15 Egg Substitutes For Baking (+ How To Pick!)
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Baking without eggs can be tricky, but it doesn’t have to be! Whether you’re looking for a vegan egg substitute, managing an egg allergy, or just ran out of eggs, you’ll want to bookmark these 15 best egg substitutes for baking. These egg alternatives will help seamlessly replace eggs when cooking dozens of healthy recipes (and even keto recipes) – and I’ll explain how to choose which one to use for your needs!
What Eggs Do In Baking
To understand how to substitute for eggs in baking, it’s helpful to understand what they do. There are a lot of ways that using eggs can impact a recipe:
- Structure – Eggs are a key ingredient for baking as they provide structure and keep doughs and batters together during the baking process. They contain proteins which act like glue and helps to give shape to baked recipes, preventing them from falling apart.
- Leavening – Eggs have long been used in baking due to their unique ability to act as a leavening agent. Eggs increase the rise and lightness of cakes, muffins, pancakes, and other baked goods by providing adequate air pockets for steam and gas to form during the baking process.
- Moisture – Eggs create a light, moist texture for baked goods that hold their shape when sliced.
- Thickening – Whites from eggs contain proteins that coagulate when heated, resulting in a tight network of proteins that help thicken batters and doughs for baked goods like cakes and pastries.
- Emulsifying – This means helping bind together oil and water. This creates a smoother texture in breads and cakes.
- Flavor – Eggs enhance the rich flavor in muffins, cakes, and other treats.
- Nutrition – Eggs offer a variety of nutrition. They’re loaded with essential vitamins and minerals including vitamin A, vitamin B12, folate, and iron. The protein in eggs helps with cell repair and helps keep you feeling fuller for longer. Vitamins A and D, found in egg yolks, help your skin and bones stay healthy.
- Color – Eggs in baked goods can help give your creations an appealing golden hue. The yolks contain high levels of carotenoids — the same naturally occurring compounds that contribute to rich, vibrant color in plants.
15 Best Egg Substitutes For Baking
Need to replace eggs with something else? Use this complete guide of 15 egg substitutes to pick the best one for your recipe!
Note that there aren’t really any egg substitutes for dishes that are primarily eggs, such as quiches, frittatas, scrambled eggs, baked eggs, or egg muffins. But if you’re looking for an egg substitute for brownies, pancakes, or in baking, many of these will work.
Flax Seed Meal
Flax seed egg substitute (sometimes called a flax egg) is made from finely ground flaxseeds. It has similar properties to eggs, such as versatility and binding power. When used in baking, it helps bind ingredients together and adds moisture to the recipe, but will provide less structure or no leavening. You may find that your baked goods have a nuttier taste when using flaxseed meal in place of eggs.
- What kind to use: I highly recommend golden flax seed meal as it has a more neutral flavor, but regular brown flax seed meal will also work.
- How to use it: To use flax seed meal as an egg substitute in baking, mix 1 tablespoon of flax seed meal with 3 tablespoons of hot water and allow it to sit for 10 minutes.
- How much to use: 1 large egg = 1 tbsp flax seed meal + 3 tbsp water
- Best for: Cookies, muffins, breads, brownies, pancakes
- Not ideal for: Cakes, soufflés, meringue, custard
These seeds work similarly to using flax seed meal as an egg alternative. Chia seed egg substitutes have similar properties to eggs such as binding and moisture, but less structure and no leavening.
- What kind to use: You can use whole chia seeds or ground chia seeds. The main difference between using ground or whole chia seeds is that the ground version will be more easily absorbed into other ingredients during baking, whereas whole seeds may remain visible (and noticeable in texture) in your final product.
- How to use it: Mix 1 tablespoons of chia seeds with 3 tablespoons of water and let the mixture sit until it becomes a thick gel.
- How much to use: 1 large egg = 1 tbsp chia seeds (whole or ground) + 3 tbsp water
- Best for: Pancakes, muffins, brownies, cookies, cakes
- Not ideal for: Bread, pastries, meringue, custard
Applesauce is a common egg alternative made from pureed cooked apples. It provides moisture and binding power similar to eggs, but not structure or leavening. Baked goods that use applesauce as an egg substitute tend to be dense, moist, and delicately sweet.
- What kind to use: Get unsweetened apple sauce to avoid having to make too many changes to the recipe. Make sure it’s smooth and not chunky.
