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What Are the Different Types of Vegan Pastries?

By Brandon May
Updated May 17, 2024
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Vegan pastries such as cookies, cakes, brownies and croissants are easily made for those desiring desserts that include no animal products or byproducts. Many traditional baked goods and pastries are easily replicated in the vegan kitchen by using egg substitutes and dairy replacements, such as almond or coconut milk. Brownies and cakes that can be made vegan include chocolate cake and vanilla cake, as well as peanut and almond butter brownies. Many scones and croissants can also be made using no animal ingredients, without compromising taste; however, the texture of the final products do differ slightly.

The most popular vegan pastries available in supermarkets and vegan bakeries are cookies, as they are relatively simple to make and do not require many substitutions. Pastry chefs making a vegan cookie often replace the egg in a traditional cookie recipe with a vegan substitute, like soaked flaxseed, or leave out the egg replacement all together. Instead of using white sugar, which is often processed with bone char from animals, unprocessed sugar like honey or turbinado sugar may be used. Some vegan pastries, like cookies, include vegan chocolate chips, vegan sprinkles or vegan candies baked into the pastry.

Brownies are also quite common in vegan kitchens, and can be made from wheat flour, nut butters or ground nuts and seeds. Vegan brownie recipes are often very similar to vegan cake recipes, which only require the use of more leavening agents to produce a lighter and fluffier texture. With vegan brownies and cakes, vegetable oils or melted butter substitutes are used to help give the pastry a moist texture, and also aid in overall taste and flavor. Most vegan pastries contain non-hydrogenated oils, to reduce trans-fat content, however, there are some recipes that do call for margarine or other oil varieties that do contain trans-fat.

Scones and croissants are traditionally made with animal ingredients such as butter, eggs and dairy. Their vegan varieties are made with animal substitutes, such as vegetable oils and almond or soy milk. Although these types of vegan pastries can be made, their final texture and taste may not mimic a traditional recipe due to the lack of natural leavening from eggs and dairy. Most vegan pastries attempt to be a healthier alternative to their non-vegan counterparts, yet individuals can still consume vegan pastries that contain large amounts of sugar or processed fats if ingredient labels aren't carefully observed.

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