Christina Liptrot works full-time as a middle school teacher in Westchester County, NY, in addition to running a successful plant-based baking venture after school hours.

It’s busy to fit it all in, Liptrot said, with a typical day running from 8 a.m. all the way to 10 p.m., but she finds the packed schedule and effort to stay efficient satisfying.

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“It’s kind of like a puzzle,” Liptrot told One Green Planet. “I come from a family of hustlers and people who can’t sit down,” she explained.

Liptrot, who is not classically trained as a chef, said growing up, she had never imagined herself running a bakery, much less a vegan one. She first started baking treats when she met her future husband in college.

“We would make lots of little baked goods for each other,” Liptrot recalled. At first the treats had dairy, but became vegan as Liptrot realized that she had a severe lactose intolerance.

For Goodness Cakes NY / Instagram

Liptrot, who’s now been vegan for about three years and has been dairy-free since college, said she’s always been an animal lover.

Liptrot started For Goodness Cakes, NY in 2015, to serve vegan and gluten-free cakes, cookies, and other treats for those who have allergies or dietary preferences that prevent them from eating dairy.

The bakery delivers cakes and cookies in addition to starting to get involved with wholesale with local businesses.

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“I’ve learned a lot about how to make baked goods seem like they’re not vegan,” Liptrot said. “The comment I get the most actually, is how people can’t believe that the treats are vegan.”

She said once she gets home from school, she finds baking to be a “meditative” experience, making cupcakes or a cake while she watches Gilmore Girls on Netflix in the background.

Liptrot added that some of the coolest creations she’s baked have been customer requests. In one of her birthday cakes, she used a plastic dump truck and crane to create a chocolatey construction scene, all with plant-based ingredients.

For Goodness Cakes NY

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She’s also had to get creative to find ways to create vegan equivalents of components like fondant and buttercream.

One of her most useful baking tips? A “baking powder egg” made from 2 teaspoons of baking powder, 2 teaspoons of any kitchen oil, and 3 teaspoons of water. She said this quick trick is perfect for creating delicious vegan cookies.

Here’s a guide on baking without eggs. Try making these Chewy Sugar Cookies, these Vanilla Cupcakes With Peanut Butter Frosting, or this Raw Chocolate Caramel Pecan Cake!

For Goodness Cakes NY / Instagram

In addition to her own lactose intolerance, Liptrot said her mother and other members of her family have special dietary needs. For Goodness Cakes aims let anyone enjoy delicious baked goods.

“It’s encouraging to see so many small businesses working hard to make healthy plant-based options available in their communities,” said One Green Planet co-founder Preeta Sinha.

“I love the idea of giving people a dessert they can feel good about,” Liptrot said.

Do her seventh-grade students know about her bakery?

“Yes,” said Liptrot, laughing. “They’re begging me to bring stuff in.”

You can order baked goods from For Goodness Cakes, NY from their website.

Looking for more info on plant-based cooking? Download the Food Monster App, which is available for both Android and iPhone, and can also be found on Instagram and Facebook. The app has more than 10,000 plant-based, allergy-friendly recipes, and subscribers gain access to new recipes every day.

Lead Image Source: For Goodness Cakes NY / Instagram