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?”
In my course at Vegan Baking Mastery my focus is all around egg replacers. **WHICH WILL BE AVAILABLE AGAIN IN JULY SO STAY TUNED!! *sign up to my newsletter to get the notification!
I took eight of the most popular natural egg replacers ~ flax, chia and aquafaba as well as some proprietary blends on the market
As well as some homemade options for those who cannot get those commercial blends *recipe below
I dissect each egg replacer to it’s specific ingredients and show you visually how each one works in a controlled recipe experiment.
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 know now 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.
- 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
I’ve just received your “modern vegan baking” cookbook which is full of fantastic recipes. You are a genius.
I was hoping it would reference the Freely Vegan plant based egg that I’ve also ordered.
Were you considering releasing an update of sorts that would incorporate the plant based egg? Or even just mentioning the recipes I could substitute it in.
Thanks a lot,
Hi Lea thank you! The cookbook was published before the PBE was ready for market, so it wouldn’t have made sense to reference an ingredient that was not available to the public (and at that time we were not even sure what the timeline would look like for it to be available.)
You can count on lots of support at Freely Vegan .com for any help you need going forward! THANKS!!
I also have a compilation of recipes here using ONLY PBE for the egg replacer CLICK HERE
Thanks for your prompt reply! I confess after I wrote that I did a little more searching and found those recipes. Thanks again for reaching out.
The Freely Vegan egg hasn’t been available for months. I am thinking of trying to guess the proportions in it from the label. If they aren’t making it, can yo guve us a recipe for it?
Hi Bonnie, I would venture to say the PBE hasn’t been available for YEARS!!
But, I didn’t have anything to do with the manufacturing or selling of the Plant Based Egg. I was recruited to develop the wheat line since Deborah, the founder of Freely Vegan, has Celiac disease and cannot touch wheat products. I did not receive any monetary compensation for any of my work or investment I made into the research and I have not heard from Deborah in a couple years. I cannot say if/when the PBE will be available nor was I privy to the formula, nor would I give it out if I was. That is her proprietary blend. Of course you can feel free to make your own homemade blend based off the ingredients list! It is afterall, just natural thickeners and starches.
With all of that said, I DO regret promoting it (*and other 3rd party proprietary blends) so vigorously in my recipes during that time period. I have since gone back and updated as many recipes as possible where I used the PBE of another blend exclusively. Not only have I learned that these products change their formulas proving to no longer work in certain recipes (*ie: My Eclairs recipe using Follow Your Heart Vegan Egg) and now this PBE which has not been available for YEARS now.
All of my new recipes do not include a name brand egg replacer for reasons I mentioned above, but also with a world wide audience as I have, I have realized that not everyone can get the same things in all the various countries. So unless it is a natural egg repalcer (like aquafaba, flax meal or cornstarch) 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.
Hi! I’m trying to join the vegan baking mastery course, but the website is broken. How should I proceed?
Hey there, thanks for the interest, I am actually no longer offering the course, I’m sorry about that.
I’m so gutted, just clicked the link and got so stoked! Would’ve loved to join that course. Thank you so much for sharing all your knowledge. It’s so great to learn from a trained baker. Looking to get your book soon cause I’d like to support you sharing all those incredible tips with us. Thank you Gretchen!
Hi Larissa! Thank you so much! I’m sorry about the course, it got to be too much financially to support all this.
I have just purchased your cookbook and I have also taken your advice to buy the Freely Vegan PBE. Now can I sub PBE for the EnerG Egg replacer in your cookbooks recipes?
Your Fudgey Chocolate frosting is sooo good!
Hi Nancy! Thank you! Yes you can use the PBE as an egg replacer for sure!
Dear Gretchen, thank you soooooooooooooooooooooo much.
I have been doing this kind of research for years with little success.
Everytime I attempt I have roller coaster experiences and usually tend to almost give up. and then I dont… I try something else. and it goes on…. I have not yet found a sure foolproof substitute that would help make a simple sponge cake.
I hope cornstarch or enerG recipes above will work.
I wonder why you use all 3 starches – but I will give it a try. The fewer the ingredients the better/easier it will be.
Also I added to my amazon cart the PBE before I got to the end of the article, so I am happy I am serving another good purpose.
YAY!! Thank you!
I was shopping for the EnerG Egg Replacer ingredients. I try to make most of my own plant based foods at home and figured it would be more convenient for me to purchased all the ingredients to have in my pantry. However, while shopping for the starches, I noticed there were also some flour versions. Is there a difference between these (potato, arrowroot and tapioca) starches and flours? Can they be used interchangeably?
Hi Judith, Im so sorry for the late response. While Tapioca starch & flour are one and the same, Potato flour is made from whole peeled potatoes, cooked, dried, and ground into a fine, beige-colored powder. Potato starch is “washed” out of crushed potatoes, then dried to a fine, bright-white powder.
Sometimes arrowroot powder is known as arrowroot flour or arrowroot starch and they’re all the same thing.
Great info….after reading the article realised how much I need to learn abt these leavening, binding etc etc..
Thanks again gretchen
Hello, thank you very much for sharing these egg replacement recipes.
I know that you say to use baking powder that doesn’t have any sodium in it, but if that is all I have, should I just omit the added salt from the recipe?
Thank you very much if you can help
I know you aren’t offering your class anymore, and this post is a little older, but I’m hoping you might be able to answer some questions, because the resources for amateur but dedicated vegan bakers are very limited!
