Recipes with Julie van Roosendaal: Vegan Bread

We’re seeing a global shift toward more plant-based eating, with consumers becoming more aware of the environmental consequences of our diet, concerned about animal welfare, or simply concerned with the growing number of vegan options on grocery shelves.

While reducing or eliminating meat (and/or eggs and dairy) from our main meals is relatively simple, baking is seen as a science – and most recipes are based by default on butter, milk, and eggs.

Although baking involves more precision, and the recipes can be tricky, it is possible to make cookies, cakes, pastries, and other baked goods made entirely from plants.

And there is no need to frame these formulations as “substitutes” that are not perfect, or not as good as those made with more common ingredients.

We talked about how to bake without butter, milk, and/or eggs on The Eyeopener.

Calgary Eobner9:09Julie van Rosendal talks about bread without eggs

Our food guide Julie van Rosendal is about thinking outside the egg carton.

Here are some notes about each component:


Here’s the easy part – there are plenty of non-dairy milks on the market: oats, coconut, cashews… I love yellow pea dairy like Sproud’s which is a bit higher in protein, and the new NextMilk, made with silk, Which is based on oats and coconut and is the closest in taste and texture to dairy milk I’ve tried.


I use canola or other neutral vegetable oils by default in muffins, muffins, and quick breads (like banana bread). Liquid fat works well when using the quick baking method – you combine the wet and dry ingredients separately, then stir them together. When the flavor of the butter is important (such as in chocolate chip cookies), when you need more solid fat (if you’re rubbing it into pastry or cookie dough) or beating it with sugar to incorporate air into the mixture, grow butter and margarines work well. Good, although tub-like types contain more moisture and can lead to a more lumpy texture. Coconut oil, which is very stiff at room temperature, also works well — alone or with other fats — and will give your cookies a crisp edge. Ghee is vegetable and easy to use in pastry recipes, often as a fat in frozen puff pastry, and is easy to melt and use.


Although eggs act as a binder and will help baked goods rise, there are plenty of options if you can’t or choose not to use eggs in baking. Flax eggs are a popular alternative – stir in 1 tablespoon of ground flax with 2 1/2-3 tablespoons of water to produce a sticky mixture that can help settle and bind the dough like an egg. Vegan mayonnaise, full of corn and potato starch, works well in muffins and mixes, as do fruit purees (I like mashed frozen bananas, which have a lot of pectin and don’t add a strong banana flavor like ripe bananas from your fruit bowl) and aqua faba—the liquid that It is filtered from a can of chickpeas or beans. (If you don’t plan on using the beans, freeze them for later!) Carbonated water is a popular addition in muffins and quick bread, and JustEgg is a great new product—made in Canada, made with mung beans, it’s a yellow-yolk liquid that can be used in place of eggs in everything. From baked goods, pancakes and the like, to quiches and scrambled eggs. I have tried all of the above, with great success.

Some additional tips that may help in the absence of eggs: Try using bread flour, which is higher in protein (more gluten), which gives baked goods more structure and elasticity, similar to having eggs in a dough or batter. . You can also leave the muffin, cake, or quick-baking mixture in the pan for 20-30 minutes before placing it in the oven, giving the baking soda or powder time to generate more carbon dioxide bubbles before you start baking. (You can increase the amount of baking powder or soda, too, but do so in small amounts, as too much can give your bread a metallic taste!)

Delicious deep chocolate vegan cake

This biscuit is much faster than traditional cinnamon buns. (Julie Van Rosendal)

I like to use mashed ripe bananas from the freezer in this cake, which reduces the banana flavor. (Quantity is a range, since bananas vary in size.) To make cupcakes, divide batter among paper-lined muffin cups and bake for 20-25 minutes, until soft to the touch.

