Vegan baking? What even is that and how is it different from just baking? Great question! Vegan baking is different in that we have to use different ingredients. Some staples of baking happen to include milk, butter, and eggs - all foods that we choose to avoid.
It used to be pretty hard, too. You can probably guess that vegan substitutes for butter, for example, don’t melt in such a way that was needed before. But food science really has come so far. Through it, we’ve got a plethora of vegan baking substitutes that can be used for all kinds of recipes. Melt, beat, and bake until your heart’s content with vegan baking substitutes!
Sounds pretty nice, huh? A lot of people really did all that work so that we can enjoy wonderful and wholesome treats! Let’s introduce you to some right now.
Let’s tackle the easiest bit to replace, and that’s dairy-based milk! The OG plant-based milk, soy milk, has been around for years (it actually dates back to 14th-century China). It has become an easy swap for a lot of folks because it’s also one of the more affordable options on the list.
Let’s dial in on soy milk a little more. If you’re baking things that need structure, the protein in soy milk will help with that. When we say structure, we mean that of bread or cakes. It also matches the texture of cow’s milk quite well. If you bake with soy milk, you may end up getting one that’s visually close to food made with regular milk because it gets a browning.
Next on the list is another popular vegan milk substitute, oat milk. For this one, most would recommend a 1:1 ratio. Do note that oat milk (and almond milk) does not match the texture of regular milk since it’s a little thinner in comparison. BUT we think oat milk tastes better than soy if you’re using it to bake. Sometimes, soy milk tends to overpower.
Having covered 3 of the easiest substitutes around, we think you’re set! Different milk yield different results. There are certainly others that you can use, but they tend to be pricier. Try out the popular ones first before you go for the more niche milk!
Also Read - What Is Oat Milk? Facts, Benefits & Best Brands
This one is a little trickier. Everyone has one that they prefer using. And there are quite a lot of vegan substitutes for butter, such as nut butter, coconut oil, coconut butter, olive oil, dairy-free yogurt, and applesauce. Those are your ready-to-use options. If it’s complementary, use coconut oil, coconut butter, and applesauce. Those 3 tend to add flavor when you bake with them.
Speaking of, let’s not forget that you can buy actual ready-made vegan butter from the store. Just make sure you’re getting one that can handle the heat from baking. If you’re making a crust or something similar, make sure you’re also getting a plant-based butter that can “crumble”.
The ratio for substitution is usually 1:1, the same with plant-based milk. It’s worth mentioning that you can use other oils to replace dairy butter. If you’re baking with high heat, get one with a high smoke point. A little-known fact, cooking oils “burn”. This actually surprised us the first time we heard it.
Vegan egg substitutes for baking come in aplenty. We’ve actually gone in and discussed this deeper here: 7 Best Vegan Egg Substitute For Baking
To give you a quick little recap of it, you can get liquid and powdered vegan eggs. Certain recipes would require a beaten egg, and some of the ones we recommended can stand in for that in a pinch. More economical options like powdered plant-based eggs are also better if you bake regularly. They have a longer shelf life and you can portion them a lot easier.
And, on that same blog, we even shared a few DIY vegan eggs that you can make using ingredients that you probably already have. See? We’ve covered everything!
We live in a time when baking is no longer difficult for us vegans - and we love it! It’s so easy to just pop into a store or shop online for our vegan baking substitutes. And there are options, too. It’s not slim pickings like years before.
If you like variety, convenience, and vegan essentials, where else is better than Vegan Essentials? It’s already in the name!