Eggs are incredibly healthy and versatile, making them a popular food for many.
They’re especially common in baking, where nearly every recipe calls for them.
But for various reasons, some people avoid eggs. Fortunately, there are plenty of replacements you can use instead.
This article explores the various ingredients that can be used as egg alternatives.
REASONS WHY YOU MIGHT NEED TO REPLACE EGGS
There are various reasons why you may need to find a substitute for eggs in your diet. Allergies and dietary preferences are two of the most common.
Eggs are the second most common food allergy in infants and young children (1).
One study indicated that 50% of children will outgrow the allergy by the time they are three years old, with 66% outgrowing it by the age of five (2).
Other studies suggest it may take until age 16 to outgrow an egg allergy (3).
While most children who are allergic to eggs become tolerant over time, some individuals remain allergic their entire lives.
Some individuals follow a vegan diet and choose not to eat meat, dairy, eggs or any other animal products.
Vegans avoid consuming animal products for various reasons, including health purposes, environmental concerns or ethical reasons regarding animal rights.
Summary: Some people may need to avoid eggs due to egg allergies, while others avoid them for personal health, environmental or ethical reasons.
WHY ARE EGGS USED IN BAKING?
Eggs serve several purposes in baking. They contribute to the structure, color, flavor and consistency of baked goods in the following ways:
- Binding: Eggs help combine ingredients and hold them together. This gives food its structure and prevents it from falling apart.
- Leavening: Eggs trap pockets of air in foods, causing them to expand during heating. This helps foods puff up or rise, giving baked goods like soufflés, angel food cake and meringues their volume and light, airy texture.
- Moisture: The liquid from eggs is absorbed into the other ingredients in a recipe, which helps add moisture to the finished product.
- Flavor and appearance: Eggs help carry the flavors of other ingredients and brown when exposed to heat. They help improve the taste of baked goods and contribute to their golden-brown appearance.
Summary: Eggs serve several purposes in baking. Without them, baked goods might be dry, flat or flavorless. Fortunately, there are plenty of egg alternatives.
Applesauce is a purée made from cooked apples.
It’s often sweetened or flavored with other spices like nutmeg and cinnamon.
Using one-fourth cup (about 65 grams) of applesauce can replace one egg in most recipes.
It’s best to use unsweetened applesauce. If you’re using a sweetened variety, you should reduce the amount of sugar or sweetener in the recipe itself.
Summary: Unsweetened applesauce is a great substitute for eggs in most recipes. You can use one-fourth cup (about 65 grams) to replace one egg.
2. MASHED BANANA
Mashed banana is another popular replacement for eggs.
The only downside to baking with bananas is that your finished product may have a mild banana flavor.
Other puréed fruits like pumpkin and avocado work too and may not affect the flavor as much.
Whichever fruit you choose to use, you can replace each egg with one-fourth cup (65 grams) of purée.
Baked goods made with puréed fruits may not brown as deeply, but they will be very dense and moist.
This substitution works best in cakes, muffins, brownies and quick breads.
Summary: You can use mashed banana or other fruits like pumpkin and avocado to replace eggs. Use one-fourth cup (65 grams) of fruit purreé for each egg you want to replace.
3. GROUND FLAXSEEDS OR CHIA SEEDS
Flaxseeds and chia seeds are both tiny seeds that are highly nutritious.
You can grind the seeds yourself at home or buy ready-made seed meal from the store.
To replace one egg, whisk together 1 tablespoon (7 grams) of ground chia or flaxseeds with 3 tablespoons (45 grams) of water until fully absorbed and thickened.
Doing so may cause baked goods to become heavy and dense. Also, it may result in a nuttier flavor, so it works best in products like pancakes, waffles, muffins, breads and cookies.
Summary: Ground flaxseeds and chia seeds make great egg substitutes. Mixing 1 tablespoon (7 grams) of either with 3 tablespoons (45 grams) of water can replace one egg.
4. COMMERCIAL EGG REPLACER
There are a variety of commercial egg replacers on the market. These are typically made from potato starch, tapioca starch and leavening agents.
Egg replacers are suitable for all baked goods and should not affect the flavor of the finished product.
Some commercially available brands include Bob’s Red Mill, Ener-G and Organ.
Each brand comes with its own instructions, but typically you combine 1.5 teaspoons (10 grams) of powder with 2–3 tablespoons (30–45 grams) of warm water to replace one egg.
Summary: A variety of commercial egg replacers are available. Combine 1.5 teaspoons (10 grams) of powder with 2–3 tablespoons (30–40 grams) of water to replace each egg.
5. SILKEN TOFU
Tofu is condensed soy milk that has been processed and pressed into solid blocks.
The texture of tofu varies based on its water content. The more water that is pressed out, the firmer the tofu gets.
Silken tofu has a high water content and is, therefore, softer in consistency.
To replace one egg, substitute one-fourth cup (about 60 grams) of puréed, silken tofu.
Silken tofu is relatively flavorless, but it can make baked goods dense and heavy, so it’s best used in brownies, cookies, quick breads and cakes.
Summary: Silken tofu is a great substitute for eggs, but may lead to a heavier, denser product. To replace one egg, use one-fourth cup (about 60 grams) of puréed tofu.
6. VINEGAR AND BAKING SODA
Mixing 1 teaspoon (7 grams) of baking soda with 1 tablespoon (15 grams) of vinegar can replace one egg in most recipes.
