Updated: Mar 31, 2020
There seems to be a misconception that vegan baked goods are bland, dry, and hard to make. However, we have seen a lot of success with ensuring that vegan cakes and pastries are exceptionally delicious. What’s not to love knowing that you are making a dietary choice to help the planet? (Whether it was intentional or not.)
We run a custom vegan bakery in New York, New York. Right now we take orders and then deliver them by appointment but we have big dreams of having a physical location open to the public. We want to help people have access to vegan friendly options during events that aren’t just salads. In the meantime, I’ll explain a little bit about the common ingredients in vegan baked goods, and the mistakes people make at home.
First off, being a vegan means that someone does not consume meat, or uses animal products. Therefore the baked good has to come from ethically sourced ingredients without any animal products used in the finished dessert. This can come off as intimidating because the usual main ingredients in baked desserts are animal fats and eggs.
Eggs are normally used to bind together the baked desserts. But then it can’t be considered vegan, so there are numerous ingredients that are vegan that we can use as a substitute depending on the item. Tofu is great for dense cakes, and potato starch is great for most baked desserts. The desired flavor of the baked dessert influences what we use as a binder.
This one is almost a no brainer. Vegan fat substitutes are easy to obtain for anyone. Instead of butter or lard, you can replace those non-vegan ingredients with vegan-friendly ingredients like coconut oil, or palm oil (ethically sourced from merchants that care about the environment). There are many oils that all have their own benefits that will change the flavor of the baked dessert.
Milk is another item that is left out of vegan baked goods. Milk is used to give a more robust and creamy flavor to food. The same result can be achieved using popular milk substitutes like Soy Milk and Almond Milk. Since flavor is key, we adjust our vegan milk depending on the desired flavor we want to achieve.
We have a lot of experience with vegan making baked desserts and prefer to use agave nectar over regular sugar. There is also a lot of seasonal berries and fruits to take into consideration when we pick out our custom flavors. But overall, flexibility is key. Each ingredient used in vegan baking is essential to making a delicious dessert.