Friday, May 13, 2011

Egg Substitutes

When I first wrote the page - Basics, the start of that page was about substitutions and I did mention some of the egg substitute information in there. But, not many people visit that and I wanted to write more about this topic based on a request. Here is some information about egg free baking and some insight about which one works the best where?

Before trying to replace an egg, one needs to know what the function of the egg in a particular baking recipe. Egg does many things in baking. It adds moisture due to fat, it is responsible for leavening. It is a great binder. It gives volume to the batter. And it gives the finished product a nice color.

One major point to note while  baking egg free is to pick a recipe that has fewer eggs. 3 or less is easy to replace compared to more than that.

Whatever is the reason you are trying to replace the egg in a recipe, here is some information. 

Fruit Puree:

One of the oldest egg replacer around is applesauce. Applesauce or mashed banana or many different fruit purees act as binders. But, they also change the flavor of the baked product. If the flavor of the fruit puree blends in with what you are baking, these make a wonderful egg replacers. Measure 1/4 cup in  a dry measuring cup to substitute for 1 egg. Having said that, these make the finished product dense and a bit gummy. Reason being incapability to act as a leavening agent. To compensate for this, many suggest to add an extra 1/2 tsp of baking powder to the recipe. These are not limited to just applesauce and bananas. You could use pureed prunes, dates (decrease the sugar), pureed pumpkin, squash, mashed potatoes or even pureed carrots.

Flax egg:
This is one of my favorite egg replacers. These have nutty taste and smell and hence is not suitable in every recipe. But, these work the best since they get the same consistency as eggs when mixed with water. 1 TBSP of flax seed powder mixed with 3 TBSP of warm water and let to sit for 5 minutes turns into a sticky, goopy mixture. This replaces 1 egg. Use this wherever the recipe has a nutty flavor to it. I blindly use this if there are nuts in the recipe.

Soft tofu when whipped and used works great as an egg replacer too. End product might get dense and this can be compensated by adding 1/2 tsp of baking powder extra to the recipe. If using this in a yeast bread, you don't need to add any baking powder. Yeast takes care of leavening in there. 1/4 cup of whipped tofu replaces 1 egg. Best use of this is in yeast breads, brownies and cakes. And this acts very much like egg when you are making a quiche or scrambled eggs.

Baking Soda and Vinegar:
As I wrote the long story of how baking soda acts with acidic ingredients, this one is a heavy leavening agent. Even though the recipe might tell you to add the baking soda with dry ingredients and vinegar with wet, it works best if remaining ingredients are blended and finally you add the mixture of baking soda and vinegar and fold it to the batter. Wacky chocolate cake is the best example for this substitute. 1 tsp of baking soda + 1 TBSP of vinegar gives enough leavening to replace one egg. Increase the wet ingredients of the recipe by 3 TBSP.

Yogurt, buttermilk, sour cream:
These act as egg replacers not for their binding, but as a leavening agent. This is true since most of the recipe has baking soda and these are acidic. They react very well and work. As far as binding is concerned, these aren't that great. 1/4 cup replaces 1 egg.

Starch as a replacer:
Starch acts as a great binder. So, many kinds of starch when mixed with water can replace egg where its sole purpose is to bind the ingredients. 1 TBSP of tapioca flour + 3 TBSP of warm water or 2 TBSP of potato starch + 3 TBSP of warm water or 2 TBSP of corn starch + 2 TBSP of warm water can replace one egg. Best use of these are in cookies.

To replace egg white:
Egg whites give volume to the finished product. Even when this is not as effective as the real egg white is, it still works. 1 TBSP of agar agar powder mixed with 1 TBSP of water. Whip it, chill it and whip it again before mixing to the batter.