- How to use it: For baking, replace one egg with 1/4 cup of unsweetened applesauce. The final product will be denser. To help with lift, and depending on the recipe, you can add some (optional) baking powder in addition to the applesauce. Start by adding 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder per every 1/4 cup of applesauce used as an egg substitute.
- How much to use: 1 large egg = 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce + (optional) 1/2 tsp baking powder
- Best for: Quick breads, muffins, and pancakes
- Not ideal for: Savory recipes, custard, pie crusts, cakes, meringue
Pumpkin puree can also work as an egg substitute in baking, much like applesauce. It provides moisture and binding power, but not structure or leavening. Baked goods made with pumpkin puree may have a slightly different flavor than those made with applesauce, but they will still be dense, moist, and lightly sweet.
Bananas are a great egg substitute because they have similar binding properties to eggs. However, since it’s a fruit and contains sugar, you may find that your finished product takes on extra sweetness. Keep in mind that using a banana egg substitute will not provide the same structure or leavening that eggs do.
- What kind to use: Make sure your bananas are ripe. You can even use slightly over-ripe bananas.
- How to use it: Mash 1 ripe banana and use in place of 1 egg.
- How much to use: 1 large egg = 1/4 cup mashed banana (about 1 whole banana)
- Best for: Muffins, cakes, breads, pancakes, and waffles
- Not ideal for: Savory recipes, cookies, pastries, pie crust, meringue, souffles
Not only does carbonated water add moisture to your recipe, but its fizzy texture will help batters rise while baking. Carbonated water or seltzer is a great egg alternative to use in cake recipes. Of course, it provides no structure or binding.
- What kind to use: Any unsweetened carbonated water will work.
- How to use it: You can use plain carbonated water or add some lemon juice and/or vanilla extract for extra flavor. Substitute 3 to 4 tablespoons carbonated water for every egg. As an optional step to help with lift, you can add ½ tablespoon baking powder.
- How much to use: 1 large egg = 1/4 cup carbonated water + (optional) 1/2 tbsp baking powder
- Best for: Cakes, muffins, and quick breads
- Not ideal for: Cookies, pastries, pie crust, custard, meringue
Aquafaba Egg Substitute
Aquafaba is a unique vegan egg substitute made from the liquid inside of canned chickpeas (a.k.a. garbanzo beans). It has many of the same properties as eggs, such as binding and leavening, but it’s important to note that aquafaba will not provide much moisture to your recipe.
- What kind to use: As mentioned above, the easiest way to get aquafaba is to use the liquid from a can of chickpeas. For baking, it’s best to get the kind with no added salt.
- How to use it: You can simply use the liquid from a can of chickpeas (the easiest option), or you can make your own by soaking and cooking dry chickpeas, then boiling and reducing the soaking liquid until it’s thick. To use, substitute 3 tablespoons of aquafaba for each egg.
- How much to use: 1 large egg = 3 tbsp aquafaba
- Best for: Meringue, souffles, custard, mousse, sauces thickened with egg
- Not ideal for: Cakes, brownies, muffins
Arrowroot powder is a good choice if you’re looking for an egg alternative for baking that provides structure, moisture, and leavening. Since it’s a starch, you may find that your baked goods come out slightly denser than usual when using arrowroot powder in place of eggs.
- What kind to use: Any kind will work. It may be labeled “arrowroot powder” or “arrowroot starch”. I like this brand.
- How to use it: Mix 2 tablespoons of arrowroot powder with 3 tablespoons of water to form a thick paste. Then, whisk the paste into your recipe in place of eggs.
- How much to use: 1 large egg = 2 tbsp arrowroot powder + 3 tbsp water
- Best for: Cookies, cakes, brownies, pastries, muffins
- Not ideal for: Custard, meringue
Additionally, tapioca starch (sometimes called tapioca powder or tapioca flour) or potato starch will work similarly to arrowroot as a substitute for eggs.
Nut butters can be a good choice if you want moisture and extra flavor in your baked goods. However, it’s important to note that nut butters may make your finished product denser than usual and may not provide the same leavening as eggs.
- What kind to use: Almond butter, peanut butter, or any variety of smooth nut butters will work.
- How to use it: You can use nut butter in place of eggs in most recipes by adding 3 tablespoons of nut butter for each egg you’re replacing.
