13 Great Egg Substitutes for Baking, and How to Pick the Right One

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Eggs are a staple ingredient in many baking recipes, providing structure, richness, and moisture to cakes, cookies, breads, and more. However, there are times when you may need to find an egg substitute, whether it’s due to diet, allergies, or simply running out of eggs.

Luckily, there are plenty of easy-to-find ingredients that can step in as effective egg replacements in your baked goods. We’ll take a look at many egg substitutes that you can use in your baking, along with tips on how to properly substitute them.

Eggs in a bowl on a kitchen counter

 

How To Choose

Not all of these substitutes are exactly alike. When it comes to choosing the right egg substitute for your baking needs, several factors come into play. You’ll need to consider the specific properties of each substitute and how that works with your recipe.

Understanding the role that eggs play in the original recipe, whether for binding, leavening, moisture, or structure, can help guide your decision-making process. For example, if you’re looking to replace eggs for binding purposes, options like flax or chia seeds, mashed banana, or commercial egg replacers can be excellent choices.

These substitutes provide the necessary stickiness and cohesion to hold ingredients together in baked goods like muffins, cookies, and quick breads. Their binding properties help maintain the overall structure of the final product.

For recipes that need leavening, like cakes and muffins, substitutes like baking soda and vinegar or aquafaba can help create the light and airy textures you want. The chemical reaction between these substitutes mimics the rising effect of eggs, contributing to a fluffy and well-risen bake.

When moisture is the reason for eggs, options like applesauce, yogurt, or silken tofu can come to the rescue. These substitutes add moisture and richness to baked goods, keeping them soft and moist even without eggs.

And remember, dietary preferences and allergens should also be taken into account when selecting an egg substitute. For vegan or plant-based baking, options like aquafaba, ground flax or chia seeds, and avocado are great choices. Alternatives like mashed banana, applesauce, or cornstarch to achieve similar results without compromising on taste or texture.

Egg Substitutes in Baking

1. Flax or Chia Seeds

Finely ground flax or chia seeds can make an excellent egg substitute in baking. To make a “flax egg” or “chia egg”, simply combine 1 tablespoon of ground seeds with 3 tablespoons of water. Let the mixture sit for 5-10 minutes until it thickens to a gelatinous consistency, similar to a raw egg.

This mixture can replace 1 egg in most recipes. The nutritious seeds provide binding power and help retain moisture in baked goods.

Flax and chia also add a slight nutty flavor, which can work well in certain recipes like muffins or breads. Just be sure to grind the seeds into a fine powder before using, as whole seeds won’t have the same thickening effect.

2. Applesauce

Unsweetened applesauce makes a great egg substitute, especially in cakes, muffins, and quick breads. Replace each egg in a recipe with 1/4 cup of applesauce.

The natural pectin in applesauce helps bind the ingredients together, while the moisture keeps baked goods soft and tender. Applesauce works best in recipes where you don’t need a lot of structure, like muffins or quick breads.

It may not work as well in recipes that require more structure, like cookies or yeast breads. You can also try using half applesauce and half another binder, like ground flax or chia seeds, for a more versatile egg replacement.

3. Mashed Banana

Ripe, mashed banana is another egg substitute that works well in baking, especially in recipes with strong flavors like chocolate, cinnamon, or pumpkin. Use 1/2 a medium banana per egg that the recipe calls for.

The natural sweetness and moisture of the banana helps replace the binding and richness that eggs provide. Banana works best in quick breads, muffins, pancakes, and similar soft, moist baked goods.

It may not be the best choice for recipes that require a lot of structure, like cookies or cakes. The banana flavor can also come through, so keep that in mind when choosing recipes.

4. Aquafaba

Aquafaba is the liquid from a can of chickpeas or other beans. When whipped, it takes on a similar consistency to beaten egg whites, making it a great egg substitute for meringues, macarons, and other recipes that call for whipped egg whites.

To use aquafaba, simply drain the liquid from a can of chickpeas or other beans into a bowl. Whip the liquid with a hand mixer or stand mixer until it forms stiff peaks, just like you would with egg whites. Then use it as a 1-to-1 replacement for egg whites in your recipe.

Aquafaba works best in recipes that rely on whipped egg whites for structure and loft, like meringues, macarons, angel food cakes, and souffl├ęs. It may not work as well in recipes that need the binding or emulsifying properties of whole eggs.

5. Silken Tofu

Silken tofu makes a fantastic egg substitute in baking, especially in recipes like custards, puddings, and creamy desserts. Blend 1/4 cup of silken tofu per egg required in the recipe until smooth and creamy.

The tofu provides structure, moisture, and richness. Silken tofu works best in softer, custard-like baked goods. It may not provide enough structure for cakes, cookies, or breads that require more lift.

