Egg Substitute for Cooking and Baking

Egg Substitutes for baking cooking and breading

I recently mentioned that I no longer eat eggs and got a lot of questions about this. Unfortunately, this was a little parting gift from my autoimmune disease, and isn’t just a preference (unlike my voluntary avoidance of bananas- the only food I won’t eat).

Eggs are a common allergen, second only to dairy allergies in children and egg allergies are on the rise. My most recent test showed that I had actually reversed my sensitivity to grains and dairy but still had a strong reaction to eggs.

Avoiding eggs can be inconvenient and difficult for the growing number of people with allergies. Many common baked goods, breaded foods and breakfast dishes contain eggs, but thankfully, there are great options for substitutes.

I feel a recipe is only a theme, which an intelligent cook can play each time with a variation.
–Madam Benoit

When a variation of an egg-containing recipe becomes necessary due to an allergy, here are some of my favorite substitutions.

Egg Substitute

In Baking:

  • 1 Tablespoon ground chia seeds + 1/4 cup of water (mix and let sit for 15 minutes)
  • 1/4 cup full fat yogurt
  • 1 Tablespoon ground flax seed + 1/4 cup water (mix and let sit for 15 minutes)
  • 1/3 cup apple sauce (will be more crumbly)
  • 1/4 cup pureed banana (obviously not what I use!)
  • 1 Tablespoon gelatin powder in 1/4 cup water (mix and let sit for 15 minutes)
  • 2 tablespoons dates, raisins or prunes + 2 tablespoons of water, pureed together
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter or almond butter

A general rule is that if an egg acts as a binder in a recipe, almost any of the above substitutes will work. If eggs serve the purpose of leavening in the recipe, yogurt can be used or a teaspoon each of baking powder, white vinegar and water (mix together). If the egg is needed for moisture, yogurt, juice, applesauce or pureed banana should be used.

With coconut flour recipes, eggs are needed for both binding and moisture, so I typically use a chia, gelatin and applesauce mixture.

For Breading:

For breading, an egg mixture is often used, but there are some easy substitutions. My favorites are melted butter, coconut oil or plain yogurt.

For a more flavorful binder for breading, I mix equal parts mustard and honey or maple syrup.

In Omelets:

In this one, you are out of luck! I haven’t found anything that replaces the eggs completely in taste or texture, but I’ve learned to love breakfast stir frys with many of the ingredients that would often be added to an omelet (peppers, onion, cheese, meat, spinach, cheese etc) sautéed together sans eggs.

I also think it’s time to buck the “eggs or cereal for breakfast” rule and consider that leftovers, stir-frys and even salads can be excellent healthy breakfast choices!

Egg substitutes chart

Do you avoid eggs by choice or necessity? What do you use for substitutes?

Egg substitute makes egg-free baking, cooking and breading simple and delicious. Try chia seeds, gelatin, applesauce, yogurt and chia seeds.

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Reader Comments

  1. i am so happy to see this as my 18 month old can’t eat eggs… I am always looking for ways for him to get enough for breakfast since the rest of us eat piles of fried eggs 🙂

  2. The gelatin suggestion is AWESOME!
    OMG, so excited to learn about that one 🙂
    I had no idea.

    My littlest kid is allergic to almost everything! (eggs, dairy, coconut. corn, soy, chia, flax, raisins, prunes, apples, nuts, potatoes/nightshades, pumpkin, etc, etc, etc) Fortunately, not allergic to any meat, so it’s great to have another option besides bananas! Bananas *do not* go with everything.

  3. Love eggs and eat 2- 3 a day – I know that’s not what your question was but I feel very, very strongly about eggs being from chickens that live happy lives. My cholesterol level is normal. One of the fittest and healthiest people I know eats a six egg omelet every day for breakfast.

