Review – Operation Icing
Veganism has consumed my life for the past month or so and although I don’t have that much of a sweet tooth, there has been the odd occasion where I’ve fancied a sweet treat and only been surrounded by dairy laced goodies on the supermarket shelves. Where can you find a decent, dairy free cake in Brighton? Luckily, I was put in touch with Operation Icing who had the answer!
Operating out of a fantastic basement kitchen in the heart of the North Laine, Operation Icing is a not for profit vegan bakery that caters for both the vegan and gluten free amongst us. Set up and run solely by vegan extraordinaire, Jojo, the emphasis is purely on providing a fantastic array of cupcakes for those who are looking for alternative cake action as well as wanting to donate to a good cause. Music fans may also pick up on a slight play on words from the ever imaginative Jojo’s love of punk rock!
Jojo herself is welcoming, informative and caters specifically for your dietary needs. Her website states she started Operation Icing out of a love for veganism, animals and wanting to fulfil her own cake based cravings.
All profit is split between four charities, Sea Shepherd, The East Sussex Wildlife and Rescue Ambulance Service, The Monkey Sanctuary and Raystede Animal Sanctuary with Jojo also regularly baking for fundraisers across the city, including Brighton Pro-Choice and The Poppy Project.
The cupcake menu itself is extensive and there’s certainly something for every sweet tooth out there! It took me ages to decide on the two flavours for my 12 batch order (£20). In the end I went for the Peanut Butter Oreo – chocolate cupcake with an Oreo hidden inside topped with fluffy peanut buttercream and half an Oreo cookie and the Black Forest Gateaux – chocolate cake filled with cherry jam, topped with vanilla frosting, a glacé cherry and shaved chocolate.
Wandering through the Laines on my way to collect at the address Jojo had provided, I was really excited to be sampling some local, homegrown foodie talent plus doing my bit for charity.
Presented beautifully across two cupcake boxes and handed to me in an easy to carry brown paper bag, I was really impressed with Jojo’s hospitality and warmth, not to mention the beautiful cupcakes! I literally ran home and watched the clock tick by until it was time for an afternoon cup of tea and I could get stuck in.
Each cupcake was spilling rich, smooth buttercream over the edge and it was refreshing to see hearty portions of the most enjoyable part of cupcakes.
I’m sure Jojo has been told this a million times but there is no way on earth you would have any idea these are completely devoid of any butter, eggs, milk or cream. The cake part was thick, moist and had a surge of chocolate running all the way through the sponge – delicious. The Oreo hidden inside the cupcake was a touch of genius and added a fun element to the desert.
The Black Forest Gateaux has an overwhelming cherry sensation running through it and the glacé cherry on top was a divine flashback to my childhood. I was definitely left feeling very pleased with my cupcake selections – and I even gave half of my batch to a friend for her birthday who was ecstatic after recently sampling one via a friend at work. A success!
I was so pleased to have been put in touch with such a fantastic Brighton baker and someone who is genuinely passionate about their food. Vegan, gluten free or just looking for some of Brighton’s best cupcakes, I urge you to give Operation Icing a try.
If scoffing 6 cakes in an afternoon isn’t quite your thing then visit Wai Kika Moo Kau on Kensington Gardens early Saturday morning as Jojo sells individual cupcakes there. They sell like vegan cupcakes at a vegan fete, so get down there quick before they all go.