For lactose-intolerant people, enjoying delicious desserts, like bundt cakes, can be overwhelming. That’s because most cake recipes include dairy products such as butter and milk.
Don’t stress about it, though! In this article, we’ll discuss how to make bundt cake dairy-free. So, keep reading for all the details!
No, bundt cakes aren’t vegan. In fact, most cakes aren’t vegan-friendly since they contain butter, milk, and eggs.
Aside from the batter, the frostings and icings served on the cake are most likely not vegan.
For instance, a chocolate bundt cake typically has ganache glazing poured on top. The former is a sauce made of cream and chocolate.
Other common frostings include cream cheese, buttercream, and vanilla milk glaze, which aren’t dairy-free.
Butter is an essential component in baking—and for good reasons! The former provides flavor, texture, and structure to the cake.
Here’s a brief explanation of each function:
- Flavor: Butter has a creamy flavor that adds richness and depth to your cake.
- Texture: Thanks to its high-fat content, butter improves a cake’s texture. When creamed with sugar, butter traps air that expands when baked, resulting in a fluffy, tender cake.
- Structure: Butter provides a base for other ingredients to cling to. When liquids, like eggs, are added to the batter, the high-fat content creates an emulsion essential for the stability and structure of the batter.
Like butter, milk contains fats and proteins that play an important role in baking. It improves the flavor and structure of the cake.
Milk proteins, like casein, form a network in the batter, holding it together and helping it rise in the oven.
As for the fats, they add softness and increase the cake’s size. What’s more, milk plays an important role in the taste! As you know, the former contains sugars like lactose.
When you bake them in the oven, the heat facilitates a chemical reaction between the amino groups in proteins and carbonyl groups in sugars, a process known as the Maillard reaction.
As a result, ketosamines form. Those organic products undergo further reactions, producing compounds responsible for the heavenly caramelization and browning in the cake.
To make a bundt cake dairy-free, you simply need to replace the butter and milk with non-dairy alternatives. You’ll also have to find an egg replacement if you want a completely vegan cake.
Here are some alternatives for each component and how to use them in a bundt cake:
Figuring out non-dairy options for butter is straightforward, thanks to the numerous alternatives on the market. Those include shortening, margarine, and vegetable oils.
The best part is that they provide similar results to butter, so they won’t alter your cake’s recipe drastically. Still, the taste and texture might slightly differ when using those ingredients instead of butter.
Let’s discuss each replacement in further detail!
For those who don’t know, shortening is a 100% fat product made of vegetable oil. The latter undergoes hydrogenation to change from liquid to solid.
That process gives shortening a high melting temperature, a perk that makes it favorable for deep frying since it doesn’t burn quickly.
However, the 100% fat product is also a staple for pastries and baked goods. Once it cools, the shortening reverts to its semi-solid state, adding softness to the cake.
The problem is that shortening doesn’t have any flavors. So, your cake might lack the rich buttery taste.
To substitute shortening for butter, use the same amount called for in the recipe.
That said, it’s worth mentioning that shortening poses some health risks. Due to hydrogenation, the latter contains a large amount of trans fat, which increases the risk of heart disease.
Margarine is the non-dairy equivalent of butter. Like shortening, the former is also a product of vegetable oils. However, it’s not 100% fat.
This butter replacement contains water, salt, emulsifiers, and flavoring additives to mimic the taste of butter. So, it’s around 80% fat; any percentage lower than that will have a spread-like texture.
Like shortening, you can use a 1:1 ratio to swap butter for margarine. However, make sure to buy plant-based margarine since some manufacturers can use milk or animal-derived ingredients, like whey, in the product.
Oil is an excellent choice for those who want to achieve an impeccable cake texture. The former produces softer, loftier, and moister cakes than butter since oil remains liquid when the cake cools, but butter solidifies.
The good news is that you don’t have to sacrifice flavor! You can use coconut, peanut, almond, or other nut oils to add a nutty taste. Not to mention, the former is also healthy for your heart’s health!
Like other fat sources, use a 1:1 ratio to substitute oil for butter in your cake recipe.
Here are some milk alternatives you can use in your bundt cake recipe.
Soy milk makes an excellent substitute for milk because it’s rich in fats and proteins. It’ll help hold the cake’s structure.
Not to mention, soy milk has some sweetness, so it likely won’t alter the cake’s recipe much. Plus, the high protein content will react with sugar, producing a delicious browning.
You can also buy soy milk with vanilla or other flavorings to enhance the cake’s flavor.
Although it won’t provide the same results as dairy milk, almond milk makes a great substitute for the former.
Naturally, almond milk doesn’t contain any sugar. To mimic dairy milk, opt for a lightly sweetened product.
Keep in mind that almond milk is low in proteins, so the cake might come out pale even though it’s cooked well.
When substituting coconut milk for dairy milk, choose the canned product. The former has a thick, cream-like consistency thanks to its high-fat content.
To use it in a bundt cake, simply open the can and blend the cream layer with the coconut water. Then, add the same volume of milk called for in the cake recipe.
You can even whip the solidified fat layer that’s separated at the can’s top and make luscious whipped cream!
Oat milk is a favorite for many people because of its rich, sweet flavor. Not to mention, it can add some nuttiness to the cake mix. So, why not bake with oat milk?
The problem is that the consistency varies from one brand to another. Oat milk can be too thin, producing a gummy texture in baked goods. A thick consistency isn’t ideal either.
For that reason, choose a brand that has the same viscosity as dairy milk so that you don’t alter the cake’s texture.
Sure, eggs are usually grouped with dairy products in the supermarket. However, they’re not dairy products.
So, you can use them in a non-dairy bundt cake recipe to bind all the ingredients together and provide structure to the cake.
However, if you’re vegan or simply allergic to eggs, you can still find other alternatives to use in the recipe. Those include:
Several brands offer commercial egg substitutes. Those products typically contain some form of starch, like potato or tapioca, and leavening agents.
Each brand contains its set of instructions; however, you’ll usually need to combine one and a half teaspoons of the mix with two or three tablespoons of water to replace one egg.
When cooked with water, flaxseeds form a gel-like structure that you can use as a binding agent in the cake.
To replace one egg, add one tablespoon of flaxseed to three tablespoons of warm water. Let the mixture set until it absorbs the water and thickens before adding it to the batter.
You can also use chia seeds and repeat the same process to replace eggs.
Apple sauce contains a lot of moisture and has a thick structure that can act as a binding agent. Not to mention, it’ll provide a sweet and tart flavor to the cake, making it extra delicious!
Simply replace one egg with a quarter cup of the sauce. You can also use the former ratio with other fruits like bananas or canned pumpkins and get similar results.
As you can see, figuring out how to make a bundt cake dairy-free is achievable thanks to the numerous butter and milk alternatives.
You can use shortening, margarine, or oils to replace butter. The latter can also make the cake loftier and moister.
As for the milk, you can use alternatives like oats, soy, coconut, or almonds, depending on your preferred taste. With these simple substitutes, you can enjoy a non-dairy bundt cake without compromising texture or flavor!
Sarah is the founder of Baking Kneads, LLC, a blog sharing guides, tips, and recipes for those learning how to bake. Growing up as the daughter of a baker, she spent much of her childhood learning the basics in a local bakery.