So – your post here doesn’t mention my most frequent baked good: cookies. What about a cookie recipe that just has a single egg? What role is the egg playing there? It’s often spread out over a few dozen cookies. I’ve found that 3-4 Tbsp of aquafaba often seems to function perfectly as a substitute. Have you tried this? Is the commercial substitute better? And in some cookie recipes (particularly biscotti) I’ve tried 3 Tbsp of chickpea flour with 3 Tbsp water, which also seems to make an excellent substitute in certain circumstances.
You also didn’t mention lecithin, which as an emulsifier I’d have thought would be an excellent substitute for an egg in certain cases? I know some of the commercial egg substitutes contain it, but what about using it on its own?
And what about situations like a tart crust, that call for just an egg yolk? The yolk’s function there is to…add fat? Tenderize? What would be a good substitute for just a yolk in that case, or in a cookie recipe that calls for 1 egg + 1 yolk?
(Also, am I understanding correctly address that you have a commercial interest in the egg replacer you are most highly recommending? If so, this is something I think you should disclose more clearly when you specifically recommend it in your recipes. )
Hi! I agree with everything you are saying here, so it’s hard for me to believe you are self proclaimed “amateur” LOL
But yes I do like AF for cookies more than any other recipes. I find it works great there.
I don’t often work with chickpea flour as a sub (not for any reason, probably because I just don’t often have it around) but I like that idea! It is indeed a pretty strong binder.
I bet- with a few tweaks- it would be a good alternative to the Vegan Egg by Follow Your Heart that I often use(d) to sub for just yolks in a recipe (to answer your next question)
CLICK HERE for my formula for hazelnut Jaconde sponge cake that was one of my more difficult recipes to mimic due to the original calling for yolks, eggs & whites all separately! LOL
Last, yes I did do some product development for The Plant Based Egg by Freely Vegan but I have not (and sadly have resigned myself to believe that I probably won’t ever) receive monetary compensation for all my work I’ve done for them. *sigh….
That said I still do highly recommend the product nonetheless…
But yes you are correct, I probably should advertise that more clearly. I definitely did in the beginning when it first went to market.
I guess because I am so removed from it at this point, when I recommend it in my newer recipes it is the same as recommending any other product that I really don’t gain a penny from… but I understand how it would look that way, since I am still listed on Freely Vegan website as a collaborator.
GRETCHEN READ EVERYTHING AND THINK I NOW KNOW WHAT TO USE. I USED ORGRAN AND THE CAKE BROKE INTO BITS. HAVE YOU EVER USED THIS PRODUCT. I AM NEW TO BAKING FOR MY VEGAN DAUGHTER AND RALLY WANT TO DO WELL AND SO NEED ALL THE ADVICE I CAN GET
Hi Emily, I have not used Orgran, I think that is a UK Aus thing?? I do not get that here, however I THINK it is closer to EnerGy egg replacer which is what I have used here and I do not prefer it. It has leaveners (which I do not like- I prefer to control MY OWN RISE) also it is more f a starch, so I can see how it may make things dry & crumbly whereas alot of these other egg replacers have flax/chia/ and soy thickeners.
**Im not sure which cake you made that “broke into bits”?? But If you follow my recipes I can help you.
This has been the most amazing help in finding the right egg substitute. I’ve been trying since last year to make a vegan ‘honey’ cake. Last year was a big flop. This year, using maple syrup and brown sugar for the honey, I mostly needed to find a way to replace 3 eggs. After three tries using Ener-G (I finally understood the leavening part) voila! Successful and delicious honey-cakes for vegan families both in our congregation and for my daughter/SIL/granddaughter. I’ve shared the recipe and the webpage with several vegan friends. I did have to increase the amount of egg substitut, but what a minor adjustment to fix a recipe. Thank you so very much!
YAY! Excellent glad you “got it”! 🙂
I am so thrilled to have found you and your amazing resource! Thank you for all your work. I was thrilled to learn PBE was an option, but both Amazon and Freely Vegan are both currently out. I have a lunch with vegan gluten free guests on December 20; do you know of any other source where I could purchase this product?
Thank you again.
HI Jonathan, thank you too! Unfortunately the PBE is not available right now and seems to have been out of it for over a year & a half, I’m not exactly sure what has happened since I am no longer working with the product development. I do regret formulating so many of my recipes using a 3rd party ingredient since you just never know as it can become unavailable like this one or sometimes they even change their formulas, which has also happened to me in the past using Follow Your Heart Vegan Egg!
That said, I have been reverting back to egg replacers that are universal as well as using the more readily available flax meal in most of my new recipes as well as going back to fix/change my older ones that relied on the PBE.
I can definitely direct you with your recipes if you let me know which ones you are wanting to make! Just email me at [email protected] 🙂
Thank you so much for this article! I have been going back to it often. I am one of the lucky ones that got to pay for your vegan baking mastery course that teaches all about egg substitutes. After the course, I wanted to go back and look at some of the things that I learned, only to find that the content I paid for was all gone! Is there a way for former students to still get access to the content? Maybe I didn’t see that the content would be taken away after some period. Had I known, I would have been more diligent in taking notes. Can you help? Thanks in advance!
Ps. Everything I make from your book is just AWESOME!!!
Hi Roselle! Yes! I will email you the links and PDF’s to your email listed here on this comment
I have been visiting both your website and YouTube channel before and after you became vegan. I live in Brazil and here we also have a surging GF and Vegan inclusive baking community. This comment is to add that over here people also widely use mash tubercles (purés) as egg replaces + some added leavening (baking powder, baking soda and apple cider vinegar). The most used are sweet potatoes (especially the white variety) and yams (these are better for cookies, leaving them quite crunchy, in cakes they tend to ooze a gelatin like mushy substance after a few days). The ratio is between 40-50 grams of mash tubercle for a 50-60 g egg