Going egg-free? How to Substitute Eggs in Recipes

Posted on | Posted in Kitchen Tips

Tips for going egg-free

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.

Substituting eggs in recipes
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.

    Flax seed as a replacement for eggs
    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!