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Easy vegan baking recipes and tricks

Easy vegan baking recipes and tricks

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Simple solutions to becoming a vegan dessert master.

Simple solutions to becoming a vegan dessert master.

Easy vegan baking recipes and tricks
If you’re vegan, I’m almost certain you’ll be familiar with this scenario. You’re at dinner with friends, family or colleagues and it’s time for dessert. Your host proudly proffers your vegan-friendly option: a bowl of chopped fruit. Whomp whomp. Don’t get me wrong, I love fruit, but if it was so great as a dessert, the whole table would be eating it, not just the herbivore.

The simple solution is, of course, to become a vegan dessert master and to offer to bring your own sweet treats when you’re invited over for dinner. So, here are some easy recipes, a list of vegan baking swaps and a few go-to places for animal-friendly baked goods when you just don’t have the energy to be in the kitchen. Plus, I share the baking secret that saves me time and effort, but still garners me kudos.

My favorite recipes

Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocolate Ganache Icing

For the cupcakes:

6 oz coconut sugar (you can also use brown sugar)

7 oz cake flour

2.5 tsp baking powder

6 oz puréed tinned apples

2/3 cup sunflower oil

2/3 cup oat milk

1 tsp vanilla essence

For the icing:

2/3 cup coconut cream

2/3 cup dark chocolate

1/3 cup coconut sugar, or to taste

1/2 tsp vanilla essence

1. Preheat the oven to 370˚F and line a 12-hole muffin tin with cupcake cases.

2. Mix all the cupcake ingredients in the bowl of a stand-mixer until well combined (don’t over-mix).  

3. Divide the mixture between the cupcake cases and bake for 15 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.

4. Allow to cool for 10 minutes in the tin before removing and placing on a rack.  

5. To make the ganache, heat the coconut cream on the stove until just before it begins to boil. Remove from the heat and add the dark chocolate. Stir together until the chocolate melts and the mixture thickens. Add the vanilla and sugar and whisk until the sugar has dissolved. Taste and add more sugar, if you’d like it sweeter.

6. Once the cupcakes are cool, ice with a generous amount of ganache. Add some fresh raspberries if you want that delicious sweet/tart contrast.

Four-Ingredient Blueberry Tart

Did you know? Many puff pastries are vegan (unless you go for the real butter kind).

1 roll puff pastry, defrosted

14 oz blueberries

2 tbsp lemon juice

5 tbsp sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F and grease a baking tray.

2. Unroll the puff pastry and roll it out slightly before placing on the tray. Score a one-centimeter border into the pastry, being careful not to cut right through.

3. Place the blueberries, lemon juice and coconut sugar into a bowl and mix to combine. If you have more of a sweet tooth, you can add more sugar.

4. Place the berry mixture into the centre of the pastry and spread it out to the border in a single layer.

5. Place the tart in the oven and bake until the pastry is golden and crispy, about 25 minutes (be careful of a soggy bottom!).

6. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Serve with a scoop of ice cream.

I also love making @earthandy’s chocolate-chip biscuits and when I’m feeling fancy, Bon Appetit’s Vegan Chocolate Tart with Salted Oat Crust.

Easy vegan baking swaps

The best thing I ever did was read up on how to substitute animal-based baking ingredients with vegan ones. With this list you can make almost any recipe vegan (those Reynold from MasterChef Australia creations might still be a bit difficult, of course).

Egg replacements:

1/4 cup puréed tinned apples = 1 egg

1 tbsp chia seeds mixed with 3 tbsp water = 1 egg

1/2 banana, mashed = 1 egg

3 tbsp aquafaba (chickpea water) = 1 egg

Butter replacements:

Swap the butter needed for an equal amount of vegetable oil or coconut oil. There are now also amazing vegan butters out there: try Miyoko’s Cultured Vegan Butter or Forager Project Dairy-Free Butter.

Milk and cream replacements:

I don’t need to tell you that there are now a myriad different plant milks out there that can be used in place of dairy milk. Choose your favorite and have fun! Coconut cream is a simple replacement for dairy cream.

Go-to vegan spots for sweet treats

Baking can be a very therapeutic way to spend an afternoon… When you’re in the right mood. When you’re frazzled and under pressure, there’s nothing worse than being stuck in a hot kitchen, trying to get measurements right and not make a mess. Enter: your vegan dessert heroes. The following establishments are life-saving when you want a treat, but don’t want to make it yourself.

Cinnaholic – this little bakery has changed the game when it comes to cinnamon rolls. They create special flavors for each season and even offer a build-your-own cinnamon roll option!

Make, Believe Bakery – you have to try the lemon lavender cake – it’ so moreish and decadent! They also do a variety of pastries (brownies, cupcakes, whoopie pies - you name it!) and have recreated a brilliant vegan version of the classic Girl Scout Samoas.

Vanleeuwen – Caramel Cookie, Brownie Sunday Raspberry Swirl, Cookie Crumble Strawberry Jam… These are just some of the vegan ice cream flavors from Vanleeuwen. Be careful, once you start, you won’t be able to stop.

My not-so-secret secret

Did you know that many boxed cakes just happen to be vegan because they’re basically only dry ingredients? This makes things so much easier for you because all you have to do is swap out the eggs, milk and butter required with the plant-based alternatives.

Someone I know once said that using a boxed cake mix is cheating and doesn’t count as baking, which I thought was rubbish. Baking is baking and using a box means you won’t have any leftover ingredients which you may end up wasting. My favorite boxed mix is Simple Mills Brownies. The recipe is foolproof and adding broken up Oreos to the mix before baking takes the brownies to another level.

