Heres Everything to Know About Egg Alternatives in Baking and Cooking

fluffy vegan buttercream frosting recipe

If youre new to plant-based eating, knowing which egg substitute to choose can be tricky; egg alternatives are many, and which one you want depends on what exactly youre making. So here, a guide to how eggs function in baking and cooking, and how you can replace eggs in every recipe (including egg salad!).

People eschew eggs for any number of reasons, whether logical or not: Health, safety (oof, all that possible E.coli!), animal welfare, the sort of squicky feeling you get when you really think about what an egg is, and so on.

Unfortunately, eggs are super useful in the kitchen, in addition to simply being downright tasty. (Full disclosure: Im a vegan who misses eggs more than any other given-up food product. Oh, how I long for a runny poached treat some morningsbut I digress.) They are leavening agents, they bind substances in baking, they are protein-packed, and they can make a salad into a meal in a jiffy. Cutting them out of your diet can be a bummer, but thankfully there are reasonable alternatives for eggs in almost every application, from baking to breakfast and beyond.

What Eggs Are Good ForAnd How They Can Be Replaced

First, well run through a few of the things that eggs typically contribute in our culinary exploits, followed by some suggestions that are no yolk.


Eggs are the glue in mayo, the binder in quick breads and pancakes, and the holder-together in custards and sauces. Theyre not the only game in town, though: Mayo made with coconut oil (and other plant-based ingredients) is just as spreadable, and pancakes made with mashed banana still have the sticktogetheritiveness that is the perfect vehicle for gallons of maple syrup.

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Commercial egg replacers are fine for baking purposes, as well: They eliminate a lot of the guessing and are shelf-stable, which is an added bonus to switching away from the incredible edibles. Soaked flax or chia seeds also do the trick, and are a good natural substitution in breads and other baked products.


Chowhounds Vegan Brownies

Cookies, bread, and cakes rely in part on eggs for their ability to lift and rise as air becomes trapped in the whipped or vigorously mixed whites when they retain heat. Eggless recipes have been around for generations, however, and during lean times ingenious bakers devised crazy cakes and depression cakes that contained no eggs, butter, or milk. Theyre just as good when times arent tough, though. After all, who needs an excuse to eat delicious, delicious cake? (See some recipes below.)


Totally FabWhat Is Aquafaba?Meringue, how we will miss you. Egg whites, with some proteiny magic property that allows them to hold air within their structure when vigorously whipped, are the main ingredient in light-as-air meringue, as well as angel-kissed cakes and fluffy souffl.

Thankfully, some modern plant-based geniuses discovered that aquafaba, the pot liquor created from making chickpeas (and the liquid theyre found packed in when theyre canned) can swap in and make all sorts of lovely mild-tasting frothy goodness, including creams, mousses, toppings, and, yes, incredibly delicate breads, cakes, and pastries.


Grilled Mexican Tofu Torta recipe

Chowhounds Tofu Torta

For folks who dont eat meat, or who are looking for a break from the old stand-bys of chicken/beef/fish/pork, eggs can offer a satisfying and protein-rich element to a meal, especially a lighter meal like a salad that could use some (pardon) beefing up in order to stand alone. Hard-boiled eggs are at the center of dishes like Pan Bagnat or salad Nioise, while a poached egg on a bed of spinach or grilled asparagus is a perfect light springtime supper.

Dont fret, however: Tofu of different textures can be an equally delicious stand-in, both texturally and with its mild and adaptable taste. If you like a hard-boiled egg, try pressing and seasoning firm tofu for a similar chewy element; if youre the runny-loving type, a spoonful of jiggly soft tofu topped with hot sauce or salt and pepper with fresh herbs can often do the trick.

Related Reading: Vegetarian Chefs Share Their Best Tofu Tips & Tricks

Egg Substitutes in Action: Egg-Free Recipes

Check out some specific examples of all the ways you can replace eggs in recipes:

Egg-Free Mayo

roasted garlic aioli recipe


Folks intimidated by mayo can breath deep, since its usually the egg thats the anxiety-provoking ingredient. This mayo relies on soaked chia seeds as the emulsifier, and has all the creamy texture and tangy taste youd expect, plus with added vegan-friendly Omega-3s. Get the Egg-Free Mayo recipe.

