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Monday, August 8, 2011

Vegan-izing Conventional Baking Recipes

We only own one vegan cookbook. At all. It's a baking cookbook specific to cookies and you probably know it and love it: Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar 

I have held onto some of my older non-vegan cookbooks and I do a lot of recipe searches online. Sometimes there is something I really want to make but it calls for animal products. Thankfully in baking, these substitutions can be pretty easy and undetectable by even the most steadfast "omni." 

I am no expert, but from my experience, here are some successful baking substitutions:

Butter or Margarine: Forget that cholesterol and carcinogens! I suggest Earth Balance Natural Buttery Spread. There are a few varieties available including soy-free. It is made with a variety of vegetable oils that are not partially-hydrogenated. This acts exactly like butter to use the same methods to soften or melt it. 

Cow Milk: I'm not too helpful here because my lousy palate does not detect taste differences between non-dairy plant-sourced 'milks.' I use them indiscriminately in baking. Substitute whatever you have in your fridge: soy, coconut, hemp, rice, almond. Make sure it is not flavored- unsweetened is a good idea also so you are in control. 

Eggs: Eggs provide a few things in baking- binding, fluff, and rise. For the later two, you may want to experiment with a little extra baking soda and baking powder
Bananas: This will make whatever you are baking taste banana-y! Mash up an egg-size worth of banana for each banana called for. I usually use this for scratch brownies.
Flax: For each egg, use the ratio 1 tablespoon ground flax seed 
~ 3 tablespoons water
Mix in a separate bowl and let sit to become thick. Great way to get some extra omega 3s!
I've heard of using apple sauce but have not tried this. There are also commercial egg replacers

Standard Sugar (make use bone char, bleach): Go for evaporated cane juice or granules made from something besides sugarcane like beets. If you use a 'wet' sweetener like agave or maple syrup, you need to lessen the other liquid ingredients to balance. 

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies from Isa Chandra Moskowitz' book
Weird fact I learned from another vegan blog- most icings you buy in tubs are vegan! This does not mean that they are healthy- full of high fructose corn syrup, trans-fat, preservatives, etc. but in a pinch they would be an easy fix!

Happy Baking!


  1. This is similar to what I used to bake when I was pregnant. Thanks for following me through the hop. I want to follow you back but didn't see how or where.

  2. Hi there! Thanks for the substitutions. I'm not vegan. It's way too hard to keep up with on a daily basis(for me)! but, I'd love to see what you come up with as far as recipes go. I'm up for trying new stuff! Following you now.
    Heartfelt Balance Handmade Life

  3. It cracks me up that my vegan boyfriend can eat supposed "cream cheese icing" of all things! It goes well with vegan cinnamon rolls though :)
    For eggs, I usually use 1/4 cup of soymilk mixed with a Tbsp of lemon juice per egg - somehow I never seem to have flaxseed or bananas on hand when I need them.

  4. Hi! Following you from a blog hop!:0)
    Hope you visit me and return the follow!

  5. Thanks for the follow, I am following back via GFC, sorry it has taken my so long to get over to your blog.

  6. Thanks so much for this post! I was addicted to sugary foods so I totally changed my diet and exercise regimen six weeks ago. I was unsure what to substitute the sugar with, like what sweetener is the healthiest to use. This was very helpful.

  7. Big Earth Balance fan here. I love the taste of it. I also love Vegenaise instead of mayonaise. The taste is wonderful.

    I am visiting from the You Like Me Friday blog hop. It is nice to "meet" you. I am not vegan, but eat quite a bit of vegan foods. If I do buy dairy I like to buy organic dairy.

    Stop by and say hi at my blog, Long Wait For Isabella , anytime! I love new visitors and comments.

  8. new follower!

  9. I can't taste the differences between the non-diary milk for the most part either. However, my husband can and there are a few he really doesn't like :) Great blog! New follower from the weekend hop, have a great rest of your weekend! You can find me at

  10. Found you on the monday blog hop! I love the vegan baking info! I'm always looking for vegan cooking ideas. Come check me