Some like to say that cooking is an art, and baking is a science. This is of course, not to ignore the incredible cakes, tarts, and cookies that are as beautiful looking as they taste. For the vegan diet, two of the primary components of most baked goods - butter and eggs, must be replaced. Some new vegan bakers overthink what these ingredients stand for in a baking recipe. This quick guide will show the top 4 substitutes for dairy based butter and how to use them best!
Before using coconut oil, be wary of the amount of vegan butter needed in your recipe. Coconut oil in part is an excellent butter substitute because of its extremely high saturated fat content. This explains why it will coalesce and see topical use, where olive and other oils may not provide the same effect. However, this also makes coconut oil one of the least healthy oils to consume in large quantity. If your recipe calls for a half cup of butter or more, steer clear. Otherwise, this affordable and multipurpose oil is an excellent household item.
Tahini is a light, runny sesame paste often seen flavoring Middle Eastern dishes both as a condiment and as a base ingredient in hummus. Due to its texture, smoothness, and light flavor, it's a terrific butter substitute. Tahini is certainly runnier than traditionally solid butter, so be mindful of the texture of your batter. Unlike coconut oil, it is low in bad fats and will not inflect much of its flavor into the finished recipe.
In many ways nut butters pose the opposite textural problem that tahini does. Nut butters are thick and often flavorful, which can impact the portions needed to achieve the desired texture for your batter. As always, choose an unsweetened, creamy variety to best replicate dairy butter without overpowering any part of the final form. The great thing about nut butter, is they're abundant and numerous in their variety.
Sometimes, store bought vegan butter can be our best bet. Be sure to look into the ingredient panel before checking out! Many vegan butters feature hydrogenated oils, palm oil, and a variety of preservatives. A brand like Miyoko's cultures their butter and avoids the use of these malefactors.