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Showing 1-10 of 16 reviews(2 star). Show all reviews
on December 16, 2007
I was excited when this book came out as there are so few vegan baking books out there. The photos are impressive, but unfortunately, the recipes are a disappointment. The author seems to have taken standard recipes and switched out the eggs and butter for Ener-G egg replacer and vegan margarine (which she calls vegan butter - isn't this an oxymoron?). There is absolutely nothing creative here! There are no recipes that utilize any of the alternative whole grain flours or unrefined sweeteners out there or different oils, such as coconut, palm ,walnut, safflower,etc.

My vegan friends, you can make a delicious pie crust with walnut oil, whole wheat pastry flour and water...and the ingredients don't have to be COLD. You can make fabulous scones with agave nectar and no egg replacer. Please go beyond these tired recipes and BE CREATIVE! Purchase this book if you love all-purpose white flour, Earth Balance spread and Ener-G egg replacer in everything you make.
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VINE VOICEon September 30, 2011
I bought this cookbook because I am a devoted baker who wants to make only vegan food. I was looking for creative ideas and recipes to help me do that.

There were a couple of good things about this cookbook. First, it is beautiful. The pictures are so delicious looking and the whole thing is put together in a way that is very visually appealing. Second, the author includes some interesting information on ingredients, substitutions, etc. [This is why I gave the book 2 stars instead of 1].

The recipes ARE unhealthy for the most part, but I did not have a problem with that - I bought a vegan dessert book, not a health food book. I think criticising this book because it isn't something it never claimed to be [healthy] is unfair.

But that aside, there was a lot that wasn't great about this book.

You don't need to buy this book to do what she's telling you to do - you can get the same results by heeding this advice: take all of your regular recipes, substitute Ener-G egg replacer for the eggs, sub Earth Balance margarine for the butter, and sub non-dairy milk for the milk. That's it. That's all she does through the whole book. Pretty much anyone can figure out how to do that on their own without having to pay for this book.

As some other reviewers mentioned, quite a few of these recipes are taken from other cookbooks, and I found that a bit frustrating too - I want new recipes when I buy a new cookbook.

She is also very preachy in the book. It annoyed me because, you know - I'm already on her side. I am already "converted" to veganism [for both animal rights reasons and health reasons]. To have to read through a lot of ranty preaching about it got on my nerves - and it came across as very condescending. I don't think the author wrote appropriately for who her audience was likely to be. [People who aren't already vegan or seriously considering veganism aren't very likely to buy this book...]

The recipes in this book aren't great either. So far, none of the ones I've tried turned out awesome. The flavor has been pretty good, but the textures have been really off. All of them have been edible, but I wouldn't make any of them a second time. I think I will be able to do better on my own converting tried and true recipes that I already have to vegan recipes.

I bought this book based on the overwhelmingly positive reviews. I was puzzled by how it got so many great reviews after I bought it and tried it. In reading some of the comments to the negative reviews, I'm starting to think that this author has something of a cult following because of her shows. I think those folks have been reviewing the book [perhaps less than honestly] because of their love for her. I'm sure she's awesome and I support her work very much - but this still isn't a great cookbook. I'm just saying...
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on May 31, 2010
I bought this book some time ago and found that I haven't had much use for it. Nearly every recipe relies on Ener-G brand egg replacer. You would do just as well to buy a non-vegan cookbook and make your own substitutions. You can taste the egg replacer in some of the recipes, too, which is pretty unpleasant. I would recommend such resources as Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World and Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar over this book. The Joy of Vegan Baking is fairly unimaginative, and your money could be better spent elsewhere.
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on July 20, 2010
In my first attempt at vegan baking, I had high hopes. Those were dashed by cupcake recipes that flattened and were nearly impossible to get out of the cupcake papers or overflowed into chocolate puddles. The vanilla recipe worked but only after adding another CUP of flour. Unless you're good at improvising recipes, don't bother with this book.
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on October 30, 2014
Strictly speaking, I'm not a vegan, but an ovo-lacto vegetarian, however I try to avoid using real butter, dairy milk and eggs as much as possible. That said it made sense to me to get a cookbook for vegan baking. Unfortunately, I found the author's tone be a little too... well snobbish. There's a full two paged diatribe about the use of dairy milk! My other gripe about the book is that the author uses Ener-G egg re-placer A LOT, which is annoying if it isn't one of your normal pantry staples. It would have been nice if the recipes called for something other than a branded product to replace the eggs. By far my biggest issue with this book is the author's snobbery, hands down. Some might choose a vegan cookbook because of allergies, and not because they're against using animal products, so the constant anti-omnivore/carnivore rants are not only off-putting, they're inappropriate.

If you're a hardcore vegan then I could see this book being of technical use, however if you're just looking for simple, non-preachy recipes that will let you substitute eggs or other dairy products for something else, then you're better off just looking for recipes on the internet.
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on August 23, 2013
I LOVE Colleen Patrick-Goudreau's podcasts so I thought I'd give her cookbooks a try. I recieved this book as a birthday present from my fiance and was super excited to get crackin' at these recipes.

Unfortunately, nothing I've tried so far has been very tasty. The chocolate cake was very dry, the cookie recipes were really, really oily. The soda bread was not very good unless you smothered it in Earth Balance and some jam. The only thing I've really been okay with so far was the Mediterranian bread, but it wasn't anything to rave about either.

Very dissapointed. Will still work through this book's recipes, but so far the outlook is grim.
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on July 9, 2015
Was looking for good explanations that could be used to adapt other recipes. This book uses egg substitute and dairy free substitutes, not tofu or other substitutes. I can do it this way myself.
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on January 22, 2009
I should have spent more time looking at the ingredients in recipes instead of allowing myself to be swept away by the awesome pictures. I was expecting more creative thinking than just replacing milk with soy milk, eggs with an egg replacement powder and real butter with soy margarine. Any one can take the baking recipes they already own and make these substitutions. You don't need this book to do it for you. I was hoping for recipes that made ample use of natural sweeteners like agave nectar or dates - that had more wholesome substitutions for white flour or even whole wheat flour. I suppose this book is good for someone who is just beginning to think about becoming a Vegan but needs to stay close to what he or she knows in order to be comfortable trying a change.

We tried the chocolate chip cookie recipe. You can't eat these warm out of the oven. They're grease pits and gross. Yet, the next day they were delicious. For me, that was just too weird.
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on November 11, 2011
I too was excited to get this cookbook. So I jumped right in a tried one of the recipes for a quick bread that looked and sounded great...the olive bread..Verrry bland and pasty. So more recently I tried another quick bread and that batch turned out to be blah, too. I think she needs to use more spice or up the quantities of the flavorful elements. Vegan cooking doesn't have to be bland and tasteless, but if you follow these recipes you may be in for disappointment. I gave the book away to charity!
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on June 17, 2009
I prefer to use at least half whole grain and better sweetener choices than this book calls for. Yes, I can adjust the recipes, but they are otherwise so unhealthful, that I don't bother. I can't understand all the hoopla over this cookbook. It honestly seems that as long as a book has Vegan in the title, it will get mostly 5 stars. I agree with the other reviewer who said there's better choices out there.
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