Being a vegan doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to eat delicious foods. If you’re new to the vegan lifestyle, you might be getting used to things and learning about recipes that you can make.
Truthfully, vegan food has the potential to be even more delicious than non-vegan food. You just need to know what you’re doing, and you certainly want to use high-quality ingredients.
If you’re craving something sweet, you might be trying to bake a vegan cake. Vegan cakes can turn out amazingly well, but it’s possible that you might make some mistakes along the way if this is your first attempt.
For example, many people wind up baking vegan cakes and finding out that they’re not quite so light and fluffy. What causes a vegan cake to be so dense?
Keep reading to learn about why this sometimes happens, as well as what to do about it.
What Makes Vegan Cakes Dense?
Vegan cakes sometimes turn out to be denser than traditional cakes because of the lack of eggs. Eggs are typically an ingredient that is used to make cakes turn out light and fluffy.
If you don’t know what you’re doing, it’ll be easy to make a vegan cake that will turn out to be super dense. Thankfully, things can turn out much better than this when you take the proper approach.
You’ll learn some tips and tricks later that will help you to enjoy the fluffiest vegan cake that you can. For now, it’s important to know that not all vegan cakes turn out dense.
Yes, the lack of eggs can present a challenge, but it’s only challenging until you get used to not using eggs in baked goods. There are other things that can make a cake dense that you should be aware of as well.
What Can Be Used to Replace Eggs?
So you might be wondering what vegan bakers are supposed to use to replace eggs. If you’re relatively new to being on a vegan diet, you might not have explored egg substitutes to the fullest yet.
There are actually a number of good options available to you. Some people like to use ground flaxseed because it can act as a fantastic binding agent.
You’re supposed to use one tablespoon of ground flaxseed and three tablespoons of water to replace one egg in a standard recipe. If you’re using a vegan recipe, it’ll specifically list the vegan ingredients that you need.
Mashed bananas are another popular vegan egg substitute. These are good because they add a bit of sweetness to your cake, but you might not want to use them depending on what kind of cake you’re trying to make.
It’s also notable that mashed bananas are good for adding moisture to baked goods. Depending on what you’re making, this might be a very good choice.
Other vegan egg substitutes include silken tofu and a combination of baking soda and vinegar. It would likely be wise to look up vegan cake recipes and then follow the recommended ingredients in the recipe so that you can get the best results.
You could also choose to experiment and create your own vegan cake recipe. This might be a better idea after you’ve gained a bit of experience as a vegan baker.
Too Much Flour Makes Cakes Dense
This is going to be true for both vegan cakes and standard cakes that use eggs. If you use too much flour, your cake is going to turn out far denser than it should have.
It’s a good idea to keep this in mind when you’re measuring out your ingredients. Sometimes people get distracted when measuring and they don’t get things quite right.
Even using just a bit too much flour has the potential to throw things off. For this reason, it’s imperative to pay attention to how much you’re using.
Ideally, you’ll want to follow a vegan cake recipe to a tee to avoid having any issues. If you do this, your cake should turn out as intended.
It’s notable that different types of flour are going to be denser than others. Some types of flour are very light, while others will be way too dense to use in a cake that you wish to be light and fluffy.
For the best results, you should consider using cake flour instead of something like all-purpose flour.
Heat the Oven Ahead of Time
One potential problem that people run into when baking cakes has to do with oven temperature. If the oven temperature isn’t correct when you start baking the cake, things won’t turn out properly.
Knowing this, it’s going to be wise to preheat the oven well ahead of time. You should make sure that the oven is at the temperature you need it to be at for fifteen minutes before you put the cake in.
This will make it so that the cake rises properly since the oven will have an even temperature in all spots. This is a basic thing to remember, but it truly will make a difference.
Oven temperature issues can cause parts of the cake to bake unevenly. This can lead to issues with density as well as a slew of other problems.
Don’t Wait Too Long to Bake the Cake Mixture
Mixing up your cake batter is something that you’ll need to do first before you can get to baking. Some people make the mistake of allowing the cake batter to sit around for too long.
While it might seem harmless to allow the cake mixture to sit for a half of an hour while you’re preparing other things, it could be what is causing your cake to be dense. You see, when you leave the mixture out on the counter, it might wind up losing air and going flat.
If the cake mix goes flat, it’s not going to rise as well as you would hope. This makes the cake a lot denser, and it’s something that you want to avoid.
