One of the complexities of venturing into vegan pastry making is the variations between vegan ingredient alternatives. This is why I decided to make an alphabetized list of my favorite vegan pastry ingredient brands that make plant-based alternatives to butter, whipped cream, and other complex products. I also included other recommendations in case my favorite brands are not available where you live.
While non-vegans don't have to worry if their butter or whipped cream will be the same on the other side of the world, we can’t say the same for vegan products due to the variations in ingredients, textures and stability.
This is why I decided to make an alphabetized list of my favorite pastry ingredient alternatives and other recommendations if the products I love to use are not available where you live.
I also included alternatives that I haven't tested myself (but have heard only great things about). If you have other favourite products that you'd like me to include in this list, let me know in the comments! I’ll try to keep this list as up to date as possible as products come out on the market and become available.
My favourite: Becel plant-based blocks, come in salted or unsalted
- Flora Plant B+tter block
- Miyoko’s creamery european style cultured vegan butter, palm oil free option
- Earth Balance baking sticks ( not the tub), not my favourite taste wise but works in a pinch
Recommended but not tested
Vegan butter VS margarine:
While technically vegan butter is a form of margarine, I make the distinction between vegan butter and vegan margarine in my recipes because how firm your fat base is will have an effect on the stability and end result of your recipe. For example, you won’t be able to make laminated doughs and buttercreams with soft margarine, but you can use margarine as a base for cookies.
Vegan margarine usually comes in a tub and is softer and easily spreadable while vegan butter often comes in block or stick form and is much firmer. I often use Crystal margarine for my recipes but you can choose your favorite one, in this case, the brand of margarine you use won’t have a big impact on your recipe.
Ravifruit or Boiron are the two main brands of frozen fruit purees I use. I find them in specialty pastry stores or restaurant wholesalers. However, I sometimes make my own by heating frozen fruits, blending them as needed, and straining them if I feel like making do with what I already have.
Unflavored and unsweetened full fat soy milk is my favourite vegan milk to use in my preparations because it has some properties that other vegan milks don’t have. I use fresh or UHT soy milk but I do not recommend using reconstituted powdered soy milk.
Soy milk contains naturally occurring lecithin , which is an emulsifier that is necessary for some recipes. Other plant-based milks don’t have lecithin but might be supplemented with additional lecithin or emulsifiers.
If you can’t consume soy milk due to allergies or preferences, an alternative would be to add liquid sunflower lecithin or another emulsifier like xanthan gum in your milk, but there is a possibility the recipe might fail.
I do put a note in the ingredient list of my recipes when soy milk is recommended but not mandatory.
White granulated sugar is what I recommend in most of my recipes as its neutral color won’t change the final result. However, Some vegans try to not consume sugar that is whitened through the process of bone char filtration.
Where I live, white sugar comes from beet instead of sugar cane and therefore is never filtered. I use primarily Redpath and Lantic sugar, as they are readily available where I live.
If these brands are not available to you, try to look for another brand of beet sugar or organic sugar. If a change in the final product doesn’t bother you, you could also use unrefined sugar in a pinch.
My favourite: Puratos Ambiante.
I find it in restaurant grocers that are open to the public but it can also be found online. It is shelf stable and has a long shelf life. Puratos also make other vegan products that are unsweetened and have a more neutral flavor profile but I haven’t been able to try them myself.
Recommended but not tested
- Elmea double plant cream
- Flora Profesional plantcream UK,USA
- Schlagfix Schlagcreme, sweetened and unsweetened options
- Rama cream
- Rich plant based whipping crème
- Hoplà whipping soya cream
These options are good only for garnishing or as a side of whipped cream as they deflate quickly and are not as stiff as needed for advanced pastry making.
- Coconut whipped cream. It has a too strong taste that overpowers other flavors
- Silk Dairy-Free Heavy Whipping cream. There are too many comments that the cream doesn't whip up firm enough and becomes grainy.
- Aquafaba-based whipped topping. Some people try to pass meringue as whipped cream and while it is a light and fluffy mixture, because of its stability and low-fat content, it can not be considered a whipped cream.
If you have other favorite vegan pastry ingredient brands, let me know in the comments and I'll try to add them here!