I am often asked what it means to bake vegan. A vegan diet excludes all animal products and animal-derived ingredients. To a baker this means avoiding the use of eggs, honey, gelatin, dairy and dairy products. Fortunately there is a plethora of vegan substitutions available today.
Unfortunately the options were less plentiful back when I became interested in vegan baked goods. One year, for my birthday, I decided to have a local bakery produce a vegan cake for my celebration. My family, being less adventurous, thought this was absurd. But, the cake was pretty and it was my birthday so they followed my wishes and tasted it. The cake was horrible! Even I couldn’t stomach it. To this day my family still chides me about the catastrophic cake.
Years later I was redeemed at my wedding. The baker, from the now closed Joseph’s Dessert Company, made a spectacular vegan cake. It was not only beautiful but so delicious that nary a guest suspected the cake’s secret. The most important cake of my life was a success! (The picture above shows the cake that my husband and I helped design.)