Alexa is working toward a vegetarian diet, and is loaded with questions. Jennifer’s got answers. We talk about anything as long as it is vegan. Are tattoos vegan? How do I politely not eat Thanksgiving dinner? How do I order without pissing off the waitress? We know you are dying to ask!
Wow. It sounds like your friends are terrible bakers. I’ll give you a quick example of an everyday vegan baked good. Oreos. Bet you didn’t know those were vegan? It’s been that way for years. So why are there so many bad vegan baked goods? Although vegan alternatives can work well replacing butter, eggs, and milk, there may need to be minor changed to original recipes. That means converting Grandma’s chocolate chip recipe might not be as simple as 1 cup dairy milk to 1 cup almond milk. There is a lot of trial and error. It helps to understand the role of each ingredient in a recipe.
Eggs: These guys are a binding agent in cakes and cookies. There are a huge array of replacements out there including, tofu, fruit, veggies, powders, flax seed, and more. Egg replacement is a little more tricky in frostings and meringues. Fork and Beans has a great in depth page on egg replacements.
Butter: It adds flavor and fats. Traditional baking is already making a shift away from butter as oils make a more moist and tender cake. But vegan margarines and shortenings are available and can be subbed pretty easily. Again, Fork and Beans has a great page about non-dairy fats in baking.
Milk: Usually milk is used to add more protein to baked good but most essentially moisture. Since protein is important sometimes soy milk triumphs over other substitutes. But sometimes, it doesn’t make a difference and any other milk replacement works fine such as rice, almond, oat, or hemp milk.
So what are the major pitfalls of baking and picking a vegan recipe? Well, for starters, implement good baking practices. Weight flours, level measuring cups, completely preheat the oven, etc. If you are making bad cake with butter and eggs, you’ll make bad vegan cake.