Cakes are one of the things which you may think become no-go options, both from a vegan point of view, and from a weight loss point of view.
But believe it or not, it is possible to make a cake that is both vegan and good for you. Or at least not too bad for you anyway! So the next time you have a celebration with friends or family coming up, you can have your cake and eat it too.
The best part is that no one will even be able to taste the difference!
On the basis that we are losing eggs, butter, milk, sugar, and normal flour….it seems like we’ll have nothing to make a cake out of. Well here are the substitutes you can use. You will need to use a bit of your own judgement and some trial and error to make sure you have the right quantities of each ingredient though. IOts a bit like being back in science class!
If you swap out processed normal flour for a mixture of blanched almond flour, coconut flour and arrowroot flour, you are relying purely on unprocessed natural sources. And that can surely only be a good thing.
Wheat is refined, processed, put through all kinds of chemicals before it reaches you and is strongly linked with weight gain, poor insulin management and poor digestion. By cutting out wheat and gluten, you are avoiding these.
There are plenty of substitutes for egg that are vegan friendly.
Plain old vegan apple sauce does the trick usually. It is healthy, natural, keeps cake moist and binds them. Perfect.
A slightly more expensive, but possibly more effective answer is EnerG Egg Replacer, which is commonly available in most grocery stores.
Milk can be replaced by any vegan-friendly milk substitute. This could be almond milk, hazelnut milk, soy milk, rice milk or oat milk. Almond or hazelnut are the most directly from natural sources and have the best nutrient balance, but any of them can be used.
Not all sugars are vegan friendly. It’s something we only recently discovered, but there seems to be plenty of evidence backing it.
It turns out several white sugars are whitened by animal bone char, so you would be best off going for something unbleached, or more natural. Cane sugar is a great option. In Asia, a sweet sap called jaggery is often used and has several health benefits associated with it as well.
Agave nectar is popular for its low glucose content, as it is mostly natural fruit sugar.
If you are watching your calories, and your sugar intake, vegan-friendly stevia would do the trick for you. It is sweeter than sugar, has no calories and is sourced from plants. You will just need to be careful and make sure the brand you use is vegan friendly.
As yummy as it is, butter is unsurprisingly dairy and therefore not vegan. To replace butter, you can use some more apple sauce, you can swap in nut butters such as almond butter or cashew butter if you’re looking for natural sources and wanting to stick with being healthy.
If you want to pig out a bit, you can get vegan-friendly vegetable shortening and margarine to take the place of butter, but the subtle flavour of cooked and slightly toasted nut butter does the trick.
There are a couple of ways to get a nice thick, creamy frosting for your cakes. The pigging out way and the healthy way.
The pigging out way is largely just using vegan margarine, some appropriate sugar, what ever other flavouring you want to add and preparing it as normal frosting.
If you want to do it the healthy way though, believe it or not, you can use tofu.
If you liquify a block of silken tofu, add your sugar or sweetener of choice, some coconut oil and your flavouring of choice, it should get you pretty close to creamy dairy-style frosting. If your frosting then needs thickening, add in a bit of ground arrowroot and that should do the job.
All healthy, and unprocessed. Perfect.
And there you have it. Have fun with these ingredients, play around with them, see how they work and combine with each other. In no time all of your vegan-unfriendly recipes will become not only vegan, and yummy, but won’t hang around your hips either!
Do you have any healthy vegan cake recipes? Share them below!
Photo by Kimberly Vardeman