Vegan Baking Pointers

on July 1, 2009

Eggs and milk may seem like essential ingredients for baking cakes and cookies, but Kirsten Rosenberg, co-owner of Sticky Fingers Bakery, an all-vegan sweet shop in Washington, D.C., thinks otherwise. Her shop serves up brownies, cheesecakes, cupcakes and more that are made using no animal products-meaning they're naturally low in saturated fats and cholesterol free. Try these tips for making vegan baking work in your kitchen from Rosenberg and her team of bakers.

To replace eggs in recipes for light-and-fluffy baked goods like muffins, cakes and pancakes, substitute 1/4-cup applesauce or mashed banana for each egg. If the recipe doesn't already call for baking soda or baking powder, add 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder for each "egg" you add.
Another option for light-and-fluffy goodies is Ener-G Egg Replacer, a combination of vegetable starches and leavening agents (available at natural foods grocery stores; follow the substitution instructions on the package).
In recipes for chewy, moist snacks like brownies and cookies, blend 2 tablespoons of silken tofu or ground flax seed with 2 tablespoons of water to replace each egg.

Instead of traditional cow's milk, try an equal amount of soy, cashew, almond, rice or oat milk. Find the milks at most grocery stores, or try making your own nut-based milk by blending 1/4-cup raw or toasted cashews or almonds with 1-cup water for 1-2 minutes on high speed. Keep in mind that non-dairy milks are much sweeter than dairy milk, so you may want to reduce other sweeteners called for in the recipe.

In place of butter or lard in piecrusts, cookies or cakes, try a non-hydrogenated margarine (like Earth Balance) or vegetable shortening available at most grocery stores. Vegetable oils like canola, safflower or walnut can also work in place of solid fats—use 1/3 cup of oil for each stick of butter called for and reduce the other liquids like water or milk in your recipe by about 10 percent to keep the right consistency.

Found in: Nutrition