How to Veganize Cakes: The Basics, from One Green Planet

Yay, One Green Planet!!  This is a perfect “get started” with vegan cake baking.  I have recently switched from looking for vegan recipes to converting some of my favorites from my pre-vegan-eating (even pre-veggie) days.  It does make life a lot easier, and also means I can get back to The Joy of Cooking–which may, always, be my favorite cookbook, ever!

How to Veganize Cakes: The Basics

The basis for most vegan cakes is simple. You make a dry mixture and a wet mixture, and combine them. Easy! Once you get the hang of the concept, this simplicity means it’s easy to play with ingredients and create your own inventive recipes. Before you start getting creative, just master these basics.

1. Make a thicker batter

The main difference between ‘traditional’ and vegan cake batters is the consistency.  Vegan cake batter should be much thicker – like a softly melting ice cream rather than a liquid batter. This is why many first-time vegan bakers end up with something quite stodgy, because there was simply too much liquid in their batter.

One reason for this difference is the use of, or absence of, eggs. Think about what happens when egg is heated – it goes from liquid to solid. In a traditional batter, the egg part of the batter literally solidifies as it cooks, turning from liquid into solid to hold the risen structure firmly in place. In vegan baking, the batter doesn’t travel so far along the liquid-solid spectrum, so you need to start with something thicker.

2. Make sure there is a binding ingredient

If you are using flour that contains gluten (wheat or spelt), the gluten will do the job of binding the ingredients. However, it’s advisable to include at least one of the following in your recipe to make sure you don’t end up with a cake that crumbles as you slice it:

  • 1tbsp ground golden linseed mixed with 2 tbsp water (can be used to replace 1 egg in any baking recipe)
  • 1 – 2 tbsp ground chia seeds mixed with 2 tbsp water
  • 100g silken tofu, blended smooth
  • 1 mashed banana

3. Reduce oven time

Many vegan cake batters will require less baking time because of their lower liquid content. With a fan oven, you probably won’t be waiting more than 15 minutes. The exception to this rule is brownies, which always need a longer time at a low temperature to make them really fudgey.

Read the rest of the article, here.

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