One of the most versatile foods out there, eggs have a special set of qualities that can be tricky to duplicate.
I learned the craft of egg substitution as head pastry chef of a vegan Italian restaurant. Given how popular vegan baked goods are these days, understanding egg replacement was indispensable for professional baker like me.
Whether you’re replacing eggs in savory dishes, sauces, or baked goods, knowing which substitute to use and the right proportion is crucial to getting the results you want.
Whether you need to substitute eggs for health reasons, ethics, or just for experimentation’s sake, this list will help you find the right substitute and explain how to use it.
7 Egg Substitutes for Baking
1. Puréed Fruits
A healthful option to replace eggs in your recipes, puréed fruits provide moisture and binding properties. Consider trying mashed banana, applesauce, pumpkin purée, or mashed avocado.
Mashed banana works great in quick breads and muffins. It adds a dose of sweetness but will also make your baked goods slightly denser. It imparts a noticeable banana flavor, too, so make sure you don’t mind that standing out in your recipe.
Unsweetened applesauce adds natural sweetness and helps maintain a light, moist texture. However, it’s high in fiber with no fat, so it also means your baked goods won’t taste quite as rich.
Pumpkin pureé and avocado are best used in heavier items like brownies, due to their density.
Start with ¼ cup of mashed or pureéd fruit to substitute 1 egg in your recipes.
Aquafaba is the creative name for the viscous liquid that’s left over after cooking chickpeas. You can make aquafaba at home, or simply use the leftover liquid from canned chickpeas.
Aquafaba is an ideal replacement for egg whites. Use it to make vegan french macarons, coconut macaroons, meringues, or whip it up to make angel food cake.
Check to make sure your aquafaba is roughly the same consistency as egg whites. If it’s too runny, it can be reduced to thicken it on the stove. Simmer gently until about 25% of the liquid has evaporated.
Replace one egg white with 3 Tbsp. aquafaba.
If you’re trying to make highly whipped meringues of any sort, use a stand mixer, as it can take at least twice as long as egg whites to whip up.
Pro Tip: Due to its emulsifying properties, aquafaba can also be used with great results to create homemade eggless mayonnaise.
3. Carbonated Water
This simple egg substitute is a breeze to use and surprisingly effective. The carbonation serves to replace the aerating and leavening ability of eggs, and the water adds the moisture that eggs would normally provide.
Use this substitute for baked goods that are lighter in texture like muffins, quick breads, cakes, and cupcakes. It may be too watery to use in cookies.
Substitute one egg with ¼ cup carbonated water of choice.
4. Baking Soda + Vinegar
This is a classic trick used since the Great Depressionto replace eggs in cake recipes. It utilizes the chemical reaction of baking soda (an alkali) with vinegar (an acid) to create a leavening effect.
Baking Soda with vinegar is best used for cakes, cupcakes, and quick breads like muffins. Feel free to use either white vinegar or apple cider vinegar for the same effect.
Replace 1 egg with 1 teaspoon baking soda + 1 tablespoon white (or apple cider) vinegar.
5. Commercial Egg Replacers (liquid or powder)
There are several ready-made egg replacers available in supermarkets. Those made for baked goods usually come in powder form.
Liquid replacers are increasing in availability, and often have the added benefit of being able to replace eggs in recipes like breakfast scrambles and omelettes. Some brands to look for include Just Egg and Follow Your Heart’s Vegan Egg.
For commercial egg replacers, be sure to follow the instructions on your product’s packaging for the best results.
6. Ground Flax Seeds
Flax meal is a nutritive egg replacer that provides structure, binding, and moisture, but not leavening. So make sure you only use ground flax in recipes that have other leavening agents like baking powder or baking soda.
From personal experience, I’ve found this substitute is best for hearty cookies, classic chocolate chip cookies, and quick breads. Flax adds a touch of earthy flaxseed flavor, too, so make sure you don’t mind that.
Note: Dull Food? -Brighten with acid or salt. Enrich with fat. Restaurants use animal fat and salt to enhance flavor. Vinegar, lemon jice, finishing oils, butter, and sugar are also old standbys.
To use ground flax (or chia) as a substitute, use 1 tablespoon ground seed meal + 3 tablespoons water for each egg. Whisk together and let sit for 5 minutes before using.
7. Oil, Baking Powder, and Water
Another crazy simple egg replacement, this substitution replaces three of the magic properties of eggs at once: richness, leavening, and moisture.
This combination is best utilized for pancakes, quick breads, and muffins. It may also work for cookies, but I haven’t tested it myself.
