‘Skinny Bitch Bakery’ by Kim Barnouin {Book Review + GIVEAWAY}

Hello hello! I have another great book for you guys. As you may know, Skinny Bitch was one of the first books I read when I decided to inform myself about veganism. Skinny Bitch is a wee book full of hard, undeniable, and sometimes pretty gruesome facts. It convinced me that if you want to live a life honest to your values, you just can’t hide from the truth: animal-derived products simply aren’t good for you or the planet, let alone the animals. 

If you like a witty, tongue-in-cheek guide in the kitchen, like baking with a best friend, Kim’s new book, Skinny Bitch Bakery, was made for you. Kim stays true to her style with plenty of jokes and banter and no-nonsense attitude. 

The book contains heaps of helpful information for budding vegan bakers. In fact, even I can learn loads from it – I’ve been vegan for over two years, and though I do cook and bake a lot for the average person, I still struggle a lot with substitutions. Especially when it comes to eggs, proper rising in cakes and muffins, and creating pastry (still a fearful activity in my kitchen, alas. BUT NO MORE.)

Kim has a detailed chapter on baking swaps with measurements for each ingredient: milk, creams, cheese, butter, etc. plus pantry staples. Obviously she’s done her research, which is a huge relief for those readers (and you know you’re out there) who simply don’t have the time to experiment. One thing I hear a lot is that people get discouraged at the very idea of having to invest so much time, money and energy, and failed cakes that only end up in the bin, in their attempts to create old-time favourites. 

The ‘Shit Every Baker Should Know’ is the second-best part: it answers every question you may ever have had from ‘Why don’t my muffins rise properly?’ to ‘How do I ensure flaky pastry?’ Basically, this book is your go-to guide for everything related to vegan baking. And I mean everything.

The best part? you ask. The recipes, duh. German Chocolate Cake, Heavenly Blueberry Pie, Glazed Cinnamon Rolls, Curried Butternut Calzones (I know, right?!), Matcha Green Tea Almond Cookies… It’s just a food pornfest extravaganza all the way through. 

(Obviously, eating cake does not make you skinny. Don’t let the title deceive you. Books are meant to sell, and the marketing teams will give the books titles that sell. Just thought I’d put that out there.)

I’m sorry, I lied. The REAL best part is that I am giving away a copy of this book to one lucky reader. All you need to do is tell me in the comments below which recipe you which dessert recipe you haven’t been able to make since going vegan. Something you used to love but now can’t eat anymore, something you’ve desperately tried to veganise but failed every time, something you wish you could order in restaurants/cafés but can’t because it’s never vegan. You have to be a resident of the UK. Oh and please also tell me your full name and one way that I can reach you (such as your Twitter name, Pinterest, Facebook, email, Tumblr, …).

Based on how much I feel your pain, I will pick the winner and announce it on Facebook, Twitter and this little ol’ blog. The contest ends on November 15 at midnight, UK-time.

Have I whetted your appetite yet? No? I’m sorry, we’ll need to remedy that. Here’s a free recipe from Kim’s new book for you:

Vanilla Chai Cupcakes

Anybody who knows me knows that I have a soft spot for cupcakes and soy chai lattes, so combining these two creates my own piece of heaven. These cupcakes are moist, tender, and lightly spicy, thanks to the combination of ginger and cardamom. Go ahead and pair with a steaming hot chai latte . . . you won’t overdo it.
Makes: 18 cupcakes
1 cup almond milk
1 teaspoon vinegar
1/2 cup Earth Balance, at room temperature
11/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup vanilla soy yogurt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners and set aside. In a small bowl or measuring cup, combine the almond milk and vinegar and let sit for 5 minutes. In a large bowl, combine the Earth Balance and sugar and beat with an electric mixer until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add in the yogurt and vanilla extract and mix on low until combined. In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Alternate adding the dry ingredients and the almond milk mixture to the creamed butter, mixing on low speed until everything is mixed together.
Pour the batter into the cupcake liners until each liner is about two-thirds full. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack.

(Recipe courtesy of HarperOne)

I personally think these would taste amazing with a chocolate frosting, don’t you?

Kim’s new book is out this 24 October in the UK, published by Harper One. 
Photographs by Jon Edwards, cover design by Nancy Campana, recipes by Kim Barnouin. 

12 thoughts on “‘Skinny Bitch Bakery’ by Kim Barnouin {Book Review + GIVEAWAY}

  1. Oh, oh, me please! I was a vegetarian for 3 years and have been a strict vegan for 4 months. So, in those 4 little months, I haven't had *too* much trouble finding and making delicious things. I love baking, so I freaked out a little at the idea of no more cookies. But hoorah, we can make vegan cookies at eat them too! The one thing I have tried and totally failed at was coconut whipped cream. I know, I know…that's easy vegan. Well, I failed. I got the fullest-fattiest-most-delightfullest coconut milk I could find. It separated great…but…it whipped into a kind of sludge. I ended up throwing coco at it and making a raw pie. 🙂 I haven't tried the Pride brand you recommended yet, though!


  2. Oh dear, I know what you mean. It takes a few trials to find the right brand of coconut milk, and not every store will stock it.Where I have moved to now, the nearest supermarket is Sainsbury's and they just don't stock anything but Amoy coconut milk – which is just watery and gross.


  3. I can't believe I still haven't read Skinny Bitch! I've heard it's pretty graphic so not sure I could cope…I will read it at some point when I'm feeling brave.
    Looks like a great dessert book. I'm finding it hard to think of any dessert I feel I'm missing out on as a vegan…I suppose meringues. I loved baked alaska!


  4. Great giveaway and thanks for the free recipe from the book. Not baking as such, I want to be able to make mallow so I can make walnut whips, wagon wheels etc. I admit i've not tried yet, as there is such conflicting comments on the recipes i've seen as to if they really work. I need to know its tried and tested as I hate to waste things. But I have decided to buy some egg replacer this week so I can try one of the recipes i've found soon. If it does it will go on my blog and I'm sure others will find it interesting. You can contact me via my fb page 'The Vegan Womble'


  5. Marshmallows are such a tricky thing! I've tried them a couple of times before but with very little success, and the experiences have left me a little scarred. I've bought vegan marshmallows online, and they were ok, but the price still puts me off. But someday we'll have good ones, I'm sure! I feel your pain xoxo


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