‘Tis The Season for Vegan Baking!
A cold weather day is a perfect day to enjoy a warm beverage and some yummy baked goodness! Living a vegan lifestyle (or simply trying to reduce the amount of eggs and dairy in your diet) certainly doesn’t mean you have to miss out!
These days there are so many great swaps for recipes that call for the eggs, dairy, and honey used in many popular traditional recipes. The trick really comes down to knowing which substitute works best in each recipe. Let’s look at some simple vegan baking tips and substitutes.
You can listen to our episode on vegan baking here or read on for a quick summary
Vegan Egg Substitutes for Baking
Eggs in baking recipes are typically used to help bind ingredients together, and to add moisture and lift. Luckily there are many egg-free options, including off-the-shelf egg replacements such as Vegan Egg (Follow Your Heart), Bob’s Red Mill Egg Replacer, and Ener-G Egg Replacer.
Aquafaba is another easy (and healthier) way to replace egg in vegan baking. It’s the liquid leftover from cooked chickpeas. It has the amazing ability to mimic egg whites in recipes and is so often used in making meringue and marshmallows.
The real trick to using aquafaba in vegan baking is knowing how to create the right consistency. Your best bet is to use a hand or stand mixer since it will take a while to do this by hand with a whisk (about 10 minutes).
The standard swap measurement: 3 tablespoons of aquafaba equals one whole egg.
Flax and Chia Seeds
Flax and chia seeds can also be used as egg replacements when mixed with water. Just be sure to use ground seeds. Since flax seeds have a somewhat nutty flavor use them in recipes such as breads where the taste will complement the food.
The standard swap measurement: 1 tablespoons of ground seed mixed with 3 tablespoons of water equals one whole egg.
Peas and Carrots Member Angela Shaffer says, “I love ground flax as an egg substitute for heartier baked goods like muffins. I also use it regularly in pancakes. Haven’t had the guts to try it in cakes yet.”
Bananas, Applesauce, Avocados, and Peanut Butter
Bananas, applesauce, and avocados can also be used to replace eggs in certain recipes. Keep in mind, however, that these ingredients will affect the taste of your food. So as with chia and flax seeds, be sure these items will complement the food you are baking. Out of the three, avocado is probably the best bet to have a more neutral taste.
A good general rule for replacing eggs with any of these ingredients is a follows:
- ½ to 1 whole ripe banana = 1 egg
- ¼ cup applesauce = 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons to ¼ cup of mashed avocado = 1 egg
In certain recipes peanut butter can also be used as a substitute for eggs, particularly as a binder.
The standard swap measurement: 3 tablespoons of peanut butter is equal to 1 egg.
Here’s a great cheat sheet from Skillet.lifehacker.com to help you with some easy egg substitutes.
Oils and Butter Substitutes in Vegan Baking
Since vegan baking does not include butter or any sort of animal fats, oils play an important part in vegan baking recipes (unless you choose to use vegan margarine, which is a 1:1 substitution). The issue some people have with vegan margarine is that it can contain some undesirable ingredients such as trans fats and partially hydrogenated oil.
Instead of vegan margarine, consider coconut oil, olive oil, and vegetable oils as swaps in recipes. If you are trying to reduce or eliminate oil, you can try replacing the oil or butter in a recipe with applesauce.
Vegan Sweetener Substitutes
You may recall that in episode 286 of the podcast, Are Fritos Vegan? And Other Surprisingly Vegan (and non-vegan) Foods, we mentioned that white table sugar (and some brown and confectioner sugar) typically contains bone char (used in processing) and is therefore not vegan.
The easiest swap for conventional sugar is organic sugar. Because bone char is not on the National Organic Program’s List of Allowed Substances, organic sugar is vegan.
In recipes that call for honey, consider vegan alternatives such as molasses, or maple syrup.
You can also make your own. Here’s a tutorial from Mary’s Test Kitchen:
Dairy milk is probably the easiest of all-vegan swaps! Plant-based milks (such as almond milk) are very easy to find these days and are used in all sorts of cooking, including even vegan ice creams (or “nice” creams). When using plant-based milk, be sure to use the unsweetened variety as the sweetened versions can make your recipe too sweet.
One important note: if you’re taking a baked good to an office party or event where you don’t know if someone has a nut allergy, it is better to use soy milk as a substitute (or clearly label your dish as containing nuts).
Plant-milk can be used in a 1:1 ratio swap in recipes. To make a substitute for buttermilk, try adding 1 tablespoon of lemon to 1 cup of plant-based milk.
We hope this has provided you with some vegan baking inspiration. Please comment below with any of your favorite vegan baking tips or recipes!
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Further Reading and Resources Used for this Episode:
- 60 Vegan Desserts Even Non-Vegans Will Love
- No Eggs, No Problem: How to Avoid the Most Common Vegan Baking Mistakes
- The Ultimate Vegan Baking Cheat Sheet
- Vegan Substitutes for Baking
- Vegan Chocolate Chip Brands for a Cruelty-Free Kitchen
Question: What are your favorite vegan baking tips and/ or recipes?
Thanks for listening!
Peace and Veggies,
Vickie and Larissa