Vegan Baking Substitutes

You don’t have to give up all of your favorite desserts because you have become vegan. You will just need to learn how to bake without using dairy or eggs. Below is a list of baking substitutes that you can use with any kind of recipe.

Milk

Your best bet when substituting milk is with soy milk or almond milk. There are other types of milk, but they do not contain fat, and fat tastes good in baked goods. So save the rice milk for cooking and use soy or almond milk for a rich and satisfying dessert.

Milk:

1 cup soy or almond milk = 1 cup dairy milk

Buttermilk:

1 cup buttermilk = 1 cup soymilk with 2 Tblsp lemon juice allowed to sit 5 minutes

1 cup buttermilk = 1/2 cup vegan sour cream mixed with 1/2 cup water

Cream

The best substitute for cream would have to be coconut cream, which is the thick portion on the top of a can of coconut milk. This can be used as a direct substitute for dairy cream in any whipped cream recipe. You can also use soft tofu, which will give you a light cream when pureed. If you’re going to go the tofu route and want a creamy texture, always choose varieties that are labeled as ‘Silken.’ However, for thicker textured recipes, like pumpkin pies and cheesecakes, the non-silken tofu works best.

Cream:

1 cup cream = 1 cup coconut cream (the thick portion on the top of a can of coconut milk)

1 cup cream = 1 cup pureed tofu are non-dairy alternatives

Sour Cream:

1 cup sour cream = 1 cup vegan sour cream

1 cup sour cream = 1 cup soy yogurt

Butter

I thought real butter was essential to baking. Nope! There are some great vegan butter substitute. One of the most popular, and probably the best tasting, is Earth Balance buttery spread. If you are going to use the butter for crusts, then you want to make sure to freeze it before you use it. Non dairy butters tend to be thinner, so if you want a flaky crust, use the frozen butter right out of the freezer and chill the crust 15 minutes before rolling it out. Another point to remember is that most vegan butter are NOT salt-free. That means you will have to reduce the additional salt in a recipe by half. Finally, butter can be replaced by vegetable oil (25% less) in most recipes.

Butter:

1 cup butter = 1 cup vegan butter

1 cup butter = 3/4 cup vegetable oil

Cheese

When cooking, good tasting cheese is the hardest thing to substitute.  Cheese alternatives in baking is slightly easier. For any baking recipes that include cream or ricotta cheese, here are my alternatives:

Ricotta Cheese:

1 cup ricotta cheese = 1 cup mashed tofu with a dash of lemon juice

Cream Cheese:

1 cup cream cheese = 1 cup heavy coconut cream blended with a dash of lemon juice

Eggs

Eggs are important in baking for two reasons: Binding and leavening. Binding helps keep all your recipes together. Leavening makes things light and fluffy. To replace eggs in recipes, you will need to first identify what function the eggs serve in each recipe. Since not all egg replacers are created equal, half a recipe first for your eggsperiment! While you won’t be able to make very light desserts that call for a lot of eggs. You should have no problem doing any recipe that uses 3-4 eggs. Please note that muffins and cookies typically don’t need a binding agent.

What needs binding?

  • Custard pies (i.e. pumpkin pies)

What needs binding and leavening?

  • Quick breads, cakes, muffins, etc.

Thickening and binding:

1 egg = 1 tbl ground flax seeds mixed with 1/4 cup water

1 egg = 3 tbl pureed tofu and 2 tsp cornstarch (This works well for quiches and custard pies.)

In cakes and quick breads

1 egg = 2 tbl of cornstarch to the dry ingredients

Leavening

1 egg = 1/4 cup soymilk + 1 Tblsp lemon

1 egg = 1/4 cup Sour Supreme + 1/4 tsp baking soda

In cakes and quick breads

1 egg = 2 tbl of cornstarch to the dry ingredients

Store-bought egg replacers

The only problem with store-bought egg replacers is that they can have a biter aftertaste. So make a small batch of whatever you’re baking to see if you mind the flavor. It is generally a 1 to 1 comparison.

Fat free egg replacers

There is a whole cooking movement about purees. They are great to cook with because you can easily slip in a serving a vegetables without your picky eater knowing. Purees are also great for baking because they can have the same properties as eggs without the fat. Applesauce, banana, squash or pumpkin, work great, but will add some their own flavor to your recipe.

1 egg = 1/4 cup puree


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