Apple cider vinegar or white distilled vinegar are the most popular choices.
When mixed together, vinegar and baking soda start a chemical reaction that produces carbon dioxide and water, which makes baked goods light and airy.
This substitution works best for cakes, cupcakes and quick breads.
7. YOGURT OR BUTTERMILK
Both yogurt and buttermilk are good substitutes for eggs.
It’s best to use plain yogurt, as flavored and sweetened varieties may alter the flavor of your recipe.
You can use one-fourth cup (60 grams) of yogurt or buttermilk for each egg that needs to be replaced.
This substitution works best for muffins, cakes and cupcakes.
Summary: You can use one-fourth cup (60 grams) of plain yogurt or buttermilk to replace one egg. These substitutions work especially well in muffins and cakes.
8. ARROWROOT POWDER
Arrowroot is a South American tuber plant that is high in starch. The starch is extracted from the roots of the plant and sold as a powder, starch or flour.
It resembles corn starch and is used in cooking, baking and a variety of personal and household products.
A mixture of 2 tablespoons (about 18 grams) of arrowroot powder and 3 tablespoons (45 grams) of water can be used to replace one egg.
Summary: Arrowroot powder is a great replacement for eggs. Mix 2 tablespoons (about 18 grams) of it with 3 tablespoons (45 grams) of water to replace one egg.
Aquafaba is the liquid left over from cooking beans or legumes.
It’s the same liquid that is found in canned chickpeas or beans.
The liquid has a very similar consistency to that of raw egg whites, making it an excellent substitution for many recipes.
You can use 3 tablespoons (45 grams) of aquafaba to replace one egg.
Aquafaba works especially well in recipes that call for just egg whites, such as meringues, marshmallows, macaroons or nougat.
Summary: Aquafaba is the liquid found in canned beans. You can use 3 tablespoons (45 grams) of it as a substitute for one whole egg or one egg white.
10. NUT BUTTER
Nut butters like peanut, cashew or almond butter can also be used to substitute eggs in most recipes.
To replace one egg, use 3 tablespoons (60 grams) of nut butter.
This may affect the flavor of your finished product, and it’s best used in brownies, pancakes and cookies.
You should also make sure to use creamy nut butters, rather than chunky varieties, so that everything mixes properly.
Summary: You can use 3 tablespoons (60 grams) of peanut, cashew or almond butter for each egg you want to replace. However, it may result in a nuttier flavor.
11. CARBONATED WATER
Carbonated water can add moisture to a recipe, but it also acts as a great leavening agent.
The carbonation traps air bubbles, which help make the finished product light and fluffy.
You can replace each egg with one-fourth cup (60 grams) of carbonated water.
This substitution works great for cakes, cupcakes and quick breads.
Summary: Carbonated water makes a great egg replacement in products that are meant to be light and fluffy. Use one-fourth cup (60 grams) of it to replace each egg.
12. AGAR-AGAR OR GELATIN
Gelatin is a gelling agent that makes a great substitute for eggs.
However, it’s an animal protein that is typically derived from the collagen of pigs and cows. If you avoid animal products, agar-agar is a vegan alternative obtained from a type of seaweed or algae.
Both can be found as unflavored powders in most supermarkets and health food stores.
To replace one egg, dissolve 1 tablespoon (about 9 grams) of unflavored gelatin in 1 tablespoon (15 grams) of cold water. Then, mix in 2 tablespoons (30 grams) of boiling water until frothy.
Alternatively, you can use 1 tablespoon (9 grams) of agar-agar powder mixed with 1 tablespoon (15 grams) of water to replace one egg.
Neither of these replacements should affect the flavor of your finished product, but they may create a slightly stiffer texture.
Summary: Mixing 1 tablespoon (9 grams) of gelatin with 3 tablespoons (45 grams) of water can replace one egg. You can also mix 1 tablespoon (9 grams) of agar-agar with 1 tablespoon (15 grams) of water.
13. SOY LECITHIN
Soy lecithin is a byproduct of soybean oil and has binding properties similar to that of eggs.
It’s frequently added to commercially prepared foods because of its ability to mix and hold ingredients together.
It’s also sold in powder form in most health food stores.
Adding 1 tablespoon (14 grams) of soy lecithin powder to your recipe can replace one egg.
Summary: 1 tablespoon (14 grams) of soy lecithin can be used to replace one whole egg or one egg yolk in most recipes.
WHAT IF A RECIPE CALLS FOR EGG WHITES OR YOLKS?
The ingredients shared in this article are great substitutes for whole eggs, but some recipes call for just egg whites or egg yolks.
Here are the best replacements for each:
- Egg whites: Aquafaba is the best option. Use 3 tablespoons (45 grams) for each egg white you want to replace.
- Egg yolks: Soy lecithin is a great substitute. You can replace each large egg yolk with 1 tablespoon (14 grams).
Summary: Aquafaba is a great substitute for egg whites, whereas the best substitute for egg yolks is soy lecithin.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Eggs contribute to the overall structure, color, flavor and consistency of baked goods.
Unfortunately, some people cannot eat eggs, or simply choose not to. Luckily, plenty of foods can replace eggs in baking, though not all of them act the same way.
Some egg alternatives are better for heavy, dense products, while others are great for light and fluffy baked goods.
You may need to experiment with various egg alternatives to get the texture and flavor you desire in your recipes.