Eggs are one of the most versatile ingredients in any cook’s kitchen. And in terms of baking, they play a lot of roles. They’re a thickener, a stabilizer, an emulsifier, a leavener and they add moisture and richness. And yet, you may find there are occasions when you need or want to replace eggs due to an allergy, a dietary preference or because you’ve simply run out. Depending on what eggs are doing in your recipe, there are some easy ways to replace them. The result won’t be exactly the same, but when done strategically, you won’t even notice the difference.
1. Flaxseed meal or chia seeds
When you mix either flaxseed meal or chia seeds with water and let it sit for a few minutes, you get a thick substance not unlike a beaten egg – and can replace eggs in lending structure to your pancakes, waffles, muffins, quick breads, soft cookies and brownies. The chia mixture will be more of a gel; the flax is a bit looser. But either one can stand in for eggs. Use 1 tablespoon flaxseed meal or chia seeds (any color works, but white will be the least noticeable) mixed with 2 to 3 tablespoons of water for 1 large egg.
2. Puréed fruit
In pancakes or waffles, muffins or quick breads, and bars like brownies, puréed fruit is a good swap for eggs in adding moisture. Mashed banana works well to replace eggs, though it will impart banana flavor. Unsweetened apple sauce, pumpkin (okay, technically a vegetable, but you get the idea), puréed dates or avocado will also work. Use avocado for darker-hued goods, so you don’t get a strange color, and you may need to slightly increase the amount of sweetener. Use ¼ cup mashed fruit for each large egg, and add a pinch of baking soda to boost the leavening.
With the exception of avocado, fruit and vegetable purées don’t have fat, so the texture of your baked goods may be affected. You can replace a tablespoon of purée with a tablespoon of oil, but this may require some trial and error to get the texture just right.
3. Plain yogurt
In muffins, quick breads, brownies, cakes and many other applications, plain yogurt is a good option to replace eggs as a binder. Since it has fat and protein, it will give you a similar texture. Use ¼ cup per 1 large egg. Since yogurt is acidic, you’ll need a bit of baking soda to aid leavening. If your recipe calls for baking powder, swap ¼ teaspoon for baking soda.