Last week, I was lucky enough to be at a dinner where the host had hired a chef to make a lovely meal for the group. When I asked the chef if he knew how to "veganize, the carrot cake" he was baking so I could dive in with my fork and partake in the splurge, he looked at me like I was crazy. "I can't, I use dairy and eggs." So I tried–very nicely, very politely–to explain that actually, you can make any recipe vegan just by substituting out the eggs and cream for plant-based versions. He looked at me confused–like I obviously had no clue how this might work. And so I dropped it, and he continued to make the traditional carrot cake and at dessert time I let my fork stay on the table. But the incident inspired me to write up how easy it is to make any recipe vegan, using plant-based versions of the traditional dairy most recipes call for.

The truth is, any of your favorite recipes can be made free of animal products, using plant-based milk, or cream, and egg substitutes like chia seed, flax seeds, or even apple sauce, can work. There are as many as nine other options for replacing the binding agent that eggs provide when you are baking up cakes, muffins, and other desserts. It's surprisingly easy to substitute vegan-friendly alternatives to ingredients, so you can still enjoy your classic recipes this holiday season.

Instead of Cream Cheese as Icing on the Cake, Use Plant-Based

If you plan on making red velvet or carrot cake, you can't compromise on the best part, the thick and sinful cream cheese frosting. To be sure you can still enjoy this decadent delight, whether you're plant-based or lactose intolerant, simply by using plant-based cream cheese in place of the regular in your recipe. We taste-tested five of the best dairy-free cream cheeses and rated them based on health and taste because cream cheese is the icing on the cake.

Instead of Creamer in Your Foam Latte, Try These Plant-Based Creamers

A latte is delicious any time of the day, and most importantly during the winter season so you can stay warm and feel comforted. Cozy-up with a cup of coffee and your perfect creamer, completely dairy-free. We test-tasted twelve of the best vegan creamers to add to your coffee, hot chocolate, teas, mashed potatoes, soups, and more.

Butter is So Much Better for You When It's Plant-Based Made from Vegetable Oil

Butter makes everything better, hands down. The next time you eat pancakes for breakfast, add a glop of dairy-free butter and indulge. We taste-tested five of the best vegan butter and graded them based on health, taste, and texture, so you can spread butter on your toast, rice, vegetables, and anything else you wish to make.

Ice Cream Made of Coconut, Almond Milk, Oat Milk or Cashew Milk is Just as Sweet

We all scream for ice cream when it's dairy-free and a tad bit healthier-for-you than the real thing. To complete your ice cream sundae, we had the hardest critics taste-test 5 best non-dairy ice creams, and their favorite flavor will shock you. Load up on all your favorite toppings and enjoy a classic dessert, with a DF twist.

Leave Out the Eggs and Try these 9 Substitutes Instead, Even Avocado Can Work

Pies, cakes, muffins, cookies, and most of your favorite baked goods require eggs, for a thick and creamy texture. We have you covered with the best egg replacements for baking, so you can still indulge in decadent desserts. Try the chia or flaxseed egg as a substitute, or if you don't have those on hand, you can use a ripe banana, avocado, or applesauce instead.

Cheese on Your Pizza? Try a Shredded Cheese Made from Plant-Based Milk Instead

Cheese, tomatoes, and dough are the key ingredients for the perfect pizza, but now you can find almost any topping to your pizza that's completely vegan. We taste-tested 8 of the best-frozen pizzas to enjoy when you're feeling cheezy! Slice up the pie and dedicate a night for a pizza party, completely free of dairy.

As for cheeses, we have tried Miyokos, Daiya, Follow Your Heart, Parmela, and love them all, for different recipes. Whether you're making a grilled cheese sandwich or topping nachos, pasta or pizza, try these amazing substitutes that taste like the real thing. Check out The Beet's guide to the best plant-based cheeses, then add your ratings and review to ours.

Convincing your loved ones that it's super simple to serve up a vegan roast instead of a traditional turkey for dinner may be a bridge too far but if they are game, it's easier than it sounds. All you have to do is show them The Beet's guide to choosing the most delicious Thanksgiving entree, and order a few so they can taste it for themselves. In our Great Vegan Turkey Taste Test, we break down exactly which roast is perfect for you or the guest. So the next time someone says you can't have turkey sub leftovers, you can prove them wrong.

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