The Best Egg Substitutes for Baking and Cooking
Here, 13 different options plus the best use for each.
By Fraya Berg for Food Network Kitchen
Fraya is a chef and a contributing writer at Food Network.
If you're looking to swap out eggs because of allergies or dietary preferences, you're in the right spot. Keep reading. But user beware: don't going making these substitutes willy-nilly. Each substitution has a specific use case scenario--that's because eggs serve many different purposes in baking and cooking. And if you're looking for a list of other common substitutions, head over to our Baking Substitutions Guide.
The Role of Eggs In Baking and Cooking
Before we can understand how to substitute for eggs, we need to understand their role. "The Incredible Edible Egg" may be a marketing slogan from The American Egg Board, but the once you'll realize what eggs do for cookies, cakes, quick breads and frittatas, you'll totally agree that they're versatile. Eggs bring flavor, structure, tenderness and leavening to baked goods. They provide moisture, protein and color, and sometimes they’re the glue that keeps crystal sugar on a pie crust. There isn’t one egg substitute that can do everything an egg can do, but there’s a list of egg substitutes to choose from that follows, and at least one of them will stand in for eggs based on its characteristics.
Egg Substitutes for Baking and Cooking
Egg substitutes are typically more successful in baking than cooking. It’s easy to understand why. When you’re baking, you mix the egg substitute with the rest of the ingredients and its flavors are masked. When you're cooking--say, making an omelet--the egg substitute needs to stand on its own and you can detect the flavor and texture difference more easily.
As you're reading along our list, you'll notice that each egg substitute is paired with a recipe where you can test it out.
You also might notice that almost every substitute is in a 1/4 cup increment. That's because 1 large egg (the size almost every recipe uses) equals 1/4 cup when whisked. Keeping the volume consistent is one of the keys to success.
Unsweetened Applesauce or Mashed Banana
Works for: Baked goods like waffles, quick breads and muffins; recipes where you’ll be using the substitute as a source of moisture.
Applesauce is a good choice when you don’t want a strong flavor. If you’re using mashed banana, you’ll get a similar result with a more noticeable flavor.
How to use it in place of eggs: For each egg you want to substitute use 1/4 cup of applesauce or banana.
Thanks to applesauce, these muffins are just as satisfying as regular muffins, with the same sweet, tender crumb. You can use fresh or frozen blueberries; the fresh may make the muffins slightly moister.
This banana bread is eggless and dairy-free, but you'll hardly notice the difference - because mashed bananas themselves stand in for eggs. The crumb is moist and tender, and the flavor gets better each day (if it lasts!).
Ground Flax Seed or Chia Seed
Works for: Baked goods like muffins, quick breads, waffles and cookies. Don't add it to recipes where lightness and fluffiness is important (read: cakes) because flax and chia seeds make for slightly denser results than baked goods made with eggs. They also contribute a slight nutty flavor.
How to use it in place of eggs: Measure 1 tablespoon flax or chia meal in a cup and add 3 tablespoons of water. Wait 5 minutes before adding it to the remaining ingredients.
What we love about French toast: the fluffy, custardy center and contrasting crisp, golden edges. This vegan recipe leans on flaxseed meal as an egg replacement and replicates those heavenly qualities.
Liquid Commercial Egg Substitute
Available in plastic containers, they are made of water, bean proteins, oil, thickeners and gelling compounds like agar-agar. The remaining ingredients are flavorings: onion powder, turmeric for flavor and color, soy lecithin, tapioca, salt, etc.
Works for: It's great for any baking recipe that uses whole eggs, but it is definitely the best option for cooking savory dishes: think quiches, omelets and frittatas.
How to use it in place of eggs: Use 1/4 cup for every egg you’re replacing.
Dry Commercial Egg Substitute
Dry egg substitute is a powder that can be made up of potato starch, tapioca, psyllium husk fiber, soy lecithin, baking soda or powder and other ingredients.
Works for: Many vegan recipes call for it as an ingredient, taking any guesswork out of equation.
