Navigating Food Restrictions: How To Substitute Eggs in Vegan Baking

Let’s be honest, eggs really do most of the heavy lifting in recipes. When you’re first learning to cook and bake without them, it can be a bit challenging. With so many egg replacement options out there, what’s going to work for each recipe? How do you do it? This guide will help you substitute eggs vegan baking.

It does take a little bit of practice to really get the hang of it, but it’s not as daunting as it may seem. This article will help you figure out which egg replacer will work best with certain recipes, how to apply it, and a few useful tricks I’ve picked up. After each, you’ll find examples of how I’ve used them in previous recipes.


Flax egg / Chia Egg

How to use:

Mix 1 Tbs. flax/chia meal (ground flax/chia seeds) into 3 Tbs. lukewarm water. Whisk well to incorporate. Allow to “gel” for about 5-8 minutes before adding to other ingredients.

When to use:

Acts best as a bonding agent. Good for baked goods that will not be affected by the color/texture, such as waffles, crepes, nut breads, some muffins, and some cookies (i.e. not sugar cookies where the color would change). Can also work well for certain savory oven bakes that need binding like vegan meat loaf. Also a great choice for vegan burgers. This will require a bit of experimentation. Does not work as a rising agent on its own, so consider using in combination with baking soda and vinegar for recipes that need to rise or be airier.

Tip: I buy whole flax/chia seeds and grind them as needed in a coffee grinder. This is a budget-friendly alternative to buying pre-packaged seed meal, and means it’s fresher for use.

See it in action:

Savory Spinach and Pepita Crepes, Black Bean Burgers, Cherry Almond Mini Muffins, Coconut Crusted Butternut Squash, Pumpkin Pie, 15 Minute Breakfast Pizza


Ener-G Egg Replacer

How to use:

(Use according to directions on box) Mix 1 tsp. Ener-G Egg Replacer powder into 3 tsp. lukewarm water. Whisk to incorporate thoroughly. If it sets with lumps in it, throw it out and try again.

When to use:

Acts as a bonding agent and helps the recipe rise, so it’s most ideal for cake, muffins, pancakes/waffles, donuts, crepes, bread, and certain cookies. The box has helpful recipes and ratios to get you started.

Tip: This product can be found at most health food stores like Sprouts, Trader Joe’s, and Whole Foods.

See it in action:

Vanilla Chickpea Waffles, Pumpkin Pie


Banana

How to use:

Mash a ripe to over-ripe banana; ratio will vary based on the size of the recipe, but generally about 1/4 c. – 1/3 c. mashed. Incorporate into wet ingredients, or as instructed by recipe.

When to use:

Mashed banana will add a little extra sweetness and can give the baked good some of its own flavor, so be aware of that. Sugar ratios may need to be adjusted. I have found bananas to work best in baked goods intended to be moist and sweet, such as cookies, dessert bread (think banana bread types), brownies, some muffins, and some cakes.

Tip: Banana can also be used to replace oil in a recipe, but typically cannot replace both oil and egg.

See it in action:

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bars with Espresso Drizzle, Chunky Chocolate Chip Microwave Cookie


Applesauce

How to use:

The ratio will vary based on the size of the recipe, but generally 1/4 c. – 1/3 c.; incorporate into wet ingredients or as instructed by the recipe.

When to use:

Because of its acidity, it is best used in combination with baking soda for leavening in cakes, muffins, pancakes/waffles, some cookies, and breads.

Tip: Applesauce can also be used to replace oil in a recipe, but typically cannot replace both oil and egg.

See it in action:

Strawberry Lime Poppyseed Muffins (in this case, the strawberry puree acts how the applesauce would), Savory Spinach and Pepita Crepes, 15 Minute Breakfast Pizza


Mashed Vegetables (pumpkin, squash, sweet potato)

How to use:

Ratio will vary based on the size of the recipe, but generally about 1/4 c. – 1/3 c.; incorporate into wet ingredients, or as instructed by recipe

When to use:

Great option for savory baked goods, but can also be used in sweet recipes. Use mashed vegetables in flavored bread (like zucchini bread, cranberry walnut, etc.), scones, some cakes (carrot cake, etc.), some cookies, flavored pancakes/waffles, or brownies.

Tip: Pay attention to the flavor profile of the vegetable you choose as it may change the overall flavor of the recipe.

Baking soda and vinegar -or- Baking soda and lemon juice

How to use:

Whisk 1 tsp. baking soda mixed with 1 Tbs. vinegar or 1 Tbs. lemon juice in a separate bowl. Fold into wet ingredients after all other ingredients are combined.

When to use:

Great for recipes that need to be light and airy such as cakes, breads, muffins, and some cookies. Consider using a flax/chia egg, mashed fruit/vegetable, or Ener-G egg replacer in combination, as this method does not act as a bonding agent, and sometimes causes the baked good to be crumbly.


Starches (arrowroot, tapioca, potato, xanthan gum)

How to use:

Ratios may vary based on recipe, but typically 2 Tbs. starch to 3 Tbs. water

When to use:

Great for thickening recipes (pudding, custard, pies), but also act as a binding agent for breads, muffins, cupcakes, pancakes/waffles, and other pastries.

Tip: These can be found at most health food stores like Sprouts, Trader Joe’s, and Whole Foods. I personally do not use starches in my baking as often as the previous egg replacers simply because others are less expensive, generally represent the healthier choice, and are also more easily available.

One of the most helpful articles I’ve read on how and when to substitute eggs can be found here.

What egg replacers have you had the most success with? Did I miss any here? I’d love your input. And of course, if you thought this article was helpful, please share it, pin it, or tweet about it so your friends can learn how to make egg-less recipes with ease, too. 🙂

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