If you eat a vegan diet, you can still enjoy your favorite desserts and treats. A few easy ingredient swaps will help to make delicious vegan dessert recipes. Let us help you find inspiration in the best substitutes for non-vegan products and animal ingredients. With this list, it’ll be easier to put together recipes and make a grocery list.
Chocolate is an ingredient in some of the best dessert recipes on the planet. So whether you want to make classic chocolate chip cookies or a fancy chocolate torte, you’ll need vegan chocolate. Thankfully, most dark chocolate is already vegan. A simple list of plant-based ingredients like organic cacao beans and cocoa butter make vegan chocolate bars and 100% plant-based baking chocolate delicious and wholesome.
Double-check the ingredients list if you’re using milk chocolate or white chocolate. The same goes for chocolate truffle bars or chocolates not made with pure cacao, because some ingredients may not be vegan or plant-based. In this case, you can still make your favorite desserts. All you need to do is buy plant-based milk chocolate and white chocolate. These bars and baking chocolates are made with tasty dessert swaps like oat milk and almond butter. You’ll love how rich and delicious your recipes taste without compromising.
Where would vegans be without plant-based milk? It’s a staple for everything from breakfast to baking. Whether you make a chocolate cake or a wholesome quick bread, you can swap out an unsweetened dairy milk substitute to create a decadent dish. Some of the best plant-based milk varieties to cook and bake with include oat milk and almond milk. You can also use coconut and soy milk in your recipes.
Plant-based milk can be an excellent addition to hot cocoa or mochas made with drinking chocolate crumbles. You can also use dairy substitutes to create desserts like fudgy brownies and vegan chocolate donuts. If you like more than one plant-based milk, decide which flavor notes work best in your recipe. For example, coconut milk can be a fun dairy substitute for key lime pie or cheesecake. Oat milk is a delightful addition to french toast and rice pudding, while almond milk is an excellent neutral product to incorporate into blueberry muffins or carrot cake.
Plant-based butter is one of the easiest vegan swaps to make. Since the measurements for dairy and vegan butter are exact, you can use the same amount of butter for your cookies as you do with a non-vegan recipe. If you don’t know which type of vegan butter to choose, look closely at the ingredients. Some products are made with olive oil, while others include a combination of water and avocado or coconut oil. It’s possible to make vegan butter with palm kernel oil or a blend of plant-based oils. Read each product carefully to decide which butter is best for you and your recipe.
Some of our favorite ways to showcase vegan butter include dessert recipes like butter cookies and shortbread. The delicate flavors of plant-based oils can help to enhance crumb cakes or scones. Make a coffee cake or chess pie with the vegan ingredients you love.
If your recipe calls for a dollop of whipped cream, leave out the dairy products! Instead, you can switch out regular whipped cream for vegan coconut whipped cream. As a bonus, coconut whip also makes an excellent swap for heavy cream. While it’s delicious on pies and with non-dairy ice cream, it’s also easy to make in your kitchen.
To DIY coconut whipped cream, chill a can of coconut cream or full-fat coconut milk in the refrigerator overnight. Once fully chilled, place the can of cream in a cold mixing bowl. Beat the cream for 30 seconds with a hand mixer or stand mixer. Then, add pure extract and powdered sugar or stevia. Mix until smooth but don’t over whip. While coconut cream is best served fresh, you can keep it in the fridge and use it for one to two weeks before making your next batch.
Vegan Egg Substitutes
It’s impossible to make many recipes without eggs or an egg substitute. Baked goods often have chicken eggs as a first or second ingredient. Figure out what the egg’s purpose is in the recipe: binding, leavening, structure, moisture? Thankfully you don’t have to miss out on your favorite desserts if you make some simple swaps. Some of the best vegan egg substitutes include bananas for binding and moistening and flaxseed meal for structure and binding. You can also use applesauce and chia seeds for the same purposes.
A ripe banana is perfect for chocolate brownies and vanilla cakes. Swap a medium egg for one medium mashed piece of fruit. To substitute an egg for flaxseed, combine a flaxseed meal with water and mix with a whisk or a fork. After a few minutes, the mixture will become like a gel to use in your muffins or cookies. Unsweetened applesauce creates the moist quick bread and cupcakes you desire. Chia is a healthy alternative and easy to add to a recipe. Make a chia seed mixture with chia seeds and water instead of an egg.
More popular vegan egg substitutes include baking powder for rising and Aquafaba, which is bean juice from a can that can be whipped up like meringue. You can also swap out eggs for tofu in scrambles and quiches or use vegan starches from corn, arrowroot or potato for thickening and binding. Experiment with different options to find out what works best for each recipe. Each product has its own flavor and texture, which can make every recipe taste more like your own.
Some dessert recipes call for a thickening, gelling or stabilizing ingredient. In this case, agar-agar is the perfect plant-based choice. Agar is a gelatin made from plants instead of animal products. It’s derived from a seaweed known as red algae. You can buy agar in flake or powder form. It also comes in strands and bars to better serve every dessert recipe. Use agar to make pudding and jellies. Or swap it when you create chocolate mousses or adorn your dessert with gummy candies. Don’t be afraid to try agar in your next cheesecake recipe or use it to make vegan ice cream.
Simple Swaps, Delicious Vegan Recipes
Making delicious vegan dessert recipes at home is easier now than ever! You can even adapt your favorite treats to your professional kitchen. Now you know about the best swaps, so don’t be afraid to experiment with products.
Try new ingredients and methods for baking your favorite cakes and cookies. You could even try a new recipe like a chocolate mousse or a decadent hot chocolate recipe. Quality vegan ingredients and plant-based substitutes make it more fun to cook and bake healthily. It also makes it more exciting to serve vegan guests and friends.