Baking Questions And Answers (From The Blog)
Welcome to the guide on the most frequently asked baking questions (and answers) about the different recipes from the blog. I will keep on updating this guide as and when I come across more important questions from the readers. I hope this healthy baking guide proves to be a useful resource for anyone who wants to try recipes from the blog, or in general, baking using healthy ingredient swaps. Some of the questions might be relevant as general baking queries too.
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If you are new to this blog, here’s a quick overview of what baking recipes I mainly focus at. Almost all of the desserts on this blog are refined flour free and refined sugar free desserts. Now why I said “almost”, is because there is a chance that certain packaged ingredients in some recipes might have added refined sugar as part of their ingredient list. Few examples of those ingredients include rose syrup, sprinkles, Nutella, M&M’s, chocolate chips etc.
But you will not find recipes that have any added refined sugar or added refined flour on the ingredients in my recipes. Here is the list of flours and sweeteners used in the recipes on the blog.
- Jaggery Powder
- Organic Coconut Palm Sugar
- Dried Prunes
- Whole Wheat Flour
- Oats Flour
- Blanched Almond Flour
- Ragi (Finger Millet Flour)
- Besan (Chickpea Flour)
The Q&A list below answers queries related to the healthy baked goods (as posted on the blog). Some of these queries might also be relevant to general baking, irrespective of the ingredients used.
This list is a compilation of the baking queries asked on the blog as well as all the social media channels (Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest) that this blog is connected to. Other queries have been asked at different recipe sharing groups on Facebook where I share most of the new recipes that I post on the blog. Hope you enjoy reading this healthy baking Q&A series, and find some helpful information!
1. What are the egg substitutes in cookies?
The most common egg substitutes for cookies include:
- Chia seed gel (Chia seeds + Water)
- Flax seed gel (Flax seeds powder + Water)
- Commercial egg replacers
- Oil + Water
- Cream Cheese
Check out how I have tried Chia seed gel as an egg substitute in these Eggless Whole Wheat Jaggery Cookies on the blog.
2. What can I use instead of Jaggery Powder in baking?
Jaggery is a healthier sweetener which is made from the sap of palm or sugarcane. Since it is an unrefined form of sugar, the baked goods made with jaggery will differ in taste and texture than their white sugar counterparts. The closest alternative for jaggery powder that I have found and used in baking is Organic Coconut Palm Sugar. Again, coconut sugar is also unrefined sweetener alternative, and can easily replace jaggery powder in 1:1 ratio.
Check out these Coconut Sugar Whole Wheat Chocolate Cranberry Cookies that I created using the Wheat Jaggery Cookies recipe as the base.
3. What are the egg substitutes for cakes, muffins and/or brownies?
The most common egg substitutes for cakes, muffins and/or brownies include:
- Mashed Banana
Check out how I have used Yogurt as an egg substitute in the following healthy baked desserts!
- Eggless Chocolate Beetroot Cake
- Egg Free Carrot Muffins
- Wheat Jaggery Banana Cake Eggless
- Whole Wheat Jaggery Eggless Brownies
4. What is the cup size used for baking?
I use the standard US cup and tablespoon measurement while baking and cooking. Here are the basic measurements and their conversions that are used in my recipes.
|US CUPS||GRAMS / ML||TABLESPOONS|
|1 cup||235 ml||16 tbsp|
|3/4 cup||177 ml||12 tbsp|
|1/2 cup||118 ml||8 tbsp|
|1/3 cup||78 ml||5-1/3 tbsp|
|1/4 cup||59 ml||4 tbsp|
1 Tablespoon = 3 teaspoons
1 teaspoon = 5 ml
5. Can I use salted butter instead of unsalted butter in baking desserts?
Yes. You can easily substitute salted butter for the unsalted butter called for in the recipe. Just omit the extra salt listed in the recipe ingredients, and you’re all set.
6. Can you give baking ingredients measurement conversion in cups/grams?
Please check this amazing resource, Baking Conversion Guide by Food Network to find all the basic ingredient conversions in cups and grams. It is a pretty useful guide, especially for beginner bakers.
