What’s the key to delicious vegan baking?

January 17, 2024

Vegan baking is simultaneously challenging and exciting. With a plethora of delightful plant-based ingredients at your disposal, you have the opportunity to unleash your creativity and prepare delectable baked goods that are not only scrumptious but also respectful of animal life. As you learn to substitute traditional baking ingredients like eggs, milk, and butter with plant-based alternatives, you will unlock a new universe of tasty treats that are both cruelty-free and healthy. In this article, we will guide you through the essentials of vegan baking, from ingredients to recipes.

Vegan Baking Basics: Ingredients

When it comes to vegan baking, selecting the right ingredients is crucial. Most traditional baked goods contain animal-derived ingredients such as milk, butter, eggs, and cream. But don’t worry, there are numerous vegan alternatives that are not only healthier but also incredibly tasty.

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Flour is the most basic ingredient in baking. While all-purpose flour is commonly used, you can also experiment with whole wheat flour, oat flour, almond flour, and more, to add a unique flavor and nutritional profile to your baked goods.

Sugar is another key ingredient. Beware that not all sugar is vegan, as some brands use bone char for processing. Opt for organic sugar or beet sugar, which are always vegan.

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For milk substitutes, soy milk, almond milk, oat milk, and rice milk are excellent choices. They can be used in the same quantities as cow’s milk in recipes.

Butter can be replaced with vegan margarine or oils. Coconut oil is particularly popular as it imparts a subtle, sweet flavor.

Eggs are a bit trickier as they serve various purposes in baking – from binding, leavening to adding moisture. Depending upon the purpose, they can be replaced with applesauce, mashed bananas, flaxseeds, or commercial egg replacers.

The Art of Vegan Cakes

Vegan cakes are a delight to both bake and savor. They can be as moist, fluffy, and decadent as their non-vegan counterparts. Here, we will share a basic vegan chocolate cake recipe that you can experiment with and modify according to your taste.

Vegan Chocolate Cake

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup of beet sugar
  • 0.5 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp of baking soda
  • 0.5 tsp of salt
  • 1 cup of almond milk
  • 0.5 cup of coconut oil
  • 2 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar

Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl. In a separate bowl, mix the wet ingredients. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet mix, stirring until well combined. Pour the batter into a greased cake pan and bake at 350°F (175°C) for 30 to 35 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.

Perfecting Vegan Cookies

Vegan cookies can be just as soft, chewy, or crispy as traditional cookies. The key lies in the right choice of ingredients and accurate baking times.

Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup of vegan margarine
  • 1 cup of organic sugar
  • 1 flax egg (1 tbsp of ground flaxseeds mixed with 2.5 tbsp of water)
  • 1 tsp of baking soda
  • 2 cups of vegan chocolate chips

Cream together the margarine and sugar until fluffy. Add the flax egg and mix well. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour and baking soda. Gradually add this to the wet mixture, mixing until just combined. Fold in the chocolate chips. Scoop onto a baking sheet and bake at 350°F (175°C) for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.

Decadent Vegan Baked Desserts

Vegan baking is not limited to cakes and cookies. You can also create other desserts like pies, muffins, and scones using plant-based ingredients.

Vegan Apple Pie

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 0.5 cup of vegan margarine
  • 2-3 tbsp of cold water
  • 5-6 apples, peeled and sliced
  • 0.5 cup of organic sugar
  • 2 tsp of cinnamon

For the pie crust, combine the flour and margarine until crumbly. Add water as needed to form a dough. Roll out and place in a pie dish. For the filling, toss apples with sugar and cinnamon and pour into the crust. Bake at 375°F (190°C) for 45-50 minutes or until the apples are soft and the crust is golden.

Remember, vegan baking is about experimentation and fun. Feel free to modify these recipes as per your personal preferences. Happy baking!

Exploring Gluten-Free Vegan Baking

Gluten-free vegan baking can be an exciting venture that opens up a world of delicious, health-conscious treats. It’s a fantastic choice for people with food allergies, sensitivities, or those who simply want to opt for a healthier lifestyle. Here, we walk through the basics and special considerations of gluten-free vegan baking.

Flour is the cornerstone of baking, and if you’re venturing into gluten-free vegan baking, you’ll need to replace the traditional wheat flours. There are numerous gluten-free flours available such as almond flour, coconut flour, oat flour, and rice flour. Each of these lends a unique flavor and texture to your baked goods, so feel free to experiment.

Baking powder and baking soda are crucial for the rise and fluffiness of your creations. Ensure you are using gluten-free versions of these leavening agents.

Coconut oil and vegan butter are excellent dairy-free alternatives to butter. They contribute to the rich, moist texture of baked goods.

Substitute cream with coconut milk or other plant-based milks. If your recipe calls for cream cheese, there are vegan and gluten-free versions available in the market.

As with traditional vegan baking, a sweetener like maple syrup or beet sugar can be used in place of honey.

Here’s a simple recipe for gluten-free vegan banana bread:

Gluten-Free Vegan Banana Bread

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of gluten-free oat flour
  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 0.5 cup of maple syrup
  • 0.5 cup of melted coconut oil
  • 1 tsp of gluten-free baking powder
  • 1 tsp of baking soda
  • 1/4 cup of almond milk
  • 2 flax eggs
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract

Mix dry ingredients in one bowl and wet ingredients in another. Combine both and pour into a loaf pan. Bake at 350°F (175°C) for 45-60 minutes.

Conclusion: The Delight of Vegan Baking

Vegan baking, whether traditional or gluten-free, enables you to indulge in delectable desserts without compromising on your lifestyle choices. There’s immense satisfaction in knowing that the baked goods you enjoy are not only delicious but also healthy, dairy-free, and cruelty-free.

We hope this guide has provided you with a comprehensive understanding of vegan baking. From the basics of choosing plant-based ingredients to veganizing your favorite recipes, the world of vegan baking is vast and varied. The vegan chocolate cake, chocolate chip cookies, apple pie, and gluten-free banana bread are just the beginning – there’s a universe of vegan desserts to explore.

Remember, vegan baking is as much about the process as it is about the end product. So don’t be afraid to experiment, tweak recipes, and have fun. Happy baking, and here’s to creating the best vegan treats!