Vegan baked goods are just as good, if not better than non-vegan baked goods. It just comes down to using the right steps to achieve the best results. Vegan baking mainly just comes down to practice, and these tips can help you to become more skilled faster.
Here are some top tips to help you make better-baked goods without eggs or dairy.
1. You Aren’t Using the Right Egg Replacement
One very common reason why your vegan baked goods may not be turning out is that you are using the wrong egg replacement. Eggs are a tricky thing to replace and not just any option will work in just any recipe. Some replacements are used for different things.
Applesauce is more of a binder than it is a leavener, while aquafaba is more of a leavener than anything else. That means that these two options would need to be used in different recipes for it to turn out.
If you are making a light sponge cake, a leavening egg replacement is best. On the other hand, fudgy brownies would be better made with applesauce or banana for binding and moisture.
When you don’t use the right egg substitute, your baked goods can come out sunken in, dense, chewy, or dry.
2. You Aren’t Using the Right Butter Substitute
Vegan butter substitutes are very easy to work with, as there are so many options! You can choose a solid oil like coconut oil, vegan butter, or plain oil.
Like the egg substitutes, you still need to choose the right option. Some butter substitutes work better in certain recipes and are less effective in others.
Coconut oil, for example, works best in heartier recipes since it can be on the dense side. It doesn’t work very well in delicate cakes or cookies. Vegan butter is better for most cakes as it imitates real butter the closest.
If you don’t choose the right butter substitute, your recipe can turn out dry, oily, or the whole recipe could separate.
3. You’re Trying to be Too Healthy
It is easy for people to try to make their vegan baked goods very healthy. But it can actually sabotage your efforts and produce not-so-tasty baked goods.
Sweets need plenty of sugar, flour, and oil to taste good. Unless you are a very skilled baker, making very healthy foods doesn’t always hit the spot.
Ingredients like sugar, flour, salt, and fat are all major components of a recipe. They help the recipe to come together in all kinds of ways. So it is best to not try to make recipes too healthy, or they might not turn out.
If you want a very healthy treat, try to find a recipe that is already healthy instead of trying to change a recipe to be more healthy.
4. You’re Aiming Too High
It can be really exciting when you realize the type of vegan baked goods that you can make! There are so many options and substitutions to try.
However, when you are just starting out with vegan baking, it is best to take it slow and start off easy. Avoid going for non-vegan recipes right off the bat and instead find vegan recipes to try. It is best to get the hang of vegan baking before you go off and try to veganize other recipes.
You also want to avoid aiming too high when it comes to changing recipes. Don’t go for animal product-heavy recipes as they will often not work out once veganized unless you really know what you’re doing.
As much as you may want a vegan angel food cake, the likelihood of successfully veganizing a cake made mainly with eggs is slim. So try to make things easier on yourself and choose more realistic recipes.
5. You’re Overmixing
Overmixing is something that anyone can do, but it is especially easy to do with vegan baking. Because vegan goods already have a tendency to be dense, it can be so easy to overmix yogurt batter creating a dense and chewy baked good.
The more you mix, the more gluten starts to develop, creating tough strands that give your baked goods an unpleasantly tough texture. To avoid this you will want to mix your ingredients as little as possible.
Try to mix ingredients in rotation to avoid over mixing, and remember that it is better to have a few clumps than a tough baked good.
6. You Aren’t Adding Enough Moisture
Moisture can come in the form of an actual liquid or fat. Vegan baked goods can have an unpleasantly dry consistency if you don’t add enough moisture.
To avoid this make sure you are replacing the dairy. Don’t just use water because that isn’t the same. Try to use plant milks instead. Don’t skip the fat either. Add coconut oil, olive oil, vegetable shortening, or vegan butter. Doing this will ensure that your baked goods are moist and tender as they should be.
7. You Aren’t Setting the Oven Temperature Right
Not getting the outcome that you want for your baked goods can come down to oven temperature.
If your oven is too hot, the baked goods will bake too quickly on the outside and fall, resulting in undercooked or overcooked goods that are flat and dense. Too cold an oven will result in rubbery or undercooked baked goods that are tough from having to bake too long.
You need to follow the right, baking temperature and only put the items in the oven once it has reached the desired temperature.
8. You’re Baking Gluten-Free
Gluten-free baking is all well and good, but it can be a difficult skill to achieve. Gluten-free baked goods tend to be doughy, dense, and tough, which is why you have to be careful with them.
If you want to bake gluten-free, make sure you follow gluten-free recipes instead of trying to adapt a gluten-based recipe. This will give you a much better chance at success.
Also, make sure to use the best gluten-free flours. Some work better than others and will yield more realistic results.
Learn How to Cook Plant-Based Meals at Home
Reducing your meat intake and eating more plant-based foods is known to help with chronic inflammation, heart health, mental wellbeing, fitness goals, nutritional needs, allergies, gut health, and more! Unfortunately, dairy consumption also has been linked to many health problems, including acne, hormonal imbalance, cancer, prostate cancer, and has many side effects.
For those interested in eating more plant-based, we highly recommend purchasing one of our many plant-based cookbooks or downloading the Food Monster App which has thousands of delicious recipes making it the largest vegan recipe resource to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals and get healthy! And, while you are at it, we encourage you to also learn about the environmental and health benefits of a plant-based diet.
Here are some resources to get you started:
- Weekly Vegan Meal Plans
- Plant-Based Health Resources
- Plant-Based Food & Recipes
- The Ultimate Guide to Plant-Based Nutrition
- Plant-Based Nutrition Resources
- Budget-Friendly Plant-Based Recipes
- High Protein Plant-Based Recipes
- Plant-Based Meal Prep
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