Welcome to the world of vegan baking! It’s an exciting place to be, with delicious plant-based ingredients at your disposal, like vegan chocolate bars and non-dairy milk. Even if you’re an excellent baker, getting used to working with plant-based ingredients and techniques can take some time. We have plenty of helpful beginner tips so you can get comfortable with vegan baking and thrive in your kitchen. Check out what you should know and which products will make baking easier.
Get to Know Vegan Baking Substitutes
If you have experience baking with regular eggs and butter, you know how important they are to a delicious brownie or cookie. Eggs give baked goods structure and add a depth of flavor that makes your treats so tasty. They also act as a leavening agent, giving your baked goods the ideal volume and texture.
While you won’t use eggs or dairy butter in your vegan recipes, you can learn the most common vegan baking substitutes. These are:
Milk and Dairy Alternatives
Some of the most common cow’s milk alternatives for baking include oat milk and almond milk. Their versatile flavor fits many dessert recipes and works well as an alternative to dairy in baking. You can also use soy milk. Try out a recipe featuring your favorite, and then experiment with different types of milk to find what works best for each baked good. Coconut milk is an ideal substitute for heavy cream or half-and-half recipes.
Vegan butter is among our favorite ingredients because you can switch it out for the same amount of dairy butter. There’s no guessing if you have the correct measurement, and you have many options regarding ingredients and products. Since there’s a lot out there, we recommend doing a taste test. Ask experienced vegan bakers about their favorite products, or pick up some options from your grocery store.
Try vegan butter to see your preference, then pilot it in a small batch recipe. Try it with a famous chocolate chip cookie or a popular vegan dessert recipe. Finding the perfect butter may take a few batches, but it will be worth it.
If your recipe calls for eggs, you must have a vegan replacement. Eggs add structure and richness to desserts and baked goods while acting as a leavening agent. Luckily, there are plenty of egg substitutes out there. Some bakers use commercial egg replacers they find at the grocery store. Some recipes call for chia seeds or flaxseed in place of eggs. Cornstarch can act as an egg substitute and work with mashed bananas and unsweetened applesauce.
The best thing a vegan baker can do to understand egg substitutes is to work with them in the kitchen. Please find a few recipes with different egg replacements and try them out. You’ll learn the subtle differences behind each ingredient and what gives a better flavor and texture.
Try New Plant-Based Ingredients
Now that you have vegan baking substitutes, it’s time to learn more about plant-based ingredients. Chocolate is in many baked goods, so it helps to find replacements for chocolate with dairy. Vegan chocolate bars and baked chocolate made with oat milk chocolate or pure cacao dark chocolate will make your recipes fudgy and decadent without animal ingredients.
Practice with Trusted Vegan Recipes
Before you try swapping out the ingredients in your family recipes for vegan products, work with vegan recipes first. While your recipes will improve initially, they’ll also teach you about working with plant-based products. Baking is an exact science, so some recipes won’t work when you try to replace the ingredients with a vegan option. Others need different measurements or a combination of plant-based ingredients.
Master a basic vegan chocolate cake with chocolate icing and try your hand at different vegan pies and cookies before you begin practicing with recipes made for regular baking. You’ll gain confidence in your vegan baking skills and learn new techniques before advancing your abilities.
Test New Recipes in Small Batches
Make a small batch first if you’re trying a new vegan recipe. Although you may nail it on the first try, saving time and money is best. There are a few common challenges when you start baking with vegan ingredients. Ingredients may seize up if they’re not at room temperature. Your dough may have trouble rising, and it may also taste tougher than you desire.
Next, the wrong egg substitute makes baked goods too dense. If the egg in a recipe is used as leavening to make the dessert rise, you must substitute baking powder or baking soda with vinegar. If you use incorrect proportions in your recipe, they’ll taste too crumbly and dry. Take notes if you have mishaps in your baking. The lessons you learn about your recipes and ingredients will help you with the next batch. Save your recipe and repeat it once you get the right taste and texture.
Learn to Make Vegan Buttermilk
Buttermilk is an ingredient that can enhance and even transform a dessert. It’s not vegan, but you can make a replacement for it. Vegan buttermilk only requires a few ingredients and can be a lifesaver if you make biscuits or brownies. Add soy milk and vinegar to a glass measuring cup, then combine. Set aside for three to five minutes to let the non-dairy milk curdle. Now it’s ready to use as buttermilk in your recipe!
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Master the Art of Vegan Baking
There’s so much to love about vegan baking. It’s a healthy and nutritious way to enjoy treats and snacks with the help of plant-based and non-dairy ingredients. Once you practice with trusted recipes and find your favorite substitutes, you will be baking with confidence.