Vegan Cake Hack
Ok, so at some point in our childhoods, we’ve probably all been sent to school with a couple dozen made-from-a-box cupcakes to share with our classmates and celebrate our birthdays. While I’ve always personally preferred to make my desserts from scratch, there have been times where a boxed mix has come in handy… Like last week when a certain indecisive toddler happened to change her mind every five minutes about what kind of cake she wanted on her birthday. By the fifth change of heart, I just gave up on making sure I had all of the ingredients for all different flavor cakes on hand. So I went to the grocery store, picked out a few basic boxed mix flavors and let her have her pick from the line up when the time came.
Believe it or not, there are a number of standard grocery store box mixes that are actually vegan. The catch is that almost all of these mixes call for egg in the recipe. And though there are a lot of well-known vegan egg replacers, it can be tricky to get the replacement right when baking a cake using a non-vegan recipe. Baking is a science and measurements are key—and that’s because certain ingredients react in specific ways when combined with certain other ingredients. Knowing what the egg is being used for in the non-vegan recipe matters when deciding what type of replacement to use. If you use a replacement for binding when the egg in the original recipe is used for leavening, you’ll end up with a flat and/or dense cake.
I have found that the rule of thumb for boxed mixes that call for 3 eggs in the recipe is that you need a replacement that will both leaven and bind—basically 2 “eggs “ for binding and 1 “egg” for leavening. So this hack is specifically for a boxed cake recipe that calls for three eggs. When baking your cake, follow the recipe on the back of the box, with the only exception being that you use the egg replacers listed below instead of the called for eggs.
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- 2 tablespoon water + 1 tablespoon vegetable oil + 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 tablespoons ground chia seeds + 6 tablespoons water
- Combine chia seeds in water and let stand for 10 minutes.
- Combine water, vegetable oil and baking powder.
- Prepare the batter as called for on the back of the box, subbing the chia mixture and baking powder mixture in place of eggs.