Chia egg omelets don’t taste good either
May 9, 2020 5:19 PM   Subscribe

I want to make a version of this Sicilian orange cake, but I am vegan. Can you see a way?

I am a pretty good vegan cook but my baking skills suck. Are there principles of vegan baking I can use to transform a recipe as basic as this one? Generally swapping eggs for chia or flax eggs works in cakes, and swapping coconut oil for butter is fine, but there is yogurt... can I swap that for something? and more importantly, are there just some cake baking ratios I can learn to make adapting recipes easier? Cake is my most common dessert preference so I am not unrealistically trying to emulate the precise fluffiness of a given recipe, just make sure it’s convincingly cake-like.

And we have a ton of oranges...
posted by stoneandstar to Food & Drink (12 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
Are there principles of vegan baking I can use to transform a recipe as basic as this one?

It may be more productive to find a few basic vegan cake recipes you like and then modifying them to be more like the target cake. Vegan baking is really tricky ratio-wise and just swapping out a bunch of stuff from a non-vegan recipe is likely to end poorly.
posted by showbiz_liz at 5:26 PM on May 9, 2020 [1 favorite]


This is a vegan version of the same kind of cake, but with clementines, not oranges. It'd be easy enough to substitute oranges though.
posted by essexjan at 5:30 PM on May 9, 2020 [1 favorite]


And a different vegan recipe here, using silken tofu.
posted by essexjan at 5:33 PM on May 9, 2020


Vegan baking is really tricky ratio-wise and just swapping out a bunch of stuff from a non-vegan recipe is likely to end poorly.

Actually like I said in my question, it can be quite easy depending on the swaps!! That’s why I’m wondering if there are certain principles (dry to wet, etc.) that can make this more predictive. I’ve never added a whole orange to a cake and don’t know how that might impact a recipe, with the added moisture and acid etc.
posted by stoneandstar at 5:39 PM on May 9, 2020


And thanks essexjan, I would prefer a recipe using regular flour since that’s what I have right now but may try one or both of those eventually. :)
posted by stoneandstar at 5:42 PM on May 9, 2020


You could use coconut milk yogurt in place of the yogurt I would think.
posted by shadygrove at 5:43 PM on May 9, 2020 [1 favorite]


Is there a reason you wouldn’t just use vegan yogurt?

In my experience, Earth Balance in stick form is the best butter substitute, but a lot of stores don’t carry it. I would think that Miyoko’s butter would work too.

For the eggs, I would think flax seeds or silken tofu.

I don’t know of any common ratios, but if I were trying to figure it out, I’d look at Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s recipes. Everything of hers I’ve made has been great.
posted by FencingGal at 5:45 PM on May 9, 2020


For stick butter, Country Crock’s new plant based options have worked extremely well in a cakes for me. For yogurt, I really like this one, although I have not yet used it in baked goods.
posted by hilaryjade at 6:06 PM on May 9, 2020


Actually, I rarely ever have vegan yogurt but miraculously my boyfriend informed me that we do. Woo!
posted by stoneandstar at 10:12 PM on May 9, 2020


Also Cocoyo fucking rules
posted by stoneandstar at 10:12 PM on May 9, 2020


Can confirm that plain coconut yogurt subs well for Greek yogurt. I made a yogurt cake a few weeks ago and it was delicious and moist.
posted by kinddieserzeit at 1:50 AM on May 10, 2020


Recipes include yogurt to add dairy and acidity, in addition to the flavor. But the orange is already adding some acidity, and by using baking powder (which contains 1:1 acid and base to produce the leavening carbon dioxide release) instead of baking soda (all your base), there's no need for additional acid to be there in the yogurt to get the chemical leavening action going. (Frankly I'm surprised there's not a small amount of baking soda in the recipe in addition to baking powder.) So you can pretty much take your pick of yogurts without worrying about the chemistry of the baking action; go for flavor.

You've already got good suggestions, but I'd wager this recipe would work fine if you used an alternative milk and a little vegan gelatin to take the place of the gooey casein in dairy yogurt.

As usual with baking powder, once it gets wet, it gets going, so don't let the batter sit around once you've added it.

Also, salt is conspicuously absent from the recipe-- salt helps things taste more like themselves, so either it was designed with salted butter in mind, or made to be low-sodium. If your substitution for butter lacks salt, add some.
posted by Sunburnt at 3:50 AM on May 10, 2020


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