Vegan Baking Ingredients

We're slowly but surely expanding our never ending vegan baking ingredient glossary. No vegan baking ingredient is safe!

Coconut Oil

Coconut OilCoconut oil comes from the meat or kernel of the coconut from the coconut palm. In vegan baking applications coconut oil is very useful because it's solid at room temperature and contains no trans fats. Due to it being solid at room temperature it works wonderfully as a shortening or butter substitute in things like frostings, spreads, pound cakes, shortbread, etc. It's also one of the main ingredients in Vegan Butter.

Coconut oil is great for high heat applications because it has a high smoke point of 360F (180C). It's high amount of saturated fats allows it to have extraordinary shelf life, approaching two years without going rancid. These saturated fats also allow it to be solid at room temperature and melt at around 76F (24C).

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CardamomCardamom is too often relegated to the corner of the spice rack, somewhere beyond the cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger when it comes to baking. Cardamom is every bit as interesting as those other spices often reminding the palate of a combination of all three. A member of the Zingiberaceae or ginger family, cardamom is the second most expensive spice in the world after saffron. Cardamom offers a spicy, sweet aroma with astringent notes and is native to the forests of Southern India and Sri Lanka. According to legend, Cleopatra used cardamom smoke to scent her palace before a visit by Mark Anthony.  It comes in two genera: Elettaria cardamomum (green cardamom) and Amomum cardamomum (black, brown, red and nepal cardamom).

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VanillaOf the spices used for baking perhaps none is as intriguing as vanilla. Catching a vanilla aroma outside of a bakeshop or kitchen can start an appetite out of thin air for sweets. Vanilla is sexy and mysterious. How does something so essential to desserts come from such a humble little pod?

Vanilla's rich history being cultivated started with the Totonac people in what is now modern day Mexico. Cortez eventually found the orchid pods along with chocoalte and brought them back to Spain and gave it the name vanilla which means little pod.

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Turbinado Sugar

Turbinado SugarTurbinado sugar is made from crushing sugar cane to extract the juices. The juices are then evaporated by heat then crystalized. After evaporation the crystals are then spun in a turbine or cylinder to remove the last bits of moisture. Turbinado comes from the word turbine.

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Barley Malt

Barley MaltAlso known as malted barley or malt extract, barley malt is a thick sweet syrup made from sprouting barley and using its enzymes to convert the starches into sugar. This mixture is then cooked down until it's reduced to a thick syrup. This process is known as malting. Barley malt is similar to molasses in its consistency although it's flavor is less strong and not as bitter as molasses. This dark brown syrup is great for enhancing pumpkin flavors in baked goods. It's also good when you want to increase the flavor complexity of baked goods.

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