16 essential vegan products you need for fall baking

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The fall and winter season is for airy, no-fuss baking. Nobody wants to be in baker mode only to find that a few missing ingredients are keeping them from the perfect creation. When you make the arduous journey to the store, your passion for baking is often gone. Prepare your pantry well, and you can whip up pumpkin pie bars or an apple crumble whenever your heart desires. Here are 16 vegan essentials to have on hand from September to December.

Miyoko’s dairy

1Vegan butter

Very little in the world of fall baking works without vegan butter. It’s essential for flaky pie crusts, cookies, buttercreams, rich dessert bars, crumbly toppings and more. Stock up so you’re always ready to whip up something delicious. Also, check out the comprehensive vegan butter guide for a detailed summary of every vegan butter on the market.

VegNews.NutivaCoconut OilNutiva

2coconut oil

Unless a recipe specifically allows for an exchange coconut oil for any other vegetable oil, don’t. Because this oil is solid at room temperature, it’s a necessary component for no-bake desserts. Without them they would never consolidate. Melted coconut oil can also be used as an egg wash substitute for pie crusts and fortified breads.

VegNews.FallSpices.Pexels.ValeriaBoltnevaValeria Boltneva

3 Warming spices

That Pumpkin Pie Spice is obvious, but if that’s the only spice you use during the fall season, you’ll quickly tire of it. By using the individual spices that make up this spice blend, you can emphasize certain flavors or omit those you don’t like. Stock up on cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg (fresh if you can get it), ginger, allspice, cardamom, and black peppercorns. The latter is a secret ingredient to make any pumpkin filling truly extraordinary. It takes just a pinch of these crushed peppercorns to add a complementary depth of flavor to cakes, bars, puddings and cheesecake.

VegNews.LipSmackinGoodPumpkinButterLips smack well

4 Apple and pumpkin butter

These concentrated fruit spreads just keep making baked goods better. You could make them yourself by canning a colossal amount of apples or squash with sugar and some spices, but the jar varieties are so much more convenient. Find these two products in virtually every grocery store during the holiday season, and have a flavor of each ready to slather on apple spice muffins, pumpkin waffles, cinnamon pancakes and puff pastries.

VegNews.Sugar.PexelsSuzy HazelwoodSuzy Hazelwood

5sweeteners

Granulated sugar is a given, but fall baking calls for a few other sweet ingredients as well. You need brown sugar for brownies, blondies, and cookies; Icing sugar for glazing and dusting Gugelhupfkuchen; maple syrup for fillings and sweet sauces; and coconut sugar if you are into alternative baking.

VegNews.FlourBaking.MalidateVanPexelsMalidate Van

6flours

Yes, you will need multiple types of flour – all-purpose flour, almond flour, and chickpea flour are the most commonly used. Usually, you can’t substitute one for the other, so save yourself the baking disaster and just keep all three in an airtight container ready to hand. For a longer shelf life, keep them in the freezer (just be sure to bring them to room temperature before using).

VegNews.Baking

7cornstarch

This is your ideal thickening agent for pies, cobblers and puddings. Without them you would have a very watery apple pie. It can substitute for flour in a pinch, but it’s a bit of a gamble.

VegNews.Oats.MelissaDiRoccoUnsplashMelissa from Rocco

8thOats

What is the difference between a crisp and a crumble? Oats. A crisp is oat-free, a crumble should always have oats. Pro tip: never buy oatmeal. If you have old-fashioned oats on hand (not steel-cut), you can make your own oatmeal for a fraction of the price by mixing oats in a high speed blender.

VegNews.Apples.TuqaNabi.UnsplashTuqa Nabi

9 apples

Whether you pick them at a local farm, select them at a farmers market, or bag them up at the store, apples are the star of early fall baking. When preparing cobblers, chips, and pies, use a mix of different types for the best flavor and texture. Solid baking apples include Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, Braeburn, and Pink Lady.

VegNews.NorthCoastAppleSaucenorth coast

10applesauce

Applesauce serves two uses — it can be used to swap out oil in a recipe for a healthy twist, and it can also serve as an egg substitute in some recipes like brownies and quick breads. Learn more about easy vegan back swaps here.

VegNews.pumpkin pureeGood & collecting

11canned pumpkin

You don’t have to go through the hassle of making your own pumpkin puree. The canned option is convenient, affordable, and works just as well. Just make sure you use pure pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling (the latter is sweetened and spiced).

VegNews.NativeForestCoconutCreamjungle

12Full fat coconut milk or cream

For creamy fillings, moist cakes, and fluffy whipped cream, you need a can of full-fat coconut milk. Many recipes only call for the solid part, so save time by keeping a few cans in the fridge and not shaking them unless the recipe calls for it. It tends to sell out during the holiday months, so make sure you stock up.

VegNews.KiteHillCreamCheesedragon hill

13 Vegan cream cheese

Who doesn’t love a giant, tender Pumpkin Spice Muffin with a sweet cream cheese filling? Cream cheese frosting and pumpkin go hand-in-hand, so make sure you always have a tub in the fridge. Some of the most popular brands include Kite Hill and Miyoko’s vegan cream cheese.

VegNews.ChickpeasAquafaba

14Canned Chickpeas

Do not drain the chickpeas! You need the brine to make vegan meringue magic (aka aquafaba). Abandoned with a little sugar, this bean liquid transforms into pillowy peaks that mimic an egg white perfectly. Toss actual chickpeas on top of a salad or make chickpea blondies.

VegNews.NaturesCharmVeganCaramelSauceThe charm of nature

fifteenVegan caramel

You could make your own, but we like to have a jar of Nature’s Charm Coconut Caramel Sauce on hand for instant drizzle over apple spice cake, vegan pumpkin ice cream, and apple cider with whipped cream.

Screenshot from 9/9/2022 at 5/12/56Vanilla Bean Project

16 vanilla

Vanilla is a flavor, but it’s also a complementary ingredient for a spectrum of other flavors. When Vanilla isn’t the star of the show, she’s helping the rest of the cast shine, which is why we rarely bake anything without her. You don’t have to splurge on the actual vanilla bean (although it’s nice if you want a really distinct vanilla flavor), but avoid artificial vanilla extract. A happy middle ground between plain vanilla extract and vanilla bean is vanilla paste. It is a blend of concentrated vanilla extract and vanilla bean powder. We like to use it in baking for others, and settle for a cheaper, all-natural vanilla extract for home-only treats.

You can find more tips for vegan baking at:
How to bake vegan
The Complete Guide to Vegan Butter
The VegNews guide to making every cake vegan

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