Baking without animal products - is that possible? After all, a well-known children's song from 1840 already taught us which ingredients are essential for a successful cake: Bake, bake cake, the baker called, if you want to bake a good cake, you must have seven things: eggs and lard ... stop - here it's already starting
In addition to eggs and lard, the popular children's song calls for milk. And how to replace butter? Finally, it ensures a creamy and soft consistency, holds the mass and makes it supple. Here you can find out which vegan alternatives can replace eggs, butter, milk and the like.
People's perception and consciousness have changed fundamentally in recent years. Being vegan or vegetarian is no longer a niche phenomenon and is becoming more and more socially accepted. A current Statista graphic based on a survey by the Allensbach Institute for Demoscopy (IfD) shows that around 41 percent more people were eating vegan in 2020 than in 2016. According to this, a total of 2.6 million people in Germany are eating vegan vegan.
While vegetarianism refers to a meat-free diet, the term veganism includes the renunciation of any animal products (including milk and eggs). Reasons and motives for eating vegan are varied and very individual. In addition to ecologically sustainable aspects in times of climate change, aspects such as general health awareness, ethics and, to a large extent, support for animal welfare or general animal welfare play a major role.
Interest in vegetarian and vegan products is growing steadily. Many people now often and gladly fall back on alternatives. They enjoy integrating more plant-based products into their diet.
Important for the "vegan baking" mission: Willingness to experiment and openness to new things. Anyone who is open-minded and gets involved with the new baking ingredients will be rewarded with vegan delicacies.
Let's start with the supreme discipline: the vegan egg substitute. Vegan egg substitutes are now available as a powder in well-stocked organic and supermarkets. The powder usually consists of various flours such as sweet lupine flour, locust bean gum, corn flour and various vegetable proteins such as flaxseed or sunflower protein and is simply mixed with a little water and processed. In addition to the purchased variant, you can also make egg substitute yourself.
To do this, mix two tablespoons of potato or cornstarch with three tablespoons of water for one egg. The tasteless binding agent not only goes well with vegan cakes, but can also be used in savory pastries.
Flax or chia seeds can also replace eggs. One tablespoon of the seeds is mixed with three tablespoons of water. The resulting mass has an optimal binding quality and is even suitable for making very sticky dough, for example for cookies.
Aquafaba, the soaking liquid from chickpeas and beans, is also great to use in place of eggs. For one egg you need about three teaspoons of aquafaba. Opened, aquafaba can also be used as a substitute for beaten egg whites. For this purpose, 100 milliliters of the liquid are mixed with half a teaspoon of cream of tartar and a dash of lemon juice until a stiff, egg-like mass is formed.
In addition, eggs can also be replaced with fruit puree. The disadvantage here is that you can clearly taste the individual taste of the respective fruit. In some baked goods, however, the alternatives give a delicious aroma and thus contribute to the taste. For example, in a moist sponge cake, one egg can be replaced with half a mashed ripe banana. The banana does not bind the dough, but makes it much more fluffy and moist. Applesauce is also ideal for moist vegan cakes and muffins and makes the dough lighter.
Airy cakes can be bound with vinegar and baking soda. One egg is replaced with one tablespoon each of vinegar and baking soda. Don't worry, the natural taste disappears completely when baking.
Silken tofu is made with the same ingredients as plain tofu—soy, water, and coagulants. The difference, however, is the higher liquid content, which makes the silken tofu so creamy. 75 grams of silken tofu replaces one egg. The moist consistency and neutral taste make it the perfect egg substitute in chocolate mousse, for example.
Plant-based cream substitutes can also be found at most supermarkets. Based on oats, soy or rice, the products are not only ideal for cooking, they are also a reliable substitute for cream when baking. Alternatively, you can easily make vegan cream yourself. For example coconut milk. To do this, take the thick white coconut portion of a well-chilled can of coconut milk with a high fat content and immediately stir it with the mixer until stiff.
For whipped cream, you can also use a hand mixer to mix whippable soy cuisine with a packet of whipped cream and a pinch of salt until the vegan cream is stiff. One advantage: Unlike cream made from cow's milk, soy whipped cream cannot turn into butter.
In the meantime, numerous vegan yoghurt and quark alternatives are lined up on the supermarket shelves. The alternatives range from the well-known soy yoghurt, to products based on almonds, coconut or oats, to yoghurt or quark made from lupins. You can also easily make vegan yoghurt yourself. You can find out how this works here.
The easiest substitute for butter is to use margarine. Make sure that this is really purely vegetable and does not contain any additives such as whey, fish oil or E 471, an additive made from animal fats.
Butter can also be easily replaced with oil. 75 to 80 milliliters of oil, such as rapeseed or sunflower oil, replace 100 grams of butter or margarine. Nut butter can replace butter in the same ratio. Important: The taste of peanut, hazelnut or cashew butter remains in the pastry here too. Almond butter is the most tasteless option.
If you like it lighter, you can also replace 100 grams of butter with a mixture of 120 oat yoghurt and a tablespoon of semolina.
We not only find gelatine in gummy bears, it is also a popular baking ingredient: whether for berry cake, fruit tarts or fruity fillings - the gelling agent ensures stability. However, since gelatin is made from animal connective tissue, it is not vegan.
Agar Agar is a vegetable gelling agent made from dried seaweed. As a powder, it is heated or soaked in water before being used in baked goods. It is also tasteless and also contains minerals and fiber. Important: The end result is usually a little firmer than the result with gelatine.
Carrageenan is another gelatin substitute. It consists of red algae and is primarily used as a thickening agent in the food and cosmetics industries. It stays a little more liquid than gelatine and is therefore more suitable for jellies or light creams.
Guar gum also belongs to the category of thickeners. It is obtained from the seeds of the guar plant. It binds cold and warm food and is therefore particularly suitable for the preparation of ice cream, jam or creamy dishes. Conventional thickeners such as starch from potatoes or corn are also used in vegan cuisine. They can be heated and then used as a binder in cakes or sauces, for example.
Pectin is also a vegan alternative to gelatine. It is obtained from the cell walls of leftover apples or lemons, so it is rich in fiber and is particularly suitable for making jam, as it gels particularly well with sugar and lemon juice.
Milk frother test: Click here for a milk frother comparison.