There's no doubt about it – Genuinely Baked is taking the St. Louis vegan baking scene by storm. Chris Speer and Charlie Rose Webster, the partners behind the St. Louis vegan baking company, are currently selling their cookies and pastries Thursday through Saturday at Lulu's Local Eatery on South Grand, but take note – these treats are going fast.
You may dig into their soft cookies, cinnamon rolls, cakes and cupcakes and refuse to believe no dairy or eggs exist. But, one thing is clear – there's a whole lot of passion. Speer and Webster met nine years ago and as they grew together, so did their interest in veganism.
"Purchasing ingredients as close to their original state became second nature," says Webster. And that goes for their baked goods, too. The duo is compelled to share what's important to them the only way they know how – "through great food."
"If you choose quality over quantity and support those that do, too, the cycle can become a positive one," Webster says.
So how can home cooks master this perfect vegan baking? First, Webster recommends following a recipe as closely as possible, at least once. "Closely following a recipe allows you to understand it better," Webster explains, so you know what the final product will be and are then able to make changes the second time around. Second, find out how eggs play into your recipe. "Sometimes you don't even need them," says Webster.
Next, don't be afraid to experiment. And don't be shy with the salt in your baked goods, advises Webster. "[Salt] enhances the others flavors you're using." Finally, it's important to wait until your cake and cupcakes are cool before cutting into them. But don't worry, according to Webster – and us all – "piping hot cookies are fine!"
Genuinely Baked's seasonal strawberry shortcake is the perfect summer dessert to make at home. Webster explains it as "seasonal, light, but still really satisfying." Make it this summer because it's vegan or, most importantly, because it's delicious.
Genuinely Baked's Vegan Strawberry Shortcake with Coconut Whip
Serves | 6 to 8 |
- 3 cups organic all-purpose flour
- 2 Tbsp baking powder
- 1 tsp. salt
- ¾ cup organic sugar
- ½ cup dairy-free butter or shortening
- Up to 6 ounces dairy-free milk (soy or coconut milk)
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 Tbsp lemon zest
- 2 15-oz. cans full fat coconut milk, refrigerated (use the separated cream only, and save milk for another use)
- 1 cup organic powdered sugar
- ¼ tsp vanilla extract
- Whole strawberries, as many as you prefer
- ½ cup organic sugar
| Preparation | Combine the shortcake's dry ingredients in one large bowl and whisk together.
Combine the non-dairy milk, vanilla extract and lemon zest in a small bowl.
Cut butter or shortening into flour mixture until small pieces are evenly distributed. Add the liquid mixture and bring together slowly until a shaggy dough is formed - a wooden spoon can give you a hand here.
Let dough chill and relax (literally). Roll dough out until its approximately 1" thick. Cut using a 2" biscuit cutter.
Bake at 400º for 10 to 12 minutes.
Make the coconut whip. Whip the coconut whip ingredients together until light and fluffy. Store in the refrigerator or freezer until ready to serve.
Make the berry topping. Combine the berries and sugar and let hang for a while.
| To Serve | Serve shortcake with coconut whip and top with berries and fresh mint leaves.