The Definitive Guide for Replacing Eggs in Baking

Egg substitutes in egg shells


Eggs are incredibly versatile and conveniently available, making them a popular ingredient in recipes, especially baked goods. They coagulate, bind, moisten, leaven, flavor, and color. 

But don’t fret if you’re vegan, allergic, or a non-fan. It’s possible to recreate eggless recipes with vegetarian, even vegan, egg substitutes marvelously. 

The trick is to choose your egg replacement carefully and systematically. The first step is to determine the purpose(s) being served by the egg in your chosen recipe. Then, select a replacement that will serve the same purpose(s).

Why are eggs used in baking?

Eggs might accord structure, texture, flavor, and color to baked goods. They act as binders, holding ingredients together and offering structure. They also supply moisture, preventing baked goods from becoming over-crumbly or dry. 

Often performing the role of leavening agents, beaten eggs hold air bubbles that expand in the oven, causing cakes, soufflés, meringues, and other baked goods to rise in the oven. This effect lends light, fluffy textures to foods.  

Egg whites impart moisture, and yolks, flavor and color. The classic golden-brown hues in baked goods are often supplied by eggs too. 

To replace an egg but retain its role in the baking process, the alternative you select must mimic the effects of the egg in your chosen recipe. Here are some options to choose from.

7 egg-cellent substitutes 

1. Mashed bananas

Mashed bananas: a plant-based egg substitute

Mashed bananas are a splendid egg substitute, conferring structure, moisture, fluffiness, and sweetness to cakes, muffins, breads, and more. Overripe, brown bananas are usually ideal because bananas turn sweeter as they ripen.

Bananas reduce the need for added sugar in recipes, making desserts healthier effortlessly. But they have a noticeably vivid flavor, so employ them in recipes where their flavor will complement those of the other ingredients. 

If you’d like to use a fruit alternative that doesn’t have a strong flavor, you can try applesauce or mashed avocado; they have more neutral, milder tastes.

How to replace: 1/4 cup overripe, mashed bananas for each egg

Applications: cakes, muffins, bread loaves, pies, blondies.

2. Aquafaba

Aquafaba, chickpea brine, or the viscous liquid found in cans of chickpeas and white beans, has emerged as a staple egg replacer in the vegan dessert world. Time to stop pouring it down the sink and into your mixing bowl! 

Aquafaba- a vegan egg substitute

Aquafaba replaces eggs successfully  in many types of recipes and is a near-perfect substitute for egg-whites. This unassuming, versatile liquid can be whipped, like you would an egg, to form a fluffy, foamy cloud, or added unbeaten as a simple binder.

You can even use homemade aquafaba, after making adjustments for consistency.

How to replace: 3 tablespoons for each egg, and 2 tablespoons for egg whites.

Applications: cakes, muffins, meringues, macaroons, cupcakes, nougats.

3. Condensed Milk

Another terrific egg replacer, condensed milk, mimics an egg’s ability to supply moisture, structure, and creaminess to baked goods, especially cakes and fillings. Plant-based versions of condensed milk are an option too—if you prefer vegan substitutes. 

Remember to offset the added sweetness of condensed milk by adjusting the amount of sugar in the recipe.

How to replace: ¼ cup condensed milk for each egg 

Applications: cakes, sweet breads, cupcakes, creamy fillings.

4. Flax or chia “eggs”

Flax meal and chia seeds, combined with water, resemble beaten eggs in consistency. So they serve as great substitutes in dense, chewy treats, such as brownies or waffles. 

Flax eggs are more adaptable, even employable in certain cakes, while chia seeds add density and a beautiful crunchiness which might not work for lighter, fluffier foods. In terms of flavor, chia eggs are mild, while flax eggs endow a nutty taste to recipes. 

Chia seeds coagulate when combined with water, serving as an alternative for eggs

To make a flax egg: combine 1 tablespoon of flax meal (powdered flax seeds) with 3 tablespoons of water. Hang tight, about five minutes, until the mixture thickens into a gelatinous consistency. 

To make a chia egg: combine 1 tablespoon of chia seeds (no need to powder or ground) with three tablespoons of water. They’ll absorb the water and coagulate, thickening in about 5-10 minutes. 

While flax and chia eggs provide body and structure, they aren’t raising agents. You might want to try adding an extra ¼ teaspoon of baking powder to compensate.

How to replace: 1 chia or flax “egg” for each regular egg

Applications: brownies, hearty breads, cookies, waffles, pancakes, muffins.

5. Yogurt 

Yoghurt not only contributes a nice flavor to recipes, but its natural fats lend a fluffy and creamy texture to baked goods. You’ll probably want to pick plain yoghurt, and strain homemade yogurt to remove excess liquid, if required.

If you’re out of yogurt, you can use equal portions of sour cream or buttermilk instead. 

For lighter baked goods such as cakes, you can stir in a bit of baking soda to the yogurt. The alkaline baking soda will react with the acidity of the yogurt, releasing foamy carbon dioxide bubbles. These trapped air bubbles will help cakes rise in the oven, adding extra fluffiness.

How to replace: 1/4 cup of yogurt for each egg 

Applications: cakes, muffins, cupcakes, brownies.

6. Baking soda and vinegar

This egg replacement works well in many recipes, but it’s not an ideal, go-to substitute for all. Combine one teaspoon of vinegar, usually white vinegar or apple cider vinegar, and 1 teaspoon of baking soda, allowing them to react and produce air bubbles. This airy mixture will act as a strong leavening element in cakes, breads and cupcakes, especially of the vegan kind.

This egg substitute might not work in recipes where 3 or more eggs need to be replaced.

How to replace: 1 teaspoon baking soda and 1 tablespoon vinegar, mixed for each egg

Applications: cakes, cupcakes, light breads.

7. Silken Tofu 

Balking at the idea of this seemingly unlikely candidate? We don’t blame you. But this surprising egg replacer works well as a binder in many recipes. It adds density to baked goods though, so it might not be the best choice for lighter foods. This substitute also works better in recipes that call for only 1 or 2 eggs. 

How to replace: 1/4 cup puréed silken tofu for each egg

Applications: dense cakes, muffins, cookies, pies.


An egg

A simple rule for egg-replacements

Most recipes call for large eggs, unless specified otherwise. A large egg is roughly 4 tablespoons or ¼ cup of liquid, so you should add the same quantity of the stand-in ingredient for best results.

Final thoughts

As you can see, swapping eggs requires us to consider the egg’s role in the recipe and find a substitute that closely imitates this role.

An ideal egg-white substitute in most recipes is aquafaba. To achieve a creamy texture, condensed milk, yogurt, or silken tofu will work well. But if an enhanced leavening effect is desired, a baking soda and vinegar combination is more suitable. You might want to avoid bold-flavoured swaps like mashed bananas and flax seed eggs for delicate pastries. It all depends!

Do egg substitutes always work?

Tinkering with recipes isn’t always straightforward. Sometimes, your best efforts at substitutions will be unsuccessful; eggs are simply irreplaceable in some recipes.

That said, egg substitutes work wonderfully in many instances. Your modifications might be unnoticeable or even improve the original recipe. So replace, eggs-periment, and watch the magic unfold!

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