Egg Substitutes for Cooking and Baking

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Egg Substitutes for baking cooking and breading
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Egg allergies are on the rise and one of the most common allergens in children, second only to dairy allergies. My most recent test showed that I had actually reversed my sensitivity to grains and dairy but still had a strong reaction to eggs. (A little parting gift from my autoimmune disease.)

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. Thankfully, all is not lost, because there are great options for substitutes.

Egg Substitutes in Baking

Eggs are really two distinct parts: yolk and white. That’s why some recipes call for just one or the other. The yolk is fatty and helps bind while the white offers moisture and lightness (leavening). In most recipes that call for whole eggs, the eggs act in all three of these roles:

  • As leavener
  • As binder
  • As moisturizer

When replacing eggs in recipes consider what the role of the egg is before choosing your egg substitute. It’s not always easy to figure this out but here are some guidelines:

  • If the recipe does not contain another leavening agent (like baking powder), assume the egg acts as a leavener.
  • If the recipe calls for 3+ eggs, assume they act in all three roles.
  • If the recipe has little moisture besides eggs, assume they act as moisture.
  • If the recipe calls for just egg whites, they are probably used as a leavener (and moisturizer).
  • If a recipe calls for just yolks, they are for binding.

If you’re not sure, assume the eggs acts as all three and choose an egg substitute or a combination of them that cover all three functions.

What to Use Instead of Eggs

Whether you’re egg-free by choice or necessity, these egg substitutes are a great way to enjoy your favorite recipes.

In Baking Recipes

When you’re baking (cakes, muffins, quick breads, etc.), you can usually find an egg substitute that works well.

If an egg acts as a binder in a recipe, almost any of the below substitutes will work:

  • 1 tablespoon ground chia seeds + ¼ cup of water (mix and let sit for 15 minutes)
  • ¼ cup full-fat yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon ground flax seed + ¼ cup water (mix and let sit for 15 minutes)
  • 1/3 cup applesauce (will be more crumbly)
  • ¼ cup pureed banana (obviously not what I use!)
  • 1 tablespoon gelatin powder + ¼ cup water (mix and let sit for 15 minutes)
  • 2 tablespoons dates, raisins, or prunes + 2 tablespoons  water, pureed together
  • ¼ cup peanut butter or almond butter

If eggs act as a leavening agent in the recipe, yogurt can be used or a teaspoon each of baking powder (or baking soda), white vinegar (or apple cider vinegar), and water (mix together).

When the egg is needed for moisture, yogurt, juice, applesauce, or pureed/ mashed banana should be used.

If you’re not sure, use more than one type of egg substitute. For example, use a gelatin “egg” (binding and moisturizing) and a leavening “egg” like yogurt (even if the recipe only calls for one egg… in my experience, it turns out fine!)

For 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. Full-fat coconut milk also works.

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

In Omelets

For 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), 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!

Here are some of my favorite egg-free breakfast recipes to try:

  • Wellness Bars – These do have a fair amount of sugar from dates but when paired with a high protein food (like homemade sausage) they are a healthy breakfast.
  • Protein “Brain Power” Smoothie – Just leave out the egg yolks and you have a filling and delicious breakfast smoothie that won’t make you sick.
  • Chia Seed Pudding Parfait – For something a bit different, try this pudding as a parfait. Add nuts, berries, coconut, or whatever you have in your pantry, for a tasty egg-free breakfast.

When you can’t have eggs, you quickly find other egg-free options for breakfast. I feel like it’s helped me have a more varied diet too, which is important for getting all the nutrients the body needs.

FAQs on Egg Replacers and Substitutes

Here are some of the most frequent questions I get on the topic of egg substitutions:

1. How do you know if you are allergic to eggs?

There are a number of tests your doctor can perform to see if you are allergic to eggs (or other foods. Some of these include:

Many people find out they have an egg allergy because they feel sick every time they eat a certain food. You can get a test to confirm but many people don’t see the point (if it came back negative they still wouldn’t eat the food based on how it makes them feel).

2. Are eggs the problem, or is it the chickens’ feed?

Some people believe that what the chicken eats can cause a reaction. Some have found that they can eat eggs from chickens fed with an organic, soy-free, corn-free feed. Others have found that duck eggs don’t bother them the same way chicken eggs do.

3. Why is silken tofu not on the list?

The short answer is that tofu is made from soy, so it’s not a healthy choice.

