Growing up it was always hard to share my love for baking with my mom. Ever since she discovered that she is allergic to eggs, she had sworn off having anything with eggs in them.
With people becoming more and more health-conscious, I found myself encountering more and more like her, who cannot or would not have eggs. It hit me that it was only a matter of time before I needed to start experimenting with eggless baking. And I am so happy I did! What joy it was to see little kids with egg allergies munch on a slice of birthday cake for the first time!
You’d think eggs are irreplaceable, but over the years I’ve discovered eight ways to substitute them. Whether you’re someone who can’t have eggs, knows someone who can’t, or simply ran out of them at home – this article is for you.
Egg-cited for this list? Keep reading to learn more!
Hardly anyone would think of baking without the image of eggs coming to mind. Eggs are made up of fat, protein, minerals, and a large percentage of water.
In cake baking, this multifunctioning ingredient provides structure, helps your cake rise, binds other ingredients together, thickens your batter, makes your cake fluffier and more tender, and moistens your cake.
For whatever reason you need to substitute eggs in your cake making, you want to keep in mind that you choose something with a somewhat similar composition, serving the purposes mentioned above.
1. Fruit/Vegetable Puree
Let’s start with my favorite substitute of all: Puree. For this method to work, you need to use ¼ cup of puree for every egg in the recipe.
Look for a fruit or vegetable that is similar to eggs in water content, that is, around 80%. Applesauce, mashed bananas, and avocados are amongst the most popular options, but I find myself reaching for a can of pumpkin puree even more often, for it is widely available and gives my cake a nice color and a hearty fall flavor.
Banana, on the other hand, is wonderful if you’re using a banana cake mix. Otherwise, the banana flavor can be a little overpowering.
2. Flax/Chia Egg
To make a flax egg, you will need to soak one tablespoon of ground flaxseeds in three tablespoons of any liquid you like. For a chia egg, use one tablespoon of ground chia seeds with two and a half tablespoons of water. Wait five minutes or longer for the mixture to come to a slimy egg-like consistency.
Flax and chia eggs have long been used as a substitute for eggs in vegan recipes. When the seeds are ground and removed from their outer shells, the gel-like substance inside is released. Mixed with water and you’ll get a slippery slime similar to an egg and helps bind your cake together. The natural fat in the seeds also replaces that of an egg yolk.
For this method to work you need to make sure that you are using ground seeds. You can grind them up in a coffee grinder or simply purchase readymade flax/chia meal.
3. Yogurt / Buttermilk
You can also replace one egg with ¼ cup of yogurt or buttermilk.
I always recommend using plain or greek yogurt for best results because it will not alter the taste of your cake mix. Note, however, because yogurt and buttermilk are both water-rich substitutes, you will end up with a cake that is more wet than usual so you might want to bake your cakes for a few extra minutes so make sure it fully sets.
If you don’t have yogurt on hand, you can also use the same amount of buttermilk. Buttermilk can easily be made at home by mixing a small amount of vinegar into your milk. Here is a tutorial on how it’s done.
If you are lactose intolerant like me, don’t worry, soy and coconut yogurt also work. All of these substitutes are hassle-free and perfect if you are looking to make a moist cake.
4. Soft Tofu
For this method, blend ¼ cup of silken tofu and use it to replace one egg. Notice I said soft tofu, not firm! Firm tofu has a lot of texture and less water, we do not want a clumpy cake!
Soft tofu, on the other hand, contains 87-90% water with the rest being protein and fiber – very similar to an egg. The protein in tofu serves the same purpose of providing your cake with structure.
Tofu is also very subtle in taste, making this a perfect egg substitute for any cake mix. Blending your soft tofu turns it from a block to a silky smooth paste-like texture. Since it is white, it won’t be changing the color of your batter either.
Use this method only when the recipe calls for less than two eggs because too much tofu can result in a dense cake.
5. Baking Soda + Vinegar
Mix one teaspoon of baking soda with one tablespoon of vinegar to replace each egg in your recipe.
When you mix baking soda and vinegar together, the mixture will immediately react and foam up. The mixture has a subtle taste when mixed with your cake mix and will provide the leavening that a cake needs.
This method works wonders when you’re making a cake that needs quite a bit of lift and fluffiness. You can use distilled white vinegar or apple cider vinegar to get the best results.
6. Water + Oil + Baking Powder
This is one that really targets the chemistry of what an egg does. Measure out and combine one teaspoon of vegetable oil, two teaspoons of baking powder, and two tablespoons of water.
In cake making, baking powder and eggs work hand in hand in leavening our cakes. Without eggs, we will need a bit more help from the baking powder. In this case, we will simply add more of it.
In addition to baking powder, water and oil are added to make up for the water and fat content in an egg. These ingredients are practically tasteless when added to your cake mix so you don’t need to worry about it changing how it tastes at all.
For every egg in your recipe, replace it with 3 tablespoons of aquafaba.
Ever made hummus or salad with chickpeas and felt uneasy when you have to dump all that chickpea water down the drain? You see … that suspicious slimy bean water actually has a name and can be put to good use.
Aquafaba is the liquid leftover from cooked chickpeas or beans in general. When you give it a whiff straight from the can, it might smell a bit “beanie” but I promise you it has a neutral, hardly noticeable flavor when added to your cake mix.
This plant-based liquid contains carbs and proteins which allows it to foam up, bind, emulsify, and thicken just like eggs, making it another unexpected substitute.
8. Store-bought Powdered Egg Replacer
Instructions differ slightly depending on the brand you choose but generally speaking, you should mix one and a half teaspoons of powdered egg replacer with two tablespoons of warm water to replace one egg.
Powdered egg replacers are egg-free and consist of a variety of starches that, similar to flax and chia seeds, turn to gel when mixed with water.
This makes it a great binder for your cake and the subtle taste of the ingredients will not affect the flavor of your cake at all. The baking soda in the mix also helps with the leavening of your cake.
A bag of powdered egg replacers will last you a long time. Bob’s Red Mill GF Egg Replacer for example comes in a 12 oz bag which is the equivalent for over 30 eggs.
It’s easy to use and store and is predictable, I would highly recommend you get it if you see yourself baking eggs-free frequently.
Cake mix is baking made easier for everybody. Just because you can’t or don’t have eggs shouldn’t mean you can’t enjoy it as well.
I hope now that you have discovered eight different ways to substitute eggs that you too can enjoy the fun of baking a cake out of a box of cake mix!
Did I miss anything? Is there another substitute you use that is not on the list? Let me know in the comments below!About Angie