Vegan Savoury Loaf Cake
Beetroot Ragu Lasagna

The U3A cookery group came round today. We have such fun, exploring recipes, stirring, tasting, baking and talking about flavours, options and possibilities. Not to mention the large amount of laughter and gossiping that goes on! This month, we made Peanut Butter Noodles, katjan sauce and used that to make Gado Gado, some Galaxy instant hot chocolate flavoured ice cream, and this savoury cake, flavoured with bacon, olive & cheese.

We actually used ham rather than bacon, but as I was writing this, it occured to me that cooking bacon would shave quite a few pence off, so I swapped it. Of course, use ham if you want to

We used a loaf tin as I wanted to see how it would slice, but I’ve ordered some silicone mini loaf tins as I will use those for lots of things and they would be perfect for this. There were other ones, but  they seemed too small for a meat loaf or savoury cake portion. I’ve got 12 coming! I’m never going to need that many in one go, so I’ll pass on the extra ones

Bacon, Olive & Cheese Cake

bacon, olive and cheese loaf for a cheap family meal


Priced at Asda April 2019
150ml oil, £3.20/3 litres, 30p
250g self raising flour, 45p/1.5 kg, 7p
tsp baking powder, 2p
3 tblsps (25g) sweet smoked paprika, Rajah 50p/100g, 12p
half tsp dried thyme, 59p/17g, 1p
100g grated cheddar, £3.69/825g, 45p
150g cooking bacon, 600g/67p, 17p
100g green olives, coarsely chopped, 59p/310g, 30p
half tsp ground black pepper 1p
150ml milk, 6p
4 eggs, lightly beaten, 53p

Total nutrition 3264 calories, 198g carbs, 222g fat, 114g protein
Per serving (6) 544 calories, 33g carbs, 37g fat, 19g protein
Total cost £2.04
Per serving (6) 34p

Line a 1.5 litre loaf tin. I use a silicone liner like this one, which I can use over and over again. Or you can line it with baking parchment

Grill the bacon until crispy, keeping all the juices. Leave to cool.

In a bowl, sieve in the flour, baking powder and paprika. Add the olives, cheese, bacon and all the juices, thyme and pepper and mix well together.

Use a jug to whisk together the eggs, oil and milk.

Now treat the mixture like a muffin and tip the wet ingredients into the dry, mixing just enough to combine. Lots of mixing will toughen the finished loaf. Transfer the mixture to the lined tin and bake at 200c/400f/gas mark 6 for 45-50 minutes until golden. Leave in the tin for a few minutes to firm up before turning out onto a wire rack to finish cooling.

If enjoying this glorious loaf as a main meal, serve 1/6 per person with a salad of iceberg and cucumber, or some hot veg. It’s pretty difficult to cut into neat slices when hot, so if you want it hot, I would make it in individual portions in small loaf tins or muffin tins.


A savoury cake sounds peculiar. But it's amazingly delicious, can be used for dinner with some veg or salad, as a packed lunch, a snack or as a pre dinner nibble when entertaining Click To Tweet

ham, olive and cheese loaf for a cheap family meal




We all really loved this and most of it was eaten while still hot. Once we’d sliced off about a third, it was soft and crumbly, and difficult to slice. But it isn’t necessarily supposed to be eaten hot.

I couldn’t detect the thyme, so I’d use more next  time.

This would be fab with a green salad and a coleslaw or remoulade.

Or make it in muffin tins, or small loaf shaped tins for beautiful individual portions. Or you could use a 20cm cake tin.

Once completely cold, the loaf can be thinly sliced if desired, maybe for entertaining. Fabulous for packed lunches too



If you want vegetarian, leave out the ham. Or change it completely, keeping the basic loaf proportions the same, use a total of 350g of flavour ingredients to replace any or all of the ham/cheese/olives, using the paprika, or not, as you please.

This would be perfect for using up odds and ends from the fridge. Lovely, garlicky roasted veg and the gnarly end of the cheese; chop a total of 350g mixed veg and saute them, then add to the mix; the pickings from a chicken carcass, a fried onion and half a tin of tomatoes in place of the milk; crispy bacon shreds, black pudding and half a tin of baked beans for an all day breakfast type version; replace the milk with coconut milk, use a tblsp Thai curry paste (mix into the dry ingredients and give it a good smell, add more paste if you think it needs it) and add some prawns or chicken, mange tout and bean sprouts

Vegan versions can replace the eggs with aquafaba at the rate of 3 tblsps of aquafaba to each egg and use a plant milk. For this recipe, we use 4 eggs, so 12 tblsps of aquafaba. For vegan flavourings, lovely garlicky roasted vegetables; grated carrot, walnuts and green olives; grated parsnip, hazelnuts and black olives; miso, mushrooms (pre-fried) and sweetcorn; maybe use some nutritional yeast for cheesiness.

Let us all know on Twitter (@ThriftyLesley), Facebook or Instagram (@ThriftyLesley) if you try a version of your own, all ideas gratefully received!

Bacon, Olive & Cheese Loaf


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Vegan Savoury Loaf Cake
Beetroot Ragu Lasagna