Vegan cake-making lessons for behaviour change

By Livvy Drake

On Saturday, we celebrated the 40th bday of a great friend. Her child is lactose, egg and nut intolerant so a vegan lemon cake was whipped up by a great baking buddy. Of course, a conversation ensued about cooking and baking vegan, and the core theme was around the fear of complexity.

So here are some behavioural insights from the conversations and my own experience as a vegan cook (although I identify as a flexigan because I still eat eggs).

Easy switches

The winning recipe was easy to make and the eggs and butter were simply replaced by oil. My friend cited: “I didn’t want to master flax eggs or substitutes, I just wanted simple ingredients.

Avoid long lists

For me, any recipe that has over 5 or 6 ingredients I won’t look at. My brain makes a mental shortcut that long lists means complexity and time-consuming.


Equally, if it says more than 1 hour to prepare, I will look for another option. Time is a mental short-cut that suggests effort for the brain when it is always looking for a way to complete a task as quickly as possible.

And with cooking this makes sense….as it also knows that the recipe has not factored in all the mess I will make along the way and all the cleaning and washing up that is required!

These insights are relevant to any behaviour change, keep it easy and avoid complexity.

As Veganuary draws to a close I will be sharing other insights this week from the mechanisms that have helped Veganism become a more easy and attractive dietary choice.

Try the recipe

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