      • Hmmm. I am wondering if it makes any difference if the eggs are organically fed, and free range, as opposed to “factory” eggs. Have you experimented with eggs from local, humanely-raised hens or ducks? I feel for you– I really like eggs too (and I am still not sure if they work for me).

        • I have tried everything I can think of. We even raised our own chickens and had free range, organic eggs. Still a no-go.

          • Katie,
            My son (7) is allergic to dairy and eggs. We tried some skin tests with various kinds of eggs (quail, duck, etc.) and milks (sheep, goat, etc.) and found he had no reaction to duck eggs (but to everything else we tried). He gets to eat duck eggs in moderation, and only when they’re the primary ingredient (ie: scrambled eggs) as opposed to baked goods. They’re pricey (even though we got a share through the farmer), but they make a nice treat for him. If you haven’t tried duck eggs, it’s worth a shot.

            Try some skin testing, if nothing happens maybe you can try one or two eggs to see how you feel?

            -Sierra

            -ps: I would like to add that he is allergic specifically to the egg whites, so if you have an allergy to both the yolk and white or just the yolk, it may be completley different [:

          • I tried everything too, even duck eggs – I miss eggs so much 🙁

        • Yes we just started eating duck eggs also and our 4 year old does well with them. Normally they are expensive but we found a neighbor who gives them to us. I made black bean brownies with them last week and Jake kept saying “this is the best cake ever!”

      • Katie we make tofu scramble as an “omelet”. If you eat tofu buy the extra firm and throw it in the freezer. When you’re ready to make it thaw it out, squeeze it dry and crumble it. Throw it in a frying pan with sautéed onions, olive oil and sprinkle it with turmeric to your taste – we like it heavy on the turmeric. Then you can add all your veggies. It’s really, really good!

      • I have to ask why you won’t eat bananas? Is it preference or something about their nutritional value?

      • Katie.. I am interested in why you do not eat bananas.,

  4. Hi Katie,

    My daughter has severe allergies to eggs, soy, peanuts and seeds so I make almost all her food from scratch. I made our family recipe for Mennonite Easter bread this past weekend and it turned out really well. I am not saying great, because it did not rise quite as high as the original recipe, but it did have all the flavour and texture of the original. I used ( 2 Tbsp. of water, 1 Tbsp. of corn oil and 1/2 tsp baking powder beaten together) for each egg that the recipe called for. With this egg substitute, the flavour is not altered as it can be using other replacements. I hope this helps you to continue enjoying the baking you are use to. It sure did work for our family this Easter!!!
    Blessings, Lynn

  5. Whisk together two tablespoons water, one teaspoon oil (I use coconut oil) and two teaspoons baking powder. That will replace one egg, but I have used this in muffin and cookie recipes that use 3 and 4 eggs, and it still came out perfectly. I don’t really avoid eggs. We buy only organic, farm fresh eggs from our neighbor’s farm down the road. (Such a blessing, living 20 minutes outside of Charlotte, but still being in a “country” area!) I don’t have us eating a super-restrictive healthy food only diet. My big thing is, I don’t want us to eat chemicals. I want us to eat natural food. My kids super love all different types of eggs, so we do often run out of eggs. I stay at home with the kids, so it is really unnecessary for us to have two vehicles. I bake all of our breads, muffins, nutrigrain bars, pretty much anything I can make at home. 🙂 So, when I am out of eggs, I always have water, oil, and baking powder. By the way, I really love your blog. So informative!

    • Have you used this substitute with coconut flour?

  6. Just came across this as I was finishing up a four egg frittata! Unfortunately, we are egg crazy around here, but it’s great to know these substitutions for cooking.

  7. Could I ask why you avoid eating bananas? Is it because of an allergy or for other reasons?
    I am interested because I have always heard that bananas are really healthy.

    • I just really have an aversion. I know they are healthy, but I can’t stand them.

