You thought we had forgotten you and felt compelled to ask twice. Oh no. We have been busy turning over every stone and looking in every cake, pastry, baking, health-food, and dietetic cookbook we could find, because we love people who cook for their friends.
Eggs add flavor and richness to a cake, but more important, they are responsible for much of the structure of the cake. So it is a challenge to bake an eggless cake. The BBC’s fluffy online Ask the Chef feature would tell you to make him some cookies. But we dug deeper and our thoughts turned to a group that shuns eggs by choice – those devil-may-care vegans (vegetarians who don’t eat anything derived from a creature, including eggs, milk, butter, cheese, or honey). If anyone knows how to make a cake without eggs, it must be them.
And indeed, we turned up several recipes for eggless cakes. We haven’t tried any of them ourselves, and leave the experimentation up to you. Since you’re not necessarily looking to become vegans yourselves, you might replace the soy milks, vegan margarine, and other vegan choices with cow’s milk, butter, and other traditional ingredients.
important note: The first of these recipes call for egg replacer or egg substitute. The most commonly available egg substitutes are not substitutes at all, but cartons of egg white, mixed with a little vegetable oil, flavoring, color, and other ingredients. That is obviously not a solution for your friend. There are egg substitutes on the market that do not contain any egg, but in our experience, they are hard to find. Health food stores may be your best bet. But be sure to read the label carefully before you buy an egg substitute for your friend’s cake. Most of the following recipes do not require an egg replacer.
White Vegan Cake
1-1/2 cups flour 3/4 cup sugar 2 tsp baking powder 1/4 tsp salt 3/4 cup soy milk 2 tsp vanilla Egg replacer equivalent to 1 egg, beaten
Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease a cake pan. In large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Combine remaining ingredients, and add to flour mixture. Beat for 2 minutes. Bake for 30 minutes in cake pan, or until a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out dry.
1-1/2 cup flour 1/3 cup cocoa powder 1 tsp baking soda 1/2 tsp salt 1 cup sugar 1/2 cup vegetable oil 1 cup cold water (or ice coffee) 2 tsp vanilla extract 2 tsp vinegar
Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Use a small brownie-size pan (no greasing required). Mix all the dry ingredients right in pan. Mix all the wet ingredients in separate bowl except the vinegar (important!). Add wet ingredients to dry and stir until all dry ingredients are mixed. Add the vinegar quickly and stir in – immediately put the pan in the oven and bake for 25 to 30 min. Cool thoroughly.
Optional: after you add the vinegar, you can put some frozen cherries, raspberries or cranberries on top of the batter (or you can mix them in beforehand)
Applesauce Spice Cake
1/2 cup molasses 1 cup applesauce 1 tsp cinnamon 1/2 tsp cloves 1 tsp baking powder 1/2 tsp baking soda 1-3/4 cup flour (whole wheat pastry flour is good) 2 tsp ginger (optional)
Combine the molasses and applesauce in a large bowl. Combine remaining ingredients and stir into the liquid. (If the batter seems very dry, add a little more applesauce or a little water.) Bake in a nonstick 8 x 8-inch baking pan or one sprayed with a non-stick spray, in a 350° F (175°C) oven, for 30 to 45 minutes, or until it tests done.
The optional ginger makes an acceptable gingerbread. You can also leave out the ginger and add 3 or 4 tablespoons of cocoa to make a tasty but not very sweet or rich chocolate cake.
Lemon Tofu Cheesecake
2 cups graham crackers 1/4 cup maple syrup 1/2 tsp almond extract
1 lb. firm tofu 1/2 cup sugar 1/4 teaspoon almond exact 1 Tbsp tahini or almond butter 1/2 salt 1 to 2 Tbsp lemon juice 1/2 tsp lemon zest 2 Tbsp cornstarch dissolved in 2 Tbsp soy or rice milk
Crust: Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Crush the crackers and mix them with the syrup and almond extract in a bowl until moistened. Pour into a 9-inch pie plate, press evenly to form a crust and bake for 5 minutes. Cool while preparing filling.
Filling: Blend all ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth (about 30 seconds). Pour the mixture into the crust and bake until the top is slightly brown, about 30 minutes. Cool and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, about 2 hours.
1-1/2 cups flour 1 cup sugar 1/4 cup cocoa 1 tsp vanilla 1/2 tsp salt 1/3 cup oil 1 tsp white vinegar 1 tsp baking soda 1 cup cold water
Mix all ingredients together until smooth. Grease and flour a loaf pan, and bake for 45 minutes at 350° (175°C). You can also add chocolate chips and/or nuts.
Great Vegan Cake
1-1/2 cups flour 1/2 cup oil 1 cup sugar 1-1/2 tsp baking soda 1/4 tsp salt 1 scant cup soy milk/rice milk/water
Mix ingredients and bake at 375°F (190° C) for 30 minutes in a greased pan.
Sweet and Light Lemon Cake: add 1/4 cup of lemon juice in place of 1-4 cup of the water/soy milk/rice milk
Orange Cake: add 1 cup orange juice instead of the liquid and cut back sugar to half a cup
Torte: cut 1 or 2 apples into slices and lay them on top. You can sprinkle with cinnamon and/or sugar if you like.