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Going egg-free? How to Substitute Eggs in Recipes


There are a lot of reasons you may need to replace egg in your recipes.  You or your child may have an egg allergy or sensitivity, maybe you’re baking for a friend who is vegan, or you want to mix up your menu a bit. Or maybe it is a day you simply ran out.  Avoiding eggs doesn’t mean sacrificing your favorite foods or good flavor.

photo credit: John Tann

The most important thing to remember when replacing eggs is to think about what the egg is being used for in the recipe.  Eggs supply moisture, act as a binder or are used to provide leavening so the recipe is fluffier. Do you need to replace a whole egg, or just a yolk or the egg white?  This will help you decide what egg replacer to use.  Some recipes that only require 1 to 2 eggs and make a flat product (such as pancakes) may not need a replacement at all, just 1 to 2 extra tablespoons of liquid to make up for the missing liquid from the egg.

The egg replacer I most often use in my baking is 1 tablespoon ground flax seed mixed with 3 tablespoons hot water. Set this aside for a couple of minutes until the flax seed mixture thickens.  This mixture should be as thick and sticky as an egg white.  If it isn’t, heat the mixture until it thickens.  Allow to cool slightly before adding to your recipe.  This mixture equals one egg. Flax mixture only replaces the binding property of an egg.  If you are using it in a cookie, cake or quick bread recipe also add 1/4 teaspoon extra baking powder to provide the leavening needed.

There are many other things besides flax to replace eggs. I have them grouped by use.  Some egg replacements, due to their flavor, may alter the taste or texture of your recipe, so use an egg replacer that will compliment the other ingredients.  Have fun experimenting and find one that works for your family. Each substitution below equals one egg.

When eggs are used as moisture it is the easiest substitution and used most often in baked goods such as cookies, muffins and quick breads.

  • 1/4 cup mashed banana, pumpkin puree or sweet potato
  • 3 tablespoons applesauce, pear sauce, apple butter, apricot puree or pureed prunes.  Add one more tablespoon liquid to the recipe.

    Going clock-wise starting at the top: flax seed, ground golden flax seed and ground flax seed.

If eggs are used as a binder:

  • use the flax seed mix above.  If you want to make a larger batch ahead of time, mix 1/4 cup ground flax seed with 3/4 cup water.  Cook until thickened.  Allow to cool.  Store in the refrigerator in a covered container for up to 2 weeks.  Use 3 1/2 Tablespoons flax mix for each egg.
  • Chia seed can be used the same as flax seed.  If you can find chia seed online and at health food stores.
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons oil, 1 1/2 tablespoons water, and 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Gelatin (unless you are vegetarian- gelatin is NOT a vegetarian product).  Sprinkle the contents of a packet of unflavored gelatin over 1 cup of cold water.  When the gelatin absorbs water, heat over medium heat until the gelatin completely dissolves.  Allow mixture to cool.  Use 3 tablespoons to replace one egg.

Replacing eggs used as leavening. Eggs give texture providing lift.  Egg-free baking has a tendency to be a bit heavier without the egg white, but there are several things you can do to lighten the texture of your baked good.

  • add 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons canned coconut milk (NOT light) and 1 teaspoon baking powder to your recipe
  • use Ener-G egg replacer powder 1 packed tablespoon of powder mixed with 2 tablespoon warm water, whisking until frothy.
  • replace part or all of the liquid with carbonated water.  Do not over mix after adding in order to retain the carbonation’s effect.
  • And don’t forget the old WWII trick of subbing 1 tablespoon cider vinegar and 1 teaspoon baking soda for eggs in cakes, cupcakes and quick breads.

Hopefully these egg replacers will help out the next time you need to replace an egg.  Enjoy!


39 Responses to “Going egg-free? How to Substitute Eggs in Recipes”

  1. […] you need to be egg-free, I share how I replace eggs in baking over at Once a Month Mom today.  Stop by and say […]

  2. angie says:

    very insightful! thanks for sharing.

  3. Melanie says:

    I LOVE your ideas! I didn’t realize there were so many ways to do it. My husband works on a 20 person forest firefighting crew and I bake for them often. One of the guys is allergic to eggs and yomehave given me tons of ideas. Toughest thing is going to be figuring out if the egg binds, leavens, or moisturizes.

