When you set out to replace the eggs in your recipe you must first ask yourself “How is the egg working in my original recipe and which vegan replacement is best suited to replace it?”
You will quickly see that not all egg replacers are created equally and not all recipes will call for the same egg replacer every time.
The Best Egg Replacer in Vegan Baking ~ Spoiler alert! It’s not flax!
The most asked question I get is: “Help! What egg replacer should I use!”
The most common answer I see is “use flax meal!”
Or worse yet~ “Use a BANANA!” (or applesauce!!)
I cringe when I see that answer because there just is no one size fits all egg replacer for every recipe!
But I do understand because the “what egg replacer do I use” question was the same question I also had when I first transitioned to vegan baking.
Of course my first experience with egg replacers as I tested my recipes to make them vegan was indeed FLAX!
Perhaps why my initial experiences with vegan baking was so horrific!
I’ll say it again, there is not a one sized fits all answer when it comes to egg replacers!
But knowing what I now know about egg replacers from flax, chia, proprietary blends like EnerG Egg Replacer and Bob’s Red Mill I have a much better understanding of how each one is different from the next and why there is not just one straight up simple answer for all recipes when it comes to replacing eggs.
After all, eggs are an important part of baking since they lend so much to the recipe itself.
In order to determine how to replace such a key ingredient, we need to first look at what that ingredient is doing in the recipe in the first place.
The Almighty Egg- What makes the egg so important in baking?
In baking we are familiar with the whole egg, the white and then the yolk.
Each part of the egg lends different properties and when applied in different ways (ie: mix methods and heat) they aid differently in the final result of the baked product.
Whether it is binding the recipe, leavening it, lightening it, adding fat (flavor) and body; all of these properties are typical of the chicken egg.
So in order to mimic those same qualities in a vegan recipe, it is there that we must start when deciding which egg replacer is best for that specific recipe.
- Binding: The first thing most think about when asked what the egg is really doing in the recipe is binding. Meaning it is the “glue” that holds all the ingredients together. Through mixing and heating, eggs will coagulate and bind ingredients together while also adding flavor, body and leavening action.
- Leavening: Because eggs are made up of proteins that when agitated create a strong matrix that trap air which turns to steam in the oven, recipes made with eggs not only bind but they also aid in rising the baked good.
- Flavor/Fat & Body: Eggs have a high amount of fat in them per each whole egg. As we know fat = flavor and why cakes and pastries are not listed on the diet menu! So in order to recreate the properties of the egg in our recipes we also have to consider the fat and moisture contents we are going to be missing by taking them out of the equation.
With those three main topics in our focus we can now start to understand what the egg was doing in our recipe in the first place.
Most Common Types of egg replacers
Flax is a high fat replacement that does a good job of binding, however it can sometimes produce a heavy outcome since it is added fat and lots of moisture. Depending on the other ingredients in the recipe you may have to adjust the total fat content.
I have more recently gone back to this more readily available flax meal paste with an aquafaba reconstitution for “superflax egg” instead of relying so heavily on 3rd party blends as I had been in the past.
Applesauce & Banana I typically do not use as egg replacements, but rather as a partial oil substitute in recipes. I find that in certain recipes (those with an already high moisture content) these “substitutes” produce a heavy, gummy final result when used as an egg replacement without adjusting the fat content to compensate. Not to mention the banana will indeed make your recipe taste like banana!
Proprietary Blends had been my go-to for most recipes, but often times we do not even need an egg replacers and the recipe comes out just great!
The different blends (like Bob’s Red Mill, Orgran and Neat Egg for example) are all not created equally, so be sure to read the ingredients label to see what kinds of thickeners, binders and sometime leaveners they are using as you may have to adjust other ingredients in your recipe to compensate
EnerG egg replacer is the oldest replacement on the market and is mainly starch and leavener, so keep that in mind when substituting with it. It has a tendency to raise your baked goods more than you may want, if you do not adjust the other ingredients in your recipe. It can also dry them slightly from the starch content (which may be a good thing since sometimes vegan cakes especially have a tendency to be on the extreme side of moist, bordering on gummy.) *see homemade recipe below
Aquafaba I usually prefer AF whipped for cold preparation mousses and such.
Whipped AF is very touchy when baked since it is so heat sensitive, it tricks you into thinking it is rising beautifully in the oven only to sink to a heavy sticky mess after cooling.
More often I will use AF liquid in cookies as the egg replacer, and as you read above in the flax description, I like using it in combination with flax meal for super flax egg paste in place of some of the liquid in the recipe
Again all recipes are not created equally, so the egg replacer for your specific recipe takes some thought.
I cannot stress enough that there is not a one sized fits all answer when it comes to replacing the eggs in cake recipes especially!
Use the guide I outlined above to ask yourself some questions, and determine which egg replacer is best for your particular recipe and think it out before deciding.
Do you need mainly binding? In which case AF, Flax, Chia or any of the store bought blends would probably work great.
Do you need added leavener? EnerG or my homemade cornstarch blend (recipe below) is a good way to go.
Take a look at the ingredients in the proprietary blends and ask yourself how they will play into your recipe.
Many of them are starches, pectins and flax/chia blends. It is worth trying them to see which you like best for most of your recipes.
So before you listen to everyone in a Facebook Group saying “Just use applesauce!!” Please dig a little deeper at WHY & HOW you are replacing the eggs in your recipe.
My preference is to use Bob’s Red Mill *not sponsored whenever I use a proprietary blend egg replacer, but I provide two recipes below for homemade versions if you cannot get any store varieties.
- Cornstarch 2 Tbs + 4 tsp oil + 1 tsp baking powder + 2 Tbs water
- Mix all ingredients together and add to the recipe in place of 2 eggs
- 2½ cups potato starch
- ½ cup arrowroot starch
- 1 cup tapioca starch
- ⅔ cup corn-free baking powder
- ⅓ cup baking soda
- Mix everything together well, then re-whisk before each use
- To substitute for 1 egg, use ½ Tbs egg replacer powder and 3 Tbs warm water
Many of you know that in the past I had been using and promoting a specific brand of egg replacer called The Plant Based Egg by Freely Vegan. I am not quite sure what has happened with that product as it is now virtually unavailableI regret promoting it so vigorously and to clear up my role in this company and with the product, I was merely recruited to develop the wheat line for this product in it’s early stages of development since Deborah, the founder of Freely Vegan has Celiac disease and cannot touch wheat
I did not ever receive any monetary compensation for any of my work or the money and time investment I made into the research and development that I did for almost 3 years with the company and I have not heard from Deborah in a of couple years.
That said, since about late 2019 I started going back to the more readily available “natural” egg replacers like aquafaba and flax meal.
When I do use an egg replacer from the store I will use Bob’s Red Mill since it seems to be the most consistent and available to most.
So unless it is a natural egg repalcer like aquafaba, flax meal or cornstarch where I will list the amounts that I use; I will simply say “Egg replacer, I am using X____X brand” Most commonly now I use Bob’s Red Mill since this is a very reliable company,
but even so I don’t use it that often.
I have been mostly resorting back to the natural egg replacers as I mentioned.