Vegan and Plant-based Baking for the Holidays

Baking during the holidays is especially cozy. The kitchen gets warm and toasty, the smell of cinnamon, ginger, and clove wafts from room to room, and there’s always a little leftover batter to lick from the spatula.

But for plant-based bakers, creating vegan versions of the holiday classics can be tricky. The absence of ingredients like eggs, butter, and dairy creates some obstacles to achieving that perfect texture, crumb, or color.

Fortunately, some very clever cooks have developed BOTH plant-based alternatives to eggs and plant-based alternatives to dairy, and we welcome you to check them out before beginning your seasonal baking bonanza. After a quick refresher, you’ll be more than ready to whip-up vegan versions of Christmas pudding, madeleines, gingersnap cookies, and caramel apple pies.

Happy Holidays!

Cranberry Poached Pears

Although they aren’t technically baked, these luscious cranberry poached pears are most certainly appropriate holiday fare. A poaching liquid of cranberry juice infused with star anise, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves will make the pears tender and delicious and your kitchen smell divine.

Gluten-free Maple Coffee Cake

Using an alternative to wheat flour makes for a more compelling taste and texture in baked goods, and these gluten-free maple coffee cakes are no exception. Chickpea flour bolsters the cakes nutritional profile, while giving it a pleasantly dense crumb. Use a vegan butter and egg alternative to make this recipe completely plant-based.

Old Fashioned English Tea Loaf

Very similar to the classic Christmas fruitcake, this recipe for old fashioned English tea loaf from Bit of the Good Stuff is a pleasant accompaniment to after-dinner drinks. With only a few ingredients (all plant-based), baking this cake is a fun and easy way to channel the classic holiday spirit.

Snickerdoodle Cookies

A soft, chewy texture and a sweet cinnamon sugar topping put snickerdoodle cookies in a category all of their own. This recipe for vegan snickerdoodle cookies can be made in no time, which is probably what you’ll be left with after dealing with the rest of the holiday preparations!

Strawberry Coconut Almond Coffee Cake

The name says it all. This recipe hits your tastebuds from every angle: tart strawberries, crunchy almonds, soothing shreds of coconut. But the secret to making this strawberry-topped coffee cake moist and delicious is the combination of aquafaba (chickpea water), plant-based milk, and coconut oil.

Vegan Madeleines

Madeleines are dainty, elegant, and the perfect relief after a decadent holiday feast. This vegan version of the classic French dessert from Rhian’s Recipes is easy to make and only requires one bowl. The resulting cookie has a toothsome exterior and a tender inside.

Vegan Streusel Blueberry Muffins

Perfect for holiday mornings, this recipe for vegan streusel blueberry muffins is a beginner-baker’s best friend. Totally vegan, these muffins show how delicious plant-based baked goods can be. Fresh blueberries and a crumb topping are just the tastes you need to go with your first sip of coffee.

Vegan Caramel Apple Pie

Yum. Yum. Yum. This recipe for vegan caramel apple pie from Make It Dairy Free is everything you could possibly want from a holiday dessert. Creamy vegan caramel made with plant-based butter, a crispy crust using vegan shortening, and a warm cinnamon maple apple filling should be enough to convince you to give this decadent dessert a shot.

Vegan Gingersnap Cookies

Every holiday table needs a platter of freshly-baked cookies to keep pesky snackers at bay. Well, this recipe for vegan gingersnap cookies from Loving It Vegan is a sure way to satisfy all of your guests. Ground cloves, allspice, ginger, and cinnamon give these cookies a gentle hint of spice that will continue nipping at your tongue even after the last bite.

The Ultimate Vegan Christmas Pudding

Christmas pudding is in a dessert category of its own. Sticky, dark, murky, and sweet, this festive dish is served almost exclusively during the Christmas season. This vegan version of Christmas pudding from A Virtual Vegan is pretty traditional except for the addition of aquafaba (chickpea water) in place of eggs.