Soft and crispy cakes with a subtle “nut” flavour. Great as a main served with a side salad, or you can make them smaller and eat as finger food at a dinner party!

I normally eat some sort of animal protein with all my meals (and that includes breakfast too!), but every now and then I like to enjoy a nice meal with my vegan friends or simply because veggies are delicious!

So when that happens, I just try to make the most of it and do not worry too much as it’s not often. But if you are very strict about your protein intake you probably want to compensate eating a bit more at the rest of your meals that day.

Note: Vegetables contain protein too but in less amount that animal food. I personally struggle to meet my daily need (the amount that makes me feel good and supports my workouts) if I only eat veggies, even if those include protein-rich foods like beans. I don’t do tofu as soy really upsets my stomach but that could be an option for you.

Back to the cakes, the nutty flavour is provided by tigernut flour. Tigernuts or tiger nuts (the world don’t seem to agree on how to spell this!) are not a nut despite it’s name but a tuber (like potatoes). They have a rather sweet taste which makes them quite popular for gluten and sugar free baking. They also provide a lot of iron, vitamin E and prebiotic fiber, which has contributed to them being called a superfood.

In Spain, they have been using tigernuts (chufas) for centuries to make “horchata”, which is essentially tigernut milk.

But I wanted to try something different with them so I used them for this savoury recipe.

Gluten and nut-free Asian inspired vegan cakes recipe:


  • 2 cups – butternut squash, chopped
  • 2 cups – mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 – red bell pepper, chopped in cubes
  • 1 – brown onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp – coconut oil, olive oil or ghee
  • 1/2 inch – ginger root slice, grated
  • 1 bunch – coriander, chopped
  • 1 – spring onion, sliced
  • 1/2 tsp – ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp – chilli flakes
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp – tigernut flour (almond flour works too if you can do nuts)
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Steam or boil butternut squash until soft (15-20 min depending on size).
  2. Whilst it cooks heat oil in a pan and lightly fry the brown onion and ginger with the spices (cloves, chilli, salt and pepper). When the onion becomes transparent add the bell pepper and mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes stirring frequently to avoid them to stick to the pan.
  3. When the squash is ready, transfer it to a colander and squeeze it well with the help of a spatula to release its own water content. Then transfer to a blender or bowl if using a hand mixer.
  4. Drain the mushroom, pepper and onion mix through the same colander you used for the squash and add in half of this mix to the blender.
  5. Blend until smooth. Add in the 2 tablespoons of tigernut flour, the coriander and spring onion, and the other half of the pepper and mushrooms and combine with the spatula. You’ll get a chunky mash texture.
  6. Line an oven tray with non-stick baking paper and switch on the oven to 180 C.
  7. In a separate plate place the rest of the tiger nut flour. Scoop out the mash and form cake shapes with your hands, “breading” them in the tiger nut flour and placing onto the tray.
  8. Put the cakes in the oven and bake for 30 min. Flip them and bake again for 15 more min.