According to a report by research firm GlobalData, only 1% of US consumers claimed to be vegan in 2014. Three years later, that number soared to 6%.

Plant-based foods are in huge demand, and the cake sector is joining into this important development by introducing new products that appeal to the growing number of vegan consumers in America.

Chicago-based Eli’s Cheesecake became interested in creating a great vegan cheesecake because of the country’s growing awareness of healthier eating and the fact that the vegan market has doubled over the past five years, according to market research. Eli’s newest flavor is dairy-free, vegan lemon raspberry cheesecake, which was introduced at the National Restaurant Show 2019 in Chicago.

“The most important aspect for us was to make a vegan cheesecake that reflects the delicious taste and texture that our customers expect from all Eli’s Cheesecakes and Desserts,” says Marc Schulman, Eli’s president. “Thanks to the highest quality, custom formulated ingredients, combined with the expertise and creativity of Eli’s pastry chefs, we think we have succeeded.”

Tofu and vegan dairy-free cream cheese replace cream cheese and sour cream to make Eli’s Vegan Cheesecake zero cholesterol and lower in fat than traditional cheesecake.

Eli’s newest flavor is dairy-free, vegan lemon raspberry cheesecake.

Eli’s Vegan Cheesecakes use ingredients such as single source Madagascar Nielsen-Massey vanilla extract, Callebaut Belgian semi-sweet chocolate (vegan and contains no milk), fresh carrots, pecans, ginger and Saigon cinnamon.

Earlier this year, Rubicon Bakers launched a new addition to its innovative product line: Vegan Neapolitan Cupcakes. Inspired by a nostalgic favorite, these delightful pink treats just happen to be vegan.

With an SRP of $5.99, the new 4-pack Vegan Neapolitan Cupcakes is made with decadent chocolate cake filled with whipped vanilla creme, topped with sweet strawberry icing and mini chocolate chips. These cupcakes are scratch-made from plant-based ingredients, including vegan sugar, chocolate chips, vanilla and non-GMO expeller-pressed canola oil. The Vegan Neapolitan Cupcakes are available at Sprouts Farmers Market, select Whole Foods Market locations and independent retailers nationwide.

Plant-based options

With increased demand for plant-based ingredient options in the bakery sector, manufacturers are unveiling new products that serve this market need.

Aquafaba, the leftover water from canned chickpeas, may replace egg whites as a plant-based, no-waste alternative, says Lizzy Freier, managing editor at Technomic, Inc.

Little Bean in Portland, Oregon serves dairy-free frozen desserts made from “milked” chickpeas.

FabaButter is a plant-based butter that bakes, clarifies, and browns just like dairy butter. It boasts a 360°F smoke point (considerably higher than dairy butter) and is made with upcycled aquafaba, a foodwaste ingredient that adds a layer of depth and flavor.

FabaButter is a plant-based butter that bakes, clarifies, and browns just like dairy butter.

Top chefs use FabaButter in the most technically demanding foods, from croissants to French mother sauces, for its superior functionality and sustainability benefits.

FabaButter was recognized by The National Restaurant Association as a recipient of a 2019 Food and Beverage Award, recognizing food and beverage products that are breaking new ground in taste, creativity, packaging and profit potential.

ColorKitchen’s food colors and sprinkles for cake decorators are made with natural and simple plant-based ingredients like turmeric, spirulina, beet, and annatto. In the process of making the dyes, flavors and textures are removed from the plant ingredients, leaving pure color behind. The company also recently introduced the baking industry’s first ‘dye-free, heat stable’ deep red velvet food color. The food colorings come in a powder form for an extended shelf-life and can be added to dry ingredients or baked goods, readily mixed into gummies or candies, and used for frosting treats.

Truwhip recently added dairy-free, vegan variety to its growing lineup of product offerings. The addition meets the dietary needs of increasing plant-based, dairy-free and vegan consumers.The truwhip vegan flavor joins the existing lineup of truwhip products including truwhip original and truwhip skinny.

“The demand for plant-based food offerings is increasing and we are delivering a variety of products for our consumer’s needs,” says Andrew Oppenheimer, director of sales at Peak Foods, LLC. “As we continue to diversify our product varieties, we aim to prioritize the growing dietary preferences in the better-for-you category.”