Baking without eggs and dairy is easy as pie once you learn the basics. These vegan baking tips will help you cook up a storm in no time!
Baking without eggs and dairy takes some getting used to, but you can still enjoy all your favourite treats without harming animals.
With these simple vegan baking tips from recipe creator Sara Kidd, you’ll be able to make mouth-watering goodies using only plant-based ingredients.
1. Experiment with Egg Replacers
It probably comes as no surprise that the first vegan baking tip is about eggs!
Know your egg substitutes and what works for different baking. Don’t just swap one egg for your favourite egg replacer.
First, establish what the egg does for the recipe. Is it for binding or for making the recipe fluffy? Sometimes it’s as simple as just adding some vinegar.
Baking egg replacers takes time, practice and patience but when you get it right, it’s so worth it!
2. Use Baking Powder
This is a great ingredient to use in your baking endeavours! Baking powder helps make your cake rise.
Test your baking powder by adding half a teaspoon to warm water. If it fizzes then it passes the test. If it’s dead in the water, you need new baking powder.
Top tip: Make sure you’re using active baking powder.
3. Use Active Baking Soda
Make sure you’re using active baking soda.
Just like baking powder, baking soda helps make your cake rise and is generally used in more acidic recipes.
Put a few teaspoons of white distilled vinegar in a cup and add 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda. If it fizzes then it’s all good. If not, you need new baking soda.
4. Cake Flour is Your Friend
When making vegan cakes, always aim to use cake flour.
Cake flour is a finely milled delicate flour with low protein that will help your cake be more fluffy and light.
Usually, you can buy this in the supermarket, but if not, you can make your own by replacing 15g of every 110g of plain flour with 15g of corn flour and sifting a few times.
5. Be Careful with Vegan Butter
Let’s chat about replacing butter. When substituting with vegan butter, you may need to include a veggie fat or a veggie shortening in the recipe to get the right texture, as non-dairy margarine has a more fragile structure.
A good rule of thumb is 3/4 vegan butter and 1/4 veggie shortening as a starting ratio.
6. Make a DIY Buttermilk Alternative
You can create a great alternative to buttermilk!
For every 100ml of soy milk, add about 10ml of vinegar (or 1 tbsp) and stir until it becomes ‘activated’.
Vegan buttermilk also helps bind your recipe together so it acts as an egg.
7. Use Your Oven Wisely
Always pre-heat your oven for 30 mins beforehand and use an oven thermometer to check the temperature is accurate.
If it’s not at the right heat, wait. This affects how your baking will turn out. Ovens can be the reason your bake failed.
8. Don’t Seize Up!
Make sure all your ingredients are at room temperature (unless stated in the recipe) as it can cause your batter to seize up and become tough and flat once baked. And there’s absolutely nothing worse than flat batter.
9. Do Your Prep Work
Whatever recipe you’re making, always do your prep correctly. This can make or break a recipe.
If you’re using batter, make sure that once it is ready it goes straight into your baking pans and then the oven, so do all your prep work first before mixing the batter.
10. Don’t Over-Beat It
Never over-beat! This will develop the gluten more and lead to less fluffy cakes and gluten streaks.
Add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredient bowl in stages. To make this easy, divide into three parts and add slowly.
After adding 1/3 of the wet ingredients, gently fold the wet ingredients into the dry mix with a spatula. Repeat until all are combined. Don’t worry if there are lumps as they will bake out. Never over-stir your mixture.
Tips provided by recipe creator Sara Kidd. For more recipes and tips you can visit Sara’s website.
For delicious plant-based baking ideas, see our vegan dessert recipes.