Vegan Baking Hacks
If you search up a recipe for a cake using almond milk, the recipe you’re going to find will be virtually the same as just a plain old white cake recipe. And yet, there are so many recipes for “dairy-free” cakes on the internet. Here’s the thing, alternative milks bake and cook just the same as cow’s milk. And the same goes for every other vegan alternative out there. You don't need to find "vegan" recipes, you just need to know which milks work best in what recipes and how to find vegan eggs and butter! So read this post and then go on and keep making your favorite non-vegan recipes!
Almond milk works best in baking sweet, creamy desserts or making cream based sauces because it is one of the sweeter alternative milks. However, it is very low in fat and will not work well in recipes calling for cream or whole milk. I often use it in pancakes, cookies, and Alfredo sauce.
Full-fat coconut milk from a can is one of your best bets for recipes calling for cream. It even works well to make vegan whipped cream! The only downfall with coconut milk is that its flavor profile is either very bland or tastes very strongly of coconut, so personally, I only use it when it's essential I use full-fat milk in a recipe.
Soy milk will substitute well into almost any recipe calling for milk. It is higher in protein than any other milk, including cow’s, so it will cause your cake or sauce to be a little bit thicker and denser than normal. It does not have a very strong taste either, so it will blend well with most flavors. (Be careful with using soy milk though, it's actually not as sustainable as the other nut milks!)
I've often heard of flax eggs, however, grinding the flax seeds and/or buying a whole new ingredient just to replace eggs seemed like a bit too hard for me. But chia seeds is one thing I always have in my kitchen so making a chia seed egg was super convenient (and always will be)! All you do is add 3 tablespoons of water to 1 tablespoon of chia seeds and let sit for at least 15 minutes (equals one egg). I actually think it works super well and I enjoy having the added texture of chia seeds in my cookies!
Finding vegan butter these days is super simple! And just like with milk you just substitute vegan butter for dairy bitter 1 for 1. The only thing to be careful with with vegan butter is that it is usually made primarily out of vegetable oil so if you melt it (as some recipes ask) then it will just taste like you added oil to your batter so don't ever melt the bitter all the way, even if the recipe says to.
How'd It Go?
Let me know about all the fun things you were able to bake vegan!