Eggs are a pretty essential part of baking. But if you’re vegan (or allergic or just run out of eggs) there are plenty of great egg substitutes out there today. “I can’t tell you how big this vegan is [baking] The trend is right now, ”Lin Carson, Ph.D., food scientist and CEO of BAKERpedia, a free online encyclopedia for commercial bakers, told SELF.
“The cool thing about egg substitution is that there are so many different options,” Jenny Dunklee, a graduate of The Lazy Vegan Baker Cooking School, told SELF. So we spoke to the pros about the best egg substitutes for different types of baked goods and what other egg-free bakers should be aware of.
What you should know about swapping eggs
Knowing what eggs actually do for your baked goods is helpful. “Eggs usually play three roles in baking: moisture, rise and thickening,”
“If you replace eggs, however, there is no one size fits all,” Fran Costigan, cookery teacher, cookbook author, pastry chef, consultant and director of vegan pastries at Rouxbe Culinary School, told SELF. Each egg substitute affects the taste and texture of the end product slightly differently, explains Costigan. This means that the best substitute for a batch of cookies might not be a birthday cake. We got great advice from seasoned vegan bakers, but it’s also “good to be open to a little experimentation,” says Costigan. (If you are Really You can probably find an egg-free version of anything you want to make on one of the many vegan blogs. “That way someone has already done all of these tests for you,” says Dunklee.
One more thing to keep in mind: stick to replacing recipes that require three eggs or less, Costigan and Dunklee agree. Any more than that, and you start to compromise the integrity of the original recipe. “You can’t make grandma’s cake recipe with six eggs,” says Dunklee.
“Replacing eggs can take some trial and error,” says McMinn, “but in general most people are pretty surprised at how easy it is to bake egg-free.” Have fun egg-free baking!
The best egg substitute products
What the pros say: The liquid from a can of chickpeas that you pour into the sink is actually vegan backgold. “It’s so amazing that it’s ridiculous,” says Dunklee of her point of contact. It’s also cheap and convenient (especially if you’re someone who happens to eat a lot of chickpeas). An average can of chickpeas has about ¾ cup of aquafaba, and the leftovers can be refrigerated or frozen, says Costigan. Aquafaba is especially magical in mimicking egg whites. “It whips wonderfully,” says Costigan.
Best for: Everything! But above all cakes and meringues
How to do it: Use 3T of liquid from a can of chickpeas for each egg you are replacing. Stir in extra sourdough: ⅛ teaspoon of Weinstein (Costigan formula) or ¼ teaspoon of baking powder (Dunklee formula). Optionally, Costigan recommends an additional step to increase the viscosity: Reduce the liquid over medium to high heat to about ½ cup volume. (To make meringue, see Dunklee’s in-depth tutorial.)
Try it out in: Aquafaba meringue cookies from Fran Costigan or One Bowl chocolate cake from The Lazy Vegan
2. Flax seeds or chia seeds
What the pros say: Mixing ground flaxseeds or chia seeds with water “creates this very gloopy, gel-like mixture that holds the dough together pretty well,” says Dunklee. “It [has] a protein-like texture. “Flax and chia eggs, as they are called, can usually be used interchangeably,” says Costigan, although chia tastes more neutral. The dark one prefers flax.