Calling all vegan bakers, flexitarians, and adventurous foodies – vegan baking is easier than it seems. From cookies to cakes, to muffins and loaves and everything in between, you can enjoy all your favourite baked goods with some simple vegan substitutes.
If you want to bake something without animal-based ingredients, I always recommend seeking out a recipe that’s already vegan. These recipes have already been developed and tested for you to verify that they work with vegan ingredients. But, if you’re in a pinch and need to make some vegan swaps, here are my go-to vegan substitutes for most baking recipes.
Related: Easy Vegan Weeknight Dinner Recipes
Vegan Egg Substitutes
There are many substitutes you can use in place of eggs, but not all are created equal. In fact, I use many different vegan egg substitutes depending on what I’m baking.
Flax eggs are my go-to vegan egg substitute. To substitute 1 egg, just combine 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseeds and 3 tablespoons of lukewarm water, then let it sit until it has an egg-like gelatinous consistency. I use this when baking cookies, pancakes, waffles, and some brownie recipes. It’s great for binding recipes, but doesn’t add much structure. If I don’t have the ingredients handy for a flax egg, store-bought vegan egg replacer works as well.
Vegan yogurt is perfect when you want to add a little tang to your recipes. Replace 1 egg with a ¼ cup of vegan yogurt – I use coconut yogurt. This option is great for certain sweet loaves, like lemon poppy seed, and coffee cake recipes.
Carbonated water is an unexpected but great egg replacement for recipes that require a light and airy texture, namely muffins, cakes, and certain sweet loaves. Just replace 1 egg with a ¼ cup of carbonated water. I’ve even used this in some cookie recipes and it worked a charm!
Aquafaba (the liquid from a can of chickpeas) is my go-to replacement for egg whites in baking. Because chickpeas have the same proteins found in eggs that help create that signature light and airy foam found in recipes for meringue and some buttercreams, the liquid from a can of chickpeas is the perfect plant-based option. Just replace 1 egg with a ¼ cup of aquafaba.
Vegan Butter Substitutes
When replacing butter in recipes, store-bought vegan butters have come a long way! There are many great vegan butter replacements you can pick up at most chain grocery stores. I have had mixed experiences with some brands, but my go-to brands are Becel and Earth Island. Just substitute vegan butter for dairy butter in a 1:1 ratio in your recipes.
Vegan Milk Substitute
Milk is probably the easiest ingredient to substitute in vegan recipes nowadays. With a plethora of options at most grocery stores, it really comes down to flavour preference. My go-to milk substitutes are soy milk and pea milk, they’re the most neutral in flavour so they don’t affect the end result of your baked goods. However I’ve also used almond milk and oat milk and they work just as well, but affect the end flavour a tad.
Vegan Honey Substitute
Sorry, honey is not vegan! When replacing honey, we opt to use Canadian maple syrup but there are also many other vegan liquid sweeteners like brown rice syrup and agave nectar that make a great vegan substitute. In particular, for things like granola bars, I love using brown rice syrup.
Vegan Egg Wash Substitute
While an egg wash isn’t always necessary, it creates a beautiful golden colour on pastries and sweet breads that can make your baked goods pop. I have two go-tos for a vegan egg wash. Most of the time I opt to create a mixture of 1 part maple syrup and 1 part sweetened non-dairy milk. This mixture creates a beautiful, even golden brown colour across your baked goods. When the egg wash should be deep in colour, like in Portuguese Sweet Bread, I use a mixture of 1 part Just Egg and 1 part non-dairy milk.
Vegan Condensed Milk Substitute
This has been a more recent substitute available at some grocery stores. President’s Choice has their own coconut condensed milk that is a great option, but there are also brands like Nature’s Charm and Let’s Do… Organic creating great sweetened condensed coconut milk as well. It will have a slightly different flavour than you’re used to, but can be used in a 1-to-1 substitution.