Baking doesn't always have to involve dairy, eggs, or traditional sweeteners. With the right substitutes, you can enjoy all your favorite baked goods without any animal products. Here are six vegan alternatives for classic baking ingredients, and how you can use them in your recipes.
Vegan Butter Substitute
In many recipes, butter gives baked goods their rich flavor and tender crumb. One common vegan butter substitute is coconut oil. Use it exactly as you would butter in a 1:1 ratio. Another option is commercially available vegan butter, which is designed to taste and function like regular butter.
Vegan Milk Substitute
There are plenty of vegan milk alternatives available, including almond milk, soy milk, and oat milk. These can be used cup for cup in most recipes. Be aware that some might add a slight flavor to your baking, though.
Vegan Egg Substitutes
Eggs serve different purposes in baking, from binding to leavening. Therefore, there are various substitutes you can use depending on the function of the egg in your recipe. Here are three options:
Flaxseed or Chia seed meal: These can be used to create a 'flax egg' or 'chia egg'. Mix one tablespoon of flaxseed or chia seed meal with three tablespoons of water. Let it sit for a few minutes to thicken before using.
Applesauce or mashed banana: These fruit purees can be used as a binding agent in recipes that don’t need much leavening. Use a quarter cup for each egg you’re replacing.
Baking powder, oil, and water mixture: In recipes requiring the leavening function of eggs, use one teaspoon of baking powder, one tablespoon of oil, and two tablespoons of water for each egg.
Vegan Sweetener Options
Instead of regular white sugar, opt for coconut sugar, maple syrup, agave nectar, or dates. These natural sweeteners also add their own unique flavors to your baking.
Vegan Chocolate Substitutes
Look for dark chocolate or cocoa powder that's labeled as vegan. These products are made without milk and are perfect for baking.
Vegan Leavening Agents
Traditional leavening agents like baking powder and baking soda are actually vegan. But if you're using a recipe that calls for whipped egg whites, aquafaba (the liquid from a can of chickpeas) can be used as a substitute. Whip it until it forms stiff peaks, just like egg whites.
The table below summarizes these vegan alternatives for classic baking ingredients:
With these alternatives, vegan baking is easy and accessible to everyone. So, why not try substituting some of your classic baking ingredients with these healthier, plant-based options?