  4. Great tips! I am using eggs, but it’s good to know that there are alternatives :-)

  5. samarahuel says:

    THANK YOU! I just scanned through this as I am looking for recipes to make my weekly meal plan, but I have a toddler who can not yet digest chicken or egg protein, so this will be a lifesaver! Bookmarking to have on hand always!

  6. […] savory recipes. (I’m a fan of mashed banana in desserts.) For other ideas, see Angela’s egg substitution post. Bug is also inexplicably fond of spicy foods at the ripe old age of 2 1/4. She LOVES curry. […]

  7. […] the same amount of ground almond meal/flour.  If you need to replace eggs in this recipe, see the Baking Egg Free […]

  8. John Monday says:

    I know a lot of folks who don’t eat eggs (they’re allergic, for health reasons, or concerns about animal cruelty). Here’s an awesome site that gives tips on cooking and baking without eggs: http://EggFreeLiving.com

  9. […] 3 medium  Eggs (or egg substitute) […]

  10. […] 1 large egg (or 1 Tablespoon Ener-G Egg Replacer beaten with 1/4 cup warm water) or egg substitute […]

  11. […] flax eggs or other egg substitute (3 tablespoons ground flax seed plus 9 tablespoons hot water and 3/4 teaspoons baking […]

  12. […] to Angela’s excellent egg substitute post over at Onceamonthmom.com … no joke, it changed my cooking life, I’ve decided this […]

  13. […] 0.125 cups pumpkin puree (or other egg substitute) […]

  14. Thanks! I use EnerG Egg replacer most often but there are some things it’s just not good for (mixes in particular). My daughter is allergic to EGGS but my husband is allergic to FLAX -of all things! So having these other options is super helpful. :)

  15. Julia Alice says:

    You can use 1-1/2 tbspns of vegetable oil mixed with 1-1/2 tbspns of water and 1 tbspn of baking powder to replace one egg in any recipe.

  16. Lynnette says:

    Sometimes I wonder how many would March on Washington DC if we called on everyone with food allergies and sensitivities.

  17. Lynnette says:

    I applaud us all for our creativity in the kitchen. I love knowing you all are out there figuring this all out with me. Kitchens are sanctuaries, holy, fun-loving places full of fulfillment and love and lightness of being. There is so much love on this website! Thank you!

  18. j.orf says:

    hi I need immediate help. I am making a hot mustard dip tomorrow,for 45 yrs I have made this old recipe, calling for sugar flour,vinegar,sal t tumeric,dry mustard,and 2 eggs, now I am very concerned about using eggs,since this does not say to refrigerate. I am afraid powdered egg whites won t complete the recipe correctly. I just read Julia Alice recipe that she said could be used in any recipe that calls for eggs, would this work? Over the years I just added eggs,and gave dip to friends unrefrigerated, do you think I should process for 10 minutes also to seal the jars? HELP me please Thank you Judy

    • Kelly says:

      Sorry Judy I don’t know about that one! I think if you’ve always made it that way and not had a problem you could be fine. But maybe have them refrigerate it just in case?

  19. Mary says:

    I’m making tuna/mashed potato croquettes. I have gluten free breadcrumbs but am at a loss as to what to use as a binder for it to stick to the croquettes as my son is allergic to eggs. He’s allergic to dairy, too, so no milk. Any ideas?

  20. Linda says:

    Great ideas..just found out my grown son is not only allergic to wheat but also egg whites–this is so very helpful in over-hauling our favorite breakfast breads. Thank you thank you!

  21. […] learned from onceamonthmeals.com that chia seeds soaked in warm water can be used to replace the egg as the binder. When 1 […]

  22. Ruthie says:

    My favorite thing to use as an egg replacer (especially when it’s not used for leavening) is just doing 1/4 cup extra liquid, be that soy milk, water, cow’s milk, or whatever. It works like a charm!

  23. Rachel says:

    Great info. I have lots of vegan and vegetarian friends so these make great baking substitutes. Can’t wait to explore your blog further!

  24. zahava says:

    hi there,

    i have a recipe that calls for 4 eggs. it’s a torte, but i’m not sure if the eggs are being used for leavening, binding, or moisture. the other ingredients are 2 cups of flour, 1 1/2 cups of sugar, 3/4 cup of oil, 2 t baking powder. how would i substitute for the eggs? thank u!

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