T-REX Cakes

TREX1My T-Rex Cakes were created using TREX vegetable fat to highlight the dairy free alternative to butters versatility for use in baking. Playing on the TREX name, I’ve created both T-Rex dinosaur biscuits and chocolate cupcakes-with hidden dinosaur eggs and rocks inside! TREX4The simple vanilla biscuit recipe I’ve used to make the dough, creates both delicious and crisp dinosaurs to sit on top of each chocolate cupcake. Aside from the T-Rex, most dinosaurs were actually plant eating reptiles, so as well as the TREX vegetable fat, I thought I’d add an extra vegetable to the bake in the form of beetroot! Adding a little pureed beetroot to the chocolate cake mixture makes the crumb extra moist and tender, a real choc-aholic’s treat! TREX2

Vanilla Biscuit Dough

150g TREX
150g golden caster sugar
1 egg
1 tbsp vanilla extract
300g plain flour

Using a hand-held electric whisk, or in a free-standing mixer, beat the TREX and sugar together until smooth and creamy.

Break the egg into a mug or jug, add the vanilla extract and beat with a fork. Gradually add the egg to the creamed mixture, beating well after each addition.

Sift the flour into the mixture in two or three batches, mixing in each batch gently, to make a soft dough.

Halve the dough and pat each piece into a rough disc (this makes it easier
 to roll out later). Put into two food bags, or wrap in cling film. Refrigerate for several hours, preferably overnight, to firm up.

Remove the dough from the fridge 15–30 minutes before rolling it, so it can soften slightly.

Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas 4.

Roll the dough out on to sheets of baking parchment to the thickness a few mm.
 If the dough seems very sticky, dust it and the parchment lightly with a little flour.

Cut out your dinosaur shapes and peel back the excess dough and set aside to create more biscuits with. Use a cocktail stick to create the indent of an eye on each dinosaur. Next lift the dinosaur shapes, on the parchment, on to a baking tray. Chill for 15 minutes.

Bake the biscuits for 10–12 minutes until they are lightly golden brown around the edges. Leave them to firm up for a few minutes on the baking tray, then transfer to a wire rack to cool.


150g TREX
150g golden caster sugar
150g golden syrup
150g dark chocolate, chopped into small pieces
150g vacuum packed, plain cooked beetroot-without vinegar or flavourings!
150ml milk
3 eggs
3 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp cocoa powder
150g self raising flour

150ml double cream
150g dark chocolate, chopped into small pieces
1 tbsp golden syrup
1 tbsp vanilla extract

yogurt covered raisins or chocolate eggs
cocoa nibs
fresh thyme


Pre-heat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/gas 4.

Put the TREX, sugar and golden syrup in a saucepan over a medium heat. Stir occasionally until melted and smooth.

Remove from the heat, add the chocolate and stir until melted and combined. Transfer to a large bowl and leave for 5 minutes to cool slightly.

Meanwhile, line a 12 hole muffin tin with 12 muffin cases-ideally brown or green.

Weigh out the beetroot and milk into into a mini food processor and blitz into a pink puree. Break in the eggs and add the vanilla extract, before blitzing to combine. Pour the pink mixture into the warm syrup mixture and beat to combine. Ideally with a hand-held electric whisk.

Finally, sift the cocoa powder and flour into the mixture, beating until combined and you have a very wet, smooth batter with no visible lumps of flour.

Carefully pour and transfer the mixture into the cases. Bake for 20–25 minutes or until the cakes have risen and a skewer pushed into the centre comes out fairly clean. Leave the cakes to cool in the tin for about 5 minutes, then transfer, in the cases, to a wire rack to cool completely.

Meanwhile, to make the ganache, put the chocolate into a medium-sized heatproof bowl with the golden syrup and vanilla. Gently heat the cream in a small saucepan over a medium heat. When the cream is just coming to the boil, pour it over the chocolate and stir gently until melted, smooth and shiny. Leave to cool. You want the ganache to have a soft spreading consistency, so once cooled you may want to put it in the fridge to firm up a little.

To assemble your cakes, use a small sharp knife to cut out and remove the ‘core’ of your cupcakes. The ideal diameter of the cut piece is approx 3.5cm. Don’t go right through to the base, but extract about 2.5cm of cake. Keep these cut-out pieces and trim off some of the sponge to crumble up and use as mud to decorate your cakes with later.

Fill the hole in each of the cupcakes with a selection of cocoa nibs and yogurt covered raisins or chocolate eggs. Return the cut-out and trimmed down piece of cake on top, covering up hidden dinosaur eggs! Each piece will now protrude slightly above the surface of the cake.

Spoon about a heaped tablespoon of the ganache on to the top of each cupcake and smooth out with a small palette knife to create a slightly textured finish. Scatter on the cocoa nibs and broken up chocolate cake crumbs before carefully sticking a dinosaur biscuit into the centre of each cake. Finally insert a few yogurt covered raisins to resemble more dinosaur eggs and some mini sprigs of fresh thyme.