8 Egg Substitutes That Can Save Your Baked Goods

egg shells

From leavening and binding to adding shine to finished pastries, eggs play a lot of important roles in baking. But if you can’t use ’em — whether it be due to allergies, dietary choices or your egg carton is empty — there are plenty of alternatives at the ready.

Good to Know: Because you’ll be alternating the chemistry of a recipe by substituting an egg with another ingredient, the results will never be identical to the egg-containing counterpart. Some recipes might require a bit of experimentation with different substitutes until you find what works best.

1. Egg Replacers

Many grocery stores carry egg replacers, which can be found in the dairy aisle (near the eggs) or in the baking aisle. Ener-G is one easy-to-find brand and is made using potato starch, tapioca and other leavening ingredients.

How to Use It

Egg replacers are typically used as an ounce-for-ounce swap for eggs; follow the package instructions for best results.

When to Use It

One of the easiest substitutions for eggs, these provide both binding and leavening to your recipe. They also have a fairly neutral flavor, so they won’t make your recipe taste very different.

Special Consideration

Because many egg replacers contain starch and don’t have the fat that eggs have, they can result in slightly drier finished results.

2. Aquafaba

Aquafaba is the fancy word for the liquid that’s left over when you strain a can of garbanzo beans. Instead of tossing it out, it can be used as an egg replacer and to make a naturally gluten-free and vegan meringue mixture.

How to Use It

A good rule of thumb: use ¼ cup aquafaba per egg.

When to Use It

This versatile egg substitute has enough starch to help bind ingredients and can supply a certain level of leavening. Use it as-is when baking cookies or quick breads, or whip it into a meringue-like mixture when making certain cakes or, well, meringues.

Special Considerations

To make meringue with aquafaba, you’ll need to beat the mixture for significantly longer than beating egg whites. While it may take just a minute or two with eggs, attaining the same soft or firm peaks may take up to 15 minutes (or longer!) with aquafaba. So make sure you have a stand mixer — or really strong arms.

3. Flax Seeds

flax seeds in a bowl

Flax seeds aren’t just a healthy topping for oatmeal or a smoothie mix-in — they can also be used as a naturally vegan egg replacer in baking.

How to Use It

Replace each egg with 1 tablespoon of ground flax seeds mixed with 3 tablespoons of water.

When to Use It

Flax seeds are great when you want binding power and a healthy, slightly nutty flavor. When they’re ground and mixed with water, the seeds’ coating forms a somewhat gelatinous texture that’s ideal for binding ingredients and giving baked goods texture.

Special Considerations

These seeds make baked goods a little bit denser and they have a slightly nutty flavor, so consider whether or not this will work with the recipe in question.

4. Mashed or Pureed Fruit

Plain applesauce, mashed extra ripe banana, mashed sweet potato or mashed ripe avocado can all be used to replace egg in recipes. If you’re using a pre-made mixture (such as applesauce) be sure to use a plain version with no added sweeteners.

How to Use It

Use ¼ cup mashed or pureed fruit per egg.

When to Use It

Use when you need binding power and moisture.

Special Considerations

Fruits and vegetables will impart a flavor on your finished baked goods. Be sure to choose recipes that will be harmonious with the flavor of the puree you’re adding. For instance, mashed banana is a fantastic egg substitute for blueberry muffins or oatmeal cookies, but might not be to everyone’s liking when used as an egg substitute in savory breads.

Also keep in mind that fruits do not add leavening to your recipe, so be sure to choose recipes that don’t require much of it, or that contain chemical leaveners.

5. Yogurt

yogurt in a measuring cup

Both dairy and non-dairy (such as soy- or almond-based) yogurts can be used as egg substitutes in baked goods. For best results, use plain yogurt with no added sweeteners or flavorings.

How to Use It

Use ¼ cup yogurt per egg.

When to Use It

Yogurt can help bind ingredients and its acidity can help make baked goods fluffy. It’s a great choice as an egg replacement in cakes, quick breads and cookies.

6. Starch

Some starches, such as arrowroot, cornstarch and potato starch, can also be used as egg substitutes.

How to Use It

For each egg, substitute with 2 tablespoons of the starch mixed with 3 tablespoons water.

When to Use It

Substitute for starch when you need a tender crumb and light texture. Starches have the ability to bind, but they also act as a sort of tenderizer for baked goods, which makes them particularly well-suited as an egg substitute in recipes that have a delicate texture (think cakes, doughnuts or pastries like croissants). Starches also work well when making recipes that already contain leavening.

Good to Know: Some pastry recipes, including croissants, call for an egg wash. While they aren’t technically vital to your recipe, egg washes do help give a shiny, appealing look to your baked goods. If you don’t have eggs or prefer not to use them, you can still make your pastries eye-catching by brushing them with a simple syrup or corn syrup mixed with a little water, olive oil or melted butter.

Special Considerations

Because starches tend to make baked goods a little drier, they may go stale slightly faster.

7. Tofu

Many vegan bakers like to substitute tofu for eggs in recipes. Silken tofu has an almost cream cheese–like texture and, because it can easily be pureed, is one of the easiest substitutes. You can even use it to make an eggless quiche!

How to Use It

Use ¼ cup of pureed tofu per egg.

When to Use It

With its neutral flavor, excellent binding abilities and naturally high moisture content, tofu is a great egg substitute that won’t leave you with dry baked goods.

Special Considerations

Because it doesn’t add any leavening to your recipe, choose recipes that don’t require too much of it or that already contain leavening.

8. Vinegar and Baking Powder

Remember making a science fair volcano “erupt” by combining vinegar and baking powder? The same effect can be used to make cakes rise without using eggs.

How to Use It

Substitute 1 teaspoon baking soda with 1 tablespoon vinegar (white vinegar or apple cider vinegar will both work) per egg.

When to Use It

Use when you want light and fluffy finished results, like when baking a vegan cake.

Good to Know: If you’re only one egg short in a recipe (for instance, if your recipe calls for four eggs and you only have three) you can use your remaining eggs and a substitute for comparable results.

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One Response to “8 Egg Substitutes That Can Save Your Baked Goods”

  1. Sharon Beacham

    The recommendation on number 8 is inconsistent. The title and first line say Baking POWDER. Baking SODA is the proper ingredient ( which is what is called for in the next part of the instructions.) - although I have never tried baking Powder... if anyone tries it- please let us know? It would be interesting to know!