Vegan baking a piece of egg and dairy-free cake for church worker Anna

A Highland church worker is a finalist in a contest to find the best vegan baker in the UK.

Anna Czekala, who leads youth projects at Trinity Church in Inverness, wowed the judges of the Great Vegan Bake-Off with her delectable raspberry and chocolate cake.

She is competing against 12 other people for the champion baker title which will be decided by an online public vote.

Anna Czekala
Inverness Trinity Church worker Anna Czekala and her son, Max.

Ms Czekala, 35, said she was “delighted” to have been shortlisted for the accolade to find the best eggs, butter, cream, and milk-free dessert.

“I really like cooking and baking and a friend suggested that I should enter this competition,” she added.

“I had to make a video of me making the cake, which is a quick, simple and easy recipe, and submit a photograph.

“I am very, very excited and surprised to be shortlisted as a finalist because I have never entered a competition like this before.

“Vegan baking is a fast growing trend and I think it is very important to highlight that recipes need not be complicated.”

Church food fair

Ms Czekala, who is Polish and moved to Inverness five years ago, switched from being a vegetarian to a vegan earlier this year.

David Lynch, young person and family worker at Trinity Church, said: “We are all delighted that Anna has reached the final of this competition with her colourful and scrumptious creation.

“We wish her the best of luck but it feels like she has won already.”

Trinity Church is hosting a Vegan and Ethical Food Fair on November 11, the first event of its kind in the Highlands.

More than 500 people have expressed interest in attending.

Anna Czekala's delectable raspberry and chocolate cake

Mr Lynch said: “I think that as a church worldwide, not only for our own personal health, but also the health of the planet and the welfare of animals, it is incumbent upon us to respond positively to the rapid rise in people moving to plant based diets.

“As someone who has lived this lifestyle for some years, it is an exciting area to be working in.”

The Great Vegan Bake-Off is organised by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)

“Anna is already a winner in our eyes because she’s shown that vegan baking is a piece of egg- and dairy-free cake,” said the organisation’s director Elisa Allen.

The winner will be announced on October 27.