Chef Cameron's Vegan Holiday Baking Tips
Our Kitchen Manager Cameron wasn’t always vegan, but she's always been a baker. Her passion for her work started the way it does for many chefs: in the kitchen with her family, especially around the holidays.
“I still use inherited family recipes in my baking,” says Cameron.
Before Cameron started making vegan pastries, she wondered if the recipes she’d perfected over the years would ever taste the same. A little experimenting and a few simple substitutes put her concerns to rest. Here are some of Cameron’s best pieces of advice for vegan baking this holiday.
Starting from scratch:
Beginning vegans should remember one thing: the recipes you’ve made with non-vegan ingredients won’t always taste the same with substitutes. That doesn’t mean you can’t make some killer vegan takes on your favorite desserts. You just need to find recipes written for vegans specifically.
Cameron says: “Branch out and explore options that are already vegan, such as a vegan chocolate tart. Yum!”
You probably have some of the best egg substitutes in your kitchen already. Cameron’s favorites are Banana, avocado and ground flax seed. The trick is in the measuring. Non-vegan recipes don’t exactly come with an egg-to-avocado conversion chart, and the right amount varies with the recipe and the substitute you choose.
Cameron says: “I suggest experimenting until you find the right measurements.”
Cutting the fat:
You don’t have to settle for margarine. Some healthier alternatives to butter and hydrogenated oils include organic coconut, avocado and olive oils.
Cameron says: “My personal favorite is Barlean’s butter-flavored organic coconut butter. It tastes just like butter, and it’s all natural!”
If you aren’t vegan already, you might not think “vegan sugar” even needs to be on the label. Be careful.
Cameron says: “Be sure to read the packaging to make sure it was not processed with bone char or animal products.”
When using plant-based milk substitutes, don’t try to add any extra flavor. Let the sugar do that work.
Cameron says: “Use unsweetened and unflavored for the best outcome.”
The Bottom Line
Cameron wants those of us who are new to vegan baking to know there’s no reason to feel intimidated. It won’t take long to find your go-to substitutes, and your relatives should be more than happy to be your well-fed test subjects this holiday.
“Often times customers don’t even know our baked goods are vegan,” Cameron adds. “The usual baking principles are the same. You’re just substituting some ingredients. You’ll find you won’t miss any of the flavors in non-vegan baking. Enjoy!”
Not the baking type? Call café Rawganique at 720-899-4367 to order our vegan and gluten-free holiday pies in 4 flavors: