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. Mary Paterson Avatar
    Mary Paterson

    What about psyllium husk? It works great for grain baking such as pancakes.

  2. Megan Avatar

    Just seeing this post for the first time and newly diagnosed with an egg allergy (among other things, including corn). On my no-no list overall are sugars in general (no maple syrup or honey). Trying to decide if any of these egg substitutes would be binding enough for granola? All the low-sugar options I’ve found use egg whites. Has anyone tried this? I feel like the chia might work?

  3. Heather Avatar

    I have used aquafaba in place of whipped egg whites before successfully!! I made egg free tapioca pudding!

  4. Zinta Avatar

    Hi Katie, I’ve been using assorted egg free alternatives for years and still found this a wonderful article. My beginning journey took years and I wish I’d had this! The only thing I have to add though is in reply to your comment about no good substitute for meringue-type egg usage. Have a read about ‘aquafaba’! The proteins in the chickpea brine can be whipped up like egg white. I have made meringues like this for a Christmas treat (they are just not as stable once something wet like cream or coconut yoghurt is added, so they can be made a week ahead and just compiled last minute). I have only used this ‘meringue’ successfully in naughty special occasion things like biscuits etc, but I do wonder if there would be any success in a frittata type scenario… ? Hope that’s of interest, and thanks again for a great article!

  5. Jan Avatar

    Katy! Thanks for all the substitute ideas but I don’t see the one that’s most recently been a total game changer: aqua faba. This is the protein-rich water from a can of beans, usually chickpeas, but I’ve used the water from all manner of beans. It can also be frozen and used later. I just used it as a binder in meatloaf. I’ve also whipped it as merengue for pavlovas. It’s truly incredible and you need to get the word out. Check out the Aqua Faba facebook page for what’s being done with something that’s usually gone down the drain.

  6. Amy D Bielawski Avatar
    Amy D Bielawski

    I have used the Just Egg product and though it is expensive, it is pretty close in taste for me.

    Then I got hooked into Sauce Stache and all of his videos who copies these substitutes etc, so I tried the mung bean mixture myself and wasn’t far off from the name brand.

  7. Brandie Avatar

    This is awesome ! my son is allergic to eggs. I love all the options you provided !!!

  8. Rachel Avatar

    Any suggestions for replacing just the egg white? We don’t have allergies, but have some friends who do, also with prices going up, I’d like to have an alternative for treats.

    1. Jan Avatar

      I use the same amount of liquid from a can of garbanzo beans. No kidding!

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