Mmmmm... Baking. And we bet we know what you're thinking...
"Alas, no more. Farewell cakes, so long muffins! The time has come to part ways, as I say goodbye to eggs and butter."
Well, we're delighted to say that you couldn't be more wrong...
Anything you can bake, you can bake vegan.
It’ll taste just as good (if not better!) and, in many cases, will be a healthier version as you’re getting rid of all those nasty fats and adding plant nutrition.
You’ll be amazed at what can mimic the consistency of eggs; you can still indulge in rich chocolate cakes, whip up a batch of light and fluffy pancakes, and even impress your guests with… wait for it… meringues! All without eggs. Similarly, cheesecakes are still firmly on the menu, as are tarts and flans and anything made with pastry.
So have a read over our quick fixes below, grab your mixing bowl, and get baking!
- Moo’ve Over Cow’s Milk!
The easy one! If a recipe calls for milk then you have more than one option to choose from. There are so many plant milks on the market now, and often brands have more than one on offer. Choose from almond, soy, rice, oat, hemp, hazelnut or whatever else takes your fancy.
Requires buttermilk? 1 teaspoon of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar to 1 cup of plant milk. Once added, leave aside for a few minutes before adding to the mix.
- Butter Off!
You can use non-dairy spreads or vegetable oils in replace of dairy butter, and you can pretty much go with your preference here. If using a vegan recipe then it may specify one or the other, but if ‚veganising‘ an old favourite then use the non-dairy spread as you would dairy butter/margarine.
If using a vegetable oil go with something light tasting. Rapeseed and canola oil are good options, but have a play and see what you like best. For half a cup of butter (1/4 pound/4 ounces/110g/1 stick) use 1/3 cup of oil.
- No Need to Eggs-aggerate!
Everything above was pretty obvious, but this is the one everyone worries about…“But how can you bake without eggs?!“ The answer: very easily. You just need to know what to use, how and where. Below we take you through the options, one by one.
Chia seeds are really cool. With little flavour, they can be used in both sweet and savoury dishes to replace eggs.
Rich in omega-3, magnesium, calcium, protein and gluten-free, these little seeds are a bit of a wonder food.
To make 1 chia ‚egg‘, you mix 1 tablespoon of chia seeds with 3 tablespoons of water. Set it aside for a few minutes until it has become gelatinous (similar to raw egg yolk); use as per recipe directions.
Also high in omega-3, protein and magnesium, and packed with fibre, flax seeds are another great natural egg replacer.
Flax seed has a cereal-like taste so it works best in foods that complement that… Think pancakes, oaty cookies, muffins etc.
To make 1 flax ‚egg‘, you mix 1 tablespoon of flax seeds with 3 tablespoons of water. Set it aside for a few minutes until it has become gelatinous (similar to raw egg white); use as per recipe instructions.
You can find egg replacer in most supermarkets now, and it is often what new vegans turn to first. It can be a good option for recipes that require lots of eggs, i.e. 4 or more.
Follow the directions on the packet and use according to the recipe method.
Another vegan wonder food! Silken tofu (not firm or marinated/flavoured) can be used very successfully to replace eggs.
1/4 cup of silken tofu, blended until very smooth, equals one tofu ‚egg‘. Perfect in brownies, cakes and anything that needs to be light and fluffy.
Tofu is a great source of calcium and is also a wonderful vegan ingredient for cheesecakes! Check out this delicious Blueberry Cheesecake recipe as an example.
Top tip: Check your local Asian supermarkets for tofu. You’ll often find it’s cheaper than in the big stores!
Yes, banana! An excellent replacement for eggs and keeps everything moist. There will be some banana flavour so you want to choose your bakes well for this.
Flavourful cakes, muffins, pancakes and, of course, banana bread all work nicely.
Be sure to choose lovely ripe bananas with spots on (which should be how you eat all your bananas) for the best result. 1/2 banana mashed up really well makes one banana ‚egg‘.
Aquafaba (or Chickpea Brine)
No we’re not kidding! The latest and most talked about discovery in the world of vegan baking since… ever!
How it happened we honestly don’t know. But somewhere, somehow, someone decided to drain the brine from a can of chickpeas and use it to make meringues. It is an utter revelation, and has vegans dancing in the streets.
We have a number of aquafaba recipes on Veganuary.com for you to have fun with, but here’s briefly how you do it…
- Drain brine from a can of chickpeas. This leaves you with about a cup’s worth.
- Reduce the chickpea brine: pour into a saucepan and boil for 2-3 minutes until reduced 2/3 of a cup. Set aside to cool for at least ten minutes.
- Once cool, add the brine to a mixer and beat on high until foamy. Once soft peaks form, add cream of tartar.
- Beat for 3 more minutes. Add your sweetener (sugar, maple syrup etc.) according to recipe instructions, until fully incorporated. The meringue will form stiff peaks. Continue as per recipe.
Great baking tip? Please comment below and let us know!