Farm-fresh eggs are well-loved and eaten daily in our household. Even though eggs are a staple here, we run out every now and again (especially in the winter) and need to use something different when we bake. I have put together a list of the best egg substitutions plus a FREE Baking Substitution Ebook for you!
Egg Substitutions in Baking
Before we get to the actual substitutions (you can scroll straight to those if you want), I want to discuss why you may need to use an egg alternative as well as the uses for eggs in baking because this can affect your choice of substitute.
Why Would You Need Egg Substitutions?
Every now and then you may find yourself needing to use something in place of eggs in a recipe for a few different reasons including allergies, diets, last-minute baking (and you ran out of eggs), and emergency cooking.
#1 Egg Allergies
While you may not have an allergy yourself, you may find yourself cooking for someone with an allergy at some point in time. You can still make delicious baked goods without risking their health with eggs.
#2 Special Diets
If you or someone you are cooking for has a special diet (ex. vegan), you will need to find an egg alternative.
#3 Last-Minute Baking
Maybe you are like me and you enjoy coming up with foods to bake on a whim. This means that you might not have all of the ingredients in stock. It is great to know how to substitute ingredients so baking can still happen even if you have to go off-recipe.
#4 Emergency Cooking
At the time of writing this post, our nation is in quarantine (voluntary at the moment) due to the COVID-19 virus. The grocery stores are having difficulty keeping up with the panic-buying so shelves are staying empty. It has been difficult to find staples like eggs, milk, and bread. Having knowledge of simple substitutes can help you to make it through times like this.
5 Common Uses for Eggs in Baking
Eggs can play several different roles in baking. Consider which role is required in your recipe when choosing an egg substitution.
Eggs are used in many recipes to hold the ingredients together. The egg proteins coagulate and bind foods so they don’t fall apart. Meatball and meatloaf recipes call for eggs so the meat will hold together instead of crumbling.
Eggs can also be used to make food (like cake) moist. Eggs are mostly water (more than 70%) so they contribute to the moisture content of baked goods, however, it is important to note that if you only use egg whites for this the final product may be dry. This is because the white contains water, but no fat to retain that water.
Another way eggs are used in baking is to make the food rise. When eggs (especially egg whites) are beaten, air is trapped inside and this air helps foods to rise. This is a common use for eggs in popovers, souffles, and meringues.
Egg yolks add rich flavor to baked goods. The whites are not very flavorful, but the high-fat content in the yolk makes it perfect for a flavorful addition.
4. Thickening & Emulsifying
Eggs can be used to emulsify ingredients… this means that they help to bind liquids and fats together. The lecithin content in the yolk is responsible for this. Eggs are used in this way for mayonnaise and hollandaise sauce and to smooth batters for cakes and other baked goods.
15 of the Best Egg Substitutions and Egg Alternatives
These egg substitutes work BEST when the recipe calls for 1-3 eggs. If your recipe requires more than three eggs, then you may not get the results that you want with these substitutes.
If you are replacing more than three eggs, then you need to consider the intended action of the eggs in the recipe that you are using (binding, leavening, moisture, flavor) and substitute accordingly.
What to Use Instead of Eggs
You can substitute 1/4 cup oil per egg. This is my go-to egg alternative. I choose to use light-tasting olive oil instead of vegetable oil.
BEST USE: Pretty much anything that only calls for 1 egg.
Unsweetened applesauce can be substituted at 1/4 cup per egg. If you only have sweetened = on hand, use 1/8 cup of applesauce per egg instead.
NOTE: Add 1/2 tsp baking powder if you are using applesauce in a less dense food item as fruit purees tend to increase the density.
BEST USE: Quick Breads, Cakes, Muffins, and Cupcakes
3. MASHED BANANA
1/2 cup of mashed banana can be used in place of an egg in your baking recipes. You may find that your baked goods have a slight banana flavor using this substitute, but that’s not always a bad thing. This egg substitute works best with ripe bananas.
NOTE: Add 1/2 tsp baking powder if you are using bananas in a less dense food item as fruit purees tend to increase the density.
BEST USE: Quick Breads, Cakes, and Cupcakes
4. MASHED AVOCADO
Avocados can be used just like bananas in baking. Mash or puree an avocado and use 1/2 cup to replace one egg. The avocado doesn’t leave as much of a taste as bananas.
BEST USE: Salad dressings, Meat Mixtures (meatballs and meatloaf)
5. PUREED PUMPKIN
Replace one egg with 1/2 cup pumpkin puree (canned or fresh). This will give a pumpkin flavor to the dish.
BEST USE: Quick Breads, Cakes, Meat Mixtures
6. GROUND FLAX SEED AND WATER
Mix 1 TBSP of ground flax seed (you can grind your own flax seed in a food processor or coffee grinder) with 3 TBSP of water. Using flax or chia seeds as an egg substitution will make your products a little more dense and provide a slightly nutty flavor.
BEST USE: Brownies, Muffins, Pancakes, Cookies
7. GROUND CHIA SEEDS AND WATER
Combine 1 TBSP ground chia seeds (you can grind your own chia seeds with a food processor or a coffee grinder) with 3 TBSP water. Using chia or flax seeds will make your products a little more dense and could provide a slightly nutty flavor.
BEST USE: Quick breads, Waffles, Cookies
8. PLAIN YOGURT
To replace one egg, add 1/4 cup plain yogurt to your recipe.
BEST USE: Cakes and Muffins
BEST USE: Cakes and Muffins
10. SWEETENED CONDENSED MILK
Use 1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk in place of one egg.
BEST USE: Cakes and Cookies
11. CREAMY PEANUT BUTTER
Add 3 TBSP of peanut butter (or another nut butter) to your recipe for each egg that your recipe calls for. This is a delicious egg substitute in pancakes!
BEST USE: Pancakes, Brownies, Cookies
12. WATER, OIL, AND BAKING POWDER
Combine 2 TBSP Water + 2 tsp Baking Powder + 1 TBSP Vegetable Oil to replace one egg.
BEST USE: Cookies & Cakes
13. BAKING SODA AND VINEGAR
Mixing 1 tsp baking soda and 1 TBSP apple cider vinegar or distilled white vinegar can replace one egg. This egg substitution is great for lighter baked goods like cupcakes.
BEST USE: Brownies, Cakes, Cupcakes, Quick Breads
14. ARROWROOT POWDER
Arrowroot powder is a starch that is very similar to corn starch (I use it as a corn starch substitute pretty often). If you mix 2 TBSP arrowroot powder with 3 TBSP water, it will replace one egg in your recipe.
NOTE: Does not work for leavening so avoid this egg substitution in cakes, breads, cookies, and other food items that need to rise.
BEST USE: Pudding, Sauces, Custards
15. MASHED POTATOES
Say what?? Mashed potatoes in baked goods?? Yep!! Just add 1/4 cup mashed potatoes per egg to bind bread recipes.
BEST USE: Breads, Rolls, and Meat Mixtures
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