How to Bake Vegan

Baking should be a joyful experience for everyone. You can spare the lives of countless animals by choosing to make your favourite recipes vegan. Making the switch to animal-free eating is easy. We hope new vegans, or even those just looking to try something new, will give vegan baking a try and enter the Great Vegan Bake-Off. To get started, aspiring vegan bakers can check out PETA US’ Ultimate Vegan Baking Cheat Sheet and take inspiration from the hundreds of vegan recipes in the group’s database. Also, last year’s winner, Katy from Little Miss Meat-Free, has some tips on what makes for a winning baked good!

The Art of Vegan Baking

Written by Katy Beskow

Vegan Bake Off - KatyIt’s been almost a year since I won PETA’s Great Vegan Bake-Off 2014, and it’s been a wonderful 12 months of recipe development, cooking demonstrations and, of course, lots of home baking.

Baking is one of life’s true pleasures. What could be better than filling your house with the scent of freshly baked scones or presenting a loved one with a beautiful cake – especially when it’s cruelty-free? People are often terrified of vegan baking, as they believe it to be complicated or unachievable without the use of eggs or dairy products. In fact, vegan baking is simple, easy and delicious.

I’ve put together some tips that I’ve learnt along the way to help you create show-stopping vegan baked goods every time. Will you be crowned PETA’s Great Vegan Bake-Off Winner 2015?

  1. Keep your cupboard well-stocked with plain and self-raising flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, sugar, icing sugar and cocoa so you can rise to the occasion any time.
  2. Add a cruelty-free buttermilk to cakes for a silky smooth texture. Make this by whisking 1 teaspoonful of apple cider vinegar into 250 ml of soya milk.
  3. Don’t over-mix vegan cake mixtures, as it will result in a dense cake. To ensure the final result will be light, stir the ingredients together using a spoon until just combined.
  4. For the best vegan buttercream, whisk together 3 tablespoonfuls of vegan margarine (such as Vitalite), 1 tablespoonful of vanilla paste, 1 tablespoonful of soya milk and 400 g of icing sugar until light and fluffy.
  5. Never be afraid of baking powder and bicarbonate of soda! These raising agents will allow you to have a beautifully risen cake every time. Use an exact spoon measurement when following a recipe to ensure you are using the right amount.
  6. Read ingredients on any shop-bought cake decorations, such as sprinkles, as they may contain animal ingredients such as shellac and carmine. Many UK supermarkets label vegan cake decorations as such, making it even easier to choose.
  7. Keep the oven door closed the entire time the food is baking in order to ensure those pretty vegan cupcakes don’t sink in the middle. No peeking!
  8. Sunflower oil works as a fantastic binding agent for cakes and cookies, replacing the need for eggs in baking.
  9. Add colour to your show-stopping cakes, but make sure it’s vegan. Many red and pink food colourings contain carmine or cochineal. Sugarflair gel colours are vegan-friendly and easy to use.
  10. Share your kitchen creations with friends, family and work colleagues, as this is a fantastic way to show how delicious a vegan lifestyle really is!

2014 Finalists

We’re inviting bloggers from all backgrounds to put their baking skills to the test and share with us their favourite vegan creations. You don’t have to be a pro to create a delectable vegan pie or a sensational scone – just do your best, and make sure that you take some scrumptious photos along the way.