      • Hi Katie;
        Just want to say “Thank You” for your wonderful site & all the time & effort that you put into it
        As to bananas, have you tried them at different degrees of ripeness? I know everyone says they are most healthy when covered with brown spots, but I can’t eat them that way, the texture turns me off.
        I like them only when they are yellow without a hint of brown & just a tinge of green at the tips.
        Still firm, but not crunchy, certainly not mushy. (My mother used to make me eat the mushy ones & sometimes I’d “lose” them; not a pleasant memory ) You’ve probably already tried it, but I just wanted to toss that out there for you.

  8. My daughter has an egg allergy, but someone recently told me that duck eggs might be a good substitute. Have you ever heard this? I am excited to try the gelatin substitute as well.

  9. Forgive my ignorance, but does the recipe with the chia/flaxseed and water count as one egg? I’d like to try it and this would be my first attempt at trying an egg substitute. Thanks!

    • And, if anyone doesn’t know this – Chia + water makes a Great Gel which I add to my Greek yogurt (plain) + fruit & nuts – or whatever I want to add it to.

      I’ve eaten Chia seeds for months before I found out recently about chia-gel. So much better for me.

  10. I am neither a tofu fan nor advocate. However, recently while awake in the middle of the night with my newborn, I saw a cooking show in which the chef prepared a breakfast scramble with veggies (peppers, onions, etc.) and tofu. Turmeric was one of the spices utilized in the recipe and the result looked exactly like scrambled eggs. Something along the lines of this link – http://minimalistbaker.com/southwest-tofu-scramble/

    • Tofu, made from soy is not healthy. SOY is one of those foods touted by many as being healthy, but it is NOT. It messes with your hormones. Avoid ALL soy ( also mostly made with GMO’s…another reason to avoid soy). If you MUST, consume only fermented and only tiny amounts, infrequently. Soy is BAD!!!!!

      • I totally agree. 80 to 90% of soy products are from GMO sources (maybe even higher). It’s especially bad for women in their childbearing years & also has a negative effect on hormonal function is pre-teen & teenage boys. It is a pity, as it could be an inexpensive alternative protein source. (I actually made my own tofu back in the 70’s) Does anyone know of any studies done on the differing effects between GMO & non-GMO soy?

  11. I have dairy issues. But still eat r eggs and find I still get have problems how did u no it was eggs bothering you, maybe that’s it for me???? thanks katie

    • My doctor ran me through a substantial set of allergy tests and eggs came back testing positive as an allergen.

  12. What kind of allergy testing did you get? Me curious.

      • Industry standard is Geneva Diagnostics IgE Sensitivty Testing

        • The Genova Diagnostics test said I was allergic to 43 foods! And the rotation diet they recommended made me feel like I was on a daily episode of “Chopped”!

          I then did the U.S. Biotek IgE/IgG/IgA test, which clearly showed strong allergies to cow and goat milk products and eggs.

          Cyrex Labs has the best gluten and related allergen tests. They weren’t available yet when I was figuring things out, so I had gliadin antibodies (Gluten) show up on a stool test, and figured out I had a corn allergy on my own.

          Allergy testing isn’t perfect, best to try a second one or an elimination diet if you get odd results.

          Getting gluten, dairy, eggs, and corn out of my life has made a lot of health problems disappear. I even found I can tolerate duck eggs and sheep yogurt and cheeses, so it’s really not too bad.

      • Hi Katie. Wondering if you had any symptoms when you ate eggs. I like them but quit eating them last year bc I would swell up about 11/2 hours or so after I ate them. I would literally feel like I was pregnant! I was never tested though.

        • Yikes! My skin feels like it is on fire and I get horrible breakouts. Never any fun 🙁

  13. I find using milk, preferable cocoanut milk before breading works well. I dredge in flour first then let it sit, then dip in the milk and into the breading. Dredging in flour seals in the flavor and the breading will be thicker. You can always let them sit and re-bread a third time. (My son likes that!)
    One of my favorite cupcakes recipes utilizes canned pumpkin in lieu of the eggs and oil when combined with a regular cake mix. It makes half the number of cupcakes and they come out more like muffins, but they are much more nutritious. You cannot taste the pumpkin once it is baked.

