Baking egg free — whether on a temporary basis while egg prices soar (and are in short supply) or for the long-term — can be a challenge. Eggs are in so many baking recipes that it’s easy to get overwhelmed if you’re trying to do without.
But don’t despair! We’ve got plenty of recipes and tips to help you bake without eggs. Read on.
Swap in substitutes for the eggs in your favorite recipes
There are plenty of available egg substitutes out there. But first, it’s necessary to acknowledge that nothing can exactly replicate eggs’ function in baking. Because eggs do a lot. Their specific role varies depending on what you’re making, but in general, eggs provide structure, emulsify, bind, and leaven. They’re key to texture, as well as appearance and flavor. So while many alternate ingredients can mimic these properties, nothing will be able to fully capture all of the wonderful work that eggs do in baking. But that doesn’t mean the below substitutions don’t come close.
Our go-to egg substitute: Aquafaba
We tested a bunch of different egg substitutes, and this was our favorite of them all. If you’re not familiar, aquafaba is the viscous liquid left over when you drain a can of chickpeas. It can magically whip to stiff peaks like egg whites, and it can also be mixed directly into batters and doughs like a whole egg. We recommend using aquafaba from canned chickpeas, rather than chickpeas you make yourself from scratch, as the homemade version of aquafaba can be much less reliable.
You can mix liquid aquafaba into a recipe that calls for a whole egg or a liquid egg white. When it comes to substituting in recipes, 2 tablespoons (28g) of aquafaba is equivalent to about 1 egg white; 1/4 cup (57g) aquafaba is equivalent to about 1 whole egg.
When whipped to stiff peaks, aquafaba is good for making meringues or swiss buttercream. However, it’s too delicate for baked goods that rely on whipped eggs or egg whites for structure: cakes like angel food cake or chiffon cake, or cookies including macarons — we don’t recommend using it in these types of recipes.
For more information about aquafaba and how to use it, see this blog post: A guide to aquafaba.
Other egg substitutes that work
In our trials, we tested many other egg substitutes, from mashed banana, pumpkin purée, and applesauce to “eggs” made with flax and chia seeds. We tried using puréed tofu, Greek yogurt, and commercial egg replacers. We also experimented with starches like cornstarch and arrowroot, as well as seltzer. Happily, all will work in a pinch. For exact instructions on how to substitute, when such substitutions will and won’t work, and the pros and cons of each, see our prior post: No eggs? Here’s your guide for substituting.
Based on prior testing success, here are some substitutions you can try for egg-free versions of classic recipes:
- Egg-free brownies: Swap 1 cup (227g) aquafaba for the 4 eggs in Fudge Brownies
- Egg-free buns: Swap 1/4 (57g) sweet potato purée for the egg in Beautiful Burger Buns
- Egg-free rolls: Swap 2 flax eggs for the 2 eggs in Amish Dinner Rolls
- Egg-free muffins: Swap 1/2 cup (113g) aquafaba or 1/2 cup (113g) seltzer for the 2 eggs in Basic Muffins
Gluten-free baking without eggs
Skipping eggs in gluten-free baking can often be a challenge, as eggs usually play a major structure-building role in gluten-free recipes. In general, we recommend baking gluten-free recipes that don't include eggs to begin with, instead of trying to replace them. Examples include:
- Gluten-Free Almond Flour Shortbread Cookies
- Gluten-Free Neapolitan-Style Pizza Crust
- Gluten-Free Ciabatta Rolls
- Gluten-Free Biscuits
That said, we have had some success with using a flax egg substitute in some gluten-free recipes. In particular, our Gluten-Free Sandwich Bread recipe includes this tip at the bottom of the page for making this recipe egg-free with a flax egg: To replace the 3 eggs called for, use 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (1 1/2 ounces) flax meal (the more finely ground the better), blended with 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon water. Let the mixture sit for 10 minutes to thicken before beating into the butter in the bowl.
Opt for egg-free recipes
Of course, the easiest way to bake without eggs: Use recipes that don’t call for them.
One of the main baking categories that leans egg free is bread. With the exception of enriched breads like brioche, most bread recipes don’t call for eggs. (And if you’ve got your heart set on brioche, we have a savory vegan brioche recipe, which uses aquafaba in place of the eggs.) Even cinnamon rolls can be made without eggs, as in the case of our Super-Soft Vegan Cinnamon Rolls.
Bread-adjacent recipes like biscuits and scones fall in this category too: classic styles like Buttermilk Biscuits, Easy Drop Biscuits, and Cream Tea Scones all skip the eggs.
Of course, we can’t live on bread alone. Pie is another good egg-free category, as most recipes for fruit pies don’t call for eggs. They do, however, usually need an egg wash. But we’ve got you covered. Our Test Kitchen has done tons of testing and determined their favorite eggless wash: soy milk. (For extra browning, add a splash of maple syrup to the milk before brushing on your pie.) And if you want an egg-free custard or cream pie — styles that typically rely on eggs in their filling — try our Vegan Pecan Pie, No-Bake Vegan Chocolate Pie, and Vegan Pumpkin Pie.
As you branch out to other baking styles, finding eggless recipes can become tricky. Here are some egg-free versions of common recipes to get started:
- Egg-free frosting: Vegan Swiss Buttercream, Easy Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
- Egg-free cake: Chocolate Cake Pan Cake, Vanilla Cake Pan Cake
- Egg-free cookies: Vegan Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies, Shortbread, Rose-Pistachio Cookies with Cherries and White Chocolate
- Egg-free muffins: Whole Grain Vegan Cranberry-Nut Muffins
- Egg-free waffles: Crispy Grain-Free Waffles
- Egg-free ice cream: Dark Chocolate Sorbet
If you're vegan (or baking for someone who is!) see our collection of vegan desserts, which not only skip the eggs but also the dairy.
Cover photo by Rick Holbrook; food styling by Kaitlin Wayne.