I love to bake (as I’m sure many of you do), so I'd like to share some of my favorite vegan baking staples with you that I like to have on hand at all times. You might find it surprising to know that you don’t need eggs, milk, yogurt, cream cheese, dairy-based chocolate chips, or butter to make delicious baked goods. Take a look at these vegan baking staples and keep these in your pantry so you can make tasty baked vegan goods that aren’t only delicious, but also healthy and cruelty-free.
Soy milk is the perfect replacement to dairy milk and one of my favorite vegan baking staples. I also love almond milk, hemp milk, and coconut milk. They all offer different flavors and levels of creaminess, so find one you like for various uses. For instance, coconut milk works better as a replacement for heavy cream since it’s rich in fat, while rick milk works well for condensed milk since it’s higher in sugar. Soy milk is the perfect replacement for regular milk since it’s rich and creamy, and almond milk is another great option as a milk replacement, though a bit thinner than soy.
There’s nothing like muffins or scones made with yogurt, so opt for a plain flavored vegan yogurt like soy, almond, or coconut instead of dairy yogurt. Vegan yogurt will give you the same tender texture with a rich, tangy flavor that dairy yogurt will. It’s also a richer source of calcium, not to mention easier to digest.
Instead of choosing regular sugar, which is often processed with bone char (making it non-vegan), opt for coconut sugar as a natural sweetener, or choose a regular vegan sugar. While I’m not a fan of natural sweeteners that contain any sugar, I realize some people need this option. Coconut sugar is lower on the glycemic index, though it still contains added sugars and calories.
My personal sweetener of choice is stevia, which is completely vegan, sugar-free, and 100% natural if you buy from the right source. I’m a fan of organic white stevia and NuNaturals baking stevia. Stevia isn’t artificial and is a much better option that sugar-free sweeteners like sucralose. Since it’s 300 times sweeter than sugar, I recommend adjusting the levels by a third to produce the correct sweetening effect.
Pumpkin is one of my favorite replacements for eggs in muffins, pancakes, cakes, and brownies. It’s so rich in moisture and is a terrific natural binder. Your baked goods will be moist, flavorful, and take on a natural sweetness with added fiber and Vitamin A. Use about ¼ cup per each egg called for in a recipe.
You can use applesauce as a replacement for oil and butter, making it a great low-calorie option. Applesauce is also naturally sweet so you may even be able to adjust the sweetener you use as well. I love it in muffins, cakes, brownies, waffles, pancakes, cookies, and scones.
Almond butter can also be used to replace regular butter or even eggs. It helps bind baked goods together and its natural fats help produce the same rich factor as butter and whole eggs. Use about 2 tablespoons per egg or as a direct exchange for butter.
Cashew butter is very mild in flavor so it works perfectly as a replacement to butter, cream cheese, or cream in a recipe. It's a perfect way to add that fatty flavor without a bold or overly powerful flavor.
Coconut butter and coconut oil are rich in saturated fats, just like regular butter. However, coconut contains no cholesterol like dairy. Opt for coconut butter or oil for pie crusts, cakes, cookies, muffins, pancakes, and more. Just remember that you’ll need to melt it slightly since it firms up at temperatures below 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
Many egg replacement products are also available, such as the Ener-G brand Egg Replacer, to name one of the most popular. These powders work perfectly just as eggs do when added to water, and many people find them easier to use than other options. Most are also gluten-free as a bonus.
Tofu is a great replacement for butter and eggs in a recipe. It’s flavorless so it takes on the flavors of whatever you add to it, making it very versatile in the kitchen. Be sure to follow a recipe to decide whether you’ll need firm or soft tofu and experiment to see which baked goods you enjoy it in the most.
Most all baking ingredients have a vegan replacement, even chocolate chips and cake mixes. For more tips on baking delicious vegan goods, visit a few of my favorite blogs below, which specialize in just that. Do you have a favorite vegan baking staple?