  14. We are vegan by choice. We use a lot of these subs with great success! Aside from my hubby, my girls and I are allergic to dairy. Budget cuts had me investigating vegan options. After much research, we made the switch. There are something’s that can’t be replaced. (Like bacon) But it’s been a change worth making. ????

  15. for light cakes you can also use 1/2 a cup Buttermilk (but you may have to reduce other liquids)

    for heavier cakes like muffins a 1/3 cup of cooked pumpkin should work

    where you need an egg for binding, for breading etc, you can use either cooked oatmeal or mashed potato

    You can make an eggless omelette with gram flour, yogurt and baking soda – no it isn’t the same but it is possible to get it light and fluffy so you can fool yourself that it is and by the time you have all your leftover veggies in there chances are you might not be able to tell the difference anyway.

    All that aside, a major culprit in the development of allergies is leaky gut. I know this won’t apply to everyone but, for those to whom it does, kefir may be the cure you are looking for. A number of people with leaky gut have gone on to be allergy free by adding kefir pro-biotics to their diet. And, although it is made with milk (I am talking about the milk variety, which doesn’t actually have to be made with milk by the by), the way that the milk is fermented by the kefir grains means that even people with lactose intolerance may be able to add it to their diet. Even if you don’t suffer from leaky gut you might still benefit from kefir. And water kefir makes a great low sugar (near enough sugar free) alternative for pops and sodas for kids of all ages.

  16. What are the exact proportions of the mixture you use for coconut flour recipes?

  17. My husband gave up eggs three years ago because of a food sensitivity. We typically use chia seeds as a substitute (1 egg = 1TBS chia seeds+3TBS warm water). This even works well for meat loaves. Once he got used to life without eggs, he doesn’t miss them. He is now slowly reintroducing them: one egg, twice a month. however, he will probably never be able to eat eggs on a regular basis. Good luck and thank you for the tips.

  18. Just a thought. We cured my daughter of several food allergies through NAET. Previously allergic to dairy, corn, “mixed grains,” soy and canola…now we don’t worry about anything. (Granted we still avoid unhealthy foods at home, but we don’t freak out at birthday parties anymore.) One treatment for each allergen with our acupuncturist and she was immediately symptom free. Has been for over a year. I thought it was bogus but now see it as indisputable. Best of luck.

    • Just FYI: corn: almost all corn grown in the US is GMO. Soy is bad for you also GMO, canola, also mostly from GMO is made from rapeseed, and it is unhealthy as well as being bad for the environment. (requires too much power to made it edible)
      You should never consume corn products, soy products or canola oil.

      • If you purchase certified organic corn or soy, there should be no GMOs. (I say “should be” only because I am super skeptical of “Big Business”.) Canola is a whole other subject, and I banned that from my home years ago. In my opinion, it shouldn’t be being sold as a consumable product. Also, I bought non-GMO seeds and am growing much of our produce, so I can be sure of exactly what and what not my family is eating. Plus, the kid in me still loves playing in the dirt. 🙂

      • Carol, thanks, we agree these are not good foods to consume! The point I was making is that curing my daughter’s allergies was easy with NAET. It has allowed her the freedom to not be the “odd one out” at birthday parties…occasions when I let her participate in the festivities (meaning cake, etc). I mention this here only so that those who have to avoid eggs because of an allergy, might also seek the same treatment that we did for my daughter. And then no longer need to avoid them:)

        PS Carol: also worth noting, she also had minor allergies to healthy things like berries – but those diminished when her big triggers were eliminated.

    • Wendy, thank you so much for sharing the info! I contacted our local acupuncturist and set up an appointment for my daughter who was recently diagnosed with several food sensitivities. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it works! I will update accordingly.

