You’re in the mood to bake and have everything you need to whip up something sweet...except the eggs. No need to rush off to the store—there’s very likely a suitable substitute for eggs in your kitchen already. Here, 13 easy swaps that actually (really) work.
How to Choose a Substitute for Eggs
The first thing you need to know when choosing an egg substitute is that the egg wears many hats in the kitchen. In addition to adding moisture and flavor to baked goods, eggs also play an important role in many recipes as binding and leavening agents. As such, before you attempt a swap, it’s important to know what job eggs are doing in the recipe you’re working from. Once you have a sense of that, finding a substitute is a piece of cake—namely because you have plenty to choose from.
1. FLAX “EGGS”
Let us explain: Flax “eggs,” while not actually eggs, are terrific substitutes for the real thing when you're baking a recipe in which the egg serves as a kind of binder. For the equivalent of one regular egg, ground 1 tablespoon of flaxseeds in a food processor and mix it with 3 tablespoons of water until fully combined. Then, let it rest for five minutes to thicken before using in a recipe. Flax eggs create a slightly nutty flavor, so they're great for recipes where that works, like in whole-grain baked goods (like Ambition Kitchen’s whole wheat sunflower honey oatmeal bread pictured above) and fluffy pancakes.
If you're baking a cake or whipping up a batch of muffins, buttermilk will do the trick. This fermented dairy drink adds moisture to baked goods and helps bind ingredients in recipes that already include a leavening agent (baking soda or baking powder, for example). For this swap, use ¼ cup buttermilk for every egg the recipe calls for.
3. Mashed avocado
Mashed avocado might seem wildly different from egg, but the rich, savory flavor and thick, creamy texture of avocado actually makes it an excellent egg imposter for baked goods in which the egg is there primarily for flavor and moisture. (Think: brownies or muffins.) The lack of egg means that your recipe likely won’t brown as much but the end result should stay nice and moist. For this substitute, simply mash the avocado until it’s silky smooth and use ¼ cup to replace one egg.
Aquafaba, or the liquid that comes in a can of chickpeas, is a great substitute for egg whites. To try it, strain the chickpea water into a mixer and beat it into a fluff that you can use to make everything from mayo to macarons and even a gluten-free raspberry lemon pavlova. The ratio here is 3 tablespoons of aquafaba per egg or egg white.
Another fermented dairy option that can stand in for eggs—plain yogurt performs well in recipes in which eggs function as a binding agent, adding moisture and improving the texture of the finished product. Again, this option is best for cakes, muffins and other recipes that feature a leavening agent. For this swap, use ¼ cup of plain yogurt to replace one egg.
6. Vegetable oil, water and baking powder
These two pantry staples can be combined to make an egg substitute with leavening power to make quick breads, scones and other baked goods that don’t already have another leavening ingredient in the recipe. To substitute for one egg, simply combine 1 ½ tablespoons of vegetable oil with 1 ½ tablespoons of water and 1 teaspoon of baking powder.
Presenting, one more reason to love seltzer: You can replace one egg with ¼ cup of seltzer for an egg substitute that actually works like a charm, particularly in recipes that involve a leavening agent. Pro tip: The bubblier the better—so definitely opt for seltzer, not something like Perrier.
8. Mashed banana
Swapping in ¼ cup of mashed banana for one egg (about half of a banana, depending on how big it is) adds moisture and a touch of extra sweetness to baked goods. The only thing to keep in mind is that bananas typically impart at least a little of their flavor on whatever you're pairing them with. As such, when substituting eggs with mashed banana, stick to recipes for baked goods that you don't mind tasting a little banana-y.
Like mashed bananas, using applesauce instead of eggs adds moisture to whatever you're baking, making it a great option for cakes that you want to be a bit more moist or fudge-like, like this dark chocolate cake from Lovely Little Kitchen. For this swap, use ¼ cup of unsweetened applesauce for each egg in the recipe. (Note: Unsweetened applesauce is best, but the sweetened kind will work if that’s all you have on hand—just cut the sugar in the recipe slightly so that whatever you’re baking doesn’t come out sickly sweet.)
10. Silken tofu
Another good vegan option, silken tofu can be pureed and used as an egg substitute and binding agent in recipes that have baking soda or baking powder. (Note: This one works especially well in vegan brownies.) Use ¼ cup pureed silken tofu to replace one egg.
If you happen to have arrowroot powder on hand, you’re in luck—it can be used as a stand-in for egg in any recipe that has another leavening agent at work. For this substitute, simply mix 2 tablespoons of arrowroot powder with 3 tablespoons of water; the resulting slurry can be used to replace one egg.
12. Vinegar and baking soda
Much like the vegetable oil and baking powder, this swap is ideal for recipes in which eggs do all the leavening work (i.e., there’s no other leavening agent listed in the recipe). Combine 1 teaspoon of baking soda with 1 tablespoon of distilled white or apple cider vinegar for a bubbly mixture that can be used to replace one egg.
13. Nut butter
No surprise here: Nut butter works well as a binding agent. You can use 3 tablespoons of any creamy type of nut butter (almond butter is especially mild and delicious) to replace an egg.
14. Soy lecithin
You might not have soy lecithin hanging out in your pantry already, but if you are looking for an egg substitute because you have eliminated eggs from your diet, you may want to stock up on it at your local health food store. Soy lecithin is added to a variety of different foods because of its binding properties, which is why it also works well as an egg substitute. For this one, add 1 tablespoon of soy lecithin powder (directly to your batter) to replace one egg.