Do you have a recipe that you love, but it isn't vegan? Some family recipes are like a warm hug that brings back memories from days long past. Those comfort foods make you feel good as you identify with them and create a bond to your past. Cakes are some of those feel-good treats. Good news: you can easily convert them to a vegan-friendly recipe with a few steps.
Unfortunately, many of the ingredients in a cake recipe are animal-based. There are a few ways to tweak the recipe and make it fit into your lifestyle. It doesn't have to be complicated to bake a vegan cake, and you don't need to make it from scratch. You can find plenty of plant-based cakes that can be made without eggs or dairy.
Want to find healthier and vegan-friendly options for your cake recipes? GoNanas uses clean ingredients in all of their products!
Understanding the Basics of Cakes
If you have ever tried to convert a recipe to a vegan-friendly option, you might have had a disaster in the kitchen. You need to understand the basic fundamentals of cake baking. When you learn these basic steps, you can create a light and airy cake without the use of animal products.
First, the cake will need some sort of structure. These ingredients usually consist of egg to form a strong protein network in the cake. If there is too much protein, the cake can come out dry and stiff like bread. When there is too little protein, the cake often has the consistency of a moist pudding.
Next, you want to focus on the tenderness of the cake. The crumbs should be small and fine. Many of the fats in the cake will cause the protein to become slippery and prevent them from forming a solid structure. Water is often used to disperse the gliadin and glutenin, which are both used to form the gluten, so that they cannot join completely. If you add too much sugar, there might not be enough water left for the gluten and protein to bind together. As a result, the cake can rise and crash in your oven.
You might not know it, but acids are used to increase the tenderness of the cakes and can help with coagulating the gluten and proteins. They are also used to produce more CO2 in the mix by reacting to the alkalinity of the baking soda. When these acids are added, the cake will be lighter and rise higher when you bake it. Along with that, these acids can reduce the browning of the cake and increase its flavor depth. If you want to add acid, think about reaching for some apple cider vinegar for your recipe.
For those who want a moist cake, you may want to add more water. However, some bakers have recommended adding more sugar to your recipe. The amount of sugar is often proportional to the cake's moistness. When fats are dispersed in the water, then those cakes are often more moist than other recipes.
There are some drying agents that you should know. When the proteins and gluten coagulate, they can often take up all the water in the recipe. As a result, they will reduce the moisture level of the cake. In some cases, the starches in the flour will absorb the liquid in your recipe, which leads to a dry cake.
Looking for all-natural ingredients to create delicious treats and desserts? You can find the perfect banana bread mix from GoNanas!
Two Methods To Mix Cake Batter
There are a few ways to mix the cake batter for your cake. You can choose between the quick bread method or the cream method.
With the quick bread method, the dry ingredients are placed in one bowl, while the wet ingredients are whisked in the other. Once everything is mixed, the wet ingredients are added to the dry bowl. You want to mix everything until it is incorporated.
The second mixing process is the cream method. With this, the shortening is beaten with sugar to create air pockets. As a result, the air pockets create larger bubbles when exposed to the heat, thanks to the steam and CO2 generated from the process. After the creaming process, other flavorings are added. The last step is to add flour to fold into the mixture.
With vegan cakes, the quick bread method is the one often used. The creaming method really does not work since there are no eggs, and there is no need for the extra effort to create an airy batter.
Related: Banana Cake Vs. Banana Bread
Veganize Your Cake Recipes
Now that you know the basics of cake chemistry, you can use a box mix to create a delicious vegan cake.
Make Sure To Skip the Eggs
As you know, you don't want to use animal products for your recipe. You can find plenty of egg replacers in the grocery stores, such as flax meal, bananas, applesauce, and chia seeds.
Skip the Dairy
When looking for a mix, you should select one that calls for oil. You also want to make sure your mix is dairy-free. If any recipes call for milk, you can switch it out to a dairy-free option. Unsweetened vegan milk is perfect for adding to a cake batter.
Soda is actually a great way to replace vegan milk or oil in a recipe. This ingredient acts as an egg replacer, and it will give your cake some fluffiness.
Add Some Frosting
A cake is not complete without some frosting. You can find plenty of options that are vegan-friendly, and many of them are found in your local grocery store.
When you are living a vegan lifestyle, you don't have to skip the sweets. With these tips, you can enjoy a fluffy and delicious cake for your next meal.
Are you ready to switch out those traditional ingredients for something more wholesome? Make sure to check out GoNanas’ wide range of products!