Being vegan doesn’t mean saying goodbye to cakes, biscuits and brownies. But how do you bake without eggs, butter and milk? Our vegan baking guide explains all.
Anything you can bake, you can bake vegan. And it’ll taste just as good (if not better)! 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 Cows’ Milk!
The easy one! If a recipe calls for milk then you have many options to choose from. There are so many plant milks on the market now, and often brands have more than one variety. Choose from almond, soy, rice, oat, hemp, hazelnut, coconut or whatever else takes your fancy.
Requires buttermilk? Just add 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.
You can use non-dairy butters or vegetable oils instead 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 choose the one you already buy.
If using a vegetable oil, go with something light tasting. Rapeseed and canola oil are good options, but have experiment 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!
Now, moving onto the most important part of our vegan baking guide. 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.
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, and protein and gluten-free, these little seeds are a bit of a wonder food.
To make 1 chia ‘egg’, 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) and use as per recipe directions.
Ground Flax Seeds
Also high in omega-3, protein magnesium and 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 and muffins.
To make 1 flax ‘egg,’ you mix 1 tablespoon of ground flax seeds with 3 tablespoons of water. Set it aside for a few minutes until it has become gelatinous (similar to raw egg white) and use as per recipe instructions.
You can find egg replacer in most supermarkets now, and it’s 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 and vegan baking essential! 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 it 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 for the best result. Half a banana mashed up really well makes one banana ‘egg.’
Aquafaba (or Chickpea Brine)
No, we’re not kidding! The 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 several aquafaba recipes for you to have fun with, but here’s how to make meringue.
- 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.
Have fun with your vegan baking endeavours and don’t be afraid to experiment. Make sure you tag us in your baking pictures!
PAGE UPDATED NOVEMBER 2020