Your guide to the best vegan treats.

Carbon writer Anna Baker gives away her top tips on how to impress your friends with incredible vegan treats…

We have all heard of Veganuary. The trendy campaign that challenges you to cut out all animal products for one month, it runs every January and helps people who are interested in adopting a vegan lifestyle or are simply curious about veganism. Personally, Veganuary is my favourite time of the year! Most supermarkets release new and exciting products that seem to just keep getting better and better! Although Veganuary ended a month ago, it never ends for me!

My name is Anna and I have been vegan for 3 years, one of the most common things I hear are ‘Do you miss anything?’ or ‘I could never give up cake or sweet treats!’. My response to these questions is, I never gave up anything and I never go without cake!Recently I have been trying to work out the BEST ways to veganise your favourite sweet treats, these range from brownies and birthday cakes to millionaire’s shortbread and scones! Before going vegan, brownies were my speciality. I could make them with my eyes closed and everyone would scramble to grab the last one – true story, once my sister and I fought it out! So, to save you a lot of hassle of endless scrolling and researching on the internet I will share my top tips on vegan treats.

hotcrossbuns
Hot cross buns I created and veganised.

Common assumptions with vegan baking is that the end result will always be dry and claggy, I will confess my first few attempts met that description but from trial error I found the best things to use to keep that lovely, soft and moist sponge. Depending on the recipe, any of these can help:

Pret’s recipie, Vegan Dark Chocolate Cookies

FINDING THAT PERFECT EGG SUBSTITUTE

  • ‘Flaxegg’ – this may sound fancy but it’s just a mixture of ground flaxseed and water. I use this method for cakes and it works a treat!
  • Banana – this is one of my favourite substitutes in brownies as having that banana taste just makes them go from an 8/10 to a 12.
  • Crack’d, The No-Egg Egg – this is an already made egg substitute that you can buy from M&S or the Vegan Kind Supermarket for £4.99. I used this in the BBC Good Food ‘Best Ever Brownies’ and it worked a treat, tasted just like the brownies I made before I was vegan!
vegan birthday cake
Coffee and Walnut cake I made for my mum’s birthday, made this using the Flax Egg method.

THE BEST RECIPIES THAT ACTUALLY WORK…

There have been a few recipes I have tried that have been dreadful, it’s not the best feeling when you’re trying to show everyone veganism means no missing out! These are the best recipes to follow to get that perfect bake:

  • PRET, Dark Chocolate Vegan Cookies – these are my new favourite things to bake, so super easy and ingredients that aren’t expensive or hard to find. They make the perfect gooey, shop bought cookies of vegan dreams.
  • Carnation, Vegan Salted Caramel Millionaires Shortbread – I honestly cried when vegan condensed milk was released so I could recreate my favourite childhood treat. This recipe is easy to follow and the results are amazing!
  • two peas & their pod, Vegan Banana Blueberry Muffins – if you are looking for more of a healthy treat then this is for you. The quickest and easiest blueberry muffins, I must have made hundreds of these in the past year so give them a go! I often switch the blueberries to choc chips, I mean who can blame me!
banana and choc chip muffins
Banana and choc chip muffins!

Not everyone can perfect the recipes first time, its taken me 3 years to get where I am today but why not try something new this lockdown and have a go at vegan baking! Have fun and make some insanely good cruelty free treats!

For more information on Veganuary, and recipes to help you get started click here.

Written by Anna Baker