Eggs are a popular ingredient, especially in baking, and without them, many of our baked goods would come out crumbling. But is it possible to omit an egg from a recipe if the need calls for it? Well, you’d be glad to know that you can’t only do that but also find convenient substitutes for it that can work on various recipes ranging from cornbread to pancakes, brownies, and even banana bread. And you’ll be able to tell how much of each substitute equals one egg, as well as decide which ones qualify as healthy options or vegan alternatives.
What Does an Egg Do in Recipes?
As previously mentioned, eggs are primarily used in baking and for lots of reasons. Recipes that contain eggs are flavorful, as it contributes to the taste. When dough-containing eggs are baked, they turn golden brown and appear delicious. When you mix an egg with other ingredients, it acts as a binder and holds them in place. Also, eggs allow foods to puff up when cooked, as it traps air pockets between the ingredients. The bags expand as the food is cooked, giving the food volume yet leaving it with a light texture. And because eggs contain liquids, they add moisture to the other ingredients, even after they are cooked.
Egg Nutrition Facts
Why Substitute an Egg?
The most common reason why anyone would consider replacing an egg in a recipe is that they ran out of it and found out at the last minute. This problem applies to lots of us, especially since eggs are one of those food items we assume would always be available at home. But sometimes, you may need to omit it from your recipe, especially if you’re a vegetarian or cooking for one. And in other cases, you may want to take it off the list if you or whomever you’re cooking for has an egg allergy.
Whichever reason you’re looking for a substitute to replace one egg, it’s good to note how each one would do the job. Since eggs add flavor, color, moisture, volume, and binding power to the foods, any selected substitute must impart some or all of these factors. Fortunately, a list of some convenient alternatives is listed below;
One of the most convenient ingredients to use as a substitute for eggs in most recipes is applesauce. Already a popular household ingredient, it performs all the requirements sought after in eggs beautifully. Applesauce adds moisture to a recipe and binds just as well as eggs. And it contributes to the fluff and flavor of the food once cooked. For one egg, you can use a quarter cup of applesauce. But make sure it’s the unsweetened type; it’s best, more flexible, and the sweetened one adds extra sugar to the recipe.
Buttermilk or Yogurt
If you don’t have a problem with animal protein and aren’t lactose-intolerant, then you can substitute buttermilk or yogurt for one egg. These also work perfectly for breakfast meals where you discover the egg crate has run dry. Both buttermilk and yogurt add extra moisture to the recipe, and the former contains a lot of fat which helps with binding. If you’re using yogurt, the plain ones are best as the sweetened brands will alter the dish’s flavor. Substitute a quarter cup of buttermilk or yogurt for one egg in baked foods, especially cakes, muffins, and pancakes.
For vegans, silken tofu stands out as the best egg substitute you can find. Made from condensed soymilk, it has a soft texture due to its high water content. Silken tofu is purely made from plant milk, which also makes its healthy substitute for eggs. And it doesn’t alter flavor but adds extra moisture and density, making it perfect for baked goods like brownies, cakes, and quick bread. To substitute for one egg, blend up to 60g of silken tofu till the lumps disappear. This recipe makes about a quarter cup. Silken tofu also works in cooking recipes that call for one egg.
Baking Powder and Vegetable Oil
If what you’re looking for is the leavening property of eggs, you can substitute them with a mixture of baking powder and vegetable oil. The vegetable oil allows for the trapping of air pockets, while the baking powder provided a support structure for volume. For one egg, mix one and a half tablespoons of water and vegetable oil in 1 teaspoon of baking powder. Remember not to confuse this with baking soda in this substitute.
Carbonated water releases air bubbles, and when used as s substitute for eggs in baking, it can help leaven the dough. With it, baked goods come out fluffy with a light texture. And as a bonus, it also adds moisture to the dough. For quick bakes, use a quarter cup of carbonated water to substitute one egg.
Using mashed fruits to replace eggs in a recipe is another way to cook if you’re avoiding them in your diet. The only issue would arise in the flavor of the food, as the taste of the fruit will be noticeable when the recipe is finished. But if this wouldn’t be a problem, then go for it. For instance, you can use a quarter cup of mashed bananas in place of one egg in many baked recipes, but the taste would be prominent, making it the best for banana bread. You can also puree other fruits like avocados, peaches, and pumpkins to give a recipe moisture and density.
Substitute for White or Yolk
Even when dealing with recipes that call for one egg, it may simply only ask for either the white or the yolk. If such is the case, you can find substitutes that best suit the purpose.
For the white of one egg, replace it with three tablespoons of aquafaba. Aquafaba is the fluid gotten from cooked legumes, and you can drain some of it out of canned beans.
If the recipe calls for the yolk of one egg, soy lecithin is your best bet. Since egg yolk is mainly used as a binder, soy lecithin is a close substitute because it bears similar properties. And because it’s gotten from soybean oil, it works for vegan diets as well. With one tablespoon of soy lecithin, you can substitute for one egg yolk.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How much oil replaces an egg?
If you’re baking, use a quarter cup of vegetable oil to replace one egg. This substitute works only if the recipe calls for one egg only, and trying to double this if the recipe required more than one egg may render the food greasy.
Is mayo a substitute for eggs?
Mayonnaise already contains eggs, so it works as a great substitute. To use in place of one egg, add three tablespoons of mayonnaise to the recipe. But mayo contains some oil, so you may notice the baked goods come out a bit denser.
Can I use milk instead of eggs in a cake?
Yes, you can, but only if the egg is there to provide moisture. And you’ll know this if the recipe doesn’t include any other liquid ingredients. Milk will also add richness to the mix as the egg would.
If you’re worried about not finding a substitute for one egg in your recipe, don’t be. With any of these options, you can still add moisture and richness to your foods without eggs. And the best part is with each of these substitutes; you get more flexibility on how to confidently make tasty recipes when you don’t have an egg.