Vegan holiday baking

Holy waistline! These holiday goodies are deelish—and animal free!

Credit: iStock

The best of both worlds: holiday treats minus the animal products

The holidays are traditionally a time of indulgence. Parties, family dinners and special events are full of sweet treats and baked goodies. Most people worry about overindulging and putting on extra weight during the holidays, but vegans often worry whether they’ll be able to enjoy any treats at all.

Is it possible to create delicious holiday goodies that don’t contain traditional baking ingredients like eggs, butter and shortening? Is there such thing as vegan chocolate? Yes and yes!

Whether you’re vegan or you’ve got vegans visiting for the holidays, here are some great tips and recipes for joyous holiday indulgence minus the animal products.


‘Veganize’ your favourite holiday baking

In addition to the abundance of great vegan recipes online and in cookbooks, you can try these simple substitutions to turn your favourite non-vegan recipes vegan:

Why vegan?

Vegan foods do not contain any animal products (meat, eggs, dairy, etc.), or use any in their production process.

Eating less animal products is great for:

• Your health. Less fat and virtually no cholesterol.

• Animal rights. Less cows and chickens being ill-treated in the meat industry.

• The environment. Eating a vegan diet is a great way to reduce carbon emissions, which are a major byproduct of the meat industry.

• Use egg replacer. Either buy it (at most specialty grocery stores like Choices) or make your own (the flax seed method is great for baked goods!) 

• Use almond milk or other non-dairy milk.

• Use chocolate labelled ‘dairy-free.’ Most high quality chocolate is already dairy-free.

• Use vegan butter or shortening. Earth Balance is great!

• Use vegan sugar. Most granulated sugar uses animal bone in the refining process, while raw sugar does not.

• Use agave nectar as a sweetener instead of sugar.

Always check the ingredients if you aren’t sure. You might be surprised how many items contain animal products or use them in processing.


Vegan holiday recipes

Mini chocolate cupcakes

vegan oatmeal cookies

Oatmeal, walnut and date cookies



Jessica and Bridget from the Vegan Project

The Vegan Project’s Jessica Grajcyzk and Bridget Burns are passionate about health, the environment and the treatment of animals, and are learning about what it means to be vegan while documenting their experiences on their blog. The Vegan Project website is in development and will be a resource for people who want to try veganism in Vancouver. Email The Vegan Project if you’d like to learn more about what they do and/or going vegan.