Veganuary is a UK non-profit organisation which was started in 2014 by Jane Land and Matthew Glover. They encourage people worldwide each year to try a vegan lifestyle for the month of January. The aim is that people keep it up afterwards. Delicious Veganuary cakes can also be a part of this journey!
Veganism is a philosophy and way of life seeking to exclude all forms of cruelty to animals. This can be for food, clothing or any other purpose. They choose instead to use non-animal derived products for their safety as well as that of humans and the environment.
According to the company’s 2021 campaign results, over 582,000 people ‘pledged’ worldwide to try a vegan diet. Interestingly, the UK continues to have the biggest participation. When asked, 22% of people said they did it for health reasons, 46% for the sake of animals and 21% to help the environment.
Veganuary continues to grow each year in participation, awareness and understanding and is now a firm fixture in the calendar. The hashtag #veganuary received over 170 million views on Tik Tok by the end of January last year.
What does the term ‘vegan’ mean?
Being vegan means people follow a plant-based diet and don’t eat any food derived from animals. They typically don’t even use animal-derived materials or products. This includes dairy products, such as milk, cheese, and yogurt. Vegans avoid eggs and honey, but can opt for plant-based alternatives.
There are many reasons someone chooses a vegan lifestyle, with the top motives around animal welfare. It may also be for environmental concerns and to improve their own health.
Vegan food is growing in popularity as awareness and understanding about veganism grows. New vegan friendly products are launching every year. According to Veganuary, there were 439 new products and 154 new vegan menu options all launched in the UK in January 2021, all to support consumers in their Veganuary endeavour.
This popularity of a vegan diet also extends to all things sweet, including cakes and bakes. When using the right ingredients these are just as delicious as their traditional non vegan counterparts. Vegan cakes are dairy and egg free, but they are definitely not taste free.
What’s the difference between vegan and non-vegan cakes?
The main difference between a vegan cake and a non vegan cake is the replacement of eggs and dairy. What is used instead are plant-based alternatives with no animal derived ingredients. Dairy free milk and butter alternatives as well as egg substitutes are just some of the ingredients used. Bicarbonate of soda and white wine vinegar are great as well.
For the baking powder and flour, you don’t need to substitute these as both are naturally vegan, even white flour. Be sure to use active baking powder though, as that’s what helps your cake rise. Even though there are some alternative ingredients being used to make vegan treats, all of them are perfectly good for baking. They will still help you to create yummy vegan friendly cakes for any occasion.
Whether you are a plant based vegan pro or a newbie to the world of veganism, Veganuary cakes can be super enjoyable. Whether you are following a recipe or have decided to buy a pre-made cake, you will end up with a delicious vegan friendly cake. It will make your mouth water and give anyone you know total cake envy!
How to substitute dairy products in a cake
Use dairy free alternatives to make a cake vegan and start by looking at the butter. There are many different ones you can use such as Vitalite Dairy Free, Flora 100% Natural Dairy Free and Stork Baking Spread Alternative to name but a few. A Marie Makes favourite is the Flora Plant Butter as it gives the cake a nice rich flavour. The texture is also the closest to butter that we can find.
The second thing to look at is an alternative to the cow’s milk. There are lots of different options available nowadays in most supermarkets such as coconut milk, soya milk, oat milk and almond milk. The Marie Makes favourite for baking is oat milk. It has a nice creamy taste, similar to that of cow’s milk. It’s also a relatively mild flavour so as to not impact the overall taste of the cake.
As a substitute for eggs, a common recommendation is Aquafaba, which is made from soaking or cooking chickpeas in water. This doesn’t tend to work that well for cakes and bakes though. It’s not particularly easy to work with and can completely change the cake texture. The cakes tend to turn out better if you use a vegan specific recipe as opposed to adapting a traditional one containing eggs. When making biscuits, a good suggestions is using ground flax seeds. For the equivalent of one egg you should use 1 tsp of ground flax seeds mixed with 1 tbsp of water.
Try a Veganuary cake recipe
Instead of trying to adapt a traditional dairy and egg based recipe, try a Veganuary cake one. This will already use ingredients to give the best results. Oil based cake recipes work best using bicarbonate of soda and white vinegar, as they give the best rise in cakes.
Vegan friendly baking doesn’t have to be limiting, boring or tasteless and after trying a vegan cake or bake, you will wonder why you’ve never gone vegan before.
If you don’t fancy doing the baking just yet though, check out our selection of vegan cakes and bakes. Alternatively, if you have a special occasion coming up, Marie Makes can make a bespoke vegan cake for you. Then all you need to worry about is making a cup of tea and eating your large slice of yummy vegan-friendly cake.