Whether you’re on a vegan diet or simply baking vegan for a family member, you’ve probably grown accustomed to the fact that there are some major ingredient swaps you typically need to make to create your recipes. Vegan baking is all about avoiding the use of animal products, just like the vegan diet entails.
The fact is, however, that eliminating animal products in baking isn’t always as easy as it is in cooking. Simply leaving out an egg or foregoing butter can completely alter your finished baked good, which is why we thought it would be helpful to supply a list of vegan baking essentials we think every vegan baker should stock up on.
Vegan Baking Essentials You Need
Whether you’re looking to make a vegan chocolate cake or a loaf of vegan bread, here are some common vegan baking essentials you may find yourself needing for a vegan recipe.
Since eggs are in almost every baked good recipe, it seems fitting that an egg replacement is on a list of vegan baking essentials. Brands like Follow Your Heart offer 100% plant-based egg replacers that work just like traditional eggs, do, binding ingredients in baked goods the way you need them to.
Vegan Puff Pastry Dough Sheets
There are a ton of sweet and savory treats you can bake up with puff pastry. Whether they’re pastry braids or pigs in a blanket, puff pastry tends to make up the base of these yummy treats. Traditional puff pastry is made with butter, but vegan-friendly options like General Mills Pillsbury Puff Pastry isn’t, so feel free to make as many flaky baked goodies as you want with these dough sheets.
Many people are surprised to find out that not all sugar is vegan. While you may not think of sugar as having any animal byproducts, the reality is that some sugar is bleached white using bone char. Brands like Wholesome Sweeteners offer unbleached sugar that avoids this process, therefore, making it vegan-friendly and safe for use.
Coconut oil can be a wonderful, natural substitute for butter in many recipes, including classics like chocolate chip cookies. When coconut oil is at room temperature or cooler, it remains in a solid state with a soft texture similar to butter. You can cream coconut oil with sugar similar to the way butter is often done.
Apple Cider Vinegar
While apple cider vinegar is often found in therapeutic, natural remedies, it’s also a staple in vegan baking. When paired with other leaveners like baking soda, apple cider vinegar can help make baked foods stay light and fluffy.
Ground Flax Seeds
Like any regular baker, a vegan baker may find themselves out of vegan eggs too from time to time. Ground flax seeds can be an excellent alternative to eggs in baking recipes. Usually, a tablespoon of ground flax seeds is combined with a few tablespoons of hot water for a few minutes as a replacement for one egg in a recipe.
While unbleached sugar can be used for recipes like cookies and cakes, sometimes a recipe calls for the use of honey as a natural sweetener. A vegan-friendly alternative to honey is maple syrup. Maple syrup can be used as a garnish or as part of the recipe for many baked goods like quick bread and muffins.
Vegan Chocolate Chips
Just because you’re baking vegan doesn’t mean you have to give up chocolate. Without chocolate, there would be no fudgy brownies, chocolate chip cookies, or devilishly rich chocolate cake. Thanks to brands like Enjoy Life or Trader Joe’s, you can enjoy dairy-free chocolate chips in all your baked goods. P.S. Trader Joe’s Pound Plus Bars are also vegan-friendly.
Plenty of baked goods call for milk, especially breads, biscuits, and cakes. Milk often works as a liquifying and tenderizing agent in baked good recipes. For a vegan twist, simply swap in dairy-free alternatives like almond milk, oat milk, or coconut milk.
Lemon juice doesn’t just add freshness and vibrancy to your baked goods; it can also be your secret tool for creating vegan buttermilk! Next time you need vegan buttermilk, pour one cup of dairy-free milk into a measuring cup and remove one tablespoon of the milk. Instead, add a tablespoon of lemon juice to replace it. Let the mixture rest for 10 minutes and, voila, you have vegan buttermilk.