Here at Honeybuns all the cakes we bake are gluten free and the majority are now also vegan. We believe that “free from” can still mean decadent, delicious and indulgent.
To celebrate Veganuary 2022, we’ve compiled a list of our favourite dairy free, plant based baking ingredients for you to try.
We’ve learnt from our mistakes so you don’t have to.
Top 5 Vegan baking ingredients
Every ingredient on this list is also gluten free and dairy free.
Any brands we mention are either registered with the Vegan Society and/or certified as vegan.
Refined coconut oil
Use this instead of butter. The refined bit is important as it means the oil does not have a coconut flavour, making it a super versatile bakery ingredient. Use it in sweet and savoury baking. You can swap it weight for weight with butter (we use melted butter in all our non-vegan cake recipes). At normal room temperature coconut oil will be solid and require gentle heat to melt ready for your home baking projects. Unrefined coconut oil does taste of coconut.
We love it because it has what’s called in the trade, a rich “buttery mouth feel”. It mimics the creaminess of butter in the mouth as opposed to other oils which feel thin or without substance.
Top Tip Coconut oil has a relatively low melting point of 24°C or 76°F. On warm sunny days your baked goods can seep molten coconut oil and things can get messy. Remember to store your bakes somewhere nice and cool and away from direct sunlight.
Vegan and gluten free chocolate
We use Plamil’s UK made organic dark chocolate sweetened with coconut blossom sugar.
We love it because the ingredients are so simple, “cocoa mass, coconut sugar and cocoa butter”. It also beats other chocolates hands down in our Honeybuns bakery blind taste test, which we subject all ingredients to.
Top Tip It can be tricky to find gluten free chocolate as often biscuits (chocolate covered) are present in the same production facility. So even though chocolate “shouldn’t” logically contain gluten, cross contamination can be an issue. Remember to always check on-pack that a chocolate brand states it is gluten free and free from traces of gluten.
Also known as almond paste. This is another great alternative to conventional dairy butter in some recipes. For example, we use it along with maple syrup, date paste and refined coconut oil to create our own home made, 100% plant based caramel.
Our go to store cupboard brand is Meridian, which is available in most supermarkets and health food shops.
We love it because Meridian has no salt or sugar added. It is also made without palm oil.
Top Tip The best baking ingredients are the simplest. The shorter their ingredients list, generally the better. For instance, if there are no added flavours listed, you can choose what to add and in what quantity. Using plain chocolate gives you the option of adding in something like orange oil to the strength you prefer rather than the chocolate brand’s preference.
Fresh avocado can work really well as a fat replacement in pastry crusts. Check out our recipe for sweet avocado and chocolate ganache filled tart.
This recipe is featured in our Honeybuns All Day Cook Book which you can buy here.
We love it because it’s all natural and has a similar creaminess to butter.
Top Tip Avocado partners particularly well with chocolate and coffee as any vegetable taste is masked.
Apple cider vinegar
When combined with gluten free baking powder, apple cider vinegar reacts to create bubbles and helps bakes rise and fluff up. It can be used in this way as a substitute for eggs.
We love it because it lends a slight tang and depth of flavour, thus complimenting the sweetness of your baked cakes and cookies.
Top Tip Lemon juice is a good substitute if you haven’t already got apple cider vinegar in the store cupboard.
Vegan baking round up
Our Honeybuns All Day Cook Book also features a comprehensive guide to free from ingredients and baking tips.
Wishing you happy baking in Veganuary and beyond,
If you have any questions, do get in touch via this blog in the comments section, or via facebook, email or telephone.
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