baking tips and tricks

Baking Tips and Tricks: How to Bake Amazing Vegan Cake

Are you looking for vegan baking tips and tricks to help you bake amazing vegan cakes like a pro?

In today’s article, we are talking about the most important tips when it comes to making vegan baked goods. Because baking is one of the most intimidating challenges as a vegan.

Between the absence of eggs, butter, and milk products, baking can start to look pretty daunting.

While baking tasty vegan goods can seem like quite the challenge at first. There are still plenty of ways to get those beautiful golden cake layers.

With these tips for baking amazing egg-free and dairy-free baked goods. You will be a pro in the kitchen in no time at all.

So, if you are interested in how to start baking like a vegan pro, then keep reading!

Vegan Baking Tips and Tricks

Vegan baking can seem like a downright impossible task when you are new to it and haven’t learned the ropes yet.

Nothing will seem to turn out right and all of your cakes will look more like a flat cushion than an actual cake.

It will be frustrating at first and it can feel as though you will never get the hang of it.

I know that after I first became vegan I couldn’t get anything to bake correctly. Everything tasted strange, looked strange, and just turned out strange in every way.

It is a learning curve and one that can only be mastered with time, practice, and a little help from articles like this vegan cheat sheet!

So, keep reading to find out how you can bake amazing cakes at home. Completely egg, dairy, and butter-free!

Related: The Ultimate Vegan Baking Cheat Sheet

Related: Easy Vegan Box Cake Hacks

Understand Egg Replacements

Egg substitutes are one of the hardest changes to make in a baking recipe, as they do so much in baked goods.

They’re not only binding agents but leavening agents as well. This means that they must be replaced if you want to have tender baked goods coming out of the oven.

When you first start to bake vegan goods, this will most likely be one of the hardest ingredients to replace in your recipes. As baking with vegan egg substitutes takes time and practice. As well as a great deal of patience.

There are many vegan egg substitutes that you can choose from but not all of them are made equal.

Some vegan egg replacements work better in certain recipes while others do not work at all. This is where time and patience comes in as you will need to take the time to experiment with these substitutes.

One general way that I like to use in order to understand vegan egg substitutes is to put them into two categories. Light and heavy.

Light Egg Replacement

These light egg replacements are the ones that you will most likely be using the most in your baking cheat sheet.

These types of egg replacement do more leavening than they do binding. Helping your baked goods to rise in the oven and turn out bouncy and soft.

Some examples of light egg replacements are:

These are just a few examples of light egg replacements that help your baked goods to come out of the oven tender and puffy.

These won’t weigh down your baked goods or create a dense crumb.

Related: What is Aquafaba and Why You Need to Start Using it

Heavy Egg replacement

Heavy egg replacements lean more towards being used as a binding agent in your baked goods.

Generally, these types of egg substitutes aren’t ideal for baking cakes as they can make them dense and heavy.

These vegan egg substitutes are usually best used in things such as cookies, brownies, quick breads, and waffles.

It is important to keep in mind that these egg substitutes do tend to be on the heavy side and can create a dense cake.

As long as you have plenty of leavening agents in your recipe, however, you might still be able to use these substitutes without any issues.

Related: Chia Seeds VS Flax-seeds: What is the Best Egg Replacement

Don’t Forget the Fat

Another very important aspect of baking up lovely, golden vegan cakes is to not forget about the fat.

Between replacing the milk, butter, and eggs in a recipe we can end up stripping it of all of its moisturizing fats. These fats are what helps your cake to turn out moist and tender, it even helps it to stay fresh for longer.

Milk and eggs both naturally have fat in them so when you have to replace these ingredients it is a good idea to add in some additional fat to the recipe.

My favorite way to do this is to add a bit of vegan butter, organic coconut oil, or extra virgin olive oil to the recipe. Doing this will help to reintroduce fat to the batter which will result in a much better tasting cake.

If you want cakes that have a nice texture and are as close to normal cakes as possible. You will want to make sure that you are adding more than enough fats.

baking tips and tricks

Use the Right Sized Baking Dish

If you have been baking for a while this might seem like a very obvious tip. But I personally had to learn the wisdom of using the right-sized baking dish the hard way.

There is indeed a good reason why many recipes call for a certain sized baking dish. And this is because it helps you to achieve a cake that has risen well and bakes at the correct time all of the way through.

Choose a much smaller dish and your cake won’t be baked through in the center and will be dry around the edges. Use a dish too big and your cake will be thin and won’t rise properly, it might even turn out dry.

This may not be one of these vegan baking tips and tricks but it is a baking tip worth remembering!

Expect the Recipe to be Slightly Different

Another vegan baking tip that you are going to have to remember is that a veganized recipe will most likely turn out different.

