The short answer to that question is ABSOLUTELY!! They are and you should most definietly give them a try!!
Being based in South London, I have come into contact with many people who follow a vegan diet and their reasons for this decision vary from moral reasons to some not being able/ not wanting to consume animal producing products.
My interest in vegan baking started in early 2019 when I started trading at Camberwell Green Farmers market. Being new to the market industry I did not know what to expect but was advised to offer gluten free bakes as there was a high demands for such products. After trading there for a few weeks and building rapports with those in the area, I realised that there is a vegan audience that was not being catered to and I was determined to change that.
I first had to differentiate vegetarians from vegans and having knowledge of this would build trust and confidence with my customers. For the most part, my cakes, cupcakes and bakes are suitable for most vegetarians and this is based on those who do not eat any meat or fish but consume products that are produced by animals such as eggs and milk. Vegans on the other hand, do not consume any animal products or animal produced products whatsoever and follow a plant based diet.
When doing research into how I can adapt my recipes to make them vegan friendly, I knew that some ingredients had to be substituted. In regular baking, I would typically used ingredients such as eggs, milk and butter but as established these are all animal produced products and are not suitable for vegans, so the experiment with replacement ingredients began. If you've been following me on Instagram, you may have seen some of my vegan baking tips and tricks that I shared in January also known as Veganuary. If you haven't seen it, not to worry, I am going to share some of them with you now.
So, lets take a step back... When you hear 'vegan cake', whats your first thought? Is it an 'oh my gosh - they are amazing' or an 'I think ill pass on that kind of thought...?' My thought at the time is that it probably does not taste nice but how wrong I was. I chose to 'veganise' my basic brownies recipe and to my surprise it was not as complicated as I had thought. The ingredients I had to change were as follows;
Butter - this was substituted for a non-diary vegan spread and there was no difference in the amount needed, so if your recipe asked for 200g butter, you will simply use 200g non-diary vegan spread.
Eggs - this was substituted for flaxseeds. To replace one egg you will need 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseeds mixed with 3 tablespoons of water, leave it to rest for 5 minutes or so until gloppy and that is your egg replacer. So if your recipe asked for 3 eggs, you will need 3 tablespoons of flaxseeds mixed with 9 tablespoons of water. Chia seeds can also be used as a egg replacement. Be wary of flaxseeds are it may contain nuts and other seeds so may not be suitable for all consumers.
Chocolate - this was substituted for dark chocolate (not to get mixed up with plain) which usually has a higher percentage of cocoa solids and contains soya as oppose to milk, always read the label to be sure.
Once I started selling vegan brownies at my local farmers market, the response I had so overwhelming and it became one of my top selling products alongside my vegan cinnamon rolls. Many could tell that there were vegan and was a hit with vegan and non-vegans alike and was particularly popular among the chocolate lovers. From this, my vegan range started to expand to cakes, with carrot cake being one of the first cakes I sold at the market and over a year later, the demand for vegan celebration cakes and cupcakes are trending and I am proud to say that the recent feedback I have received from my vegan range has been very positive.
The next vegan recipe that I am determined to ace are macarons so wish me luck!!