When I first went vegan, a little over a year ago, I would always ask myself, how the heck am I going to bake?! What about the eggs, the milk, or butter….I knew this was possible, but was it really going to taste that good? So, whenever someone mentions they could never go vegan, because they wouldn’t be able to eat cookies, cakes, or brownies I don’t give them a hard time. I was once there.
There are endless possibilities when it comes to baking, and one of them is “veganizing” everything! I was surprised at how many yummy vegan recipes I found for cookies, brownies and cakes! (I have some of my own recipes if you click on the healthy snacks/treat tab). The best part about all of it is most of the recipes are just naturally healthy for you, but of course if you want to go all out and make it unhealthy you can.
I want to be able to help people who are considering going vegan, or just want to try something new. It is a little tricker then your traditional baking, but with some practice and knowledge, I am sure you will be able to get it down.
So what do eggs exactly do in baked goods? Sarah Phillips stated that, “Eggs provide steam for leavening or moisture for starch. Egg yolks add moisturizing fat and helps emulsify the batter, giving the baked good a smooth and creamy texture.” (www.craftybaking.com) Eggs are the staple ingredient in baked goods. It’s what binds everything together and helps the product to rise.
My favourite substitutes for eggs in baking are:
- Apple sauce
- Mashed banana
- Flax/chia egg
- Ener-g egg replacer
Apple sauce/mashed banana is a really easy substitute as it’s very inexpensive and easy to find. It adds a sweet factor as well. About 1/4 cup of apple saucemashed banana is needed to substitute 1 egg. It doesn’t add much structure to your product so its best in things, like brownies or muffins.
A flax/chia egg substitute is definitely my favourite. I use it in almost all of my recipes of my own, and it most resembles the texture and binding component of an egg . Just mix 1 1/2 TBSPS of ground flax egg + 3 TBSP of water and let it sit in the fridge for about 10 min. Once you take it out its very goopy and slimy.
Ener-g egg replacer is a egg substitute thats made out of potato and tapioca startch. It is found in most grocery stores. It comes in a powder form and you mix it with water. This is a great substitute as it can be used in almost any baked good.
Milk is by far the easiest substitution. We are fortunate to have so many amazing alternatives such as, almond milk, rice milk, coconut milk, soy milk, and so many more.
It’s important to know what milks work best in baked goods, as they do have a difference in textures and tastes.
Almond milk is my favourite substitute in baking. It has a subtle taste and its texture is very creamy, similar to dairy milk. Soy milk also has the same factors.
Coconut milk is a lot thicker but is great in recipes calling for half and half, heavy cream, or condensed milk (recipe to make condensed milk)
A fat component in baking is very important. This also aids with leavening, for example: when whipping butter and sugar together, it creates air, this air is a natural leavening agent. The most common types of fats used in baking is butter and oil.
The easiest substitute for butter? Vegan butter! Yes, that exists. I could not believe how similar it looks, tastes, and how great it is in baking. It’s a little more on the pricer side but if you want to find a substitute thats 99% similar to real butter, this is it!
Coconut oil is also a great substitute for butter or regular oil (canola). It’s better for those going the healthier route. It’s great in brownies, cookies, and muffins. I like to warm it up until its all melted and then pour it in the batter.
Vegetable shortening is a perfect substitute for animal-based shortening. It’s great for light and fluffy cakes!
If you want to be more creative you could also use almond butter or peanut butter to add an extra fatty kick! (perfect in muffins in cupcakes, YUM!).
Unfortunately, most traditional sugars are not vegan. Most processed table sugars are filtered through animal bone char, gross right?! Bulk or organic sugars are your best bet!
Coconut sugar is one of my favourite sweeteners. Its a lot healthier and has a lower glycemic index. If you’re into coconut, you will love this!
Agave/maple syrup is a vegans best friend. This stuff makes the world go ’round! Adding it to baked goods really enhances the flavour and adds a delicious touch of sweetness. Adding about 1 TBSP to any treat is the way to go.
I hope you found these tips and substitutes helpful into taking a step to be a vegan baking pro!
Alissa. “A Guide to Vegan Baking.” Oh My Veggies. N.p., 2015. Web. 27 Sept. 2016.
@peta. “The Ultimate Vegan Baking Cheat Sheet.” PETA Comments. Peta, n.d. Web. 27 Sept. 2016.
Phillips, Sarah. “Eggs | CraftyBaking | Formerly Baking911.” CraftyBaking. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Sept. 2016.
Wren, Andrea. “A Beginner’s Guide to Vegan Baking.” One Green Planet. One Green Planet, n.d. Web. 27 Sept. 2016.