Egg Yolk Substitute:
Mix 2 cups water and 1 cup flour in a blender until thick. Cook in a double boiler 45-60 minutes. With a mixer, whip in 2 Tbsp. cooking oil and 1/4 tsp salt. use 2 or 3 Tbsp. for binder in hamburgers or meat loaf. (Source:

Other egg replacers:
1 whole egg = 2 TBSP water + 1 TBSP oil + 2 tsp baking powder (leavening only)
1 egg = 1 heaping TBSP of soy flour + 2 TBSP water (binding only)
1 egg = 1 TBSP soy flour + 1 TBSP corn starch + 2 TBSP water (binding only)
1 egg = 1/4 tsp agar agar powder + 1/4 cup water + 1 tsp baking powder (leavening and binding)
1 egg = 2 TBSP water or milk + 1 TBSP tapioca starch or potato starch + 1 TBSP oil or shortening + 3/4 tsp baking powder (leavening and binding)
1 egg = 1 TBSP oil + 1 TBSP vinegar or lemon juice + 1 tsp baking powder +1 tsp potato starch or cornstarch or arrowroot + enough soda water to equal a total of 1 /4 cup . Combine all ingredients in a medium size bowl to allow room for the ingredients to increase in volume as baking soda and vinegar react. Whisk, then add per mix or recipe instructions. (Source:
1 egg = 1 tsp yeast dissolved in 1/4 cup warm water

Best egg wash replacer:

Egg wash gives such a beautiful color to the baked bread or roll or pie crust, that it makes a very appetizing dish. Best alternative to egg wash is by using heavy cream. Brush with heavy cream. Since everyone doesn't have heavy cream on hand all the time (I know I don't), other alternative is to mix equal parts of oil, milk and sugar. Add a pinch of salt and whisk and brush the unbaked loaves. It gives a beautiful color since sugar caramelizes and browns the dough.

Few of my favorite recipes with some of the egg replacers mentioned above:
Tofu - Eggless brioche, Sweet milk buns
Fruit puree - Banana chocolate chip bread, weight watcher's applesauce cocoa cake , Eggless Pumpkin Ricotta Cake
Flax egg - Eggless almond chocolate biscotti , Eggless Almond Brownies
Corn starch - Eggless peanut butter swirled chocolate cake
I have used yogurt and sourcream in so many yeast bread recipes, I didn't feel like mentioning all of them.

Have a great day.
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  1. :-)))))))))))))
    I am very happy about this...

  2. Good information. I have read somehwere that Besan (Chickpea flour) can also be used as an egg substitute. Have you tried it?

  3. Omg, thanks a ton Champa, a page to be treasured..

  4. Niveditha,
    Priya, you are welcome.
    Yes. It must work since soy flour works as egg substitute. But the only disadvantage is the smell of the besan. If you are alright with it, it should be fine. For that matter any bean flour should work. I cannot scientifically justify but the rice flour cooked with some water into egg consistency also works very well as a binder since it has starch.

  5. excellent post.thankas and again bookmarked.

  6. This is one of the best. I love these series of tips. I do not like to cook with eggs personally, so I am going to visit them very often, as often as I bake :)

  7. Love your suggestions for egg replacements!! Will try that out soon....Thanks for sharing:)

  8. Lots of useful info .. thx for sharing.


  9. Thanks so so much...I keep hunting for egg replacements in baking :P This post is a keeper for life :P
    Book marked!!!

  10. Very Good Article! Wonderful explanation. This is very useful to new bakers like me!

  11. Champa, these tips are very helpful for beginner bakers like me.. along with the inspiration u give, you also have enough resources to lead us faster to become a 'baker' :) Thanks!!

  12. this is an useful post! thanks for sharing!

  13. Hi champa, reached here thru foodbloggers hub....very informative post. Even though i had no issues with egg, i loved this one:)thx alot for sharing this with us:)

  14. Though I personally have no problem using eggs, I would love to have on hand good re placers and fail proof eggless recipes. This is one very helpful post Champa.

  15. Thanks a Ton,
    Too much helpful info. I was searching for that.
    I am veggie and beginner in baking world.
    So it was perfectly for me & like people.


  16. Chia seeds works as well. 2 tbsp. of Chia to 1 cup of water. 1/2 the cup is equal to 1 egg


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