Tis’ the season for family, friends, and loads of desserts. Desserts are a weakness of many, including vegans. Just because they don’t consume things like eggs, butter, and other dairy products doesn’t mean they cannot enjoy the other important components of dessert, like sugar and fruit.
So how does a vegan enjoy desserts, especially around the holidays? Simple, by getting creative and learning what you can substitute dairy for when baking.
Let’s start with substituting dairy in desserts. Below is a list of some common dairy swaps:
Milk can be one of the easiest recipe swaps. There are many alternatives to animal milk. Plant and nut-based milk can be substituted in many recipes. The good news is, many other milk products like sour cream and yogurt can be made with these bases too!
Go ahead and ditch the tub of butter and try using coconut oil, avocados, or even applesauce in your recipe. You will need to turn to Google or Pinterest for some recipe conversions as these swaps do not have the same fat/oil content, wetness, and density as dairy. Avocados, for example, do not melt, unlike butter. Therefore, you will need to use a different amount than butter as well as add more liquid ingredients to moisten your dry ingredients.
You can find many dairy-free kinds of cheese at your grocery store, but you can also completely ditch the cheese for something else. What has a creamy rich texture like cheese? Nuts! When blended, nuts can become creamy. Cashews are the perfect nut to blend and to turn into a spread (like cream cheese). They pack a flavor and nutrients too.
Ahh, that creamy fluffy topping that everyone loves. How do swap whipped cream? You swap it with whipped coconut cream. It is similar in texture and you can whip it with sugar flavor additives like vanilla or almond extract.
Similar to butter, you can swap eggs for applesauce. Bananas work well too and add a rich flavor and creamy texture to your recipe. Pro baking tip: the riper the banana, the more flavor it has.
Now that you know some important ingredient swaps, the rest may seem pretty simple. To be real and honest, it is and isn’t. There is a learning curve when it comes to swapping ingredients. You have to be careful to make sure you always use the right measurements, account for the different densities and consistencies of your swaps and make sure the cooking temperature and duration are adjusted too. Luckily there are a lot of helpful resources on the internet.
As we mentioned earlier, you also get to be very creative when it comes to vegan recipes. A lot of vegans incorporate vegetables into their desserts. Besides treats like carrot cake or zucchini bread, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, and beets are popular in desserts. Some of them are the star ingredients while others are hidden in there. Genius, huh!
Now that you know some of the important basics behind vegan desserts, we encourage you to go out, get creative, and try some new recipes like these Vanilla Chai Tea Latte Cupcakes