If you’re vegan, I’m almost certain you’ll be familiar with this scenario. You’re at dinner with friends, family or colleagues and it’s time for dessert. Your host proudly proffers your vegan-friendly option: a bowl of chopped fruit. Whomp whomp. Don’t get me wrong, I love fruit, but if it was so great as a dessert, the whole table would be eating it, not just the herbivore.

The simple solution is, of course, to become a vegan dessert master and to offer to bring your own sweet treats when you’re invited over for dinner. So, here are some easy recipes, a list of vegan baking swaps and a few go-to places for animal-friendly baked goods when you just don’t have the energy to be in the kitchen. Plus, I share the baking secret that saves me time and effort, but still garners me kudos.

My favorite recipes

Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocolate Ganache Icing

For the cupcakes:

6 oz coconut sugar (you can also use brown sugar)

7 oz cake flour

2.5 tsp baking powder

6 oz puréed tinned apples

2/3 cup sunflower oil

2/3 cup oat milk

1 tsp vanilla essence

For the icing:

2/3 cup coconut cream

2/3 cup dark chocolate

1/3 cup coconut sugar, or to taste

1/2 tsp vanilla essence

1. Preheat the oven to 370˚F and line a 12-hole muffin tin with cupcake cases.

2. Mix all the cupcake ingredients in the bowl of a stand-mixer until well combined (don’t over-mix).  

3. Divide the mixture between the cupcake cases and bake for 15 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.

4. Allow to cool for 10 minutes in the tin before removing and placing on a rack.  

5. To make the ganache, heat the coconut cream on the stove until just before it begins to boil. Remove from the heat and add the dark chocolate. Stir together until the chocolate melts and the mixture thickens. Add the vanilla and sugar and whisk until the sugar has dissolved. Taste and add more sugar, if you’d like it sweeter.

6. Once the cupcakes are cool, ice with a generous amount of ganache. Add some fresh raspberries if you want that delicious sweet/tart contrast.

Four-Ingredient Blueberry Tart

Did you know? Many puff pastries are vegan (unless you go for the real butter kind).

1 roll puff pastry, defrosted

14 oz blueberries

2 tbsp lemon juice

5 tbsp sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F and grease a baking tray.

2. Unroll the puff pastry and roll it out slightly before placing on the tray. Score a one-centimeter border into the pastry, being careful not to cut right through.

3. Place the blueberries, lemon juice and coconut sugar into a bowl and mix to combine. If you have more of a sweet tooth, you can add more sugar.

4. Place the berry mixture into the centre of the pastry and spread it out to the border in a single layer.

5. Place the tart in the oven and bake until the pastry is golden and crispy, about 25 minutes (be careful of a soggy bottom!).

6. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Serve with a scoop of ice cream.

I also love making @earthandy’s chocolate-chip biscuits and when I’m feeling fancy, Bon Appetit’s Vegan Chocolate Tart with Salted Oat Crust.

Easy vegan baking swaps

The best thing I ever did was read up on how to substitute animal-based baking ingredients with vegan ones. With this list you can make almost any recipe vegan (those Reynold from MasterChef Australia creations might still be a bit difficult, of course).

Egg replacements:

1/4 cup puréed tinned apples = 1 egg

1 tbsp chia seeds mixed with 3 tbsp water = 1 egg

1/2 banana, mashed = 1 egg

3 tbsp aquafaba (chickpea water) = 1 egg

Butter replacements:

Swap the butter needed for an equal amount of vegetable oil or coconut oil. There are now also amazing vegan butters out there: try Miyoko’s Cultured Vegan Butter or Forager Project Dairy-Free Butter.

Milk and cream replacements:

I don’t need to tell you that there are now a myriad different plant milks out there that can be used in place of dairy milk. Choose your favorite and have fun! Coconut cream is a simple replacement for dairy cream.

Go-to vegan spots for sweet treats

Baking can be a very therapeutic way to spend an afternoon… When you’re in the right mood. When you’re frazzled and under pressure, there’s nothing worse than being stuck in a hot kitchen, trying to get measurements right and not make a mess. Enter: your vegan dessert heroes. The following establishments are life-saving when you want a treat, but don’t want to make it yourself.

Cinnaholic – this little bakery has changed the game when it comes to cinnamon rolls. They create special flavors for each season and even offer a build-your-own cinnamon roll option!

Make, Believe Bakery – you have to try the lemon lavender cake – it’ so moreish and decadent! They also do a variety of pastries (brownies, cupcakes, whoopie pies - you name it!) and have recreated a brilliant vegan version of the classic Girl Scout Samoas.

Vanleeuwen – Caramel Cookie, Brownie Sunday Raspberry Swirl, Cookie Crumble Strawberry Jam… These are just some of the vegan ice cream flavors from Vanleeuwen. Be careful, once you start, you won’t be able to stop.

My not-so-secret secret

Did you know that many boxed cakes just happen to be vegan because they’re basically only dry ingredients? This makes things so much easier for you because all you have to do is swap out the eggs, milk and butter required with the plant-based alternatives.

Someone I know once said that using a boxed cake mix is cheating and doesn’t count as baking, which I thought was rubbish. Baking is baking and using a box means you won’t have any leftover ingredients which you may end up wasting. My favorite boxed mix is Simple Mills Brownies. The recipe is foolproof and adding broken up Oreos to the mix before baking takes the brownies to another level.

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