From dairy-free substitutes to natural sweeteners, here is our guide to healthy and allergen-free swaps for common baking ingredients.
Whether you follow a plant-based diet, have allergies, or you simply want to incorporate more wholefoods into your diet - it doesn’t mean you have to say no to baked goods. There are plenty of natural substitutes you can use to replace common baking ingredients such as milk, eggs, sugar and more!
Intolerance to lactose can often mean that delicious baked treats are off the table, particularly since butter is one of the most common and widely used of all the baking ingredients.
The high-fat content of butter retains moisture and helps bind everything together. The best substitutes for butter are other high-fat ingredients including, coconut oil, coconut butter, coconut yoghurt, avocado, olive oil and tahini.
If regular all-purpose wheat flour needs to be replaced, there are many different substitutes you can choose from. From brown rice flour to chickpea flour, coeliacs and gluten-intolerant people are still able to enjoy tasty baked goods! Simply check out our Guide to Flour Types and Uses >>
Hot Tip! You can make your own Self-Raising Wheat Flour: 1 cup = 1 cup all-purpose wheat flour + 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder + 1/4 teaspoon salt
There are four simple ways you can naturally replace an egg in your baking, which includes:
- Chia Egg
- Flaxseed Egg
- Aquafaba (chickpea brine)
These are all great vegan-friendly egg alternatives.
For instructions on how to use check out our blog: How to Make a Vegan Egg Substitute
There is a wide variety of natural sweeteners (both dry and liquid) that can serve as great alternatives to processed cane sugar. Coconut sugar, rapadura, raw sugar and xylitol can all be easily substituted 1:1 into your baking & cooking.
Cocoa powder is the standard "go-to" ingredient for most people looking for a chocolatey flavour and colour. For a more nutritious, rich and pure chocolate hit try substituting cocoa for cacao powder, which has not been heated to high temperatures like cocoa. Carob powder is also a fantastic alternative to cocoa, which offers a delightfully unique and naturally sweet taste.
Substituting dairy milk is one of the easiest ingredients to replace in baking or cooking. You can choose from soy milk, oat milk, almond milk, coconut milk, or any just about any other plant-based milk you like. If you are catering for allergies, rice milk is the best option as it is both soy and nut-free.
Did you know you can make your own Nut Milk at home? It's super easy and only requires two ingredients and a nut milk bag.
Coconut cream is a great dairy-free alternative in recipes that call for heavy cream. It can be baked, cooked and whipped, and also has a delightful coconut flavour. Try our coconut whipping cream as an alternative for traditional dairy cream!
Want to create tender, fluffy pancakes? Then buttermilk is the answer! However it seems more often than not, this ingredient is often left off the shopping list.
To create a buttermilk replica, you will need another dairy product with a little acidity added. Simply add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar to 1 cup of milk. Gently stir the mixture and let it sit for about 5 minutes. The milk with slightly curdle thicken, then it is ready to use!
Soy milk can be used in place of dairy milk.
BI-CARB SODA & BAKING POWER
The easiest solution for missing bi-carb soda is baking powder. Simply use three times the amount of baking powder as you would baking soda. For example, if a recipe calls for 1/2 teaspoon of bi-carb soda (also known as baking Soda), you would replace it with 1 1/2 teaspoons of Baking Powder.
Slightly less straight forward than substituting bi-carb soda, baking powder requires one extra ingredient.
Homemade baking powder can be made by mixing 2 parts cream of tartar with 1 part baking soda. For example, to create 3 teaspoons of Baking Powder, combine 2 teaspoons of cream of tartar with 1 teaspoon of baking soda.
An easy and effective way to replace soft cheeses (such as cream cheese) or create cheese substitutes is to blend raw cashews that have been soaked in water for at least 4 hours. If blended well, the soaked cashews reach a lovely smooth and creamy consistency. This is a great option when making raw vegan 'cheesecake' dessert alternatives.
To achieve a natural 'cheesy' flavour, nutritional yeast flakes are an ideal replacement.
Click the link to see our go to recipe for a homemade vegan cheese. Spread on sandwiches or wraps, use as a dip, or dollop on top of your poached eggs for brunch!
Starch is used in baking to add structure and crispiness to goods such as pie crust. Tapioca flour can be substituted 2:1 for corn or potato starch in a recipe.
Ground rolled oats or nuts can be substituted 1:1 for breadcrumbs in your favourite meatball or burger recipe. Simply place either oats or nuts in the food processor and pulse until they resemble bread crumb texture.