There's no denying the rise of veganism. The UK is spending more and more money on plant-based products, and it's easy to see why. With reduced greenhouse gasses and less land used for food production, vegan diets are better for the environment. They taste great too!
And while the vegan lifestyle might seem like a load of fruit and veggies to a newcomer, the truth is, there are plenty of plant-based treats that vegans love to enjoy. These include lots of our favourite at-home bakes! So, it's no surprise that we're seeing creative and talented vegan bakers taking to Instagram to share their recipes, knowledge and lives with the world. Safe to say, we're here for it. Whether you're a keen baker making the switch to a vegan lifestyle or you feel like trying something new in the kitchen, there are lots of ways to bake up a vegan-friendly storm. Ready to discover our 10 up-and-comers for 2021 in the plant-based baking stakes? Let's go!
While fruit pies such as apple or blackberry are often thought of as autumnal desserts, they are still perfect for the Spring and Summer months and can be a refreshing treat on a warm day when eaten cold from the fridge with a dollop of vanilla ice cream. If you’re after something more seasonal, opt for a filling of cherries, strawberries, or peach instead!
But are fruit pies vegan? Well, not traditionally. They often contain eggs, milk, and butter. But that's something we can easily change.
By replacing dairy ingredients with a vegan margarine, plant-based milk and syrup, vegans can enjoy yummy fruit pie no problem! There are lots of vegan recipes out there, but you can tweak your favourite non-vegan methods too.
Famous for their cloud-like appearance, meringues are a perfectly chewy treat, great when served with a mix of sweet berries in a pavlova! Meringues don’t just have to be used as a part of another dessert though, they make for a cute gift on their own when coloured with pastel food colouring, baked in the oven and made into bite sized cookies.
But when meringues are made from just egg whites and sugar, you might be wondering how to make it vegan. Well it’s quite simple really, replacing the egg whites with aquafaba (the liquid from a can of chickpeas) will have the same result. Just whip together into stiff white peaks - it might take a little longer than it would with egg whites, but you’ll get there in the end. Then bake on a low heat for an hour and you’ll have some vegan meringues!
We love these little delights at any time of year. Lovely as a present or as a treat with your cuppa, sweet sugar cookies are also great fun to decorate. You can even freeze your cookie dough and bake them as you go, whenever it takes your fancy! Vegan recipes replace butter with a dairy-free spread and eggs with a dash of plant-based milk. Easy peasy!
To decorate your vegan cookies, you can use classic icing made from icing sugar and water. This type of icing is always vegan, so you won't need to worry about finding an alternative recipe.
Mix up the icing and pipe it onto your cooled sugar cookies in any fun designs you like. Some of our favourite sugar cookie designs include hearts, flowers, and stars. Beautiful.
Is there anything better than a fresh-out-the-oven fruit crumble? Whether you love traditional apple or rhubarb crumble, or prefer something a little fancier, like summer fruit, peach, or pineapple, converting this classic into a vegan delight couldn't be simpler.
To make a vegan fruit crumble, prepare your fruit filling in the same way as usual. The only non-vegan ingredient in a traditional crumble is butter. So, to make it vegan, you can easily swap it out for a dairy-free alternative. There are lots of options out there. Just pop into your local shop and see what's available.
If you'd usually serve your crumble with a cream or custard, switch that for a dairy-free version too. We love oat cream, for its rich, sweet flavour. If you're serving a fruit crumble in summer, why not think about a scoop of vegan ice cream to counter the hot pudding?
Macarons are sweet, soft, and colourful, and make a perfect gift or a tasty bite for yourself whenever you're feeling fancy. These beautiful little sweets are famously French, and often come with a hefty price tag thanks to their technical difficulty and expensive ingredients, like almond flour. But have no fear! With just a little know-how, baking macarons at home is much more straightforward than it might seem.
Are you wondering how you can achieve that beautiful, smooth meringue without using eggs in the mix? To make them vegan, replace the egg whites with aquafaba (the liquid from a can of chickpeas!). This starchy vegan favourite is an excellent binder, and when whipped, you can expect stiff white peaks that look just like whipped egg whites. It does the same job in meringues as traditional eggs!
Remember, macarons are notoriously tricky, so don’t worry if you don’t get it spot on first time!
Whether you're celebrating a birthday, anniversary, or just a weekend, there are few better bakes than red velvet cake. Traditionally bright red, crimson, or reddish-brown, red velvet uses layers of chocolate sponge and cream cheese frosting.