Try to have your cake pan or cake tins ready to go by the time you’re done mixing the batter. Also, it’s good to preheat the oven ahead of time so that you can start baking things right away.
Capturing air can help you to get the cake to turn out lighter and fluffier. You’re going to start doing this when you’re creaming your margarine and sugar together.
It’ll be easiest to do this when using an electric whisk, but it is possible to capture air using a manual whisk if you know what you’re doing. You want to use the whisk to capture air bubbles in the mixture.
Sometimes it’s easier to do this when you whisk the mixture at an angle. After creaming the margarine and sugar, you’ll be able to start adding flour.
Be sure to measure out your flour in the proper amounts. Remember that you absolutely do not want to use more flour than you’re supposed to.
Sifting the flour high in the air will actually help you to capture more air. This should make it simpler to get the light, fluffy vegan cake that you desire.
Don’t fold or beat the flour, though. Doing so would develop the gluten more than necessary, and this would make the cake heavy and dense.
If you use all of this advice, you should be able to avoid having the cake turn out dense. You’ll be able to have a tasty vegan cake that will be sure to please everyone in your house.
Consider the Margarine That You’re Using Carefully
The margarine that you use shouldn’t have a significant impact on the density of the vegan cake. However, it’s still good to try to pick the healthiest margarine type that you can.
Many margarine brands are made using hydrogenated oils, and these are going to be quite bad for your health. You can choose to use whatever margarine that you want, but you might want to use something that is a bit healthier.
There are plenty of different margarine brands out there that make an effort to appeal to the health-conscious crowd. It might be wise to take a little bit of time to research the different options.
This is simply going to allow you to enjoy your cake more. After all, baking a good vegan cake is about more than just ensuring that it’s light and fluffy.
Use Room-Temperature Margarine
It’s also recommended to try to use room temperature margarine when baking the cake. You’re going to need to cream the margarine and sugar together, and most recipes are going to state that you should use room-temperature margarine.
Cold margarine isn’t going to work well to get the job done. You want to ensure that you allow the margarine to warm up to room temperature first.
During the creaming process, your intention should be to whip air into the mix. If you can accomplish this, the vegan cake will be so much lighter and tastier.
If you can’t trap the air properly due to not having room-temperature margarine, the cake might be too dense. This is unfortunate, but you’ll just have to try to do better next time.
Over-creaming is something that can make the cake turn out dense, too. You can certainly go overboard when you’re creaming margarine and sugar together.
If you’re using a stand mixer to get the job done, you’ll want to be very careful. If you were to walk away from the mixer and leave it on, there’s a good chance that you would over-cream the mix.
This causes the margarine to trap more air than it should. You might initially think that this sounds like a good thing, but it really isn’t.
When you over-cream the margarine, the extra air inside is going to wind up deflating. This will lead to the cake being dense, and you’re going to be less than pleased with how things turn out.
Luckily, you can easily avoid over-creaming by just being careful and paying attention. If you wish to be on the safe side, consider using an electric hand mixer instead of a stand mixer.
Learning about how to make vegan cake better will definitely make you happy. Being a vegan isn’t something that makes it so that you can’t enjoy delicious desserts.
There are a number of tantalizing vegan treats that you can learn to bake. You just have to get used to baking without using dairy products, eggs, and other such things.
Sometimes the lack of eggs will make it tough to get the cake to turn out light and fluffy. This is why you need to be so careful about certain things.
You must do your best to whip air into the mix while you’re creaming the margarine and sugar. It’s also imperative to avoid using more flour than you’re supposed to.
To get optimal results, you should try to use a lighter type of flour. Cake flour should work really well, but you could also use pastry flour if you’d prefer to go that route.
Ensure that you’re not letting the cake batter sit out for too long without baking it either. This can cause things to go flat, and that will lead to the cake not rising as much as it should.
When a cake doesn’t rise properly, it’s going to taste different and it’ll likely be way too dense. You should be able to easily avoid this since you know to bake the cake mix right away.
Preheat the oven ahead of time so that everything is good to go. Ideally, you want to have the oven at the proper temperature fifteen minutes before you want to put the cake into the oven.
Remember all of these handy tips and you’ll be eating tasty homemade vegan cakes before you know it. Your non-vegan friends might even discover how scrumptious vegan desserts can be.
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.