How do I bake a vegan cake

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Bake, bake cakes - even without eggs!

Vegans can also bake delicious cakes, muffins and pies. However, there are a few basic rules to be followed.

Most of the vegans we know were vegetarians before. That means that - like us, by the way - they have moved away from the use of animal products in several stages. The biggest change in this case is that as a vegan you no longer use eggs, butter, milk or cream and honey. And this list alone shows where the first big problem for former vegans when switching occurs: when baking! The most common question, how should it work, bake without eggs, without butter, without milk? Can it even taste good? Doesn't it get pretty dry, or does the dough just collapse? What alternatives can I use? And can these then simply be exchanged 1: 1 so that I can still get my old, oh so beloved favorite cake with the new ingredients in the same way?

We try to give you a few answers to your most important questions. First of all: Vegans can also bake delicious cakes, muffins or pies. And of course you will find great, delicious recipes everywhere that are easy to re-bake. But first we will introduce you to the appropriate alternative ingredients. We have also put together a few useful tips and tricks for you that can be helpful when baking.

So you replace eggs, milk and butter

Before you start baking, you should know how to replace eggs, milk and butter with plant-based products. However, you should get rid of the idea of ​​simply being able to replace these 1: 1 in your old favorite recipes. In principle it works of course - but the taste will not be the same and therefore lead to one or the other disappointment. Either the consistency is different or the original taste is simply changed by using certain alternative products such as bananas. So you won't be able to avoid experimenting a little or discovering new vegan cake and baking recipes for yourself.

Oil or margarine instead of butter

Butter can easily be replaced by margarine, some of you will probably think. In principle yes, but only if it is explicitly vegan margarine. Isn't margarine already vegan in itself? In the organic market but also in the supermarket you can find vegan margarine from Alnatura, Alpro, Becel, Flora, to name just a few. In addition to these, there is a larger selection of fat products to which animal products are also added, such as buttermilk, whey, yogurt or other dairy products. Often they also contain numerous additives and vitamins that are also produced with animal raw materials or auxiliaries. Vitamin D, for example, usually comes from fish or wool, and omega-3 fatty acids often come from fish oil. It is therefore advisable to always read the list of ingredients!

But margarine in and of itself is not without controversy, as it is a chemically produced product. This is why organic frying or baking oil is also ideal for many recipes. Oil not only has a longer shelf life than margarine. It also contains more unsaturated fatty acids and, above all, makes the dough more juicy. In addition, the ingredients can be mixed more easily and quickly with oil.

Plant drinks instead of cow's milk

There is really no shortage of substitute products for cow's milk. In our own blog article, we have already shown you which delicious milk alternatives to cow's milk are available. Whether soy, oat, almond, hazelnut, spelled or coconut milk, depending on your personal preferences and taste, there are no limits to the bakers among you. Soy milk, for example, can completely replace cow's milk. It can be used in many ways, is just as suitable for cooking as it is for baking. And even its protein content is similar to that of cow's milk. However, it is controversial because the rainforest is cleared for the cultivation of soy. But you can now very well access a wide range of organic quality or from regional or at least European cultivation.

Powder instead of egg

We have also already dedicated a special article to the egg alternatives. But we have to admit that egg is such a thing when it comes to baking. You can replace eggs with very different products. The problem with that, an egg in a recipe is not always easily replaceable 1: 1. It really depends on which function the egg is supposed to fulfill in the respective recipe. Should it fix the cake? Or fluffy? Should it bind or loosen the dough? Or even both? Depending on the situation, you can use different alternatives.

If you want the egg to make the cake fluffy, it is best to use whipped egg substitutes. It works even better if you add a little baking powder. But be careful here, otherwise it will only taste like it in the end.

If, on the other hand, you want the cake to set, you have very different options. Here are a few examples that we tried. You will probably have to bake a few cakes first to see which of them is your favorite.

