Even though I’m vegetarian, I love vegan baking. It’s actually something I stumbled upon and then embraced completely. There are a lot of dessert recipes that are naturally vegan and even more that lend themselves to becoming vegan. This is my guide to vegan baking, helping you navigate this fun and healthy way to bake!
The principles of vegan baking are the same as regular baking, but the idea is daunting for many. Remember this before you dive into vegan baking, because your traditional baking instincts are still solid. You still bind your fat, either vegan butter or oil, with your sugar and you still mix your wet and dry ingredients separately, combining later. Its a fun and healthy way to bake, so use my vegan baking guide for every substitute you’ll ever need!
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While I still eat eggs, I’m vegetarian, I don’t bake with them and you do not need eggs to bake. Trust me when I tell you that you can make a moist, light, and fluffy vegan cake with ease and without eggs. I’ve done it multiple times and shared my recipes here on BuzzChomp. I love vegan baking and if a dessert recipe isn’t naturally vegan, then it can easily be made vegan. Now let’s dive into my vegan baking guide, along with a ton of yummy pics of some of my favorite creations.
Vegan Baking Guide
- Fruit: Applesauce or Banana
- Vegan “Eggs”: Flax Eggs or Chia Eggs
- Aquafaba: Liquid from Chickpeas or White Beans
1. Using Fruit
Prior to vegan baking, I focused on healthy baking. I wanted to be able to enjoy a delicious treat without feeling like I needed to go run six miles to enjoy it. This is where I first learned that some fruits can be replace eggs. Applesauce and bananas are the most natural way to replace eggs, as well as add sweetness to a recipe.
I love to drop the sugar content of a recipe down and drop the eggs by using applesauce or bananas. Now that I’m an experienced vegan baker, I find applesauce and/or bananas work great for breads and muffins. I’ve tried bananas in cookies before, but I still can taste the banana aftertaste which I despise. As someone who is not the biggest fan of raw banana, I do not want that taste. I use it as a substitute here and there when it cooks off.
2. Using Vegan “Eggs”
There are new brands of egg replacements popping up at the grocery store, but I have yet to try any I love. Currently I use the classic method and make my own. When you see recipes that call for “vegan eggs,” normally they mean “flax eggs.” I personally always keep a container of flax seeds ground up, making it super easy to whip up flax eggs when needed. And flax eggs are definitely easy to make. All you do is mix one tablespoon ground flax seeds with three tablespoons of water, then set aside to congeal.
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Its worth mentioning that I’ve never used flax eggs for cakes. They work great for cookies and quick sweet breads, but are not a universal replacement. If you’re not a fan of flax seeds, then you can also use chia seeds to make “chia eggs” instead of “flax eggs.”
3. Using Aquafaba
Aquafaba is newer to me and I only started using it about two years ago, but it seriously is amazing. Aquafaba is the liquid in chickpeas, as well as white beans. I consider myself pretty new to baking with it, but I know from experience that it does work great, especially for creamy or whipped foods. I’ve used it as the “cream” in pot pies. When baking, 3 tablespoons of Aquafaba equals one egg. It’s mild in taste and can be a replacement for egg whites in meringues, whipped toppings, and frosting. When adapting a non-vegan cake recipe, replacing the eggs with Aquafaba will yield extremely similar results in texture and flavor.
- Vegan Butter Sticks
- Coconut Oil
- Vegetable Oil
- Olive Oil
1. Using Vegan Butter
The easiest replacement for butter, which I’ve been using for years, is Earth Balance vegan butter sticks. Even before I switched to vegan butter sticks, I would use the Earth Balance buttery spread and loved it as a replacement. Their butter sticks make for a near identical replacement. When making buttercream frosting, I find its a little meltier, so I always refrigerate my frostings prior to spreading. Otherwise, substitute away.
It’s super easy to replace regular butter with vegan butter sticks. They are a really great replacement for cakes, cookies, brownies, frosting, and so much more. My vegan pizza recipe started out as a regular pizza recipe. I’d used regular butter in it before, but find the dough is so much tastier with the vegan butter.
2. Using Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is also a really great butter substitute because of its similar properties to butter. In the winter or when refrigerated, coconut oil hardens. Otherwise, it can be “melted” to become a liquid. Coconut oil will give your baked goods a certain coconut-like taste. Yet I really like the flavor. It works best for cookies, muffins, and fruit breads. My vegan coconut chai blondies are made with coconut oil and are so yummy.
3. Using Vegetable Oil
Vegetable oil has always been used in baking and I love it. Pancakes utilize vegetable oil and fruits breads such as banana bread are perfect for using it as well. Many non-vegan recipes use vegetable oil instead of butter, so if you sub vegetable oil for butter, use 3/4 cup for every one cup of butter. Vegetable oils are extremely neutral in flavor, so they are an amazing substitute in cakes and pies, as well as other baked goods.
4. Using Olive Oil
Olive oil can be used as a substitute just like vegetable oil, but olive oil is more dense and flavorful. My favorite chocolate cookie recipe and the first recipe I ever made vegan was adapted from a healthy chocolate chip cookie recipe that used olive oil. Because of this, olive oil is now my go-to for cookie recipes like sugar cookies, cinnamon sugar cookies, and oatmeal cookies.
- Plant Based Milk (Almond/Soy/Cashew)
- Canned Coconut Milk
1. Using Plant Based Milk
I have tried just about all of the plant based milks and my favorite is almond milk. Some people think soy milk is best for baking because of its thicker consistency and similarities to traditional milk. But I don’t love its aftertaste. My hubby accidentally bought soy milk a month or so ago and I did use it for pancakes and my pizza dough. I find that soy milk has a slight aftertaste that my taste buds are honed in on. Also, remember to only use unsweetened non-dairy milk. You don’t want vanilla pizza dough.
2. Using Canned Coconut Milk
Canned coconut milk is perfect for creams, pie fillings, as well as frosting. It’s excellent as as substitute for full-fat milk or cream. Always buy the full-fat canned coconut milk when you’re baking. I love to use it for making my own whipped cream, but I’ve never had success with the low-fat kind.
Vegan baking is absolutely amazing and half the time when I make something, I forget that its also vegan. I do have some very close friends who are vegan, so baking this way makes it easy to host a party or bring a dessert to share. It’s always nice when we get together because my vegan baking skills get a lot of use. Even the tastiest of sinful treats that are vegan always feel a little healthier and I love that!
Your Vegan Baking Guide Specialist:
Mandi Mellen is Lead Editor, Staff Writer, and Featured Host at BuzzChomp. She’s an Actress, Writer, Director and Producer. Get lost in her Youtube comedy channel PillowTalk TV. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
Vegan Baking Guide Photo Credits to Yours Truly
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