Yes, I am allergic to dairy. And because of that, I have learned a lot about dairy-free and vegan baking in the past two years. I love it so much! It’s so important that no matter how or what we eat, that we can indulge and share food with each other. It’s one of the foundations of life, in my mind. So, it is a mission for me to make and find the best dairy-free and vegan (and gluten-free, too) pastry recipes – so we can all enjoy everything!
“Wait, does that mean everything you make is vegan?”
I will always specify if what I’m posting about is vegan, because I know you care. And I try to create and share mostly vegan recipes. My client base is split between all kinds of eaters. If you are placing an order with me, please be sure to specify if you are looking for a vegan/dairy-free/gluten-free/dye-free/etc. item.
I get a lot of joy from baking nostalgic sweets, whether it’s the peach coffee cake my grandmother made (covered in two pounds of buttery crumb), or kugelhopf that I LOVED learning to make in pastry school. Yes, I can absolutely make vegan equivalents for these so everyone can love on ’em, but that isn’t always the point for me. I don’t want to use “vegan buttery sticks” for my grandma’s coffee cake because she is an awesome Polish lady who practically lives on butter and it was one of the fundamental parts of growing up with her cooking. I want that to always be how it was with her. (Sidenote: her favorite sandwich/food/meal is artisan croissant, split in half and schmeared heavily with room temp butter on each side, topped with a few pieces of bacon. She is amazing.)
And last night I made kugelhopf, twice. My mom recently unearthed my kugelhopf pan at her house, from when I was still living there. I could hardly even handle it. Kugelhopf is one of my favorite pastries, ever. You guys, it’s a mish-mash of bread and cake and it was Marie Antoinette’s favorite pastry (apparently). The shape is frickin’ regal and what’s better than cake AND bread IN ONE PASTRY?! I made a vegan version, and a non-vegan version. I stuffed them both with raisins that I soaked in walnut liqueur, lemon and orange zest, vanilla sugar, and lovingly let them ferment and rise in my grand kugelhopf pan.
I pulled them each out of the oven. The vegan one is insane. It’s so delicious. Sitting next to each other on the cooling rack, I couldn’t really even tell them apart. But when I pulled that non-vegan kugelhopf out of the oven, something was different for me. It reminded me of being in pastry school again, surrounded by my best friends, baking all day, every day – and having just the absolute time of my life. Russell can testify on this one – I was actually squealing and jumping up and down. The items can be identical, but the memories are so different.
Anyway, here’s what you care about: Most of what I make can be made vegan and non-vegan. A lot of what I make is simply better as a vegan item and I won’t make it any different. 90% of the wedding and special event cakes I make are vegan (buttercream not included) because I just love the crumb of my vegan cake recipe. Some of what I make uses butter and I’m just going to leave it at that. Can I make a great vegan alternative? Most of the time, yes!
So, please always submit in your request if you are looking for an item that meets a specific dietary concern. Communication Station, y’all!