Everyone loves sweet treats! Unfortunately for those vegetarian and vegan friends, sometimes it can be a little bit difficult to find home baking recipes that don’t call for a couple of eggs or some full-fat butter. That said, there are some amazing vegan egg alternatives as well as vegan chocolate and butter. Don’t think your baking options are limited if you’re a vegan as this isn’t true nowadays! The vegan market is saturated and this will only get better as time goes on. While vegan baking can sometimes be difficult, it is by no means impossible! With lent well underway, some of you may be taking up the challenge to see whether or not you can go Vegan, so we’ve taken a look at four fantastic sweet treats for you to get started. Or if you’re not vegan yourself, but you’re looking at earning some brownie points or doing something spontaneously nice for your vegan friends, these treats will also do swimmingly.
- No-Bake Protein Bars
Ingredients: 1 Tbsp raw almonds, 3 Tbsp vanilla vegan protein powder, 4 pitted Medjool dates, 125g almond butter.
These almond butter bars are a fan favourite and are super easy to make. Simply mix your almond butter, dates and protein powder in a food processor until it is smooth. Add your almonds and blend until the almonds are broken up into little chunks.
By now your mixture should be thick and ready to form. Add a little more protein powder if not. Now simply form them into bars or cookies or whatever you like and place them into the freezer overnight to harden them up. Voila!
- Cinnamon Sugar Pumpkin Doughnuts
Ingredients: tsp nutmeg, tsp ginger, tsp kosher salt, tsp apple cider vinegar or white vinegar, 2 tsp baking powder, 2 tbsp almond butter, 2 tbsp lightly packed brown sugar, 3 tbsp unsweetened applesauce, 6 tbsp non-dairy milk, 75g organic cane sugar, 125g pureed pumpkin, 125g whole wheat pastry flour, 250g all-purpose flour.
For the Sugar: tsp cinnamon, 75g almond butter, 125g sugar.
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Grease two mini doughnut pans with Earth Balance or another butter substitute. In a large bowl whisk together your applesauce, brown sugar, almond butter, vinegar, milk, pumpkin and sugar, sifting in your dry ingredients afterwards.
Mix until combined then get a zip-lock pastry bag. Spoon your mixture into the bag, tying the end with a rubber band. Cut a small hole at one of the corners to make a piping bag. Now pipe your dough around the circle of the doughnut pans, patting it down slightly with wet fingers. Bake them in the oven for around 12 minutes at 180 degrees until they gently spring back when touched. Meanwhile, work on your sugar.
Melt the almond butter in a small bowl and mix the sugar and cinnamon in a plastic bag. Once the doughnuts have cooked and cooled, dip the doughnuts into the melted butter and then place in the bag. Shake vigorously to give them a thorough coating.
- Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies
Ingredients: tsp cinnamon, tsp kosher salt, tsp baking soda, 1 tsp vanilla extract, 7 tbsp almond butter mixed with 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, 1 tbsp ground flax mixed with 3 tbsp water, 75g organic cane sugar, 125g packed brown sugar, 125g dark chocolate chips, 250g gluten-free oat flour, 250g Bob’s Red Mill almond flour.
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees, lining a baking sheet with greaseproof paper. Beat together your almond butter and oil until it is fluffy, then add the sugars and beat until creamy. Mix together your flax egg and add it into the mixture along with the vanilla extract. Beat in your remaining ingredients and finish off by folding in your chocolate chips.
Shape balls of dough and place them onto the baking sheet, giving them enough space as the balls will deflate and flatten throughout the cooking process. Bake for around 10 minutes until the edges turn a golden brown. Leave to cool on the baking sheet and then transfer to a cooling rack for another 10 minutes. After that, they are ready to eat!
- Salted Caramel Cups
Ingredients: tsp sea salt, 1.5 tsp vanilla extract, 500gs pitted dates to be soaked in water (save 60ml of this for later),
For the Chocolate: 1 tsp virgin coconut oil, 175g vegan chocolate chips
To start off with, melt the chocolate chips however you choose while stirring in the coconut oil. Line your mini cupcakes with the melted chocolate, leaving some chocolate to top them off once finished. Place the cups in the fridge to set. Now drain your soaked dates, leaving the water to one side and blend all of the ingredients in a high-speed blender.
Add 60ml of your preserved date water to the mixture and blend until smooth and creamy. Add your layer of caramel to your solid layer of chocolate, finishing the cups off with the rest of your melted chocolate and set again in the fridge. Eat as soon as possible!
Whatever your personal reasons for going Vegan or whether you just wanted to see whether it was possible and Lent gave you that opportunity, it is always good to realise that there are ways of cooking your favourite treats without skimping out on the flavour. Plus, vegan treats are often incredibly healthy and as they are all natural, they are perfect for those looking for ‘detox’ treatment or for those looking at cleansing their bodies of toxins. They’ll also go down well with your vegetarian and vegan friends, so give it a go!
Article provided by Mike James, an independent content writer working together with London based cake specialist Cakes by Robin, who were consulted over this post.