Tofu Scrambled Eggs


One of the best things about eggs is their ability to taste like just about anything, including cheese, hot sauce, or any other tasty add-in you dump in your morning scramble. A block of tofu will provide that same selfless service, and when crumbled in a pan it also takes on a remarkably scrambled-like texture. Perfect to stuff a breakfast burrito, or eat by the forkful with a side of toast. Get the Tofu Scrambled Eggs recipe.

3-Ingredient Aquafaba Chocolate Mousse


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Reposting the BY FAR MOST POPULAR recipe from my blog first because it is freaking awesome and I think everyone should try this 3 ingredient chocolate mousse at least once. Second: I wanted to take the opportunity to ask you something that has been in my mind for the last few weeks: SUGAR! Bad sugar? Good sugar? No sugar? So no sugar is not an option for me. That is why I ask: Is maple syrup really better than normal sugar? What is normal anyway? why is erythrit supposed to be healthier when I cant almost pronounce it? What about people warning me that I am going to die because agave syrup is much dangerous half knowledgewhat is your approach on it? . . #aquafaba#chocolate#veganchocolatemousse #bern #aquafabamousse#dessert #inspiration #foodstagram #vegan #crueltyfree #plantbased #whatveganseat #veganfoodshare #veganfood #heresmyfood #thatsdarling #eeeeeats #foodphotography #foodstyling #foodpictures #healthyeating #healthylifestyle #healthyfoodshare #healthychoices #healthyfood #foodie #eattherainbow #vegansofig

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The most heavenly, cloud-like texture is achieved with aquafaba here: Flavored with intense dark chocolate and boosted with a little sweet stuff, this three-ingredient dessert couldnt be easier or feel more decadent. Get the 3-Ingredient Aquafaba Chocolate Mousse recipe.

Olive Oil Brioche with Aquafaba


Is it possible to make pillowy brioche without eggs? You bet it is, thanks again to our new friend aquafaba. This bread has a weightlessness and crumb reminiscent of the perfect eggy brioche, but shhh, dont tell its vegan. Get the Olive Oil Brioche with Aquafaba recipe.

Turmeric Chickpea Eggless Egg Salad


Picnics wont have quite the same sense of egg-in-the-sun dread when you swap in hardier chickpeas for your no-egg-salad to scoop or sandwich. Turmeric gives the chickpeas a yolk-like brightness, and garlic and onion as well as some crunchy element like chopped celery will finish the job. Get the Turmeric Chickpea Eggless Egg Salad recipe. (Try adding a pinch of black salt for an authentic eggy flavor if you miss it.)

Grain-Free Egg-Free Banana Muffins


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Can you believe these muffins dont contain any egg? Light, fluffy and delicious Egg Free Banana Muffins that will satisfy any muffin craving. Recipe on the blog . . This recipe can be adapted to suit common food allergies egg free, dairy free, gluten free, vegan, and low sugar. Or make these muffins without eggs if you are caught without eggs for your usual recipe! . . . #muffins #bananamuffins #eggfree #eggfreebaking . . . . #breakfastlover #instabreakfast #breakfasting #breakfastporn #breaky #lovebreakfast #breakfastideas #brekkie #ilovebreakfast #inthekitchen #mykitchen #inmykitchen #breakfastisserved #recipeshare #breakfastofchamps #breakfastoftheday #breakfastfood #huffposttaste #BHGfood #f52grams #feedfeed #breakfastinspo #foodblogfeed #foodbloggers

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Mashed bananas are practically magic: They act as a binder, a sweetener, and a flavor in easy baked goods like muffins and quick breads, and you know youre bound to have a couple slightly-too-ripe ones laying around some morning and want to use them up fast. This recipe has the double-whammy of bananas and chia eggs for a totally healthful, plant-based morning treat. Get the Grain-Free Egg-Free Banana Muffins recipe.

Crazy Cakes


Maybe the craziest thing about these cakes (also called wacky cakes) is that theyre so easy and economical that they shouldnt be considered crazy, they should be the norm! Versatile enough to take all kinds of flavors, theyre adaptable for anything from after-work weeknights to special occasions, no fuss at all. Get the Crazy Cake recipes.

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