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?

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. 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.


88 responses to “Egg Substitutes for Cooking and Baking”

  1. Katharine Avatar

    Hello! What measurement do you use for one egg using chia, gelatine, and applesauce in coconut flour recipe?

  2. Agustin Avatar

    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?

  3. Krithika Avatar

    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.

  4. Laura Avatar

    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.

  5. Christina Avatar

    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…

  6. Laura Avatar

    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!

  7. Kat Avatar


    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?


  8. Dr Cory Avatar
    Dr Cory

    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!

  9. Malori Avatar

    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. 🙂

  10. Barbara Avatar

    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.

  11. Savi Avatar

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

  12. Traci Avatar

    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!

  13. Liz Avatar

    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.

  14. Alex Avatar

    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,

  15. Stacey Stringer Avatar
    Stacey Stringer

    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!

  16. Taylor Avatar

    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!

  17. Marta Avatar

    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.

  18. Cindy Avatar

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

    1. Michelle Avatar

      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! 🙂

      1. Regina Avatar

        I had the same question. I’m trying to make an eggless breakfast casserole, but i don’t know the ‘role’ of the egg. I’m guessing it is leavening since it holds the whole thing together like an omelette. Is there something I can use to substitute in this case? I was considering gelatin, but thought that might not work as it’s should be eaten warm. Any suggestions?

  19. Chelsy Avatar

    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.

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