After starting my vegan diet, my only concern was how was I going to have baked stuff. 🙂 Almost all baked items have butter, eggs and milk/ yogurt/ cream wholly or in combinations. And definitely it is these fats that make baked goods irresistible. Having a terrible sweet tooth didn’t help me. I had to run down several things in my head before picking up stuff for myself and since most of them state the warning of their ingredients, most of the time, I cannot even have them. I mean, majority of the time… 🙂 During a casual conversation with my colleagues, I stated so emphatically that I can eat jalebi and chaats that don’t have yogurt, and they giggled and were like, “You are really going so much ahead!” They don’t understand how much care I need to take care of! 🙁 Anyway, I am happy that it has not been very difficult for me to avoid non-veg meals, however my sweet tooth always does a silent weep.
Coming back to baking, my first vegan bake was a disaster. It was a date walnut loaf and it turned out nothing like how the picture looked – it was all smudgy, mud like and too wet inside, even though it was properly baked. Not that it didn’t survive, since there was no added sugar and therefore no guilt. I was naturally upset, since this was one of my rare flops and I was not ready to give it up. The next I baked was this papaya cake which somehow clicked some right buttons and some wrong…
I used a basic recipe and replaced some of the liquid with the papaya pulp. I was really worried how it would turn out. While folding the batter, I took a deep breathe along with a short dua and pushed the batter in the oven. The way it came out of the oven – it was a beautiful looking bake. It cooled well. When cut, it gave very neat edges and it smelled lovely too. Everything looked really good with it. From the pictures, you can see that it looks really good. Very excitedly, I took in a first bite and it was not bad. But definitely cannot compare it to other bakes. I have always preferred eggless bakes but since they normally contain butter/ oil and diary fats, it is enough to keep the bake moist. However, here the only fat used is oil and the remaining is contributed by water or non-diary milks, and that did affect the texture of the cake. When you bite it, rather than being moist and crumbly, it is pretty chewy. I thought there was something wrong, but after having a chat with Humi, she confirmed that vegan cakes do have a chewy texture, which settled my fears. The best part of this cake is that it remains good in the fridge for a month, as there is nothing in it which will spoil the cake.
Bottom line is – bake it only when you have dietary restrictions or you want to know how it tastes. No, it is definitely not bad, but do not do the mistake of comparing it with a normal cake. 🙂
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- ½ cup wholewheat flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ tsp salt
- ⅓ cup oil
- ½ cup papaya puree
- ½ cup water
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Grease and flour a 9 inch pan.
- Whisk all the dry ingredients in a bowl.
- Whisk the wet ingredients in another bowl till combined.
- Add the wet into the dry ingredients and fold in softly - do not overmix!
- Pour into the pan and bake for 30 minutes or till the skewer comes out clean.
- Cool in the pan for 10 minutes till the sides pull out of the pan and then flip onto a cooling rack till completely cool.
- Sprinkle icing sugar and serve.