Cookbook Review: The Joy of Vegan Baking

Also Could Be Titled, “How to Gain Back the Weight You Lost While Being Vegan”

If Julia Child was a vegan chef, this is the cookbook she would have written. The Joy of Vegan Baking is a full-fat, full-sugar cookbook that will leave you wondering if those cookies were really vegan. Nothing in this book is sacrificed for the sake of flavor. This is a part of the reason it was awarded the “Cookbook of the Year” by VegNews magazine. For those that are watching their calorie intakes and waistlines, baking frequently from this book is probably not for you.

Joy of Baking
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The idea that vegan baking can be as flavorful as “traditional” baking is the main premise in “The Joy of Vegan Baking.” Like many non-vegan recipes, most of the cookies call for an entire stick of butter and more than a cup of sugar. There are many “traditional” recipes inside the book that should have no problem standing up to their animal laden counterparts. If you were talented with a hand mixer and parchment paper before you became vegan, you already have the proper training needed to jump into any page of this book.

The format of this cookbook follows the standard vegan format. The first section is about why everyone should be vegan, the second section is a guideline for ingredient replacements, and the recipes follow. Take some time to familiarize yourself with the tips and techniques if baking is something new to you, the information here is very complete. A few things to note though; there are great “Tips” sections throughout the book to help you figure out why your cookies aren’t perfect, and the photography is stunning. The pictures alone could have sold me on this book. Finally, the book ends with quick sections on vegan pantry stocking, cooking terms, and interesting note on the difference between baking soda and baking powder.

Recipes in “The Joy of Vegan Baking” vary from ancient bread to candy. These recipes are really an added bonus to the cookies and pie chapters. The cookie and pie recipes are the main sections of this book. They are filled with delicious pictures and detailed instructions to help you along your way. All recipes fill an entire page, along with facts and history about what you’re preparing (good conversation points if you’re baking for others).

“The Joy of Vegan Baking” is a cookbook that will stay at the heart of your collection, and be the first one you pick up when you find out that you have guests coming over. If you care at all about the number of calories you eat, this book won’t be in frequent rotation. Go ahead though, you’re vegan, and you deserve it!