the recipe notes for an easy custard recipe which is the perfect accompaniment.
I never usually come back and comment on recipes but HAD to with this! I’m from Wales and me and my other half went vegan years ago, I have my go to sponge recipe but I stumbled across this when googling online and so glad I did! This is my new sponge recipe! I have baked for years and my other half just said that this is the lightest bounciest sponge I’ve made!
Aww thanks very much for your lovely comment! I so appreciate you coming back to give your feedback. So happy you and your husband enjoyed the school dinners sponge. This sponge recipe is one of my all time favourites as its just so light and fluffy, yet so easy to make and no fancy ingredients required. I'm happy that I get to share it with others x
At last, a vegan sponge recipe that works! I made it plain to test. Thanks for sharing. So versatile. Will use this recipe for small cakes and Victoria sponges as well.
Thanks! So glad the sponge was a success. This recipe is one of my favourites it does make an amazing Victoria sponge. Though if you'd like a large Victoria sponge consider doubling the recipe which is what I do when I'm baking a birthday cake with this recipe. Check out this recipe https://traditionalplantbasedcooking.com/rose-elliots-eggless-cake/
Perfect for the kid's snack time.. Loving the vegan version
I agree definitely good for kids snack time. My teenage son can easily devour 2 and look for a third slice!
I bet my boys would enjoy this cake very much. Looks quite delicious. And easy to make. I'm saving the recipe. I'm excited to give this a try.
Awesome! Hope you all enjoy 🙂
This cake is off the charts fantastic we just love it! I will make it often my father loved this style cake
Aww thanks! This bake really is something special. It brings back so many fond memories for a lot of people 🙂
Just loving the coconut on this - great recipe!
I agree! I love the coconut as well. Thanks so much for commenting 🙂
This cake looks so light and fluffy! Thanks so much for the brilliant recipe!
Your very welcome! The cake is incredibly light and fluffy, and so easy to prepare 🙂
Hi. Would like to try this recipe but when I bake with vegetable i usually cam taste it which can be o empowering for me.
Is there an alternative that I can use, could still be an oil....
Sorry corrections... overpowering*
No problem 🙂
Hi, Thanks for your comment. For this recipe I usually use rapeseed oil which generally comes in a bottle stating that it is vegetable oil but the ingredients state rapeseed, and I can't taste the oil in the finished cake. Nor can any one else that I bake this recipe for so a mild-flavoured, every-day vegetable oil should be fine. Also make sure that the oil you use is not too old as it may have gone a little rancid and that could affect the flavour of the finished bake. Store your oil in a cool, dark area as sunlight can make it go off quicker. Let me know how you get on and if you have any other questions.
I have recently started eating vegan more regularly, and I love jam sponge, so can't wait to try this! Thanks for the recipe!
Your welcome! Enjoy the cake 🙂
This old school style sponge cake looks so delicious! Can't wait to give it a try!
Thanks! Hope you enjoy the cake 🙂
I’ve never had this before. I’m glad I gave everything on hand to make these. They sound perfect!
Great! Hope you enjoy 🙂
Love the coconut topping on this! 🙂
Yes me too! Its almost like a vegan English Madeleines cake 🙂
My dads favorite cake was sponge with raspberry and coconut, this looks so similar and I cant wait to make it today!
Aww that”s so lovely. I did wonder while writing the post if it would bring back fond memories for some visitors. Hope you enjoy the jam sponge 🙂