For example, a single egg can be replaced with:

  • 60 g silken tofu
  • 2 tbsp ground flaxseed + 3 tbsp water
  • ½ ripe banana
  • 1 teaspoon egg replacement powder + 40 ml water
  • 1 tbsp applesauce
  • 1 tbsp soy flour + 2 tbsp water

An egg substitute that binds and loosens the dough

This egg substitute is particularly suitable for cake recipes:

  • 1 tbsp soy, locust bean or corn flour + 2 tbsp carbonated mineral water
    Or
  • Egg replacement powder (according to packaging)

An egg substitute that loosens the dough

This egg substitute is particularly suitable for muffin recipes:

* 1 small mashed banana or 3 tbsp applesauce, pear puree, mango puree (should only be used if the puree goes well with the baked goods)
Or

  • 2 teaspoons of baking soda + 2 tablespoons of water or 1 teaspoon of vinegar + ½ teaspoon of oil

An egg substitute that primarily binds the dough

This egg substitute is particularly suitable for biscuit recipes:

  • Mix 1.5 tablespoons of ground flax seeds (or ground chia seeds) with approx. 3 tablespoons of water and allow to swell briefly
    Or
  • 1 tbsp soy flour + 2 tbsp water
    Or
  • 3 tbsp pureed soft silken tofu

By the way: If only one egg is actually used in your favorite cake recipe, you can usually just leave it out without losing much taste and grip. Because whether a cake tastes good doesn't really depend on the eggs or the butter. As with every cake, the same applies to vegan cakes: Either they taste good or they just don't taste good. Which is usually not due to butter or eggs, but to the many other ingredients. But here, too, the first thing to do is to try before studying.

Syrup instead of honey

As is well known, honey is also out of the question for us vegans. And since you should also be careful with sugar, the "sweet" thing is of course such a thing. Fortunately, we vegans have plenty of healthy alternatives. Depending on the taste, honey can in principle be replaced 1: 1 with maple syrup, agave syrup, sugar cane syrup, rice syrup or molasses.

Plant-based cream instead of whipped cream

Cream can also be easily replaced 1: 1 with plant-based cream alternatives. For example, we take soy cuisine or, as a whippable alternative, Soyatoo made from soy. But there are also various products made from rice. You should only be careful when sweetening, as the plant-based whipped cream alternatives are often already sweetened.

We have now informed you in detail about the possible alternatives. Now a few more tips so that your vegan baked goods also succeed.

The number one secret of success: Ingredients

When a cake tastes like a ready-made cake, it often has something to do with the shopping list. Therefore, you should also make sure that the ingredients meet your quality requirements. Anyone who uses vanillin must know that this was not made from a vanilla pod. Bourbon vanilla sugar can be used, but there are also whole vanilla pods. Whether cheap cocoa or rather high-quality raw cocoa is not only a question of your wallet, but also of your own standards. In the end, it's often the ingredients that make the difference.

The number two secret of success: equipment

A carpenter is only as good as his tools. What applies to every craft is especially true for baking. You should also always keep an eye on the quality of the baking molds. The shape, size or design is less important than the material. A good baking pan should have a reasonably thick wall so that the heat is transferred well and the cake does not burn on the outside while it is still raw on the inside.

The number three secret of success: stir properly

Any cake will turn out well with a good food processor. In principle there is nothing to be said against it. A food processor like this is of course great, especially if you intend to stir something completely frothy. However, especially when baking, it can be good and useful to simply mix the dough with a spoon, fork or spatula to avoid stirring it over. Because with most vegan cakes, it is advisable to stir the dough carefully. Stirring too vigorously will make the cake heavy and tough. If the fat content is lower, but the liquid content is higher, you should only stir until everything has combined well. You can usually tell that the flour is no longer visible and the mass has an even color and consistency.

But now get down to work. You can start with your favorite cake and try to make it vegan. If you don't have the courage to do so at the beginning, or if you just want to try something new, you will also find some delicious cake recipes on our blog. Our strudel recipes, for example, are recommended. Or just write to us if you've already made a great vegan cake. We look forward to every new recipe.

In veggies we trust!

Photo: iStock.de/vkuslandia

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