THUNDER BAY – Lifestyle – Your Vegan Guide to Baking Think you have to give up baking your favourite cookies or cakes if you are vegan. Think again! You can veganize those recipes with a few substitutions and without compromising on taste.
Vegan Baking Substitutions
Although there is no shortage of vegan recipes in cookbooks or on the internet, sometimes you just want to bake up your favourite cookie recipe. In that case, just read through my list of vegan baking substitutions and try your hand at veganizing those cookies!
Thanks to great quality vegan margarines (such as Earth Balance), butter is one of the easiest ingredients to substitute when you are veganizing a recipe. Another option for cookies, pie crusts, and frostings, is vegan shortening.
With the wide varieties of milk, you are bound to find one to perfectly substitute the dairy milk in your favourite recipe. What about buttermilk? That’s simple. Add 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar per cup of milk to create a perfect buttermilk substitute.
Be aware not to use canned coconut milk as a substitute, as it is more like cream.
Coconut milk is a good replacement for cream, but your dessert may have a hint of coconut flavour. If you are not a coconut fan, you can make cashew cream, which is a blend of one-part cashews and one part water. If you want something even simpler, you can buy one of the many varieties of non-dairy creams available at most grocery stores.
There are many egg substitutes to choose from. Ground flax seeds are a great substitute for cookies, muffins, breads and brownies, as flax adds a chewy texture. To replace each egg in your recipe, use three tablespoons of water to one tablespoon of ground flax seeds. Flax eggs can be tricky when working with a recipe that has more than 2 eggs. In this case, increase your baking powder by 1/4 tsp per cup of flour.
Silken tofu is a perfect substitute when trying to veganize your family’s pumpkin pie recipe for Thanksgiving dinner. For every egg to be replaced, use ¼ cup (3-4 tablespoons) silken tofu. A popular and easy egg replacer in cakes is Ener-G Egg Replacer powder, which can be found in most grocery stores.
Of course there are many desserts in which the main ingredients are eggs, such as meringues or sponge cakes, which cannot be veganized. But, with the delicious vegan desserts you will be baking up, you are sure not to miss them!
To replace honey, simply use maple syrup, rice syrup, or agave nectar in your recipes.
Always thought granulated and brown sugar was vegan? Unfortunately it is not, as it is processed using bone char. A vegan replacement for white sugar which can easily be found is organic evaporated cane sugar. To replace brown sugar, simply use coconut (palm) sugar.
Other ingredients you will have to substitute to make you perfect vegan dessert…
Be aware food colourings and decorations may not be vegan. Cochineal and carmine, found in red food colouring, are made from beetles. As well, shellac glaze is not vegan, as it is a resin secreted by the female lac bug.
Read ingredient labels for the decorations you may be buying, as many contain egg albumen or milk in them. Fondant and marshmallows contain gelatin, which is a collagen from pig skin or cow bone. To replace marshmallows, look for Dandies Marshmallow Company, they make a great vegan marshmallow.
Many of you may be thinking that you have not heard of many of these ingredients, and are wondering where to buy them. Some can be found at your grocery store, but for some you will be visiting your local health food store. So, stock up your pantry and let your vegan baking adventures begin!