Make vegan Chocolate Chip Buns in just one step! Did your Gran/Nan/Nonna/Grandma/Grams used to bake for you? Mine did. My Nan turns 90 this year. Sadly she is now in a care-home, and suffers from mild Dementia. When I was a child, she was always emotionally very distant, and somewhat untouchable, not a cuddly nan, but she showed her affection for her family through baking and being productive. She was the best pastry cook, and the best baker I’ve ever known, and today I’m sharing her recipe for Vegan Chocolate Chip Buns.
Old-Fashioned Baking – a brief 101
This recipe is so easy, and like most things my Nan used to bake, easy to get so wrong as well! The key to success with these seemingly simple baking recipes is two fold: accuracy and good ingredients. I recently have been experimenting with Flora’s Vegan Butter with very little success. I have found that all of my bakes have sunk, or been damp, and it’s not a product I would recommend for baking with. It is delicious on bread, or in a baked potato however!
My Nan used to use marg, or margarine, notably a brand called Stork. And it must be in the block, not the tub. Also, if the recipe states white sugar, do not use brown. Brown sugar will give a different taste, but moreover, it can cause a different texture to occur within the structure of the bun. Brown sugar tends to be softer, more caramel like, and this does show in baking. White sugar seems to retain a more neutral sweetness, and better texture.
Vegan Egg Replacers
To replace eggs, I use either ground flaxseed, or yogurt, depending on what I’m baking. You can also use apple sauce or banana. Simplistically, an egg is the equivalent of a quarter cup in fluid, and so you need to replace that level of liquid to ensure that you don’t have dry buns. In this recipe I used yogurt, as I wanted to retain a softer, moist crumb. Flaxseed works better as a binder. Here’s my guide to plant-based ingredients.
What Makes These Chocolate Chip Buns Vegan?
But why make these buns? And what’s the difference between a bun and a muffin? Well, not much really. A bun is baked in a bun tin, which is just a shallower muffin tin. They also contain less additional rising agents, so don’t get the traditional hump of a muffin. It makes them really easy to get that nice smooth, flat sugar-icing topping for interesting decorations too. The other difference is that buns don’t rely on any artificial flavours. You won’t find vanilla extract used here. It definitely defines the flavour of the bun as more old-fashioned, more homely. If you are from that older generation, you will know the taste I mean, a simple plain sponge, dotted with chocolate chips or sultanas.
Finally, this could be the first bun you or your children learn to bake! You simply pop all the ingredients in a bowl and beat up with an electric whisk! Then fold in your chocolate chips or sultanas, and that’s it! In no more than an hour, you’ll be tucking into warm buns. And you can adapt them as much as you like. Add a simple water icing, add glace cherries instead of chocolate chips. Add some cocoa powder for chocolate buns.
For my recipe adapted to be plant-based, see below. I hope you enjoy my grandma’s chocolate chip buns and try them out for yourself!
- Mixing Bowl
- Hand Whisk
- Small 12 Hole Bun Tin or 2 cup Muffin Tin (not Jumbo)
- Small Bun Cases
- 100 g Vegan Butter or Margarine, cold
- 100 g Caster Sugar
- 65 g Natural Yogurt (½ cup)
- 100 g Self-Raising Flour
- 1 tsp Baking Powder
- 100 g Chocolate Chips or sultanas
- Preheat Oven to 190c.Pop your bun cases in your bun tin.
- Place all the ingredients, excluding the chocolate chips, in a large mixing bowl and whisk until just blended, using an electric hand-whisk, or wooden spoon if you're feeling strong
- Using a dessertspoon, spoon the mixture evenly between the 12 bun cases. It is better to half fill them first, and then top them up afterwards using whatever batter is left.
- Bake for between 15-20 minutes or until golden brown on top.
- Remove from oven, leave to cool for about 5 minutes before placing on a cooling rack. These are great straight from the oven, but actually taste better the next day!