Easy Vegan Baking Swaps

chocolate chip cookies on parchment paperThere is nothing better than a warm batch of chocolate chip cookies or an ooey gooey brownie. Mmmm…

You might think that those foods are off limits on a vegan diet, but I am here to tell you that they most definitely are not!

While it may be difficult to find vegan baked goods at a grocery store or bakery, it is extremely easy to make vegan desserts at home that are just as delicious (if not more) as regular sweets.

I loved the idea of making a vegan dessert when I first adopted this diet. I saw it as a challenge (although it wasn’t challenging at all) to bake something that was entirely plant-based and tasted good too.

Sometimes, I would bake a dessert for my family and not tell them that it was vegan. They would be shocked when they found out and said they would have never guessed!

You can simply follow any recipe you want (even if it’s not vegan) and make the following swaps:

Eggs

Eggs are the most common food for baking desserts. Eggs are needed because they act as a sort-of glue that binds things together. Luckily, there are a TON of egg swaps out there that work just the same.

1. Flax egg

To make a flax egg: mix 1 Tbsp ground flax + 2.5 Tbsp water

Set aside until thick consistency is formed, around 2-5 minutes.

2. Chia egg

To make a chia egg: mix 1 Tbsp chia seeds + 2.5 Tbsp water

Set aside until thick consistency is formed, around 2-5 minutes.

3. Applesauce

For every egg needed, swap for 1/4 cup applesauce.

4. Avocado

For every egg needed, use 1/2 mashed avocado.

5. Banana

For every egg needed, use 1/2 mashed banana.

4. Egg replacement

If you don’t want to make your own vegan egg, you can just buy one! There are many great vegan egg replacers out there such as the Follow Your Heart vegan egg or Bob’s Red Mill egg replacer.

The first time I used an egg replacer was in my college cooking lab when we had to make a vegan baked good and test out different products. I was shocked by how similar the consistency was to a real egg and how great it worked!

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As you can see, there are a ton of vegan egg replacement options. I personally like using a flax egg. It seems to work the most consistently for me, doesn’t add any weird flavors or textures, and adds in some extra nutrition!

Milk

Okay, so this is an easy one. You likely already have a plant-based milk in your fridge at home. Alternative milks are super popular right now and I know a bunch of people who buy plant milks that aren’t even vegan or lactose intolerant. Some vegan milk swaps are:

1. Almond milk 

2. Coconut milk

3. Rice milk

4. Cashew milk

5. Macadamia nut milk (a little expensive, but sooo good)

6. Soy milk

I generally use almond or coconut milk when baking, and they work great!

Need a substitute for buttermilk? Add 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar + 1 cup vegan milk. Let sit for 5-10 min. and voila!

Butter

Butter, a fat, can be easily replaced in almost any baked good with these common vegan substitutes:

1. Coconut oil

2. Pureed avocado

3. Vegan butter

4. Other vegetable oils

Coconut oil is great because it can be melted into a liquid or refrigerated into a cold solid. This, along with store-bought vegan butter, is a great option if you need a hard fat for cutting into flour when making homemade dough.

You can also use applesauce to replace oil entirely if you’re looking for a lower-fat option!

Chocolate

close up of chopped dark chocolate

If you’re using cocoa powder for a chocolate-y flavor in a baked good, then you are good to go! That is already vegan.

But if you need another form of chocolate such as chocolate chips, then fear not! There are many dairy-free chocolate chips on the market.

If you can’t find any, then simply buy a dark chocolate bar and chop it up!

Conclusion

Of course there are many other healthy swaps to use when baking, but this is just the core list of common vegan baking swaps that you can use when baking a vegan dessert!

And seriously, you won’t even be able to notice the difference when it comes to taste, texture, etc. And it makes you feel a little better about eating something sweet. 😉

Let me know in the comments below if you’ve tried any of these vegan swaps and how they turned out for ya.

Happy baking everyone!

hands rolling out dough with a pinwheel

6 Replies to “Easy Vegan Baking Swaps”

  1. I am not vegan and I probably will never be, but I honestly love vegan food. I find myself very drawn to it and I find vegan food super delicious. And somehow the food always looks prettier. 

    I once tried making a chia egg but my kids and husband hated it because of the funny texture. What’s the egg sub with the most similar texture to egg? 

    Hollie Rose says:
    1. That’s great that you are so open to trying vegan food and actually like it! I totally agree that the chia egg is not the best option… depending on the recipe, it will give it more of a grainy texture since they are whole seeds.

      I like ground flax seed the best because it is a smoother consistency. I’ve also never noticed a texture difference when using applesauce so that is a great option as well. If anything, it just makes the dessert more moist, which I like! But of course, store-bought egg replacers will probably give you the most similar consistency to a real egg, depending on the brand. I just like using flax because it’s cheaper and tastes good! 

      Ashley says:
  2. I live a very simple food diet, I try to eat plant based and organic and it can be difficult to find quality products. I actually don’t eat egg and I would never of thought of swapping it for something else, I love the idea of swapping egg for avocado, they are actually my favourite!! I use a lot of almond milk and coconut oil, I just love the health benefits that coconut oil gives!! Thank you so much for the tips!! I am definitely going to try avocado next time!!

    Juvette says:
    1. Sounds like you lead a pretty healthy lifestyle! That’s awesome. I don’t normally use avocado for egg replacer, but I have used it for making chocolate mousse and other things like that – they are definitely one of my favorite foods too! 

      Ashley says:
  3. This article is very helpful. I recently realized that I have become intolerant to eggs have been searching substitutions as I use them a lot to bake and to cook with. I am not sure I am up to changing to a vegan diet but some of these tips will come in very handy. My daughter is lactose intolerant and I will be passing your milk substitutes on to her as well.

    I have to ask though, do you have a vegan recipe for those yummy chocolate chip cookies?

    Tina

    1. I’m glad this article was helpful for you, Tina! I don’t have a chocolate chip recipe up yet, but that may be happening in the near future 😉

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