When it comes to vegan baking, there are few main things that cause confusion:
1) how to replace milk products,
2) how to replace eggs,
3) how to replace the fat.
Today, we’ll talk about replacing fat!
Honestly, fat is pretty easy to replace once you know the secrets!
Most standard recipes will call for melted butter, liquid oil or butter.
Obviously, the oil is vegan and there is no need to replace it. But, if your recipe calls for butter you have a few options. If it calls for melted butter, melted coconut oil, a tasteless oil or melted vegan butter makes a great substitute! If the recipe calls for solid block butter, solid coconut oil or vegan butter blocks can be substituted.
A few words of caution about using coconut oil though, it comes in both refined and unrefined versions. Unrefined coconut oil has that classic coconutty taste and will lend a coconut flavour to your baking… which may or may not be a welcome thing!
When it comes to using vegan margarine (such as Earth Balance) it’s important to use the solid blocks in your baking rather than tub margarine. Margarine in the tub has more water and other additives mixed in to make it spreadable. The extra water can have an unwanted effect on the final product.
If, like me, you miss the flavor that butter imparts on your baking and are living in a country that doesn’t have Earth Balance, you can make your own! It may seem daunting, but it’s ridiculously easy to make once you have the ingredients and it actually works out to be very cheap.
I found both coconut oil and liquid lecithin on ebay for a good price, the lecithin may seem a bit expensive at first, but it lasts for years and will make many pounds of vegan butter.
- 140 ml plain soy yogurt (preferably yogurt with cultures)
- ½ tsp apple cider vinegar
- ½ tsp salt
- 260 g refined coconut oil, melted
- 2 TBSP tasteless oil
- 2 teaspoon liquid soy lecithin or liquid sunflower lecithin
- Place the soy yogurt, apple cider vinegar, and salt in a small cup and whisk together with a fork. Let it sit for about 10 minutes so the mixture curdles.
- Melt the coconut oil in a microwave so it's barely melted and as close to room temperature as possible. Measure it and add it and the canola oil to a food processor.
- Add the yogurt mixture and soy lecithin to the processor.
- Process for 2 minutes, scraping down the sides halfway through the duration.
- Pour the mixture into a mold and place it in the freezer to solidify. I used a loaf pan.
- It should be ready to use in about an hour.
- Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 month or wrapped in plastic wrap in the freezer for up to 1 year.
- Makes 1 pound of butter (4 sticks of vegan butter)