Vegan Beignets for Mardi Gras

| March 5, 2011 | 5 Comments
  • 5 Comments

beignets on plate

When you think about Mardi Gras you think about New Orleans, and when you think about New Orleans you think about beignets! The word beignet refers to fried dough but depending on the country the pastry can vary. They can be square or round, savory or sweet, fruit-filled or plain dough. In New Orleans they are the natural accompaniment to your café au lait and they come piping hot in groups of three on a plate with a heap of powdered sugar on top.

Mardi Gras is just around the corner, and if you can’t be in New Orleans, you may as well celebrate at home with these delicious treats.

Unfortunately for vegans, the dough for traditional beignets contains milk and eggs. But these two ingredients have simple substitutes, making for a very easily veganizable recipe.

This dough makes a LOT of beignets, so keep that in mind and cut the ingredients in half if you want less (but really, do you?).

Recipe: Vegan Beignets

Summary: These Vegan Beignets use simple substitutes for the traditional dough ingredients of milk and eggs.

By Vi Zahajszky

Prep time: 2 hrs 30 min (30 min prep, 2 hrs rise time)
Cook time: 5 min for each batch
Total time: 2 hour 35 min
Yield: 10 servings

beignet up close

Ingredients

  • 1 packet active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water (110°F)
  • 1/2 cup granulated vegan sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 tsp Ener-G Egg Replacer mixed with 4 Tbsp water (this is the equivalent of 2 eggs)
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 7 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil (extra virgin or refined –- either way it should be solid)
  • 1 quart vegetable oil for frying
  • 1/4 cup confectioners sugar (if you are concerned about bone char, make your own vegan powdered sugar

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water, then add sugar, salt, egg replacer, coconut milk, and blend well.
  2. Mix in 4 cups of flour and beat until smooth.
  3. At this point I recommend using a stand mixer if you have one.
  4. Add coconut oil and rest of flour.
  5. Transfer to a large oiled bowl and cover with a warm damp towel. Put in a warm area for 2 hours to let rise.
  6. After 2 hours, the dough will have risen and will be very sticky. You may want to chill for a little to have it be easier to work with, or just use a lot of flour when rolling it out.
  7. Roll out dough to about a 1/4 inch thickness and cut into squares.
  8. beignet dough

  9. Heat oil to about 350°F (I had it just above medium).
  10. Carefully place squares into oil and fry until they are golden.
  11. Place them on paper towels to drain the oil, and then transfer to a plate.
  12. Sprinkle (or dump) confectioners sugar onto the hot beignets. Serve warm with coconut milk café au lait!

Note: This is a modification of a combination of two recipes found on AllRecipes.com and VegWeb.

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Category: Bay Area Bites Food + Drink, dessert and chocolate, holidays and traditions, recipes, vegetarian and vegan

About the Author ()

Vi Zahajszky, originally from Hungary, Boston, and New York, drove across the country to San Francisco a few years ago with her husband Chris and a rescue pup named The Bandit. By day she works at KQED and is involved in the station's new media efforts. By night, her passions lie in vegan food and fashion. Her own blog, plantmade, focuses on vegan and cruelty-free fashion. She is a fashion writer for eco-conscious website One Green Planet, and has contributed to SF vegan lifestyle blog Vegansaurus and San Diego food blog Pizzelles. Currently studying fashion design and pattern-making at Apparel Arts in San Francisco, she has plans to eventually develop a vegan clothing line. You can find her on facebook and on twitter @plantmade.
  • jasleen

    looks good… just one question. 1/4 WHAT of coconut oil?

  • http://plantmade.me/ Vi Zahajszky

    Hi Jasleen, It’s 1/4 cup. Thanks for catching that. We’ve fixed the typo.

  • Stacy

    Really, awesomely heavenly and delicious! Some tips from my experience with this recipe, which worked very well for my first time ever making beignets:
    -Use the blending attachment for the stand mixer, not the dough hook, but don’t expect to get the dough entirely blended that way. When it’s mostly together and starting to crawl up the attachment, pour the dough onto a floured countertop, scrape the extra dough off the mixer blade and knead for a bit until everything is incorporated.
    -Cut the rolled-out dough using a rolling pizza cutter – works brilliantly!
    -Thicker dough (usually from the middle) won’t expand as well as the thinner (edge) pieces.
    -I used a 1/4″+ of oil in a large cast iron skillet (topping up as needed) and turned the beignets to brown them. It didn’t come close to needing a quart.
    -Don’t let it get too hot!
    -Be prepared to have the people you live with coerce you in every way they can think of to make these babies on a regular basis – daily, if possible.

  • http://Www.cakesbyrobynn.blogspot.com Robynn

    I’m used to making them the regular way. With evaporated milk and such. However, I’m going to try this and instead of coconut products I’m going to try vanilla almond milk. I usually put vanilla extract in them anyways. It gives a nice hint. You can also take out 1/2 cup of flour and put in cocoa powder. Mmmmm! Can’t wait to try them. I find that letting the dough rest overnight covered in the fridge really puffs them up!

  • http://thursdayswithwanda.wordpress.com Wanda

    Those look like they have the perfect amount of fluffyness! I’ve also made vegan donuts with flaxseeds as an egg replacer, and they work perfectly as well. I like the added richness of the coconut milk though.