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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UVA chapter.

I have always loved baking. It has been something my mom and I have done together on holidays and school breaks. It was what got me through the first part of quarantine. It is something I love to do with my roommates now. What I love most about it is seeing my friends and family enjoy the final product. So, when I moved into my apartment this year, I was met with the ultimate dilemma: one of my roommates is vegan, but my recipes were full of butter, milk, and eggs. In an effort to make my baking enjoyable for all my roommates, I sought out easy vegan recipes online. And, surprisingly to me, I found that these sweet treats were just as good as my non-vegan recipes!

Vegan Vanilla Cake

Sometimes the challenge with vegan recipes is that they may require a lot of obscure dairy substitutes that are hard to find for someone not familiar with them. That is not the case for this recipe! The only specifically non-dairy things you need are vegan butter and any type of non-dairy milk, both of which are exceedingly easy to find in your average grocery store. For vegan butter, I typically go with Earth Balance, which you can usually find in the aisle with the normal butter. For non-dairy milk, I would recommend using oat milk for its thicker consistency, though almond milk or soy milk work perfectly fine. One more tip: chill the frosting before you use it. I used my frosting right after I made it, and it ended up dripping down the sides of my cake and clumping up around the bottom. If you chill the frosting first, allow it to come to room temperature right before you use it, then pop your cake back in the fridge right when you’re done, you should be able to avoid that problem. Other than this slight problem, this cake was delicious and I would highly recommend it!

Vegan Brownies

I will preface this recipe by saying I have found that Nora Cooks is an amazing source for delicious vegan recipes. This brownie recipe, in particular, is perfect for anyone who is a die-hard chocolate lover. It requires slightly more specifically-vegan ingredients than the first recipe, but don’t let that scare you away. You will need to buy flaxseed meal to make flax eggs, a typical substitute for eggs in vegan recipes. The conversion is super easy: you can substitute one regular egg for one tablespoon of flaxseed meal combined with three tablespoons of water. Make sure to mix the water and the flaxseed really well, and let it sit for around 5 minutes before using it in the recipe. As for the other ingredients, you will need to buy vegan cocoa powder and vegan chocolate chips. Hershey’s Cocoa Powder works fine, and for the chocolate chips, I would recommend the Enjoy Life brand. Finally, it says you need a 7×11 baking pan, but I used a 9×13. I have found that, in vegan baking, you can check if your bake is done the same way you would for non-vegan baking: stick a fork in it, and if it comes out clean, it’s done!

Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

Funnily enough, I just discovered this recipe this past Tuesday, when I decided to stress bake as I watched the election results come in. This recipe says that you need a handheld or stand-alone mixer, but I found that whisking by hand worked perfectly fine. The niche ingredients for this recipe include flaxseed meal (for flax eggs), cornstarch, and brown sugar. These may not be niche ingredients for your pantry, but for me, I only had them lying around because my roommates had done other baking a few weeks earlier. The recipe says to bake these cookies for 10-12 minutes, but I ended up making the cookies a little bigger and baking them for 15 minutes. This allowed them to be perfectly crispy on the outside and perfectly chewy on the inside. I highly recommend this recipe if you’re looking for a very quick and easy bake!

I am a second year studying in the College of Arts & Sciences. I love watching Netflix, hiking, and spending time with friends. Thanks for reading my work!
Nikki is a fourth year and a Biology major at the University of Virginia. Her loves in life include reading, animals, and cookies! Writing is one of her creative outlets and she hopes you enjoy her articles as much as she enjoys writing them!