Eggs are some of the most versatile foods of all. There are plenty of ways to eat and enjoy them, and they’re also very useful baking ingredients, featuring in many cake and cookie recipes, for example.
However, for one reason or another, you might find yourself looking for an egg substitute for baking. Maybe you’re allergic to eggs, for instance, or following a vegan diet. In either case, let’s take a look at some egg alternative examples.
Why Eggs Are Used in Baking
Before we look at what to substitute for eggs, it’s important to understand exactly why eggs are such a key ingredient for baking in general. What makes them so special, and why do they feature in so many recipes, from diabetic cookie recipes to wedding cakes?
- Adding Structure – Eggs play a big part in binding or joining ingredients together. In a way, they’re the glue of many recipes and help to provide structure to the final product to stop it all from simply falling to pieces.
- Adding Moisture – Eggs are also key if you want to know how to make cookies and cakes that are moist and tender. They add a lot of moisture to the other ingredients to produce the tastiest treats.
- Helping Food to Rise – When it comes to baking, it’s really important to try and make the dough and batter rise up and fill with air pockets to create light and fluffy foods. Eggs play a big part in this, which is why they’re so key in recipes for desserts like meringue and soufflé.
- Flavor – Eggs can also positively impact the flavor of your favorite baked treats. They can improve the flavors of the other ingredients in the recipe while also adding their own richness to the final product.
Why You May Need an Egg Alternative in Baking
It’s clear to see that eggs can play a key role in countless recipes, but you don’t necessarily have to use them when making the likes of muffins and pancakes. There are other options out there, and here are some reasons why you might want to opt for an egg substitute for baking.
- Allergic to Eggs – One of the main reasons why you might want to make use of an egg replacement in baking is because of an allergy. Some people are allergic to eggs and could suffer adverse reactions from eating them, so prefer to opt for egg alternative options
- Following a Vegan Diet – People who follow a vegan diet will also need to seek out an egg substitute for baking. Eggs are animal products, after all, and vegans avoid eating any foods that come from animals, including not just meat, but also dairy and other foods.
- Running Out of Eggs – One of the most common reasons why you might want a substitute for egg yolk in baking is simply because you’ve run out of eggs. People often seek out butter alternatives for baking when they’ve run out of butter, and the same logic applies to eggs.
What to Substitute for Eggs
So, we’ve seen some of the common reasons why you might need to find an egg replacement in baking, but what can you actually use as an egg substitute for cake, cookies, and other baked goods? Well, here are some of the most effective egg replacements:
- Yogurt & Sour Cream
Various dairy products can work well instead of eggs, including both sour cream and yogurt. If you choose yogurt, opt for plain or unsweetened options to prevent your mixture from becoming too sugary.
If you’re looking for another stress-free egg alternative for use in your cake recipes, try buttermilk. It’s really easy to work with, leaving you to focus on the fun things like cake toppers and decorations, without having to worry about your mixture rising nicely in the oven.
- Nut butter
You can use certain kinds of butter, such as peanut butter or almond butter, instead of eggs when baking things like cookies. They add flavor and protein to the mix, and they’re good for making a firm and solid dough, which can be easier for you to roll out or use cookie cutters on.
What is the Vegan Egg Substitute for Baking
Of course, since buttermilk, yogurt, and sour cream are all dairy products, vegans won’t be able to use them as vegan egg substitutes for baking. So, let’s now take a look at some 100% vegan-friendly options of what to substitute for eggs.
Aquafaba is the liquid that gets left behind after cooking certain legumes, like beans or chickpeas. It’s actually very close to egg white in terms of its general texture, so you can use it instead of an egg (or instead of egg whites) for the likes of meringue and more.
The idea of using an applesauce egg substitution might seem strange at first, but apple purée can actually work really well, and you only usually need a single cup to replace one whole egg. It can add a great smell and an extra level of sweetness to cakes and more.
- Vinegar + Baking Soda
If you’re making some cakey treats and want them to rise nicely, a mixture of vinegar and baking soda can do the trick. How? Well, when combined, these ingredients trigger a special reaction that makes lots of carbon dioxide, creating bubbles in your dough and batter.
- Carbonated Water
It might sound odd, but even something as simple as carbonated water can be used instead of an egg. This water not only adds bubbles and air to a mixture, but it also brings lots of moisture. Try it out in cupcakes or muffin recipes.
- Chia Seed + Water
Chia seeds are some of the most versatile and nutrient-rich seeds around. They’re packed full of healthy fatty acids, and they expand when wet. So, you can mix a small amount of these seeds with a little water to use instead of an egg for bread, waffles, and more.
- Silken Tofu
Tofu is a vegan’s best friend, but you might not have realized that you can also use this versatile ingredient as an egg replacement. Well, in its silken form, with high levels of water and a soft feel, tofu works excellently for things like brownies and cookies.
What if a Recipe Calls for Egg Whites or Yolks?
So, how about if you have a recipe that specifically only requires egg whites or yolks? Well, here are the best options in either case.
- The Best Substitute for Egg Yolk in Baking: For egg yolks, soy lecithin is one of the top replacements, and you only need a single tablespoon to replace each egg.
- The Best Substitute for Egg Whites in Baking: For whites, aquafaba is the top choice. It’s really similar to whites, and three spoonfuls can replace one egg.
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