Foodie Friday: Vegan Cake & Brownie Hacks

Foodie Friday: Vegan Cake & Brownie Hacks

So, we LOVE brownies, how about you?

Unfortunately, I am not a giant fan of baking. I just don’t like having to measure ingredients (I enjoy the alchemy of cooking and experimenting, and baking is a little too exact for me). Plus, we never have time to start big baking projects (although I’d love to decorate cakes and cookies–Christine McConnell is my idol).

When we have to save time, but want some easy quick treats, we usually go for baked goods out of the box, and brownies are our favorite. Duncan Hines mixes (cake and brownies) are often vegan, and make things super simple when it comes to baking.

Now, one of the first questions people always ask is, “how do you make brownies without eggs?” It could NOT be easier. In fact, making cake or brownies without eggs or oil is one of the simplest baking hacks.

There are four ways you can “hack” mixes:

  • Pumpkin Cake & Brownies

Pumpkin is my favorite cake and brownie hack. Instead of adding eggs, water or oil to the mix, all you do is add a regular-sized can of pure pumpkin. Mix it thoroughly and bake according to the instructions on the box. The great thing about pumpkin is that it’s barely detectable and covers up very well in chocolate dishes.

Pairs best with: Chocolate, Devil’s Food, Spice, Carrot, and Brownie mix.

  • Black Beans Cake & Brownies

Black beans require just a tiny bit more prep, and I know they sound really weird, but they work perfectly. All you do is take a standard can of black beans, drain and rinse them 2-3 times until the juice is gone. Pour the beans back into the can, and then add water to the can to cover the beans. Pour them into a blender, food processor or Vitamix and puree completely. From there, you simply mix it into the mix thoroughly, and follow the instructions on the box. Beans add great protein and fiber to cake and brownies, although they tend to be a little fudgier and dense. You can use white beans in blondies as well. You will not taste the beans in the finished product whatsoever.

Pairs best with: Chocolate, Devil’s Food and brownie mix.

  • Applesauce Cake & Brownies

Applesauce tends to have a little bit higher water content, so I usually use a cup of applesauce (two of the little snack cups) to one cake mix. It makes your cake very moist, so you need to make it about 25 degrees lower for about 8 minutes longer than usual. Applesauce is a bit more detectable, because it’s sweet and fruity, but it’s really good.

Pairs best with: Red velvet, spice, yellow, white, carrot.

  • Soda Cake & Brownies

Soda is a Weight Watchers cake mix hack that I love. It works really well with cupcakes and if you use diet soda it adds no extra calories to the finished product. Cupcakes work better because cake will often be too moist or undercooked in the center (again, aim for 25 degrees lower and 8 minutes longer). Soda’s fun because you can pair up the flavors for fun outcomes. Just add 1 can of soda to 1 box of mix. Stir and bake.

Pairs best with: Diet soda + red velvet, chocolate. Rootbeer/Cream soda + white, yellow, or spice. White soda + white, yellow.

So the next time you’re looking to make a vegan cake or just low on eggs and oil, try one of these fun hacks and see how fast and easy it is!

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