Looking for fail-proof egg replacements in your baking and cooking? Follow this guide and make perfect eggless baking and cooking recipes. With replacements for everything from baked goods to custards to savory breakfast dishes, I’ve got you covered!
Originally published 9/4/2012. Last updated on 7/13/2018
When first going vegan, it can be hard to imagine a life without eggs. Believe me, I know.
However pretty quickly you’ll find, just as I did, that eggs are easy to replace in nearly everything and, in truth, eggs turn out to be completely unnecessary. In the decade that I’ve been a vegan I’ve seen amazing progress in the plant-based food movement and one of the most impressive areas is that of the “vegan egg” which continues to gets to expand and get better every year. While there are many commercial products out there, this guide is focused on simple, easy to find, solutions for vegan egg replacements for nearly everything.
Let’s take a look at some of my favorite vegan egg replacements in baking and cooking.
Egg Substitutions in Baking
In baking, eggs are most commonly used as leaveners, thickeners, and binders.
Most cookies, muffins, pancakes, quick-breads, and cakes all use eggs for a combination of these. Lucky for eggless eaters, many plant-based foods have similar properties and therefore do the same thing in simple baked goods. Here’s a list of the most common vegan egg substitute in baking.
High in protein, chickpea flour works both as a binder and leavener and, in my opinion, one of the best natural egg replacers for baked goods such as scones, cookies, and biscotti. It is also the ONLY reason this vegan flourless chocolate cake holds together. To substitute: mix 3 tablespoons of chickpea flour with 3 tablespoons of water for each egg, until thick and creamy. Chickpea flour can be found online or in most health stores or bulk sections of well-stocked grocery stores.
This includes apple sauce, banana, pumpkin, and sweet potato puree. Purees work as binders and thickeners and are perfect for moist, dense, baked goods such as muffins, doughnuts, and quick bread. To substitute: add 3 tablespoons of puree for each egg. Note: purees do not add leavening properties and in some cases make batter denser. When using, add about 1/8th teaspoon baking soda (per egg) to the recipe to help with leavening.
Non-dairy Yogurt & Silken Tofu
Without adding additional flavors (unlike fruit purees) yogurt is a great substitute for binding and thickening. To substitute: add 1/4 cup plain non-dairy yogurt or silken tofu for each egg. Like purees, yogurt and tofu have no leavening properties, so in most cases, you’ll want to add about 1/8th teaspoon baking soda (per egg).
Great for most baked goods such as muffins, bread, and cookies, flax and chia seeds are amazing plant-based egg replacers. They add many health benefits to your baked goods, without adding additional flavor. To substitute, blend 1 tablespoon of flax or chia seeds with 3 tablespoons of water until mixture is thick and creamy. Flax and chia seeds can be found online and in most grocery stores and should be stored tightly wrapped in the freezer.
Please note: No egg replacer acts or tastes the same in every recipe so when using recipes will require a little tweaking from these guidelines. New recipes always come with a little trial and error.
Egg Substitutes in Custard.
Ice cream, mousse, pastry cream, creme brûlée, bread pudding, french toast, and cheesecake are all examples of common custards.
By definition, custards are made through the coagulation of egg proteins. Sounds hard to duplicate? Not at all. Unlike replacing eggs in baked goods, which is relatively easy even for new bakers to veganize, custards are made by a lot of adjustments to perfect texture and taste, making a direct substitution for every recipe impossible. That being said, with some trial and error, you too can make your own vegan egg substitute for classic custards.
Fatty and thick, coconut milk can be used to replace whipped egg yolks. Most ice creams are made whipping egg yolks which gives it the texture, body, and richness associated with ice cream. This 5-Ingredient Coconut Milk Ice Cream substitutes coconut milk for both the eggs and heavy cream, making it so creamy, airy, and thick.
Raw cashews, soaked and ground to a VERY SMOOTH cream, have very similar properties – high in fat and protein – to whipped egg yolks making it one of my favorite ways to make custards like Panna Cotta and Pot de Creme. Virtually flavorless, the cashew nut remains a hidden ingredient, taking on the flavors surrounding it.
For a healthier version, well-blended tofu will take on any flavor, and can be used instead of cashews in puddings, pudding cakes, and cream pies. This is a cheaper, lower-calorie version to using cashews.
As a strong gelling agent, the use of agar powder creates similar coagulation that allows custards to “set-up”. It is best used in creams such as pastry cream and Bavarian cream. It can be found in the baking aisle in a natural foods grocery store.
Because of its high protein content, chickpea flour has awesome coagulation powers when baked. When few eggs are required rather than being the base of the recipe, chickpea flour may be the best option. For example, when making French Toast or Bread Pudding.
A relatively recent discovery, aquafaba is the liquid from canned bean (usually chickpea). When whipped up it is similar to whipped egg whites. These work incredibly well in mousses, meringues, and other recipes that rely on the tender texture that whipped egg whites create. If you haven’t tried aquafaba yet, you’ll be amazed.
Egg Substitutes for Eggs
Even classic egg dishes can be made with a vegan egg substitute and remain delicious. Quiche, Frittata, and Omelettes can all be recreated with a few plant-based ingredients!
Tofu is one of the most used egg replacers. It is best used in scrambles, quiches, and egg salads. When using tofu in eggy dishes it is almost always best to use regular firm tofu to replicate an eggy consistency. Check out my recipe for perfect scrambled “eggs” to check out the process. 1/4 cup of tofu equals approximately 1 egg.
With surprising similar texture and flavor to eggs, chickpea flour has become a common substitution for omelets and quiches. This is a method I haven’t tried personally but is very commonly found in recipes these days.
White Beans & Chickpeas
Adding little additional flavor, whipped up beans are high in protein and can create a similar texture to beans when baked in frittata or quiche. Chickpeas also make a nice soy-alternative to a scramble.
Written by Sarah McMinn