So you’ve found an exciting new vegan recipe, but the results are falling flat? Whether you’re making a classic vegan chocolate cake or vegan gluten-free muffins, here are five tips to get you baking a pro in no time:
Know your egg replacers and what works for different kinds of baking. Don’t just use your favourite egg replacer for all recipes. First, establish what the egg does for the recipe. For instance, is it for binding or for making the food fluffy? Sometimes, the best solution can be as simple as just using some vinegar. For a more detailed explanation of egg replacers, click here.
Make sure you’re using active baking powder. Baking powder helps make your cake rise. Test your baking powder by adding half a teaspoon to warm water. If it fizzes, it’s good. If it’s dead in the water, you need new baking powder.
Make sure you’re using active baking soda. Just like baking powder, baking soda, which is generally used in more acidic recipes, helps make your cake rise. Put a few teaspoons of white distilled vinegar in a cup and add half a teaspoon of baking soda. If it fizzes, it’s good. If it’s dead in the water, you need new baking soda.
Don’t Seize Up!
Make sure all your ingredients are at room temperature (unless stated otherwise in the recipe). If they’re not, it can cause your batter to seize up and become tough and flat once baked.
Don’t Over-Beat It
When making cakes or muffins, never over-beat your mix, which will develop the gluten more and can lead to less fluffy cakes as well as gluten streaks. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredient bowl in stages. To make this process easy, divide ingredients into three parts and add them slowly. After adding a third of the wet ingredients, gently fold them into the dry mix with a spatula. Repeat until everything is combined. Don’t worry if there are lumps, as they will bake out. Never over-stir your mixture.
Need more help? Join our Vegan Baking Facebook Group.
Sara Kidd has completed courses with some of the most fabulous mainstream cake designers, including Thao Pham, Stevi Auble, Katherine Sabbath, Kara Andretta, Zoe Byres, and the trainers at The Australian Patisserie Academy in Sydney. She worked in film for 15 years and has launched her own retro-themed baking show on YouTube called Bake Vegan Stuff With Sara Kidd.