4. Why is Ener-g not included on this list?

Ener-g is a highly processed food so I don’t recommend it. It also contains synthetic gums. Since there are so many healthy alternatives, I’d just stay away from this.

5. How can you replace just the egg whites?

Assuming that you are only replacing the egg white in a recipe that calls for a whole egg, the simplest thing is to use two egg yolks for each egg in the recipe. You could also use 1 egg yolk and 1 of the other egg replacements in many recipes.

If you want to replace egg whites in recipes that use just egg whites (like meringue) you may be out of luck. There’s no great substitute for egg whites in these kind of recipes. However, you may be able to use a gelatin egg in some recipes like royal icing.

6. How many eggs can I replace?

For recipes that call for 1-3 eggs, any binding egg replacement will probably do fine. For recipes that call for more eggs you may have to mix and match egg replacers to meet the needs of the recipe. As I mentioned earlier, coconut flour recipes usually need eggs as a binder and for moisture. This is why coconut flour recipes tend to have many eggs.

But this same reasoning can work for other recipes types too. Recipes that call for 4+ eggs usually also need eggs for more than one action. I would use one egg replacement from each category and adjust as needed. For example, a recipe that calls for 4 eggs could have 2 unsweetened applesauce eggs, 1 chia seed egg, and 1 gelatin egg.

However, for recipes that call for many eggs, egg replacements may not cut it, so have a backup plan.

Egg Substitutes for Egg-Free Living

Many people have food reactions and allergies to healthy foods like eggs. Some food allergies can be addressed (like improving gut health and diet) but in the meantime, egg substitutes can help you enjoy some of your favorite recipes (even gluten-free ones!).

This article was medically reviewed by Dr. Scott Soerries, MD, Family Physician and Medical Director of SteadyMD. As always, this is not personal medical advice and we recommend that you talk with your doctor.

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

Sources
Katie Wells Avatar

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. WellnessMama.com is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.

Comments

88 responses to “Egg Substitutes for Cooking and Baking”

    1. Carol Avatar

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

    2. Bernadette Avatar
      Bernadette

      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.

      1. Mary Paccione Avatar
        Mary Paccione

        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.

        1. Jen Avatar

          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.) 🙂

  1. Annette Avatar

    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.

  2. Wendy Avatar

    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.

    1. Carol Avatar

      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.

      1. Jen Avatar

        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. 🙂

      2. wendy Avatar

        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.

    2. Julie Avatar

      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.

      1. wendy Avatar

        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.

        1. Amber Avatar

          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.

  3. Naia Avatar

    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.

  4. Margret Avatar
    Margret

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

  5. linda Avatar

    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.

  6. Lauren Avatar

    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. ????

  7. Terza Avatar

    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.

      1. Katie Reardon Avatar
        Katie Reardon

        Industry standard is Geneva Diagnostics IgE Sensitivty Testing

        1. Sharon Avatar

          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.

      2. Sadie Avatar

        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.

  8. vickie Avatar

    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

  9. Erica Avatar

    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 – https://minimalistbaker.com/southwest-tofu-scramble/

    1. Carol Avatar

      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!!!!!

      1. mary Paccione Avatar
        mary Paccione

        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?

  10. Donna Avatar

    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!

    1. Bernadette Avatar
      Bernadette

      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.

  11. Amy Avatar

    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.

  12. Mathilde Avatar
    Mathilde

    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.

      1. Mary Paccione Avatar
        Mary Paccione

        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.

  13. anne Avatar

    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.

  14. Jen Avatar

    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!

  15. Lynn Avatar

    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

  16. Fiona Avatar

    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.

      1. Ella Frank Avatar
        Ella Frank

        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).

        1. Wellness Mama Avatar

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

          1. Sierra Avatar

            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 [:

          2. Wendy Avatar

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

          3. Rachael Avatar
            Rachael

            I have the same issue Kate. Due to autoimmune issues I have already cut out gluten, grains and dairy. My inflammatory markers are still up. So as of last week I am egg free. Which is a real bummer since we have chickens. I liked being able to know what they ate and that they get lots of love from the kids. But even organically fed chicken eggs aren’t good for my body. Thanks for all the substitution tips!

        2. Deb Avatar

          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!”

      2. Jennifer Avatar
        Jennifer

        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!

      3. Kristina Avatar
        Kristina

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

  17. Tanja Odzak-Goppold Avatar
    Tanja Odzak-Goppold

    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.

  18. Virginia Miner Avatar
    Virginia Miner

    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 🙂

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