Before food colouring became the norm, the colour came from a chemical reaction between the cocoa, buttermilk, and vinegar in the mix. Why not give it a go for a traditional bake?
To make it vegan, swap buttermilk for a dairy-free substitute like soy. Use plant-based spread instead of butter and be sure to source a vegan-friendly food dye. It's easy to find vegan cream cheese too, like our cream cheese buttercream.
We love croissants. Who doesn't? These fluffy, flaky pastries are a breakfast favourite all around Europe, and it's easy to see why. Whether you prefer them as they come or smeared with jam or chocolate spread, croissants are a fantastic way to start the day or a perfect afternoon pick-me-up. Ever tried them toasted, packed with vegan cheese and vegan ham slices? Delicious!
Croissants are famously buttery, which means lots of vegans go without bakery-bought versions. But good news! You can make croissants at home using a plant-based butter replacement. Look out for a vegan-friendly or plant butter, rather than margarine or olive oil spread, to get a flavour almost like a traditional croissant.
When they're ready, try filling your croissants with jam, a vegan chocolate spread, or tasty peanut butter.
Lemon cake is plenty of peoples' favourite sponge – we love the light, sweet citrus flavour, and crunchy, tangy top. Perfect for an afternoon treat with a cup of fruit tea on a sunny day in spring. Vegan lemon cakes are easy to make using vegetable oil and dairy-free spread in the mixture, in place of eggs and butter.
An alternative to the classic cream cheese frosting is drizzling a lemon juice and icing sugar mixture over the top. This finish will set with a beautiful crisp texture.
You can also replace the flour with a gluten-free alternative for a lemon cake that's both vegan and coeliac-friendly!
A warm, comforting treat that everybody will enjoy, mug cakes are one of the easiest things you can bake. The best ones are squashy and gooey in the middle with a soft spongy top. And perhaps some chocolate chips or berries tossed in for an extra surprise.
Mug cakes use very few ingredients, take little equipment and are super speedy to make!
Mix the dry ingredients, usually flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and cocoa if you're making a chocolate mug cake. Then add the wet ingredients, like oil, non-dairy milk, and vanilla. Sprinkle your chips or berries on top and pop it into the microwave for around 60 seconds. Voila!
Sweet, sticky cinnamon buns are a favourite all over Europe and North America. They're a perfect addition to any brunch or a delicious treat at any time of day. If you're making your own, be sure to be generous with the size. The bigger they are, the fluffier the inside will be.
Cinnamon buns are traditionally made with butter, eggs, and milk, and topped with a cream cheese frosting. But that doesn't mean we can't adapt for vegans! To prepare beautiful vegan cinnamon buns at home, exchange dairy milk for a plant-based alternative and regular butter for a vegan version. Vegan dough recipes don't use eggs, so you won't need to worry about a dairy-free replacement.
For the cream cheese frosting, you can use a vegan cheese spread and simple powdered sugar. Or drizzle your cinnamon buns with an icing sugar and water mixture, which will melt into the cracks if you pour it on straight out of the oven. Yummy!
If you take your recipe inspiration from Instagram, you're not alone. More than ever, we're turning to social media for new ideas. So, of course, we want to make sure we're following the best content creators out there. From vegan chefs to specialist bakers, there are plenty of influencers who can help you whip up new favourites. Here are some up-and-coming vegan bakers we love.
Still not sure what your next vegan bake should be? @fortheutterloveoffood loves making cookies as they are versatile and can be frozen to be used at a later stage!
Whether you're new to the game or you're a long-term vegan looking for more recipe ideas, there are plenty of ways to swap out dairy and animal ingredients for plant-based alternatives. And if your recipe requires a dairy-free butter, plant-based milk, or something unique like starchy aquafaba, simply explore our vegan ingredient substitutions here and get creative in the kitchen.
Ready to try your hand at vegan baking? Now we've shared some of the most exciting treats for 2021, not to mention our new favourite influencers, what's stopping you? Head into the kitchen and see what you can do! There are lots of excellent vegan recipes on our website and why not check out what we’ve been up to with Mob Kitchen for Veganuary as well.
If you have a favourite bake that you want to make vegan, search for the hashtag on Instagram, and you're sure to find some inspiration. Don't forget that you can tweak non-vegan recipes with the help of our ingredients swap sheet. With so much inspiration out there, catering for everyone couldn't be simpler.