Eggs are necessary for many recipes, particularly in baking. Without them, the batter will not bind together and your baked goods will be a major fail lacking structure and moisture. There are many reasons why you would need an egg substitute. You could be out of eggs or it could be ethical or dietary restrictions that keep you from consuming eggs. Here are some egg substitutes that can come in handy.
Why eggs are used in baking
- Binding: eggs help combine the ingredients and hold them together.
- Leavening: eggs trap pockets of air in them, causing them to expand during heating. This gives baked goods their volume and light, airy texture.
- Moisture: the liquid in eggs is absorbed by other ingredients and helps add moisture to the finished product.
- Emulsifier: acts as a thickening agent and provides body to a recipe.
- Flavour and appearance: eggs help improve the taste of baked goods and contribute to the golden-brown appearance of baked goods.
A number of pureed fruits can work, including, applesauce, mashed bananas, ripe avocados, and pumpkin puree. Fruit purees result in super moist and dense baked goods though they may not brown as deeply. Some of the fruit flavours may be tasted in the final product. For more neutral options, go for apples, avocado, and pumpkin, excluding banana which has a strong flavour.
Use a quarter cup of puree for every egg. Pureed fruit as an egg substitute works best for cakes, muffins, brownies, and quick breads.
Ground flaxseeds or chia seeds
Flaxseeds and chia seeds are tiny yet highly nutritious. You can grind them yourself or buy already ground seeds at the store. They are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, fibre, and other beneficial compounds which make them a healthy egg substitute.
To replace one egg, whisk together 1 tablespoon of ground chia or flaxseeds with 3 tablespoons of water until fully absorbed or thickened. Using this as an egg substitute can cause baked goods to become heavy and dense and result in a nuttier flavour. This works best for products like pancakes, waffles, muffins, bread, and cookies.
Baking soda with vinegar
Mix 1 teaspoon of baking soda with 1 tablespoon of vinegar to replace one egg. The most popular choices are apple cider vinegar and white distilled vinegar. When mixed, 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.
Yoghurt or buttermilk
Aquafaba is a fancy term for the liquid that’s left behind when you cook beans or legumes. It’s also that thick watery fluid in a can of chickpeas or beans. It has a similar texture to egg whites and whips up nearly as well. Use three tablespoons or about 45g of lightly whipped aquafaba to replace one egg. It works well for recipes that just require egg whites such as meringues, marshmallows, macaroons, or nougat.
Carbonated water acts as leavening by trapping air bubbles and works best when used in conjunction with other egg substitutes like fruit purees. Use ¼ cup of carbonated water to replace one egg. This works best for cupcakes, cakes, pancakes, waffles, and quick breads.
Arrowroot powder acts as a thickening agent and can also serve as a binder. It’s a great egg substitute because it doesn’t have any noticeable flavour and as such will not interfere with the taste of your recipe. You can also use cornstarch, potato starch, and tapioca powder in the same way. These ingredients can add structure to cakes and body to custards.
To replace one egg, add two tablespoons of arrowroot powder to three tablespoons of water.
You can use nut butter like peanut, cashew, or almond butter as egg substitutes in many recipes. It may affect the taste of the finished product, so it works best for brownies, cupcakes, and cookies. To replace one egg, use 3 tablespoons or 60g of nut butter.
Silken tofu can be used as a replacement for eggs in foods that are typically dense, like brownies, cheesecake, and custard. This popular vegetarian option works wells as a binder and source of moisture. To replace one egg, use ¼ cup of silken tofu.
Commercial egg substitutes
You can opt to purchase commercial egg replacements and follow the manufacturer’s instructions in using them.