Eggs – substitution #cooking

Eggs in Straw

More and more I seem to be running into friends who have special diets. Either because of food allergies or personal lifestyle choices. Regardless, where possible I try and respect their needs when I prepare dishes for them. Probably the most difficult is finding a substitute for eggs.

Eggs are probably one of the most difficult because of all the functions they perform in foods. According to the American Egg Board more than 20 functions in all.

Adhesion Edible Packaging Film Mouthfeel
Aeration Emulsification pH Stability
Antimicrobial Finishing Protein Enrichment
Binding Flavor Richness
Browning Foaming Shelf Life Extension
Clarification Fortification Structure
Coagulation Freezability Tenderization
Coating Gloss Texture
Color Humectancy Thickening
Crystallization Control Insulation Whipping Ability
Drying Moisturizing

For most of us there really are only about 3 or 4 reasons eggs are used in our recipes. Moisturizing/Richness, Leavening, As a Binder, as an Emulsifier. Then there is the extra special one Whipping/Meringue. But from just looking at the recipe how do you know what purpose the egg serves.

1) Moisture and/or richness – If the egg is the primary source of liquid then its probably there for moisture. If there is a little other liquid it may also be there for richness.

2 TBS Applesauce (if it is sweet applesauce you may need to adjust the sugar in the recipe)

1/2 banana, mashed (medium size)

2) For Levening, a whole egg is slightly alkaline (pH 7.1 – 7.9), if there are no other alkaline levening agents (Baking Soda for example) and there is an acid (Buttermilk, lemon juice, etc) in the recipe then it is likely being used for levening.

1 Tsp baking powder + 1 TBS water + 1 TBS vinegar

Levening and moisture

2 TBS Applesauce + 1 Tsp Baking Powder

1/2 banana, mashed (medium size) + 1/4 tsp baking powder

3) Binder – If there are leveners (if needed) and ample moisture in the recipe then the Egg is likely being used as a binder.

1 TBS tapioca starch + 1/4 cup warm water (allow it to gel before using)

1 TBS flax seed (ground) mixed with 3 TBS hot water (make into a gel)

4) Emulsifier – In some cases, sauces in particular, eggs are used as emulsifiers to blend oil and water.

1/4 cup of pureed tofu for 1 egg (it is the lecithin in eggs in action here, tofu has lecithin in it)

5) Whipped/Meringue – Until recently there hadn’t been anything discovered that addressed this unique behavior of eggs. That is because we have been dumping it down the sinks. Some genius discovered that the leftover water from canned chickpea’s (now called aquafaba) can be whipped up like a Meringue. This discovery has spawned a whole community on Facebook.

1/2 cup organic low sodium Garbanzo (chickpea) liquid
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp Cream of Tartar
3/4 cup Sugar

See this post for details

Keep in mind that using substitutions may affect texture and taste of your baked goods. Please use this list as a guideline and use your discretion to make a substitution in the recipe (depending on what purpose the egg serves in the recipe – as a binder, for adding moistness, for texture etc)


For other tips visit JaquesKitchen


Why are eggs used in baking

Brittany Angell – 101 in baking: understanding sugar, butter, fats, eggs...
Crafty Baking – eggs
Craftsy – Good Eggs: The Many Purposes of Eggs in Baking

How to find the eggs purpose in a recipe

Chef in You – How to find out the purpose of Eggs in your recipe?


She Knows – 5 Easy egg substitutes every baker needs to know
kitchen – 5 Vegan Substitutions for Eggs in Baking
Skillet – This Cheat Sheet Shows the Best Egg Substitutes for Baking
Chef in You – Tips to Successful Egg Substituion

aquafaba (souffle)

Food52 – A Magical New Egg Replacement (That’s Already in Your Pantry)<
Facebook – Vegan Meringue – Hits and Misses!

8 thoughts on “Eggs – substitution #cooking

  1. Great post, thanks for the great info! I’ve been playing with egg substitutes when I run out of eggs and found that my hamburger buns actually turn out better when I use baking soda/vinegar instead of eggs

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s