Two bowls of soy yogurt topped with fruits
Switch Language

Want to know a secret? You can easily make vegan versions of your favorite dishes! Don’t miss out on your favorite meals just because they’re traditionally made with animal products. There are countless vegan recipes available online and in cookbooks, and right here on our blog! In this article, we’re going to teach you about some great vegan baking and cooking swaps. Let’s learn about plant-based substitutions.

Fruit bowls with flax

Vegan Baking and Cooking Swaps: Deliciously Plant-Based Substitutions

Dairy-Free Delights in Baking:

Gone are the days of sacrificing fluffy cakes and creamy desserts when going vegan. Here are some ingenious swaps to keep your baked goods decadent and delicious:

Milk(less) Magic:

Ditch the dairy milk and embrace a plethora of plant-based alternatives! Soy milk, rice milk, almond milk, oat milk, and coconut milk are all excellent choices for plant-based substitutions, each offering unique flavors and textures. Opt for unsweetened varieties for baking to avoid unwanted sugar spikes. Opt for flavored versions, such as vanilla, to make baked goods even tastier! There is so much flexibility thanks to milk alternatives.

Blend mixing Almond Milk
Almond Milk being poured into a coffee cup, with fruit in the background

Eggcellent Substitutes:

Eggs play a crucial role in binding and leavening baked goods. But worry not, vegan bakers! Mashed bananas, applesauce, flaxseed meal mixed with water, and aquafaba (the chickpea canning liquid) all work wonders as egg replacements. Sneaking in cinnamon applesauce to baking recipes is one of our favorite plant-based substitutions.


Wooden spoon of flaxseed
Green apples and cinnamon sticks on display

Butter Bliss:

Vegan butter is readily available, but you can also whip up your own using cashews or nut butter! You can often substitute butter with oil (3/4 oil to 1 cup butter) in recipes. Coconut oil, olive oil, or vegetable oil can also be suitable plant-based substitutions depending on the recipe. Coconut oil will be best for cookies, pies, and quick breads where a hint of coconut flavor is desirable. Olive oil will be best for savory breads, focaccia, cakes with robust flavors like lemon or herbs, and muffins. Vegetable oil will be best for neutral-flavored cakes, muffins, and quick breads when a subtle flavor is preferred. Enjoy these plant-based substitutions instead of butter.

Olive Oil with olives inside the bowl as decoration

Dairy-Free Delights in Cooking:

With a little creativity and exploration, you can easily navigate a vegan kitchen and create delicious meals without relying on dairy products in your cooking. Check out our favorite plant-based substitutions for savory dishes!

Cheese alternatives:

Cashew cheese can be made by soaking and blending cashews. It’s versatile and can be flavored for different uses. Nutritional yeast adds a cheesy umami flavor to sauces, dips, and popcorn. Vegan cheese slices and shreds are available in so many varieties, offering convenient alternatives for pizzas, sandwiches, and more.

Cashew cheese with raw cashews on display

Yogurt alternatives:

Soy yogurt has aimilar consistency and tang to dairy yogurt, often fortified with calcium and probiotics. Coconut yogurt has a thicker and richer texture, good for parfaits and smoothies. Oat yogurt is creamy and slightly sweet, ideal for breakfast bowls and snacks. These plant-based substitutions for yogurt are great, animal-friendly choices!

Two bowls of soy yogurt topped with fruits

Sour cream alternatives:

Cashew sour cream is similar to cashew cheese but tangier, making it perfect for tacos and dips. Soy sour cream is similar to soy yogurt but thicker and tangier, suitable for toppings and sauces. We love a veggie taco smothered in soy sour cream!

Cream alternatives:

Yes, there are even plant-based substitutions for cream! Vegan heavy cream, which can be coconut-based or oat-based, is perfect for sauces and soups. You can also use it in your morning coffee.

Mayonnaise altneratives:

Vegan mayo made with chickpea aquafaba or avocado is great for sandwiches and dressings.

Avocado spread on toast topped with spinach

Meatless Marvels in Cooking:

Vegan cooking doesn’t have to be synonymous with bland, flavorless meals. Here are some creative plant-based substitutions to bring vibrant taste and satisfying textures to your plant-based dishes:


Meat(less) Magic:

Lentils, crumbled tofu, tempeh, seitan, and portobello mushrooms are all fantastic meat substitutes, each offering unique culinary possibilities. Explore their flavors and textures to find your favorites! Check our our lentil curry recipe for a protein packed, filling meal.

Vegetable display with Tofu

Dairy(free) Delights:

Vegan cheese, yogurt, and sour cream have come a long way, offering delicious and dairy-free alternatives for pizzas, dips, and sauces. Nutritional yeast also adds a cheesy touch and a boost of B vitamins. This is one of our powerhouse plant-based substitutions. We love nutritional yeast as a pasta and pizza topper! 

Seafood Swaps

Hijiki seaweed, nori sheets, and jackfruit can surprisingly satisfy seafood cravings. Experiment with marinades, spices, and cooking techniques to create flavorful plant-based versions of your favorite seafood dishes.

Beyond the Swaps:

Remember, vegan cooking and baking are not just about plant-based substitutions. Embrace the abundance of fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds to create vibrant and flavorful dishes that are naturally vegan. Explore new cuisines, discover hidden gems at your local farmers market, and have fun experimenting in the kitchen!

The best substitutes often depend on the specific recipe and desired taste. Experiment and find what works best for you!

Vegetable display of tomatoes, beans, peppers, mushrooms
Zum Rezept: Veganer Mett-Igel

Bonus Tips:

Read food labels: This helps you stay informed about hidden animal ingredients and choose truly vegan products.

Start small: Don’t overwhelm yourself with a complete overhaul or go crazy with plant-based substitutions. Begin with one or two swaps and gradually incorporate more as you get comfortable.

Get creative: Don’t be afraid to experiment and have fun! The possibilities for delicious vegan baking and cooking are endless.

Connect with the community: Join online forums or local vegan groups to share tips, recipes, and support with fellow plant-powered chefs. Check out our This Is Vegan blog for more tips, advice, and recipes.

With these tips and swaps in mind, you’re well on your way to creating delicious and satisfying vegan meals that are good for you and the planet. So, unleash your inner plant-powered chef and embark on a culinary adventure that’s both flavorful and compassionate!

Farmers market vegetable display

Now, should you really not feel like baking or cooking today, and happen to be in Washington, DC, go check out some of our favorite vegan restaurants instead

This Is Vegan - Support Us!

On this page you will find affiliate links. If you purchase your favorite products through these links, we will receive a commission, which automatically supports us.

Alternatively, you can support us directly by following us on Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, LinkedIn or Pinterest, listening to our podcast, subscribing and rating it here:

👇🏼You can find more from our vegan community on Instagram! 👇🏼

Vegan Swaps: Plant-Based Substitutions

Please install and activate Powerkit plugin from Appearance → Install Plugins. And activate Opt-in Forms module.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *