There’s a Reason Baking Recipes Call for a Specific Size of Egg

Large vs. extra-large matters. But a little easy math can help you adjust on the fly.

May 12, 2020

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Photo by: James And James/Getty Images

James And James/Getty Images

Scrambled eggs, fried eggs, and even omelets can be made with pretty much whatever kind of eggs you have on hand — medium, large or extra-large. For the most part, eggs of any size will work. However, when it comes to baking, the size of eggs you use really matters.

Most baking recipes call for large eggs. But if you’ve ever baked with Ina Garten, for instance, you’ve probably noticed she prefers to call for extra-large eggs — and that distinction can be important. Large eggs weigh about two ounces each, and obviously medium, extra-large or jumbo eggs weigh less or more. And if you don't have the size egg the recipe calls for, you need to adjust.

"Say I say you need three large eggs in a recipe and you put in three jumbo eggs — it’s going to be a completely different recipe," explains baker Erin McDowell. Too much egg can result in a rubbery, gummy texture in those bars, she explains.

But what if your grocery store’s egg section isn't fully stocked? It’s OK to buy whatever size eggs are available to you, even if that means you’re buying 18 medium or a dozen jumbo. You can still make those eggs work in the recipe you want to make. According to Erin, all it takes is a little bit of math.

Here's about how much each type of egg weighs. When you think about eggs by weight (instead of by their size-name), you can easily adjust how much to add to your recipe.

Jumbo Eggs: 2.5 oz per egg
Extra Large: 2.25 oz per egg
Large: 2 oz per egg
Medium: 1.75 oz per egg

So, if you're like Ina and prefer extra-large eggs (or that’s all that’s in your grocery store) you’d need to use about 2 2/3 extra-large eggs in a recipe that calls for three large eggs — six ounces of egg total. We recommend using a food scale and whisking eggs to a homogenous mixture before weighing to make these conversions easier and more accurate.

And what about that extra 1/3 of an egg that didn't make it in your cake? Save it for tomorrow's omelet.

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