      • Julie: I sure hope you guys find relief! I know several moms who have found it successful for their kids. Although, my brother, who is anaphylactic, was not helped by it. Worth a shot! Another cool thing is that my acupuncturist discovered the exact allergies through muscle testing that I had identified through elimination dieting…and I didn’t even tell him what my daughter’s allergies were! So crazy that he knew. Good luck.

        • Wendy,

          We recently discovered that my 19 month old has allergies to peanut, cows milk, egg and wheat. How long was the process for you and your daughter till she became allergen free of egg? Did the acupuncture also help with other allergies? Thanks so much for posting.

  19. I can’t eat eggs either. I wish I could because I love them!
    I just recently subbed applesauce for the egg in a meatball recipe. It was great.

  20. Hi Katie,
    Curious………..why don’t you eat bananas?

    • She already said that she just doesn’t like them. No other reason except that she hates them.

    • As for me, I always like bananas – but have found out that if You don’t grow your own or have a place close to you – then by the time the bananas get to stores near you – they usually have fungus (not always seen, either).
      Plus has anyone noticed the ‘seeds’ or lack of in bananas.. They just don’t look like they use to nor do they taste as good – as least not to me

      so I stopped buying any.

      • Just wanted to share; there IS a big difference in taste between “conventional” and organic bananas. Since the price difference is usually only about 20 – 30 cents per pound I can’t see why anyone would buy the only slightly cheaper “junky” ones.

        • There is a big difference in taste between “conventional” and organic (fill in the blank). Chemicals don’t taste good. No matter how good the original product tastes, chemicals don’t taste good. Local tastes better too, as our personal energy is in tune with the energies around us. Organic companies usually practice fair trade policies, which is better for our society as a whole, and better for sustainability of our planet. I can’t see why anyone would buy the only slightly cheaper, but much worse for you anything else. (Obvious credit to Mina for wording.) 🙂

  21. For egg substitute for omelets, try using fried tofu! I think it will give off a similar texture (not taste though), but it’s still delicious! Try tofu with spinach and tomatoes for a omelet replica.

  22. Dumb question of the week: how do you know what function the egg serves in a recipe?

    • Not a dumb question Cindy! I think you really just have to ask yourself what the egg is doing for the recipe. If you need the egg to hold the item together (like cookies- they would fall apart without the egg), then it’s a binder. If the egg is used to make the item rise, like a souffle, it’s used for leavening. If the egg is needed for moisture, I would say this goes along with being a binder since the moisture is going to help the item hold together. Hope that helps a little! 🙂

  23. Also would love the exact proportions for coconut flour recipes. I used to do a lot of coconut muffins, pancakes but they use like 6 eggs.

    • I would love this too! No gelatin or Chia seeds for us

  24. My two-year-old is severely allergic to eggs, suffered anaphylaxis at 14 months when he tried scrambled eyes for the first time. I have successfully used some of the things you mentioned but have never found a way to make coconut flour recipes work. Thank you for the tip to mix gelatin and chia or flax!

  25. Katie,
    How would you make your applesauce coconut flour cinnamon muffins now? I can’t eat eggs, but I make them for my son. I’d love to be able to eat them!

    • Is there a recipe available for this?

  26. Hi:
    Since my child has chicken egg allergies, I am planning to use duck and or goose eggs and see how he does.

    Also, what suggestions for substitutions would use for a fermented mayonnaise recipe?
    I use 1-2 eggs per batch. I am wondering if the substitutions offered by Ms. Katie are do-able in the fermented mayonnaise recipe.

    Thank you,

  27. Thanks for your post! Very timely as I just found out I can no longer eat eggs myself. (So depressing.) AND I can back you that organic free-range eggs don’t make any difference – we raise our own as well. SUPER BIG BUMMER! Very thankful for potential ideas! Now I am hoping that I can still drink my raw goat milk come fall.

