Essential ingredients for vegan baking
Following are a list of ingredients I use in my baking to replace egg and dairy in bake goods.
For baking, you can substitute dairy milk just about everything. Make sure that that you buy the un-flavoured and un-sweeten variety and the flavourings and the added sugar in the milk might interfere with the other ingredients.
This work for most recipes that call for butter in cooking or melted butter in baking. For example pasta and rice dishes, soups, muffins, pancakes or cupcakes. Just use one to one ratio. Note that there are two kinds of coconut oils: refined coconut oil and normal or un-refined coconut oil. The un-refined coconut oil have strong coconut flavours whereas refined coconut oil has no flavour. I recommend choosing refined coconut oil for cooking of baking when you don’t want strong coconut flavour.
The easiest way to bake without eggs is to use egg-replacer. It’s great for pancakes, cakes, scrolls, sweet breads, even meringues or egg free mayonnaise. It gives your bake goods the leavening that they need without the cholesterol! My favourite brand of egg-replacer is OrgraN. One teaspoon is equivalent of one egg and each packet has the equivalent of 33 eggs. You’ll never run out of eggs again!
Baking powder is a mixture of sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), and acidifying agent, such as cream of tartar, and a drying agent (usually corn starch). It is available as single-acting baking powder and as double-acting baking powder:
- Single-acting powders are activated by moisture, so the mixture must be baked immediately after mixing.
- Double-acting powders react when activated by moisture and as after the temperature of the dough increases in the oven. Most baking powders on the market fall under this category.
Baking powder only last between a few months to a year. Once opened, baking powder might not last more than a few months.
To test if baking powder is still active, mix it with a bit of warm water. The mixture should foam up if the powder is fresh. If there is no reaction, you may need to toss the baking powder and buy a fresh package.
Baking Soda (or bicarbonate of soda)
Baking soda is pure sodium bicarbonate. It leaven bake goods through a chemical reaction call neutralisation. When you mix baking soda (BASE) with acidic ingredient like vinegar (ACID) you get a chemical reaction (bubbles) and produces bubbles of carbon dioxide, which causes your baked goods to rise.
Baking soda can also leaven bake goods in the oven, however, unless it is neutralised with an acid, the finished baked good may end up having a metallic aftertaste so best to mix it with some sort of acid like lemon, sugar, vinegar, etc.
Unlike baking powder, baking soda last quite a long time if stored properly in a sealed container, in a cool, dry space.
To test if baking soda is still active, mix it with a bit of vinegar. If it bubbles up, it’s still good for use.
How to replace egg in cooking
There are a wide variety of egg replacements depending on the purpose. Here’s what I use
Eggs replacement for binding. Equivalent to 1 egg:
- ½ Banana
- ¼ cup Silken Tofu
- ¼ cup Apple Sauce
- 3 Tablespoon Almond Butter
- 3 Tablespoon Oil + 1 Tablespoon Water
Eggs replacement for leavening. Equivalent to 1 egg:
- 1 tsp. baking powder + 1 Tbsp. Vinegar
- 2 tsp. baking soda + 2 Tbsp. warm water
- 1 tsp. Ongran Egg Replacer whisk with 3 tsp. Water
- 1 Tbsp. Chia Seeds + 3 Tbsp. Water
- 1 Tbsp. Ground Flaxseed + 3 Tbsp. Water
Eggs replacement for custard:
- ¼ cup of pureed soft tofu
Egg white replacement:
- 1/4 tsp xanthan gum + 1/4 cup water (let stand 5 minutes, then whip)
- Aquafaba/ chickpea brine (1 can of chickpeas give about ¼ cup of egg-white replacer)
Egg yolk replacement:
- The Vegg – It’s a brand of 100% plant-based egg yolk replacement