How’s things? So for those of you who don’t already know, I have just started another year of business- yay! As part of the celebrations I opened up my little cake shop to the public and shared some of my new vegan range.. something I have been working hard on behind the scenes.
Something I get asked a lot is what exactly is in a vegan cake and how is it different to a lets say ‘regular’ cake? To be honest, vegan cakes are not really all that different to any other type of cakes.. if you think about it, a standard victoria sponge cake contains butter, sugar, eggs, and flour. Sugar and flour are generally vegan, butter can be easily replaced with a vegan margarine or oil, and so it is only really the eggs that are missing.. in fact, they are often the most difficult thing to replace in cake recipes!
In a traditional cake recipe, the main function of the eggs is to help aerate the mixture, so I will usually substitute them for either baking powder of bicarbonate of soda and vinegar to give it that rise.
Eggs are pretty incredible really and have such a wide range of functions in baking.. we can beat whole eggs in a cake to help it rise, we can separate them and whisk up the whites to make a stable foam and make meringue, and we can use the yolks to bind and emulsify mixtures.. plus there a whole load of other ways in which we can use them in our bakes.
When we are replacing eggs in a recipe, or in fact any ingredient, is what it’s function is within that recipe. For example, eggs that are used in a cake can help to give it that light and fluffy texture, however eggs in a biscuit recipe are more so used as a binder to hold everything together and give structure. Once we know exactly what the function is, we can experiment and find another ingredient that works in a similar way. Bicarbonate of soda and vinegar is great for producing carbon dioxide gas to help a cake to rise, whereas chia (or flax) seed mixed with water is more suitable in a biscuit to help combine the other ingredients.
Dairy ingredients also require replacements in vegan recipes, however there are so many different options when it comes to butter, milk, and yogurt that this is fairly simple to do- I am often overwhelmed by the variety of dairy free milks on our supermarket shelves these days! I generally use soya milk but have found that most work very well as a substitute in cake recipes.. nut milk, oat milk, rice milk- they’re all great.
It’s all just a science really, knowing how your individual ingredients work and how they function together as a whole.. sometimes it can be fun experiment with these things!
I hope that gives you a little explanation.. give me a shout if you have any questions 🙂