You can also try blending the tofu with a little oil or milk to more closely mimic the properties of eggs.

6. Yogurt or Buttermilk

Plain yogurt or buttermilk can be used as an egg substitute in baking, especially in recipes like quick breads, pancakes, and muffins. Replace each egg with 1/4 cup of yogurt or buttermilk.

The acidity and thickness of these dairy products helps bind the ingredients together. Yogurt and buttermilk work well in recipes where you don’t need a lot of structure, like quick breads and muffins.

They may not provide enough binding power for cookies, cakes, or yeast breads. You can also try using a combination of yogurt/buttermilk and another binder like ground flax or chia seeds.

7. Arrowroot Powder

Arrowroot powder is a starch extracted from the roots of the arrowroot plant. It can be used as an egg substitute in baking, especially in recipes that require structure and binding, like cakes, cookies, and pie crusts.

To replace 1 egg, mix 2 tablespoons of arrowroot powder with 3 tablespoons of water. Let the mixture sit for a few minutes until it thickens.

Arrowroot provides a similar binding and thickening effect as eggs, without the flavor or cholesterol. Arrowroot works best in recipes where you want a neutral flavor and a light, tender texture. It may not be as suitable for recipes that rely on the richness or emulsifying properties of eggs.

8. Baking Soda and Vinegar

For a simple, inexpensive egg substitute, try combining baking soda and vinegar. This reaction creates a leavening effect that can help replace the binding and rising power of eggs in baked goods.

To replace 1 egg, mix 1 teaspoon of baking soda with 1 tablespoon of vinegar (white, apple cider, or distilled). Let the mixture sit for a minute until it starts to foam and bubble. Then add it to your recipe.

This method works best in quick breads, muffins, and cakes where you don’t need a lot of structure. The chemical reaction helps provide some leavening, but it may not be as effective as eggs in binding the ingredients together. You may need to experiment with the ratios to get the right texture.

9. Mashed Avocado

Ripe, mashed avocado can also be used as an egg substitute in baking. It provides moisture, richness, and a creamy texture that mimics the properties of eggs.

Replace each egg in a recipe with 1/4 cup of mashed avocado. Avocado works best in recipes like quick breads, muffins, and cookies, where you don’t need a lot of structure.

It may not provide enough binding power for cakes or yeast breads. The avocado flavor can also come through, so keep that in mind when choosing recipes.

10. Ground Nuts or Nut Butters

Finely ground nuts, such as almonds, walnuts, or pecans, can be used as an egg substitute in baking. To replace 1 egg, use 1/4 cup of ground nuts. The protein and fat in the nuts help bind the ingredients together.

Nut butters, like peanut butter or almond butter, can also be used in a similar way. Replace 1 egg with 3 tablespoons of nut butter. These work best in recipes where you want a nutty flavor, like cookies, quick breads, or granola bars.

Ground nuts and nut butters provide structure and moisture, but they may not provide the same leavening power as eggs. You may need to adjust baking times and temperatures when using them as egg replacers.

11. Carbonated Water

Believe it or not, plain carbonated water can be used as an egg substitute in baking. The carbonation helps provide some leavening and binding power to replace the role of eggs.

To replace 1 egg, use 1/4 cup of carbonated water. The bubbles in the water help aerate and lift the batter, while the liquid helps bind the ingredients together.

This method works best in recipes like pancakes, waffles, quick breads, and muffins. Keep in mind that carbonated water won’t provide the same richness or structure as eggs, so you may need to adjust other ingredients in the recipe.

It’s a good option for vegan or allergy-friendly baking, but you may need to experiment to get the right texture.

12. Chickpea Flour

Chickpea flour, also known as garbanzo bean flour, can be used as an egg substitute in baking. It provides structure, binding, and moisture similar to eggs. To replace 1 egg, use 3 tablespoons of chickpea flour mixed with 3 tablespoons of water.

Chickpea flour works well in recipes like pancakes, waffles, quick breads, and cookies. It has a slightly nutty, savory flavor that may not work as well in delicate cakes or pastries. You may need to adjust other ingredients to account for the added moisture and structure that chickpea flour provides.

13. Cornstarch

Cornstarch can also be used as an effective egg substitute in baking, particularly in recipes that need binding and thickening. To replace 1 egg, mix 2 tablespoons of cornstarch with 3 tablespoons of water until smooth and well-combined.

This mixture can then be used as a substitute for 1 egg in your baking recipes. Cornstarch works well in recipes like custards, puddings, and sauces where eggs are used primarily for thickening and texture.

It helps to bind the ingredients together and create a smooth, velvety consistency. However, keep in mind that cornstarch may not provide the same leavening or richness as eggs, so it’s best suited for recipes where these properties are not crucial.

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Last Updated:

June 19, 2024