Some essentials for the well-equipped vegan baker:

Coconut milk: Like soy and other grain-based milks, coconut milk can replace dairy milk. It produces rich, moist baked goods. It is widely available in the ethnic sections of most grocers and also comes in low-fat versions.

Commercial egg replacer powder: Though some vegans find these products, often made from potato starch, a bit chalky tasting, others swear by them in baking. Two common brands are Ener-G Egg Replacer and Bob's Red Mill Egg Replacer.

Ground flax seeds: Used in place of eggs, these help bind whole-grain muffins, cookies and pancakes. Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, author of "The Joy of Vegan Baking," suggests buying whole flax seeds and grinding them as needed in a coffee mill.

Margarine and non-dairy butters: There was a time when these products tasted like paste and refused to melt, but no longer. Most now act and taste like the real thing. Earth Balance is a common, popular brand.

Nondairy cream cheese: Like soy milks, non-dairy cream cheese has come a long way in recent years. There are several brands (Tofutti is widely available), and most are thick and creamy. They do well in dense baked goods, such as vegan cheesecake.

Silken tofu: This ultra-soft tofu, usually found in shelf-stable packaging, can be pureed for use in puddings, mousses and pie fillings. Isa Chandra Moskowitz, author of "Vegan With a Vengeance," also uses it in dense cakes and brownies.

Soy and other non-dairy milks: Most mainstream grocers now offer a wide variety of non-dairy milks, both refrigerated and not. Experiment to find a taste and texture you like. Vanilla flavored will tend to taste creamier.

Unsweetened applesauce and other fruit purees: These provide a binding agent and moisture to baked goods. They are best for cakes, quick breads and brownies.

Vinegar: Just a tablespoon of white or cider vinegar added to a cup of non-dairy milk simulates the taste of buttermilk.