- How much to use: 1 large egg = 3 tbsp creamy nut butter
- Best for: Cookies, brownies, quick breads
- Not ideal for: Cakes, pastries, meringue, custard
Vinegar & Baking Soda
Vinegar and baking soda can be a good option if you’re looking for an egg alternative that provides moisture and leavening, where structure is less important.
- What kind to use: Any kind of vinegar will work, but typically white vinegar or apple cider vinegar are the best options for baking, since their flavor won’t be noticeable in sweet recipes. I prefer this apple cider vinegar with the mother, which also has nutrition benefits.
- How to use it: To use vinegar and baking soda as an egg substitute in baking, mix 1 tablespoon of vinegar with 1 teaspoon of baking soda. Then, whisk the mixture into your recipe.
- How much to use: 1 large egg = 1 tsp baking soda + 1 tbsp vinegar
- Best for: Muffins, cakes, quick breads
- Not ideal for: Cookies, pastries, meringue, custard
Oil, Water, & Baking Powder
These elements come together to provide the moisture and lift that eggs usually deliver. When it comes to structure or binding in baked goods, these substitutes may not perform as well as regular eggs.
- What kind to use: Any kind of oil will work, but I recommend avocado oil because it has a neutral flavor and is not processed like seed oils are. (Processed seed oils include canola oil, vegetable oil, grapeseed oil, soybean oil, etc.) For baking powder, I like this brand.
- How to use it: Mix 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1 teaspoon neutral oil (such as avocado oil), and 2 tablespoons water for each egg you’re replacing.
- How much to use: 1 large egg = 2 tsp baking powder + 1 tsp neutral oil + 2 tbsp water
- Best for: Cookies, muffins, quick breads
- Not ideal for: Cakes, pastries, meringue, custard
Gelatin Egg Substitute
Gelatin as an egg substitute provides moisture and structure. However, gelatin does not have leavening properties and can take on a slightly rubbery texture compared to using eggs.
- What kind to use: Make sure to get unsweetened gelatin powder without any other ingredients added. I prefer to order this one online rather than getting it at the store, because it’s grass-fed and has more nutrition.
- How to use it: First, bloom the gelatin. Place 1/4 cup cold water in a bowl, sprinkle gelatin powder over the top, stir or whisk a little to disperse, and let the mixture sit 5-10 minutes. Then, heat the gelatin mixture between 130-180 degrees F and stir until dissolved. Don’t boil — boiling will destroy its setting power! Once the gelatin has bloomed and heated, you can whisk it into your recipe in place of eggs.
- How much to use: 1 large egg = 1 tbsp gelatin + 1/4 cup water
- Best for: Cookies, muffins, quick breads, sauces thickened with egg
- Not ideal for: Cakes, pastries, meringue
Sunflower lecithin is derived from sunflower seeds and works an egg substitute in baking due to its natural emulsifying and stabilizing properties, which is the ability to bind water and oil. In fact, eggs themselves contain lecithin! Lecithin is also a natural preservative, so can make your baked goods last longer.
- What kind to use: You can use liquid lecithin or lecithin powder, but they are a little different. Liquid lecithin has more fat content, does not need to be dissolved before using, and is best for recipes with lower fat content. Lecithin powder is de-oiled, needs to be dissolved before using, and is best for recipes with higher fat content.
- How to use it: Replace 1 large egg with 1 tablespoon of sunflower lecithin. If using powder, dissolve in a little water first.
- How much to use: 1 large egg = 1 tbsp sunflower lecithin powder or liquid
- Best for: Brownies, cookies, muffins, custard, sauces thickened with egg yolks
- Not ideal for: Cakes, breads, meringue
Additionally, soy lecithin may also work as a substitute for eggs if your lifestyle allows for soy. Use it in the same way as sunflower lecithin.
Xanthan gum is a plant-based, gluten-free thickener and binder that can be used as an egg alternative in baking recipes. It has the properties of binding, stabilizing, and structure like eggs, but it lacks airiness.
- What kind to use: Any kind will work. I like this one because it’s non-GMO, which can be hard to find.
- How to use it: Replace 1 large egg with 1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum and 1/4 cup water. Whisk together until completely blended. Sprinkle (don’t dump) the powder over the water before whisking, which will help it mix evenly and avoid clumping.
