Quick! Name a replacement for these things:
If you aced the first two but hesitated on number three, you are not alone. One of the most common questions I get asked is, “What kind of egg substitutes do you use in baking?” Most people can make that mental jump from milk to soya milk, butter to margarine. But when it comes to eggs there isn’t an obvious replacement that immediately jumps to mind.
Perhaps it is because there are so many options for baking without eggs, that there isn’t a clear and obvious answer – there are many answers! Let me tell you my favourite egg replacements and when best to use them.
Why would I need an Egg Substitute?
Vegans have had their eyes peeled for good egg replacements for years. In recent times, however, almost all of us have had reason to seek out an alternative to eggs in baking. Supermarket shortages in the early days of the pandemic left loads of home bakers scrambling for something to scramble. Two plus years out and again there are disruptions to the egg supply chain which might mean you aren’t seeing eggs on the shelves of your local supermarket.
Whether you are a vegan looking for egg substitutes or an omni-eater looking for a quick solution to the egg-shortage, keep reading for my list of egg alternatives for baking.
6 Egg Replacements for Baking
You read that right. There are dozens of things you can use in place of eggs, but more often than you think you can just remove the eggs from a recipe with no serious consequences. All of my cookie recipes are simply made without eggs. There’s no replacement there. In case you missed it, there’s an egg-free chocolate mousse, made with only water and chocolate, that took the internet by storm. Before looking for a substitute, just ask yourself if you can simply bake the recipe without eggs.
Here’s one of my favourites! I love flaxseed because it is a super sustainable crop, it’s cheap, it has a really long shelf life so I never end up with waste, and most importantly is an amazing egg substitute in baking. Simply stir 1tbsp ground flaxseed into 2tbsp water to replace a single egg. This will provide both binding (making bakes hold together) and leavening (making bakes rise) in place of eggs. It works best in dense, chewy bakes like brownies, blondies, or chocolate cakes.
Don’t be intimidated by the strange name; it’s just chickpea water. Yup – that liquid that surrounds chickpeas in a tin is an egg replacement. Believe it or not, when you whip that water it gets thick and fluffy just like egg whites. You can use it any way you would use egg white: it’ll provide leavening for an angel cake, you can make any type of meringue although I find that it works best for Italian meringue. You can even use aquafaba to make vegan mayo!
It pains me to suggest bananas because I’m not a big fan of fruit and veg in cakes! But honestly, it works as a great egg substitute in recipes that you want to taste like bananas. There’s no hiding the flavour, so don’t stick it in chocolate chip cookies, k? Banana Bread, Banana Pancakes, or even Banana Blondies – all ok in my book. Try this experiment at home: mush a banana into a bowl and mix it with an electric mixer for 2-3 minutes. Tell me you aren’t amazed at how fluffy it gets with no additional ingredients. Bananas really are a super food.
5. Vinegar + Bicarb
The combination of vinegar and bicarbonate of soda is my go-to egg substitute for cakes. It’s the best way to get a fluffy, light sponge without adding any unwanted flavours. I use this in my basic Victoria Sponge recipe and it’s never let me down. Typically, I will mix the bicarb into the dry ingredients first, the vinegar into the wet ingredients, then let the chemistry happen when the wet and dry are mixed. Some recipes, like red velvet, will tell you to combine the vinegar and bicarb in a separate bowl first, before adding to the rest of the batter. The latter method will leave a bit of a sour flavour in your finished bake, but sometimes that is the desired effect. So up to you!
6. Commercially produced replacements
To be completely honest, I’ve never used OGGS, Free and Easy, Crack’d, or any of the other egg substitutes on the supermarket shelves. I will say this though: there seems to be a new brand of this every time I turn around. So they must work! If none of the above options is viable for you, then give a packet a go. Let me know how it works out for you! I am curious.
Have you tried any of these egg substitutes in baking? Which one is your favourite? Which one is a total disaster? Send me a note and let me know!
If you’ve never tried baking without eggs before, and maybe you are only here out of necessity… Let me suggest you read my blog on part-time vegans. Making the switch might be easier than you think and it could do you a whole lot of good.