  28. Hi Katie!
    When you said for coconut flour recipes you use a chia, gelatin and applesauce mixture, are you saying that you use chia + water, and gelatin + water, and applesauce please? Sorry if this is a dumb question. Thanks!
    Traci

  29. In regards to tofu, is having Non-Gmo, organic tofu considered unhealthy ?

  30. In regards to tofu, is consuming non gmo organic tofu unhealthy ?

  31. Great post! I’ve been enjoying your site for a while. This is the first time I’m commenting. My youngest son came up slightly allergic to egg whites. These tips are a big help to me. I’ve pinned this for future reference. Thank you., Katie.

  32. I can’t eat eggs anymore (or at least right now….hoping that once I start seeing my functional medicine doc we can heal my gut and I can eat things that I miss like eggs and nightshades!). It’s a bummer because they are such a good source of protein and are relatively cheap even if you are buying local, organic, non-GMO/non-soy fed eggs. My skin and the inside of my ears get itchy, and sometimes my stomach feels icky too. I’ve started using gelatin as a substitute though and I’ve been getting along pretty well without eggs! The AIP pizza crust from the Mediterranean Paleo Cookbook is excellent. 🙂

  33. This is a great post. I am not an egg girl and I have the pleasure of diagnosing a lot of people with egg allergies ( it is soooo common). Look forward to sharing this post and also trying the yogurt option for your chicken fingers/cobb salad recipe. Yum!

  34. Hi!

    Thank you for this article as I have issues with quite a few foods including nuts (nut flours are out) and eggs (which coconut flour recipes have a lot of eggs).

    When replacing eggs in coconut flour recipes how much of each substitute do you use? Chia, gelatin and applesauce?

    I have a collagen powder, will that work for gelatin?

    Thanks!

  35. Both my 2 year old son and I are sensitive to eggs. I do a lot of breakfast skillets as you mentioned. One thing I found that gives it a little bit more of an egg feel is some left over spaghetti squash. It’s obviously not the same, but makes it a little different and has a slight egg feel. As far as meatballs and meatloaf…gelatin with some psyllium husks and sometimes nutritional yeast as well (we’re gluten free and dairy free as well) makes some pretty good stuff!

  36. Hi, I never thought that mayonnaise could be made without eggs… until I came across on video on youtube. I was extremely doubtful, but it worked! It’s also grain/starch free. All the egg yolk does is emulsify, not add to the flavor. The only caveat is that it is made with cow’s milk… But I’m guessing it would work with coconut milk.

    I halved the recipe in case it didn’t work.

    1/4 cup milk
    1/2 cup oil (probably avocado would be best)
    1 tsp vinegar (if it’s not tangy enough after mixing add another tsp)
    1/2 tsp mustard (or 1/4 tsp mustard powder)
    pinch of garlic powder
    salt to taste (start with 1/8 tsp)

    The video made the mayo with an immersion blender, but I have one of those vintage human powered mixers, I mixed inside of my measuring cup (something that doesn’t leave a lot of space around the mixer) and mix away. In a minute I had mayonnaise. It doesn’t separate the next day either. It’s not quite as rich as mayo, but it gets the job done.

    I tried experimenting with less oil, (1 part oil, 2 parts milk) and I made a mayo foam instead. It tasted good, just a lot lighter, and it separated after a few hours, but I just whipped it right back up.

    I’m also thinking of adding maybe a 1/2 tsp of gelatin, dissolved in the milk…

  37. Thank you so much for this article. My almost 2year old has an egg sensitivity and can’t eat them. He can’t get skin tested because he has dermographia and didn’t want to put him through a blood test yet. He loves all foods so much and these substitutes will be great to try.

  38. Thanks so much for this. I keep looking for egg substitutes for my mother and sadly, havent gone beyond an eggless cake! I tend to use either milk or yoghurt or flax seeds.

  39. I do like the substitutes for eggs but my question is if a recipe asks for one or two eggs for example how many of tea or table spoon will be for one egg?