Vegan Substitutes for Cooking and Baking

A marbled banana bread with chocolate chips on top

My approach to veganism is that you can still enjoy everything you did before, you just have to be a little creative and make a few swaps. With that said, here are my easy ‘go-to’s that I’ve gathered over time. I’m sharing them here so that you, too, can sneakily serve your friends vegan dishes unannounced.

I’ve included the quantity in this list of substitutes so that if your recipe calls for a certain amount, you can do math. Is there anything more fun than math?! Yes, and it’s secretly vegan cookies. Focus, Lottie.

Send me a message on Instagram @LowWasteLottie if there’s anything I left out that you’re struggling to substitute, and check out my post on my favorite vegan meat, dairy, and snack alternatives if you’re looking to swap those out, too.

Vegan Substitutes for One Egg:

These egg substitutes can be just thrown into the batter like an egg, with no prep work needed!

  • 1 tbsp vinegar + 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 cup silken tofu
  • 1/2 a mashed ripe banana
  • 1/4 cup soy yogurt
  • 1/4 cup applesauce

These egg substitutes are just as tasty, but you’ll want to mix them up beforehand and let them sit and thicken for 10 minutes before you mix them in.

  • 1 tbsp chia seeds + 3 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp flaxseed meal + 3 tbsp water

Vegan Substitutes for One Cup of Milk:

These can just be a 1:1 replacement, but keep in mind the texture and flavor of all the different milk swap options!

  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 cup soy milk
  • 1 cup coconut milk (full fat!)

Vegan Substitutes for One Cup of Buttermilk:

This is a slightly trickier flavor to replicate, but in terms of consistency and mixture, you can easily swap buttermilk in a vegan recipe.

  • 1 tbsp lemon juice + vegan milk
  • 1 tbsp vinegar + vegan milk

To mix these, you’ll want to put the tablespoon of acid into a measuring cup, and fill the rest of the cup up with milk! If you like math or doing things the long way, that’s the same as doing 15 tablespoons of milk.

Vegan Substitutes for One Cup of Heavy Cream:

These swaps are the best for mixing into a batter, but not for whipping. Keep the texture of the mixture in mind when deciding which swap to use.

  • 2/3 cup soy milk + 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch + 1 cup soy milk
  • 1 cup coconut cream

If you need to whip your heavy cream in the recipe, try this: 1/2 cup silken tofu + 1/2 cup soy milk (add sugar or vanilla if baking)

Vegan Substitutes for Butter in Recipes

I personally prefer to buy Earth Balance or another vegan butter substitute so that someone else has done the flavor work for me, but if you’re caught short, use these substitutes for every 4 tbsp of butter in a recipe:

  • 4 tbsp of a vegan butter substitute, like Earth Balance
  • 3 tbsp of vegetable oil
  • 3 tbsp of coconut oil
  • 4 tbsp margarine

Let me know if this is helpful! If it is, you can save it on Instagram or Pinterest; both of which help me grow!

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