A lot of popular recipes call for eggs, but many people are vegan or allergic to eggs. Some people may realize they need an egg but don’t have any. More recently, the price of eggs has been an issue as well. If you have ever needed an egg substitute, read on for some simple alternatives.
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Now you won’t have to make a trip to the grocery store when you realize your brownies or peanut butter cookies need eggs, and you don’t have any. And cooking for people who can’t or don’t eat eggs will be no problem either. You can just whip up one of these substitutes instead.
Why eggs (or egg substitutes) are necessary for baking
Here are a few reasons you need them:
- Eggs become firm when heated so they give structure to cakes, cookies, and other baked goods.
- As above, they’re useful for thickening sauces, casseroles, and pie fillings.
- Eggs act as a leavening agent — they help baked goods rise.
- Eggs are a binding agent — they help hold food like French toast together.
- Eggs also add flavor.
Common egg substitutes
When choosing an egg substitute, it is important to know the purpose of the eggs in the recipe you are making. That will help determine which substitute will work best.
Applesauce works best in recipes that are moist and dense like quick breads and brownies. One-quarter cup replaces one large egg. Since unsweetened applesauce has a lot of moisture, you may want to decrease the liquid in your recipe by a tablespoon or two. Applesauce won’t add lift so you may want to add ½ teaspoon of baking powder.
Flax seed works best in recipes that are moist and dense like muffins and pancakes. One tablespoon of freshly ground flax seed plus three tablespoons of warm water replaces one large egg. Soak ground flaxseed in water for about five to ten minutes until it forms a thick gel. Flax seeds will add a little texture and they brown quicker so watch your baked goods closely. Golden flax seeds will blend in more easily with the color of whatever you are making. Flax seeds have a strong flavor so they may have an aftertaste in recipes with lighter flavors.
“I like making an egg substitute with ground flax meal and water. It’s quick, easy, and helps hold baked goods together well. This is a great solution for those with egg allergies or anytime you run out of eggs.”— Jessica Haggard, Primal Edge Health
Yogurt is liquid so it binds and it is high in protein so it sets. It is best in quick breads and pancakes.
One-quarter cup replaces one large egg.
Baking powder, oil and water
Baking powder, oil, and water work best in cookies. Two teaspoons of baking powder plus one teaspoon of vegetable oil plus two tablespoons of water replace one large egg.
We recommend baking powder from Bob’s Red Mill which is free from added aluminum.
Avocados work best in moist and dense recipes like muffins and waffles. One-quarter cup of avocado replaces one large egg.
Avocado won’t add lift so you may want to add ½ teaspoon of baking powder.
Chia seeds work best in muffins, quick breads, and cookies. One tablespoon of chia seeds plus three tablespoons water replaces one large egg. Stir together and let the mixture sit for 15 minutes before using. If you don’t want the chia seeds to be visible in the final product, use white chia seeds.
“Due to an egg sensitivity, I often use either flax eggs or chia eggs when baking. I’ve found both to be good substitutes with little effect on the outcome when a recipe calls for two or less eggs. Anything more than that and texture is usually sacrificed in the process.”— Gina Matsoukas, Running to the Kitchen
Tofu, plain silken
Tofu works best in dense recipes like cakes and muffins, but can also work in some cookies. It can even be used as an egg replacement in quiches and custards. Puree in a blender until smooth. Then blend with other wet ingredients before adding to dry ingredients.
Aquafaba is the liquid that is leftover in a can of chickpeas. It works best in quick breads, cakes, and cookies. It can also be used as an egg white substitute for meringues.
Aquafaba is the liquid you drain off from canned chickpeas. Three tablespoons of whipped Aquafaba replaces one large egg.
Bananas work best as a binder in pancakes and brownies. One-quarter to ½ cup mashed bananas replace one large egg. They have a strong flavor so that may affect the flavor of your final product.
Bananas won’t add lift so you can add ½ teaspoon of baking powder.
You can use buttermilk in muffins, cakes, and cupcakes. One-quarter cup of buttermilk replaces one egg. Because it adds liquid, reduce the water or other liquid in the recipe by ¼ cup.
Baking soda and white vinegar
One tablespoon of vinegar along with one teaspoon of baking soda replaces one egg.
Keep in mind
When using an egg substitute, the recipe is not going to turn out exactly like the original. The more eggs a recipe calls for, the more the substitute will affect the recipe. Your recipe will still taste delicious, but nothing can completely replicate an egg in every way. Play around with egg substitutes until you find one you like. Don’t be afraid to try different ones.
Heidi is a Certified Elementary School Teacher in the Inland Northwest and has been teaching for 17 years. She is also a vintage recipe blogger at RealLifeofLulu.com, where she focuses on recipes that are at least 50 years old, many from her grandparents’ kitchens. When she isn’t teaching or baking, she loves spending time with her husband and three kids.
This article originally appeared on Food Drink Life.
If you’ve tried any of these egg substitute ideas, please rate them and let us know what you think by leaving us a comment below. We’re always interested in feedback!
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