Whether you’re egg-free by choice or allergy, or just can’t get hold of eggs, I thought I’d help with a trusty guide for egg substitutes in baking and cooking.
Typically, eggs in baking us generally are used for two reasons; either that act as a binder which means that are used to hold the recipe together or they act as a leavening agent meaning that is used to help the recipe rise. The binding element helps combine the ingredients and hold them together giving the food it’s structure. The leavening helps trap pockets of air in the foods allowing them to expand during cooking. Think soufflés, angel cake, and meringues which all have a light airy texture. Sometimes they are used to help bind and rise.
Eggs also have moisture functions in which the liquid for the eggs is absorbed into the other ingredients which help keep the finished recipe moist. They can also improve the flavour and appearance of recipes.
Fortunately for us, there are plenty of alternatives to eggs.
- Bananas. Mashed bananas are a popular egg replacement. About 65g of banana is the equivalent of 1 egg. The only downside to baking with bananas is that you might have a mild banana flavour, so substitution works best in cakes, muffins, brownies, and quick breads. You can also use mashed avocado or pureed applesauce and pumpkin in the same quantity.
- Vinegar and Baking soda. Mixing 7g of baking soda and 15g of vinegar can replace one egg. Apple Cider vinegar or white distilled vinegar are my recommendations. when mixed together, the vinegar, and baking soda start a chemical reaction that produces carbon dioxide and water (I know I’m a chemist) which makes baked good light and airy. This alternative works best for cakes and cupcakes.
- Yoghurt and Buttermilk. Both of these are good substitutes. It’s best to use a plain version as flavoured varieties include the flavour and are usually sweetened. You can use 60g of yoghurt or buttermilk for egg required and this can be used for cake and cupcakes. You can also make your own buttermilk by souring milk with a couple of drops of lemon juice or vinegar to curdle.
- Aquafaba. Ever opened a can of chickpeas or beans? Aquafaba is the liquid leftover from cooking chickpeas and legumes. The liquid has a similar consistency or raw egg whites, making it an excellent substitution for many recipes where just egg whites are required. You can use 45g of aquafaba to replace one egg. You should also try using aquafaba to make meringues, they are amazing.
- Nut butters such as peanut, cashew or almond butter. About 60g of nut-butter is enough to replace one egg and best used in recipes where they already have a nut as an ingredient such as brownies or cookies.
- Carbonated water can add moisture to the recipe plus acting as a leavening agent. The carbonation traps air bubbles which help the recipe become light and fluffy. You can replace the egg with 60g of carbonated water.
- Silken tofu. Tofu is condensed soy milk that has been processed and pressed into solid blocks. The texture of tofu varies, the more water that has been pressed out, the firmer it gets. Silken tofu is soft as it has high water content and therefore just 60g is needed to replace one egg. Silken tofu is an excellent alternative as it is also flavourless.
- Ground flaxseeds or chia seeds. Most would suggest flaxseed or chia seeds higher in their list as both are highly nutritious. High in omega-3 fatty acids, fibre and plant compounds, just 5g flaxseeds or chia seeds with 45g water blended together is an alternative to one egg. However, I will add live in a household with kids, think they are gourmet food connoisseurs who can taste the hidden vegetables in tomato sauce or when I’ve swapped plain flour for semolina in pizza bases, so personally don’t get away with this one. But if you can, then it’s great.
Luckily, plenty of foods can replace eggs in baking, though not all of them act the same way. Some egg alternatives are better for heavy, dense products, while others are great for light and fluffy baked goods. You may need to experiment with various egg alternatives to get the texture and flavor you desire in your recipes.
Do let me know how you get on.