7. What is the substitute for butter in cookies?
The most common butter substitutes for cookies include:
- Ghee (Clarified butter)
- Mashed Banana
- Nut Butter
- Pumpkin Puree
If you want to know how much quantity of each of the above substitutes we need to replace with butter, then check out this article from Healthline where they talk about the different butter substitutes and the substitution ratios.
Since we are talking about healthy baking here, which uses unrefined sugar and unrefined flour variations, so you might need to do some trial and error before using the direct butter substitutes mentioned above. Here is a recipe of Butterless Chocolate Chip Cookies made with whole wheat and jaggery powder, where I have substituted butter with Avocados, and has been a favorite recipe on the blog from a long time.
8. The butter and sugar mixture for muffins looks all clumped up and liquidy. What could be the issue?
This generally happens when the butter is too warm or if the mixture is beaten for a long time. You can refrigerate this mixture for around 10 minutes, and then move forward with the recipe. It should work.
9. What does it mean when a recipe says “use softened butter” in cookies?
When a recipe calls to use softened butter or room temperature butter, it means butter should be in a state which is soft. When you press the butter with your finger, it should easily make an indentation, but shouldn’t be in a melted state.
The easiest way to soften butter is to bring the butter to room temperature before you start making the recipe. If you don’t have time for that, the next quickest way is to place the butter in a microwave safe dish, and microwave the butter at 10 seconds interval, and checking the texture. It generally gets done in around 20-30 seconds in total, but you have to make sure to check after every 10 second interval.
10. Can I use egg instead of yogurt in eggless muffins?
You can try replacing 1/4th cup of yogurt with 1 egg. If batter is a little dry, then combine half more teaspoon baking soda mixed with half tablespoon of vinegar, and add to the batter.
11. Why did my cookies turn out hard?
To avoid the cookies from getting hard, don’t add more flour than needed (You need to measure the flour correctly). Another important point to take care of is to avoid over-mixing the cookie dough after adding dry ingredients, just gently fold the ingredients.
12. Why are my wheat jaggery cookies soft?
First things first, white granulated sugar helps the cookies crisp up. Since we are using jaggery powder in our bakes, it tends to make the cookies softer. Check out the recipe of Soft Wheat Jaggery Cookies, which has been a base recipe for so many other cookie variations tried in the blog.
Also, most of the wheat jaggery cookies mentioned in the blog are baked at 375 degree Fahrenheit (190 degree Celsius), as opposed to baking at a lower temperature. The higher the baking temperature, the softer the cookies.
13. I want to give cookies as gifts. How can I pack them and can you share some gift box options?
Now that you have baked some healthy cookies at home, you want to share that homemade baked love with your near and dear ones.
The best way that I have tried is placing each individual cookie, or a set of 2 cookies in a small plastic bag or wrap. If using 2 cookies, you can separate both cookies with a parchment paper square, and them put them inside the small plastic bag. Each of the individual plastic bags can then be kept inside a cookie gift box.
14. What are the best ways to use leftover cookies, muffins, cakes and/or brownies?
As a recipe developer, I face this a lot. Sometimes I have a lot of leftover desserts, and other times, when there are bake fails that happen, I don’t want to waste the final baked product. Well, for the baking disasters, I make sure that the baked good is not raw. If it needs more baking time, then I just bake it for a few more minutes. In both these cases (leftover bakes and failed bakes), here is how I use, or rather reuse the bake!
- If it’s cookies, and they are not too soft, we try to dip them in tea/coffee, so that it is easier to consume it.
- For cakes, muffins and even cookies sometimes, I crumble them, and make them as layer for parfait. The other layers include yogurt, fruits, granola, nuts etc.
- The third rescue is using them in a trifle. That makes another dessert out of your bake. Usually, you can layer the crumbs or pieces of cakes, cookies, muffins etc. as a layer, with whipped cream as another layer. But sometimes, even if you don’t have whipped cream at hand, you can use some other option like the Ras from Rasmalai, or even Rabri. Check out this quick and easy Rasmalai Trifle that I created using leftover muffins and store bought Rasmalai, it was a super hit dessert at our home!
Thank you for sharing your inputs and queries all along my baking journey. It has certainly helped me to create this guide for you all. You asked, I answered. Happy baking!