I make it a point to bake something at least weekly. I think it is valuable for my toddler to be a part of the baking process and involve him in the kitchen. Baking with your kids increases their vocabulary, fine motor skills, critical thinking skills, promotes healthy eating, and introduces them to math and science. So every Sunday afternoon, we pull out the KitchenAid, the aprons, and I emotionally prepare myself for flour to get everywhere.
However, in 2020 I switched to a plant-based diet for health reasons, which meant no dairy. There are lots of reasons you may want to remove dairy and eggs from your baking. Someone in your family may have an allergy or sensitivity, you may want to make a healthy swap, or it may be realizing you don’t have the right ingredient on hand.
There are lots of amazing vegan recipes online, but why be limited to them? Here is a list of swaps so you can make any recipe vegan or dairy-free!
One note - I have found that soy-based commercial dairy alternatives make the whole recipe taste like soy, so I recommend steering clear of those for baking.
Eggs: Eggs act as binders, they add moisture, and they help baked goods rise properly.
1 Egg =
- Applesauce: ¼ cup of unsweetened applesauce
- Baking soda and vinegar: 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1
- Banana: 1/4 cup mashed banana
Buttermilk: Buttermilk is used in recipes because it is more acidic than regular milk and creates bubbles when combined with baking soda. It also creates a nice tang. To replace it, add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar into 1 cup of your preferred plant-based milk. Then use a 1:1 ratio for the recipe, i.e., if it calls for ¼ cup of buttermilk, use ¼ cup of your lemon juice/plant milk.
Butter: Butter adds moisture, helps things rise evenly, and enhances the flavor. I use Miyoko’s Butter - so delicious I don’t even miss regular butter! But if you don’t have that or another dairy-free butter on hand, you can use:
- Coconut oil in a 1:1 ratio (be sure to follow the temperature
guidelines in the recipe, a lot require cold butter, so you
want the coconut cold and solid too)
- Applesauce in a 1:1 ratio
Milk: Milk is an easy substitute - just use plant milk in the same ratio. I use oat milk and coconut milk.
Cream: You can either use coconut cream or blend 1 part cashews and 1 part water until it’s a creamy, delicious, healthy fat substitute!
Sour Cream: Take canned coconut milk and add 1 tablespoon of lemon per cup to get that lovely tang. I also recommend Kite Hill brand sour cream. There are some cheaper soy-based alternatives, but again I don’t personally recommend those from a flavor preference.
Cream Cheese: I use Miyoko’s plain cream cheese and can’t tell the difference. You can also make a cashew cream by soaking cashews in hot water until they cool, then blend them until creamy.