Baking 101: All the plant-based swaps you need to know
Despite the rumours, going plant-based does not mean having to give up baking. After all, there are tons of drool-worthy dessert recipes out there – you just have to know which ingredients to swap out.
Give plant milks a go
Let’s start this list off with a really simple one: plant milks! Skip the dairy and opt for a nut, coconut, or pea milk instead. And if you need some whipped cream to top off your dessert, try whipping coconut cream or pick up a store bought, dairy-free whipped cream instead.
Up your dessert game with silken tofu
A great alternative for custards, puddings, and mousses, silken tofu is your new plant-based secret weapon. Unlike regular tofu, silken tofu has a creamy consistency thanks to its high water content. Try adding it to plant-based cheesecakes!
Swap in natural sugars
Some sugars – white, brown and confectioner’s sugar, for example – aren’t vegan because they’re processed with bone char. Of course, honey isn’t vegan either, since beekeeping isn’t cruelty-free.
To get your plant-based sugar fix, choose cane, beet, or coconut sugar. Maple syrup and Bee Free “honee” are both great honey alternatives. Plus, there are bone char-free white and brown sugar companies – really, there’s no shortage of options when it comes to sweeteners.
Everything’s better with butter
Butter is one of the main ingredients in many baked goods, but that doesn’t mean you’re doomed to never bake again. Instead, go for vegan butter. Or if you’d like something a little less processed, try swapping in oil instead – a one-to-one ratio should do the trick. Even avocado, pumpkin puree and applesauce can be used in place of butter!
Skip the eggs
Eggs are often used in baking as binding and thickening agents. Luckily, there are so, so many options for plant-based egg replacements. Seriously. Here are just a few:
- Chickpea flour
- Chia seeds
- Potato starch
- Arrowroot powder
Get your chocolate fix
Many people think that chocolate isn’t vegan, but that’s not necessarily true. High-quality dark chocolate often passes the plant-based test, as do most good cocoa powders – just check the ingredient lists for dairy products first. If you’re craving “milk” chocolate, there are several vegan brands you can try out too.
Top it all off with ice cream
Need a scoop of ice cream to top off your homemade dessert? You could always use bananas to create your own “nice cream”, or make a coconut milk version in an ice cream maker. Of course, if you’re short on time, most grocery stores carry dairy-free ice cream like So Delicious and Dream. Even Ben & Jerry’s has vegan options now!
Get inspired with these recipes
If you can’t wait to start ingredient swapping but don’t know where to start, here are a few ideas:
- Give vegan marshmallows a try the next time you make s’mores.
- There are an unlimited amount of plant-based cookie swaps you can make – seriously. Try making your next batch of funfetti cookies with coconut cream!
- Ditch traditional caramel sauce and make date “caramel” instead! It’s amazing with apple slices.
Find out more about plant-based ingredient swaps:
- 9 reasons pea milk should be your new favorite
- How to replace eggs in cooking and baking
- This is the best vegan chinese food we’ve ever tasted
For mouth-watering plant-based dessert ideas, check out the Wholesome Culture Cookbook, which contains more than 80 nourishing and delicious recipes.