How to use it in place of eggs: To use it, follow the instructions on the package. Typically, for every egg you're replacing, you whisk 1 1/2 teaspoons (10 grams) of egg replacement with 3 tablespoons of water. For a few more specifics on dry egg substitute, check out our story How to Make a Cake Without an Egg.
Works for: Arrowroot is a thickening agent, much like cornstarch. Its natural thickening properties make it a useful substitute for an egg when the eggs purpose is to bind and stabilize. Cookies, muffins and quick breads are good choices.
How to use it in place of eggs: 2 tablespoons (18 grams) of arrowroot powder whisked into 3 tablespoons of cold water will replace one egg.
These tartlets are the perfect way to please everyone at the table. The filling leans on agar flakes and arrowroot to gel. As with most vegan and gluten-free tarts, they're best served the day they're made.
Works for: Silken tofu is a good egg replacement option for brownies and cookies because it can give you a heavier, denser outcome when baking. Extra firm tofu can be crumbled and used to make a tofu scramble or chopped up and turned into vegan egg salad.
How to use it in place of eggs:
1/4 silken tofu cup replaces 1 egg.
We use a few vegan-friendly stand-ins for this can't-believe-it's-vegan pie. Unrefined coconut oil provides a flaky, buttery texture for the crust, and silken tofu lends creaminess to the filling.
Vinegar and Baking Soda
Works for: When you're baking and need the outcome to be light and airy (think: cake, cupcakes or a jelly roll), the bubbles that baking soda and vinegar generate will do the trick—think grade school science project volcano.
How to use it in place of eggs: 1 teaspoon (7 grams) baking soda mixed with 1 tablespoon vinegar can take the place of one egg.
Plain Yogurt or Buttermilk
Works for: Cakes, muffins and quick breads. The acid in them will react with the leavener and give some lift in addition to adding the moisture.
How to use it in place of eggs: 1/4 cup of either equals 1 egg. To achieve even more lift, add 1/4 teaspoon to the dry ingredients as well.
Works for: Use it in recipes like meringues and macaroons that call for whipped egg whites. The protein in the liquid acts like the protein in egg whites when it is beaten with sugar: its chemical bonds rearrange, creating a “scaffolding” that holds its shape when baked.
How to use it in place of eggs: Use 3 tablespoons of aquafaba for each egg or egg white.
These sweet desserts are a perfect treat for you and friends and family, whether you're vegan or not. The pavlovas themselves are made with aquafaba -- the liquid from a can of chickpeas (instead of the usual egg whites). They bake up wonderfully crisp on the outside and with a fluffy marshmallow-like interior. We added a touch of unsweetened cocoa to the base and topped it with a whipped coconut cream and lightly sweetened strawberries.
Works for: Compared to other egg substitutes, nut butters bring much more flavor. Use it in any quick bread where nuts might be used or would complement the other flavors.
How to use it in place of eggs: 3 tablespoons (60 grams) of nut butter such as peanut, almond or cashew will replace 1 egg.
Carbonated Water and Beer
Works for: In addition to adding moisture, the bubbles in carbonated water or beer will help baked goods achieve a light and fluffy rise. Beer bread is a quick bread recipe that has no eggs, just the beer. It has a texture similar to that of English muffins.
How to use it in place of eggs: Use 1/4 cup (60 grams) of carbonated water or beer in place of each egg.
Gelatin and Agar-Agar
Works for: Gelatin and agar-agar are gelling agents that can be used in most baking recipes, much like chia seeds or flax seeds. Gelatin is not vegan, and therefore can't be used in vegan dishes. For a vegan option, opt for agar agar, but note that it's derived from seaweed and therefore can bring that flavor to a dish.
How to use it in place of eggs: 1 tablespoon (9 grams) of gelatin mixed with 3 tablespoons (45 grams) of cold water can replace one egg. 1 tablespoon (9 grams) of agar-agar mixed with 1 tablespoon (15 grams) water can replace 1 egg.
Works for: Soy lecithin is a good substitute for recipes that call for just egg yolks. Derived from soy and other sources including sunflower seeds, lecithin is a strong stabilizer.
How to use it in place of eggs: Use 1 tablespoon (14 grams) of soy lecithin to replace 1 egg yolk.