To replace one large egg, combine 1 teaspoon vegetable oil, 2 teaspoons baking powder, and 2 tablespoons water.
3 Egg Alternativesfor Savory Cooking
One of the most common egg replacers in vegan and vegetarian diets, tofu, has several different textures and levels of firmness to choose from. It also has the benefit of providing protein as eggs do, so you won’t lose out on all the nutritional value.
For breakfast scrambles, you can use any type of tofu. Firm or extra-firm types provide more chewiness and keep their shape once crumbled.
Silken tofu will provide a lighter, creamier result, and can also be blended to use in egg-free omelettes and quiches.
If you’re using firm or extra firm tofu, wrap the drained tofu block in a clean kitchen towel or a couple of paper towels. Place on a plate with a weighted object on top. This helps press out the excess water in the tofu.
Once the tofu block is fairly dry to the touch (this should only take 5-15 minutes, as you don’t want it too dry for a scramble), simply crumble it up in a bowl with your hands and mix in your desired spices.
Cook it in a sautée pan as you would any scramble, adding whatever vegetables you like. Stir occasionally until the tofu is lightly browned.
For silken tofu, remove it from its package onto a folded paper towel. Pat the outside gently until excess water is removed. Then break it up with your hands or purée in a blender to use in place of eggs.
Use ¼ cup tofu (about 63 grams) to replace 1 egg.
Pro tip: Sprinkle a bit of turmeric in your tofu scramble for a yellow, eggy appearance. Also add nutritional yeast powder for a savory, almost-cheesy flavor.
2. Chickpea Flour
Chickpea flour, also known as garbanzo bean flour, can stand in as beaten eggs to make tasty high-protein omelettes. It can also be used as a general egg substitute.
This type of flour tastes very bitter before it’s cooked, however, so don’t expect to be able to snack on any batters or doughs made with it.
To make an omelette for one person, mix ⅓ cup chickpea flour with ⅓ cup of water. Season with salt and spices of choice. Be sure to let the batter sit for 10-30 minutes before using.
Sautée any veggies you’d like to include first, then add the chickpea batter to the skillet with everything else.
Cook it like a pancake, flipping when the top looks dry, 3-5 minutes on each side. Top it with a lid while cooking to speed up the process.
To replace one egg with chickpea flour, use 3 tablespoons chickpea flour mixed with 3 tablespoons water.
3. Commercial Egg Replacers (liquid, powder, or patties)
To replace eggs in savory dishes such as omelettes, frittatas, and quiches, pre-made egg replacers can be a quick and easy option. They can come in liquid, powder, or ready-to-eat “egg” patties.
The brands Just Egg and Follow Your Heart (“Vegan Egg”) make liquid egg replacers that are easy to use right out of the carton. Just Egg also makes ready-made egg patties that are perfect for breakfast sandwiches.
Another brand to try is Vegg, a soy protein-based powder that gets mixed with water and scrambled up like regular eggs. Vegg can also work well for eggless quiches.
Pro Tip: Add a little black salt (which contains natural sulfur like eggs) to savory dishes to mimic that “eggy” flavor.
Final Tips On Substituting Eggs
When working with egg substitutions, consider the function of the eggs in the original recipe.
Are the eggs working as a binder to hold it all together? Or are they getting whipped to serve as a leavening agent?
Are they contributing flavor and fat as a main ingredient, or are they working as emulsifiers?
Eggs may serve multiple functions in some recipes–especially in baking recipes. For instance, in a muffin recipe, eggs serve as a binding ingredient, but they also contribute moisture and richness.
Eggs can also change the appearance of baked goods by giving them a golden sheen, whether the eggs are part of the dough/batter or are brushed on top before baking.
Pro Tip: To substitute egg wash for brushing the tops of pastries before baking, use milk, cream, or your favorite non-dairy milk substitute.
Once you understand how eggs are functioning in a recipe and which functions the different substitutes can replicate, what you can make will only be limited by your imagination!
Frequently Asked Questions
What’s the best substitute for eggs in cookies?
Mix 1 Tbsp. ground flax seed with 3 Tbsp. water for an easy and effective egg substitute in cookies.
What’s the best substitute for eggs in brownies?
Brownies go perfectly with fruit-based egg replacers like ¼ cup of mashed banana or applesauce. The denser your fruit is, the denser your brownies will be.
How can I substitute egg whites?
Use aquafaba, the liquid left over from cooking chickpeas. 3 Tbsp. aquafaba equals one egg, and it will need to be whipped longer than real egg whites.