Through numerous conversations with people who are either unfamiliar with vegan recipes, or are just started out with a vegan diet, it seems that the general consensus is that vegan baking means you have to kiss your chocolately, gooey, fluffy and decadent foods goodbye and say hello to dry, boring nasty lumps of gross. (Well, maybe not that drastic, but I’ve been asked “How can you stand to not use butter or eggs?!” or “I don’t know how you don’t eat cheese.” Well, I do love cheese…but I find the vegan cheeses are more than tasty enough for me, and vegan butter tastes the same as regular butter, in my opinion. As with eggs, I have never been a huge egg eater, but scrambled tofu seems quite similar to scrambled eggs, when spiced and prepared properly, and it is easy to substitute eggs with other ingredients if you are baking something that calls for eggs.
I know that many of you already know that it is just silly to think that vegan recipes can’t be delicious or decadent or “meaty”, “cheesy”, fluffy, chewy, crunchy, outright delicious…etc…etc. However, I’m hoping you’ll learn something new and grab at least one of two little tips that you can add to your baking and food prep adventures. If you are completely new to vegan baking, I hope this post will help you out so you can improve you and your family’s health and hopefully reduce a little guilt you may have when you are baking with more “traditional” ingredients.
If anyone has any other tips/substitutions that I have not mentioned, let me know in the comments and I’ll add it to the list! This is an updated post to my original Healthy Baking Subs, since I have learned a lot more since I wrote that one.
T A B L E OF C O N T E N T S
- Dairy Butter Substitutions
- Dairy Milk Substitutions
- Cream Cheese / Cheese Substitutions
- Icing / Whipped Cream Substitutions
- Natural Vegan Food Dyes
- Vegan Chocolate Chips
- Vegan Puddings / Mousses
- Peanut Butter Substitutions
- Chocolate Sauce Substitutions
- Egg Substitutions
- Sugar Substitutions
- Flour Substitutions – Gluten Free Flours
- Raw “Baking Ingredients”
- Marshmallow Substitutions
DAIRY BUTTER SUBSTITUTIONS
- Unsweetened Apple Sauce (great for cakes, muffins, cupcakes, brownies, pancakes…)
- Canned or Pureed Pumpkin – Great for muffins, breads and certain cookies (can give quite a distinct flavour, so keep that in mind)
- Pureed Fruits – Great in fruit cakes and certain cookies (non-chocolate)
- Avocado – Amazing for raw desserts. Avocado can also be using to making creamy fillings, puddings and frostings.
- Coconut Oil and Coconut Butter – Coconut oil is a very healthy oil to add to your diet. It is also used in many beauty products as it has wonderful healing properties. You can get mini packs of Coconut Butter (and Chocolate Coconut Butter) in order to help with portion control.
• Earth Balance Butter Substitute - Tastes very similar to dairy butter and melts the same way
• Non-Dairy Yogurt (Soy, Almond, Coconut…) – Works well in pancakes. Make sure to get the unsweetened kind.
DAIRY MILK SUBSTITUTIONS
Health Tip: When you are looking at different kinds of non-dairy milks, remember to get the unsweetened varieties, which are much lower in their sugar content. Most of these milks come in Original, Unsweetened, Vanilla & Chocolate – Some even have Carob.
• Rice Milk
• Hemp Milk
• Oat Milk
Non-daily milk Brands:
CREAM CHEESE / CHEESE SUBS
- Tofutti makes a vegan cream cheese (It’s very good!)
- Make cream cheese using cashews as a main ingredient.
- Make cream cheese using silken tofu as a main ingredient.
- Nutritional Yeast is great for making vegan and lower fat mac and cheese. Susan at FatFreeVegan has a great recipe.
- Galaxy makes vegan Parmesan, Shredded Cheese, Sliced Cheese, Cream Cheese, Mozzarella, Cheddar, American & Pepper Jack.
- There are various vegan “parmesan” cheeses available. You can also make your own by chopping up pine nuts/walnuts/almonds and mixing with a bit of nutritional yeast and sea salt.
VEGAN ICING / WHIPPED CREAM SUBS
- Avocado, Sweetener + Cacao Powder makes for a kick ass chocolate frosting. Click for Recipe
- Make a creamy wonderful frosting with soaked cashews. Click for Recipe
- Coconut Milk Whipped Cream
- Pumpkin Whipped Cream
NATURAL VEGAN FOOD DYES
• Red/Pink: Red Beet Juice, Rhubarb, Cranberries
• Yellow: Turmeric or Yellow Beet Juice
• Green: Kale/Spinach Juice or Matcha Green Tea Powder
• Purple/Blue: Blueberries
• Brown: Cacao Powder
Here is a more thorough post on making your own Vegan Food Dyes.
