Skip to Content

Substitute for Egg Wash

An egg wash is simply beaten eggs with a mixture of another liquid (usually water or milk). As basic as it reads, egg wash is a beneficial culinary asset. It is brushed onto the surface of a pastry before baking and is also important for breading foods. Besides its usefulness in pastries, egg wash is also useful in recipes that include calzones, fish, chicken, etc.

An egg wash is often used to make pastries shiny and golden or brown in color; this is possible by the interaction between the proteins and fat within both the egg yolk and white promote browning and sheen. Also, it is used to help toppings or coatings stick to the surface of the pastry or bind pastry parts together, such as empanadas or other recipes.

Egg Nutrition Facts

Egg Nutrition Facts

Substitute for Egg Wash

There are many reasons a person may not be able to use eggs in their baking, from food allergies to diet. At such times, you may need an egg wash substitute to recreate the crunchy, tempting crust that an egg wash can provide.


Various oils make a good substitute and result in nice browning: oils such as vegetable oil, olive, coconut, rice, corn. For thicker oils, try thinning out with a little bit of water/milk mix in well. Oils as a vegan egg wash for baking are great to check out; an example of baked puff pastry is purslane pockets or vegan dinner rolls that use coconut oil instead of egg wash. Both have a lovely golden color.

Honey or Maple Syrup

Sweet options like honey or maple syrup will turn your pastry a deep gold, with lots of caramelized crunch. The sugar in the honey or maple syrup will caramelize, giving the finished product a lovely deep golden glow. Avoid using savory goods. These can burn very quickly in a hot oven. So it’s best used with quick recipes with short baking time. Alternatively, use them towards the end of the baking time.


Mayonnaise is a thick spread that works as a substitute for egg wash, particularly for savory food, especially fried chicken. That’s not surprising, considering that mayonnaise contains eggs. If you want to avoid eggs, try vegan mayonnaise. Mayonnaise is thicker than a typical egg wash. You can thin it out by adding milk or water. Brush a light layer over the unbaked surface.


Aquafaba is basically the juice of chickpeas or beans. Aquafaba can be used on its own as it is light in flavor and can have an added sweetener (a good egg wash substitute for bonding or coating using a brush). This is a great ovo-vegan substitute for egg wash. Just use as much aquafaba as you would some egg wash.


It goes best with fruit-based baking. You can also pair it with ham or salmon. The smoky-sweet flavor of molasses pairs very well with scones as well. It is best to use medium or dark molasses for glazing meat. For other baked food, you can also use light molasses.

Custard Powder

A combination of custard powder and water can give your pastries the perfect finish, making them look appealing. It gives a smooth and lustrous finish. Dilute the custard powder in equal amounts of water. That is, for each teaspoon, use one teaspoon of water to make a paste. Apply this with a pastry brush.


Plant-based milk such as almond, soy, oat, and rice work well too. Try unsweetened versions as sugar browns (quicker) when exposed to heat. Milk also makes a great vegan egg wash for baking; they have a lovely sheen.

Ground Flaxseed

This is another great option for vegans, particularly as binding before breading. Ground flaxseed works great as a substitute for beaten egg. When combined with water, it is known as a flax egg and used in eggs in vegan baked products. Mix one tablespoon of ground flaxseed with three tablespoons of warm water. Let it rest for 10 minutes as it thickens.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is Egg wash the whole egg?

Yes, it can be. An egg wash is an egg (white, whole, or yolk) beaten with water, milk, or cream. You can use an egg wash to seal edges together, add shine, or enhance the golden color of baked goods.

What’s the purpose of egg wash?

In its simplest form, egg wash is just a combination of raw egg and a liquid like milk or water. Egg wash is most commonly used in baking, both for color and to bind things together.

What happens if you don’t use egg wash?

Without egg wash, the pastries look dull and dry and not appetizing. Egg wash is also a great glue for making two pieces of pastry stick together (like the edges of a double pie crust) or adhering seeds and grains to the top of bread and rolls.

Does egg wash make bread crusty?

Egg wash often appears in pastry and bread recipes and can create a shiny, brown crust or act as edible glue. You can adjust the egg wash, so your baked goods come out as crisp, soft, or shiny as you want them.


Now you’ve been armed with many ways to achieve the same effect egg wash gives without necessarily using eggs. Enjoy your adventure in the kitchen.

Subscribe to Blog Chef for the easiest recipes and cooking tips. Signing up gives your consent to emails and personalized ads. See privacy policy.