Plastic Challenge 2017
July 19, 2017 – 11:17 am | 4 Comments

What is the challenge?
June 2017 was officially the Marine Conservation Society’s  ‘Plastic Challenge’ month.
This is the third year of the challenge, which encourages people to pledge to cut down the amount of single-use plastics they …

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Home » Ethics

Vegan baking: A how-to guide to swapping eggs and dairy with animal-free products

Submitted by on October 30, 2015 – 2:31 pmOne Comment

Making the transition to vegan baking from baking with dairy products is really easy once you have an arsenal of alternative products and know how to use them. There really is a substitute for most ingredients, and we have tried to explain these below and when to use them. Once you start experimenting with them, you’ll soon gain in confidence and develop your own favourites to use. It can be really fun trialling different methods to see what works. For example, in the case of chocolate mouse, instead of cream, you could use avacado, coconut cream, cashew nuts, tofu, chia seeds – the options are plentiful and the results will all be deliciously different. Have fun with it, and the best part is knowing that no animals have suffered. Conscious cooking indeed!

Instead of eggs:

For binding

Orgran Egg Replacer

Each packet of Orgran egg replacer is equivalent to 66 eggs. Use one teaspoon of egg replacer to two tablespoons of water to replace whole eggs in cooking or baking. Works great as a binding agent in cakes, sauces and custard.


Silken tofu

A quarter of a cup of blended silken tofu will replace one egg in dairy free baking. Blend the tofu until it is smooth and creamy with no graininess or chunks. This method works well in heavy cakes and brownies where a dense texture is required. If a fluffier texture is required, you can reduce the number of eggs by one and experiment with the results for cookies and pancakes.



Half a banana blended well will replace an egg in baking. They create a good, moist result, but will leave a slight banana sweetness and flavour, so bare this in mind when using. Breads, muffins, cakes and pancakes all work well using banana instead of an egg. Ripe bananas often produce the best results.


Vegan yoghurt

Use a quarter of a cup of yoghurt (soya or coconut) to replace one egg in baking. It works in a similar way to blended tofu and will create a delicious, moist result. Try using this in breads, muffins and cakes.

For leavening (rising)


Ground flaxseed

Use one tablespoon of ground flax with three tablespoons of water and set aside for five minutes to turn gelatinous. We find these ‘flax eggs’ work well across the board, but particularly in cakes, muffins and pancakes. In brownie recipes the flax provides a typical brownie crunch and sheen to the top layer.

For meringues:


Chickpea brine

Believe it or not,  chickpea brine and granulated/caster sugar make the most amazing vegan meringue. This discovery has taken the vegan world by storm, who until recently were morosely meringue-less. Intrigued? Read about how to make them on the vegan cookie fairy’s website.

Instead of cow’s milk:


Soya milk

Made from soya beans soaked in water, this non-dairy alternative is versatile and comes in many varieties. It can be used in place of milk successfully in most recipes.


Oat milk

Oat milk can also be used to replace milk in baking. It’s equal in protein to soya milk and is easy and cheap to make at home, compared to nut milks with the source material being more expensive. It produces a creamy result.


Nut milk

Suma supply many types of nut milk including almond, coconut, macadamia, hazelnut and cashew. They all have a delicious flavour and will enhance any naked goods. Unsweetened versions work best in baking otherwise the end product could taste too sweet.


Grain/seed milk

Other alternatives to experiment with include quinoa, rice, and hemp seed milks which all carry their own nutritional benefits and unique flavour.

Instead of buttermilk:


Soya milk and lemon juice/vinegar

Add a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar or lemon juice to one cup of non-diary milk and give it a whisk. Leave it for a minute or so to curdle and use in recipes that call for buttermilk, like scones or soda breads.

Instead of butter:


Suma margarine

We launched our first vegan spread way back in the eighties. It was the first vegan spread launched into the UK market. We have olive, soya and sunflower varieties and they have been used to make fantastic cakes for well over thirty years. Simply substitute the same amount of spread for butter; we find sunflower spread works best thanks to its mild flavour. Keep an eye out for our new organic spreads too, available from November.


Coconut oil

Suma supply an extra virgin coconut oil, and also a culinary coconut oil which is great for baking as it has a very mild flavour. Note that while solid at room temperature, coconut oil melts at a lower temperature than butter and is unsuited for making pastry (unless you can chill the room significantly!). Raw coconut oil is great spread on baked goods and can also be used in cakes, cookies and pies. Try experimenting blending it with other fats for the best results.



In general, if a recipe calls for 1/2 a cup of butter, use 1/3 cup of oil. Oils like sunflower and almond oil work best in sweet baked goods and give cakes a light and airy texture.



When baking, substitute half the amount of butter in your recipe for mashed avocado. If you substitute the whole amount, you’ll end up with flatter results. You can also make a great avocado icing by mixing icing sugar, avocado and cocoa powder.


Apple sauce

Use for sweet baking only. Use the same amount you would for butter. Especially yummy in brownies! For muffins, etc., replace up to 3/4 of the butter with apple sauce, using vegan butter for the rest.

Instead of cream:


Coconut milk cream

Coconut milk is so creamy, rich and delicious, it’s a fantastic replacement for dairy cream. Whipped cream can be made by separating the liquid from the fat in the can. (do this by leaving in the fridge overnight and draining the liquid) Then give the solid cream a good whip until it’s light and fluffy. You can add a drop of sweetener like liquid stevia or maple syrup and a dash of vanilla. Delicious on scones!


Soya cream

Soya cream is a good replacement for single cream, and can be substituted on a like-for-like basis.


Oat cream

Oat cream is another substitution that you can use in a 1:1 ratio and works in all recipes that call for single cream. It usually contains a little fat added like rapeseed added to give it a fuller flavour and thicker consistency.


Cashew nut cream

If you’ve got a good blender, you can make a cream yourself using water, cashew nuts, maple syrup and vanilla extract. Both a double and single cream consistency can be achieved depending on how much water is used. Cashew nuts are mild tasting and work well with most flavours.

Instead of cream cheese:


Sour supreme

If you haven’t tried this yet, you need to hunt some down! Sour supreme is a massive favourite in the Suma canteen and is eaten as a sour cream alternative every time we have Mexican food. It can be used in bread and cakes, and comes in to it’s own when used as an icing (with a bit of lemon juice) on a vegan carrot cake.



Tofu is often used in vegan cheesecake recipes to give them the creaminess and texture needed. Both silken and firm tofu can be used depending on the recipe, and the flavour is mild and goes well with anything.

To set desserts/jellies


Agar agar

Using agar is so fun, it’s like magic! Agar is obtained from algae and comes in a crystalline powdered form. Any liquid can be set using agar, so your imagination really is the only limitation. It’s easy and simple to use, you just heat the liquid for a while, stir in the agar, and then leave to cool and set. It’s a fantastic cruelty-free alternative to gelatine.

Chia seeds


Chia seeds have a unique thickening quality. When chia seeds are left to sit in a liquid, they absorb some of it. This makes these seeds great for thickening desserts, jams and smoothies, and also keeping baked goods moist.

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One Comment »

  • Anne says:

    This is a very useful resource for those of us trying to become vegan. It would be great to have it printed into one of these excellent little booklets that you have, like the ones for cakes and for beans.

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