  • 1 cup oats, yellow peas, coconut, or other non-dairy milk
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup cocoa
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil (or 1/4 cup melted vegetable shortening + 1/4 cup oil)
  • 1/3 cup vegan mayonnaise
  • 1/3-1/2 cup mashed overripe bananas (or pumpkin purée)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 cup hot coffee (decaffeinated is good! I come in handy for baking)


  • 1/2 cup vegan butter
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup cocoa
  • 1/4-1/3 cup oats, peas, or non-dairy milk (or water)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • pinch of salt

Heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a small bowl or measuring cup, stir the lemon juice with the milk and let it sit while you mix the rest of the mixture.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In another bowl, whisk together the oil, mayonnaise, mashed banana or applesauce, and vanilla. Add the dry ingredients with the milk and stir until the ingredients are combined. Add hot coffee and blend until smooth.

Spray two 8- or 9-inch round or square pans or a 9-by-13-inch skillet with nonstick spray and divide the mixture between them (or pour it into a 9-by-13-inch skillet). Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the cake is slightly domed and the center of the cake is springy to the touch. Cool completely before icing.

To make the garnishes, whisk together butter, powdered sugar, cocoa, half the milk or water, vanilla, and salt until smooth and lighter in texture, adding more liquid as needed to make them fluffy and spreadable. (If using unsalted margarine, add a pinch of salt.) Spoon into a piping bag with a star tip and rows of garnishes on top of cake, or spread over top with a knife.

Makes 9″ by 9″ square or round cakes or one 9″ by 13″ cake.

Chocolate oat biscuits

A cookie made with oatmeal and chocolate is a sweet thing. These use boiling water and baking soda instead of eggs, and are based on a classic from the yellow Best of Bridge book Enjoy! I like to push a chocolate bar on top of each piece as well, to make sure each cookie gets one, and to make it look more chocolatey.

  • 1 cup vegan butter or coconut oil (or a combination)
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/3 cup boiling water
  • 1 1/2 cups old or quick oats
  • 1-2 cups (or so) dark chocolate or vegan chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts or pecans (optional)

Heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a large bowl, beat the butter, sugars, and vanilla for 1-2 minutes until pale and light. Stir in the flour and salt (or beat on low speed). Stir the baking soda into the boiling water and stir or also whisk it with the oats, chocolate chips, and walnuts.

Drop the dough into tablespoons (or us a ladle, or roll into balls) and if you like, press an extra bar of chocolate (or a few chocolate chips) on top with your hand.

Bake for 12-15 minutes, until golden around the edges but still tender in the middle. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Makes about 1 1/2 dozen cookies.

sticky cinnamon biscuit

I’ve been making this sticky biscuit for decades – it’s much faster than traditional yeast-raised cinnamon buns, but no less delicious! If desired, sprinkle the non-sticky side with a glaze made with 1/3 cup powdered sugar and 1 tablespoon each margarine and (non-dairy) milk while it’s still warm. Sometimes I do this, and other times I flip them onto a plate or board to serve the sticky side.


  • 1/4 cup vegan butter or ghee
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup Roger’s golden syrup or maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons water (optional)


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup oats, yellow peas, or other non-dairy milk
  • 1/4 cup canola or other light vegetable oil


  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (ish) golden Rogers or maple syrup (you can pour this for free!)
  • cinnamon

Heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Put the butter, brown sugar, syrup, and water in an 8″ x 8″ or 9″ x 9″ lined pan. Place the skillet in the oven while it is heating for about 5 minutes, or long enough to melt the butter. Pull the pan out and stir everything together with a fork.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder, and salt. Add milk and oil and stir until you get a soft dough.

On a surface lightly sprinkled with flour, pat or roll dough into a 9-by-12-inch rectangle (aim a little larger than a standard sheet of paper—it doesn’t have to be perfect). Sprinkle with brown sugar, sprinkle with syrup (you can eyeball it, you don’t have to measure accurately) and sprinkle with cinnamon. Starting at the long side, tightly roll the jelly roll pattern into a log.

Cut 9 or 12 biscuits using dental floss or a serrated knife, and place the cut side down in the pan. Bake for 20 minutes until golden. Spray it with simple glaze if you like, or turn it over on a plate while it’s still warm.

Makes 9-12 biscuits.

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