VEGAN CHOCOLATE CHIPS
- Carob Chips (sweetened/unsweetened)
- Cacao Nibs (naturally bitter, but you can find sweetened nibs)
- Vegan Chocolate Chip Brands, such as Enjoy Life and Sunspire (not all vegan products)
- Make your own Homemade Raw Vegan Chocolate Chips.
VEGAN PUDDINGS / MOUSSES
- Tofu Pudding Recipe & Avocado Pudding Recipe
- Raw Chocolate Pudding Pie
- Chocolate Chia Pudding
- Chocolate Tapioca Pudding
PEANUT BUTTER SUBSTITUTIONS
CHOCOLATE SAUCE SUBSTITUTE
- Wax Orchards Chocolate Fudge Sauce – I haven’t found anything as amazing and healthy as this!
- Ener-G Egg Replacer
- Bob’s Red Mill Egg Replacer – Made from wheat and soy.
- Orgran Egg Replacer
- Flax seeds – Add one tablespoon of flax meal to 3 tablespoon (or Ratio 1:3) of water and mix together and treat this as you would 1 egg.
- Silken Tofu
- Chia Seeds – Stir in 1 tbs of Chia seeds into 3 tbs of water and let it sit for a few minutes until the chia seeds expand and become gelatinous.
- Unsweetened Apple Sauce
- Lucuma Powder
- Pure Maple Syrup
- Yacon Syrup
- Brown Rice Syrup
- Agave Nectar
- Date Sugar or Paste
- Coconut Sugar
- Stevia (powder or liquid) – Comes in many flavours: Berry, Vanilla Creme, Chocolate, Hazel Nut, Lemon Drop & more.
FLOUR SUBS / GLUTEN FREE FLOUR
- Gluten-Free All Purpose Flour
- Coconut Flour (This smells AMAZING) (Gluten Free)
- Almond/Cashew/Peanut/Other Nut Flour
Make your own: Just grind them up until they are fine powder or buy pre-ground. (Gluten Free)
- Oat Flour - Good for oatmeal cookies, breads, muffins and pancakes. (Wheat Free, usually not Gluten Free, but you can get Gluten-Free)
Make your own: Grind up rolled oats. Use Gluten Free Oats if you wish.
- Buckwheat Flour (Gluten Free) - Great for breads, pancakes, breakfast bakes, healthy cakes. You can also use the buckwheat groats in granola and baking. Did you know that Buckhweat is a fruit and not a grain?
Make your own: Grind up buckwheat groats into a fine flour.
- Quinoa Flour (Gluten Free) – You can also use Quinoa Flakes in your baking.
- Tapioca Flour (Gluten Free)
- Millet Flour (Gluten Free)
- Chia Flour (Gluten Free)
- Brown Rice Flour (Gluten Free)
- Amaranth Flour (Gluten Free)
- Rye Flour (Wheat Free, not Gluten Free)
- Barley Flour (not Gluten Free)
- Flax Seed Flour/Meal (Gluten Free)
Make your own: Finely grind up flax seeds.
- Chickpea Flour (Also called Besan) (Gluten Free)
- Arrowroot Flour (Gluten Free)
- Potato Starch (Gluten Free)
- Corn Flour / Masa Harina (Gluten Free)
- Sorghum Flour (Gluten Free)
- Spelt Flour (not Gluten Free)
- White Bean Flour / Black Bean Flour (Gluten Free)
- Fava Bean Flour (Gluten Free)
- Kamut Flour (Not Gluten Free)
For Raw Dishes & Desserts
NOTE: Make sure the ingredients are indeed Raw and aren’t toasted or blanched. They aren’t always found in raw form. If you live in Canada, Upaya Naturals is a great online raw food store.
- Cacao Powder, Cacao Butter, Cacao Nibs, Cacao Paste
- Coconut Oil, Coconut Butter, Coconut Nectar, Coconut Vinegar, Coconut Flour, Shredded Coconut
- Almond Flour/Cashew/Other Nut or Seed Flours (non-blanched)
- Dates, Figs, Prunes
- Agave Nectar
- Raw Honey
- Almond Butter / Cashew Butter / Other Nut or Seed Butters
- Maca Powder
- Vanilla Beans
- Wheat Germ
- Cane Sugar
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Goji / Raisins / Dried Cranberries
- Kelp Noodles
- Buckwheat Groats
- And tons more, of course!
If you are grossed out by what is in conventional marshmallows, or just want a vegan marshmallow, then you are in luck because there are vegan marshmallows on the market.