- How much to use: 1 large egg = 1/4 tsp xanthan gum + 1/4 cup water
- Best for: Cakes, quick breads, muffins, cookies, bars
- Not ideal for: Custard, meringue
Yogurt Egg Substitute
Yogurt is a popular egg substitute due to its high protein content and moisture. It doesn’t provide leavening and provides less structure than eggs.
- What kind to use: Both regular and Greek yogurts can work as an egg replacement, however the outcome may differ slightly. For example, recipes made with regular yogurt have a softer texture than those made with Greek yogurt, which is generally denser. You can also use coconut milk yogurt for a dairy-free option.
- How to use it: Replace 1 large egg with 1/4 cup plain yogurt (regular or Greek)
- How much to use: 1 large egg = 1/4 cup plain yogurt (regular or Greek)
- Best for: Breads, biscuits, muffins, cakes
- Not ideal for: Custard, meringue
Psyllium Husk Powder
Psyllium husk powder is a low carb and vegan egg alternative that works by binding and adding volume to a recipe. It creates a sticky, gelatinous texture when mixed with water, making it resemble the consistency of eggs. The main difference is that baked goods with psyllium turn out more dense.
- What kind to use: Any kind will work, but some brands can turn baked goods purple, which is safe to eat but doesn’t look great. I like this brand that doesn’t have this issue.
- How to use it: To use it as an egg substitute for baking, mix 1 teaspoon psyllium husk powder with 3 tablespoons water. Then, wait 10-15 minutes for the mixture to congeal and become more egg-like.
- How much to use: 1 large egg = 1 tsp psyllium husk powder + 3 tbsp water
- Best for: Cakes, muffins, pancakes, quick breads
- Not ideal for: Custard, meringue
Egg Substitute Reference Chart
To help save time, frustration, and energy during these times of dietary dilemmas, I have put together an egg substitute reference chart for a quick reference:
Amount To Replace 1 Egg
Flax seed meal
1 tbsp flax seed meal + 3 tbsp water
1 large egg = 1 tbsp chia seeds (whole or ground) + 3 tbsp water
1 large egg = 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce + (optional) 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 large egg = 1/4 cup mashed banana (about 1 whole banana)
1 large egg = 1/4 cup carbonated water
1 large egg = 3 tbsp aquafaba
1 large egg = 2 tbsp arrowroot powder + 3 tbsp water
1 large egg = 3 tbsp creamy nut butter
Vinegar & baking soda
1 large egg = 1 tsp baking soda + 1 tbsp vinegar
Oil, water, & baking powder
1 large egg = 2 tsp baking powder + 1 tsp neutral oil + 2 tbsp water
1 large egg = 1 tbsp gelatin + 1/4 cup water
1 large egg = 1 tbsp sunflower lecithin powder
1 large egg = 1/4 tsp xanthan gum + 1/4 cup water
1 large egg = 1/4 cup plain yogurt (regular or Greek)
Psyllium husk powder
1 large egg = 1 tsp psyllium husk powder + 3 tbsp water
Best Substitute For Egg Whites
Most of the egg substitutes above can also be used to replace egg whites as well. To replace an egg white in a recipe with one of the options above, you’ll just use about 2/3 the amount in the chart above.
However, an egg white substitute won’t work for recipes that require whipped egg whites, such as keto bread, cloud bread, meringue cookies, or angel food cake.
For applications where you need to whip the egg white into stiff peaks (or soft peaks), the perfect egg substitute is aquafaba. Here is how to use this egg alternative to replace whipped egg whites:
- Strain. Pour a 15-ounce can of chickpeas into a strainer fitted over a large bowl. Let the liquid drain into the bowl. You should get about 3/4 cup of liquid — this is aquafaba. (Roasting the chickpeas is a delicious way to use them up!)
- Add stabilizer. Add 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar to aquafaba.
- Whip. Use a hand mixer to whip aquafaba until stiff peaks form, about 4-7 minutes.
Best Alternative For Egg Yolks
If a recipe calls for only egg yolks, you can usually use the egg alternatives above. To replace an egg yolk in a recipe with one of the options above, use about 1/3 the amount in the chart above.
However, the best egg yolk substitute would be liquid sunflower lecithin (or soy lecithin). This mimics an egg yolk most closely. Use 1 tablespoon sunflower lecithin to replace each egg.