With so many changes being made to the base ingredients in a cake recipe, it is bound to turn out slightly different than the original. 

Many vegan cakes will not rise as high as cakes that have eggs might. They also won’t have as golden a color on the top as eggs also create a golden color on cakes.

Until you get the hang of baking vegan cakes they will most likely have a texture different from other cakes. This is because it takes practice to get the hang of creating a nice cakey texture without eggs and butter.

Keep Vegan Alternatives on Hand

One of the best baking tips and tricks I have is to keep vegan alternatives on hand at all times.

This tip will make your life much more simple as you will be prepared for your vegan baking escapades.

There is nothing worse than getting halfway through whipping up a dessert, only to find that you don’t have the right vegan egg substitute or egg replacement.

Because vegan cakes can be so finicky, it is very important to use just the right substitutes. So, try to keep them on hand at all times for those days where you want to whip something up.

Use Vegan Butter or Margarine 

When I first went vegan I tried to replace the butter in any recipe with coconut oil. And though coconut oil is often a good butter replacement, it doesn’t always yield the best results.

Coconut oil just can’t take the place of butter no matter how similar in consistency it is. Just about everything I baked came out swimming in oil despite my using the same measurements.

Now I like to use this vegan butter instead as that is much more similar to cow’s milk butter than coconut oil is. This helps to create results that are much closer to home.

Especially when it comes to delicate baked goods like cakes I would want to risk using any other butter substitute.

You will save yourself a lot of baking disasters if you use vegan butter or margarine in the place of real butter.

Related: Best Vegan Dairy-Free Butter Substitutes in Baking

Add Wet Ingredients to Dry Ones

One of the biggest issues that we all face when it comes to vegan baking is getting dense baked goods.

This is much more likely to happen because we don’t use eggs in vegan recipes but it can also be caused by other things.

Overmixing for instance is probably one of the most common reasons why your baked goods might be coming out all dense and hard.

This used to be a huge problem for me as I would mix my batter until everything was combined but in the process, I would overmix everything.

This creates a gluten structure that produces denser and chewier cakes. Which are the opposite of the light and airy cakes that we really want!

One way that I have found to avoid this common problem is to mix my ingredients in a rotation.

Separate your liquids into a bowl and your dry ingredients in another bowl. Add a fourth of the dry mix to an empty bowl and add a fourth of the liquid to it. Gently mix until combined and repeat until everything has been combined.

This has been a lifesaver for me and I have yet to get another dense cake!

Follow the Recipe as Closely as Possible

Because veganizing a recipe can change up the original recipe so much, it is important to follow the rest of the recipe as closely as possible.

Try to not change up the recipe any more than is necessary, at least until you have made it a few times.

You want to first get the hang of baking vegan cakes before going on to really adapting recipes further. If you try to change too much at once, it might not work out then you won’t know what caused the problem.

It is always best to take it one step at a time. First, replace all of the animal products and if that works out then you can move on to adapt the recipe even further.

Don’t Be Afraid to Experiment

This might seem like I’m backtracking given the vegan baking tip that we just talked about above. But it is good to experiment and have fun with baking.

Once you have a better grasp of how you can veganize cake recipes and still get an amazing outcome then you can go a step further.

Vegan baking can be very fun if given the chance and once you have the basics down you will be good to go.

You can get so creative with these baking tips and tricks and can create just about anything that you want.

Part of the fun of baking is adapting baked goods into what you want them to be. So, don’t be afraid to experiment a little once you have the basic aspects of vegan baking down.

Extra Vegan Baking Tips and Tricks

  • If using whipped aquafaba, make sure that it is chilled before whipping.
  • To get cakes to rise higher set the oven to a higher temperature for about 10 minutes then lower it for the rest of the baking time.
  • Replace normal plant milk with homemade buttermilk for airier cakes.
  • Crumble your butter substitute into the dry ingredients like pie dough for an extra tender cake.
  • Add extra flour to a cake recipe that doesn’t rise well to give it more structure.
  • Never use water in a cake recipe as that encourages more gluten development.
  • Brush a simple syrup over cakes that are dry to give them moisture.

Vegan Baking Tips and Tricks Conclusion

I hope that this article has helped you to better understand the steps of baking vegan cakes. Even though plant-based baking can feel intimidating it can still be just as fun.

With just a few tweaks and helpful tips, you can be whipping up delicious vegan cakes too! These tips don’t just apply to vegan bakers either. They can be helpful for general baking as well as when you have run out of normal ingredients like eggs.

Even without animal products, there are still some pretty amazing things that you can make as a vegan baker. Cakes are some of the trickiest baked goods but they are so well worth the effort.

What are your favorite egg substitutes and how do you like to use them? Do you have any vegan baking hacks of your own to share, any personal experiences?

Let me know in the comments if I have missed any important tips!

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