Vegan Substitutes for Baking

By: Marissa Donovan M.S., R.D. |

No-Sugar-Added Vegan Oatmeal Cookies

Pictured Recipe: No-Sugar-Added Vegan Oatmeal Cookies

What to swap for eggs, dairy and butter to bake vegan treats.

Vegan baking can seem tricky. You need to replace eggs, butter, dairy and any other animal-based products in traditional recipes. But once you learn what you can swap in, it becomes easier to bake up vegan treats. These tricks can also work if you're baking for someone with dairy or egg allergies, as well as if you just run out of eggs (happens to the best of us). The caveat? You're best off following a recipe that is vegan to begin with. Baking is a science and swapping these vegan-friendly ingredients isn't always guaranteed to work. For example, mashed banana might be a great egg replacer in banana bread but may not work as well to make a birthday cake. With that in mind, here are some swaps to help you with your vegan baking.

Related: Healthy Vegan Desserts

Dairy Substitutes

Vegan Apple Pie

Pictured Recipe: Vegan Apple Pie


If a recipe calls for cow's milk, try using an equal amount of unsweetened soymilk, almond milk or coconut milk. Pick a nondairy milk that will complement the taste of the dish, like coconut milk in tropical treats or almond milk in nuttier baked goods.


Use any nondairy milk to make vegan "buttermilk": add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to 1 cup of nondairy milk.


Try swapping out butter for canola oil, olive oil or coconut oil. For recipes that really need that "buttery" feel, such as pie crust or frosting, use a vegan margarine or vegan shortening. Check the label to make sure that there are no partially hydrogenated oils.

Egg Substitutes

Vegan Pumpkin Pie

Pictured Recipe: Vegan Pumpkin Pie


Sub in flaxseeds mixed with water in place of eggs in some baking recipes. Mix 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed with 3 tablespoons of water and let sit for 10 minutes. Use in place of a single egg.


Applesauce is another good substitute for eggs in baking. Use 1/4 cup of applesauce in place of 1 egg.


This starchy fruit is a great stand-in for eggs in baked goods like pancakes or sweet breads. Mash half a medium banana to substitute for 1 egg.


The liquid in your canned chickpeas can actually replace egg whites in baking. It's hard to believe it until you see it—and then wow! The aquafaba actually whips up and creates volume just like egg whites. Try aquafaba in this Vegan Pumpkin Pie Recipe.

Watch: How to Make Vegan Pumpkin Pie

Get More: Healthy Vegan Recipes

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