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Vegan Baking and Cooking Substitution Guide

Ever wondered how that vegan dish or dessert you tried tasted so good "it didn't even taste vegan"? The truth is you don't need animal products or by-products to achieve the same great taste or texture in common recipes such as burgers, bread, pancakes, cakes, brownies, etc. I've said this before in a previous post and I'll stress it don't need to sacrifice flavor or texture when eating plant-based.

Once in a while, it may take a bit of trial-and-error to get things just right depending on the recipe, however, there are so many benefits to using replacements compared to their animal-derived counterparts:

  • Multi-purpose ingredients. Have some extra ground flax that was used for making flax eggs? Throw some in your smoothies for added fiber and nutrients.

  • Pocket friendly. After you've stocked up on the essentials, you'll find that some of these items will last you months! Less trips to the grocery store = less $$$ spent.

  • Extended shelf-life. Naturally. No preservatives used here. And again...less time and money spent purchasing more.

  • Packed with nutrients. Most ingredients mentioned are loaded with nourishing fats, fiber, vitamins, and minerals all from plant sources. Where do you think animals get their nutrients?

  • No cholesterol. 1 large egg contains 187 mg of cholesterol (that's 67% of our recommended daily intake!). No thank you!

Egg Substitutes





1 tbsp ground flax + 2-3 tbsp cold water

Stir flax seeds and water in a small bowl or cup and let sit for 10 minutes until gel-like consistency


1 tbsp chia seed + 3tbsp water

Stir chia seeds and water in a small bowl or cup and let sit for 10 minutes until gel-like consistency


1/2 ripe banana

Ensure your banana is spotty, then mash with a fork


1/4 cup silken tofu

Measure 1/4 cup of silken tofu and mix into batter. Best for baking dense baked goods like brownies, breads, and cakes.

Tip:When using the above replacements, you may need to extend cooking/baking times. Babysit your dish after the recommended cooking/baking time to make sure the consistency is right.

Dairy Milk Substitutes

Just a reminder, it is the year 2016 and there is absolutely no need to be consuming milk from any animals for an endless amount of reasons that I will get into in a future post. In the meantime, start using any of these delicious, cruelty-free, plant-based milks!

Use equal amounts of any of the following dairy-free milks listed below for every amount of cow's milk a recipe calls for:

  • Soy

  • Cashew

  • Almond

  • Coconut

  • Oat

  • Hemp

  • Rice

  • Macadamia

  • Hazelnut

Does a recipe call for buttermilk? Not to worry, just whip up this little concoction:




1 cup of buttermilk

1 cup of non-dairy milk + 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

Combine milk and apple cider vinegar in a bowl. Whisk vigorously until the top layer is covered in bubbles.

This vegan buttermilk is great for pancakes!

Tip: Always buy the unsweetened version of the non-dairy milks, that way you can use them in both sweet and savory dishes and sweeten to your liking when necessary!

Butter Substitutes

For the same reasons as not using dairy milk, there are vegan alternatives that are even tastier than cow's butter. These are my favorites!

Use equal amounts of vegan butter for every amount of cow's butter a recipe calls for:

  • Earth Balance Buttery Spread

  • Virgin Coconut Oil

Oil Substitutes

While refined oils [olive oil, grapeseed oil, canola oil, corn oil, etc.] are commonly used for its anti-stick properties, adding additional flavor, and adding moistness to cake-like desserts, the fats are highly concentrated and negatively impact the body's blood stream since they are not accompanied by the essential nutrients that you would find in their natural, whole plant forms. I personally have a hard time digesting refined, cooked oils and have been using these substitutes to keep many dishes low in fat and my stomach happy.




1/4 cup of oil

1/4 cup water

​I would recommend using this substitution when sauteeing veggies or even fruits.

1 cup of oil

1 cup of applesauce

Mix applesauce into batters for cakes, brownies, and cupcakes for decadent and oil-free desserts.

Next time you find yourself in the kitchen, try using any of these alternatives and let me know how it goes if it's your first time! Also, if you have any other vegan alternatives not mentioned in this post I'd love to hear about them in the comments!

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