How to Make a Cake Without an Egg
We tested all the popular egg substitutes and found the three best subs for cake, hands down, no contest.
By Heath Goldman for Food Network Kitchen
Whether you're dealing with an egg allergy, you ran out of eggs and don’t feel like running to the grocery store or you’re cooking for someone vegan, eggs can be an issue in baking. But don't fret: We’ve got you covered with the very best ways to make a cake without an egg.
Rather than providing a specific recipe for you to follow, we tested all of the popular egg substitutes so you can tailor your favorite cake recipe to be egg-free.
If you’ve poked around online, you’ll know that there are myriad ways to replace eggs in baked goodies, including mashed banana or applesauce, chia and flax seeds, vinegar and baking soda, tofu and aquafaba. And that’s fantastic. But also quite overwhelming. Do they all work? Which one is the best for making cake, specifically?
To keep comparisons consistent, we tested each of these methods on our Classic Vanilla Cake and our Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting.
Our favorite method of making egg-free cake was to simply substitute in a commercial egg replacer. We love how commercial egg replacers are easy to substitute (the back of the box gives a ratio) and consistently yield airy, tender cakes with no weird aftertaste.
The oldest and most-popular product on the market is Ener-G Egg Replacer. Found in health food and specialty stores, the product is simply mixed with water to create substitutes for a whole egg, egg yolk or egg white. While the concept and name of the product might sound a little intimidating, Ener-G is made from just a few simple, non-processed ingredients like potato starch and tapioca starch. Another great option is Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Vegan Egg Replacer.
If you’d really prefer to use a DIY egg replacement, our next favorite alternatives are vinegar and baking soda or tofu.
A quick trip back through history gives some insight into using vinegar and baking soda as an egg replacement. Back in the era of World War II, a dessert called Wacky Cake was quite popular. Due to rationed ingredients, the cake was made without dairy or eggs. In other words, it was the original vegan cake. Wacky cake recipes are leavened with a combination of vinegar (white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar) and baking soda.
Many egg-free cake recipes today borrow from this tradition, calling for 1 teaspoon of baking soda mixed with 1 tablespoon of vinegar for every 1 egg. We had pretty fantastic results swapping baking soda and vinegar into the classic vanilla cake. The results were light, tender and airy with no noticeable change in taste. It also worked in the carrot cake, although the heavier carrot cake batter rose slightly less than it normally would have.
Silken tofu, conversely, made for dreamily moist carrot cake that rose gorgeously, but it made for rather dense vanilla cake.
Our takeaway for these DIY egg replacements: Opt for vinegar and baking soda in light and airy cakes, and tofu in moister, muffin-like cakes.
As for mashed fruit, chia and flax/chia seeds and aquafaba? While they might be suitable replacements in other types of baked goodies, such as cookies, bars or quick breads, they didn’t produce gorgeous results when it came to cakes. Save your chia seeds for Overnight Chocolate Pudding, people.