We’ve all been there: Out of eggs and zero time to go to the store again. Short of doing without, you’ve got options! While nothing can really replace all that eggs do (they don’t call it the Incredible Egg for nothing), you can find a reasonable egg substitute for baking right in your pantry or fridge. Depending on whether you need an egg substitute for binding the ingredients in your favorite cookies or are racking your brains to think of an egg substitute for pancakes that will still keep them fluffy, other ingredients you may never have thought of can (almost) fill eggs’ shoes.
First off, consider what eggs do. In baking, they’re responsible for binding (holding the rest of the ingredients together) or leavening (making things like cakes light and fluffy), or both. They also provide moisture and flavor. Substitutes can replicate one or two of those things, but not completely, so bear in mind that if the baked good you want to make calls for three or more eggs, you should probably choose another recipe.
But if you must have that plate of brownies ASAP, here are some items that you may have on hand that can do in a pinch.
What are the best egg substitutes for baking?
For recipes that use eggs primarily for moisture and binding (crisp cookies, fudgy brownies, dense quick breads), consider these:
Fruit and Vegetable Purees ( 1/4 cup = approx. 1 large egg)
- Applesauce (contains some natural pectin, which helps jams and jellies thicken)
- Mashed banana (sometimes the banana flavor intensifies with baking)
- Mashed sweet potatoes or squash
- Pureed avocado
Tofu (1/4 cup = approx. 1 large egg)
- Silken tofu (often available in shelf-stable packaging), blended until smooth
For recipes that use eggs for binding and some leavening (pancakes, some cakes and cookies) consider these:
Aquafaba (3 Tbsp = approx. 1 large egg)
When whipped, this marvelous product — the cloudy liquid from a can of chickpeas that most of us just wash down the drain — can sub for egg whites in mousses or mayonnaise, and as a binder in cookies and muffins when un-whipped.
Flax Meal (1 Tbsp + 3 Tbsp water = approx. 1 large egg)
If you have some flaxseed in your pantry (or, preferably, in your fridge or freezer — the oils can go rancid pretty quickly), you have a potential “flax egg” on hand. Per our friends at King Arthur Flour and Bob’s Red Mill, mixing 1 Tbsp of ground flaxseed and 3 Tbsp water produces a pretty good substitute. After 30 minutes or so, the mixture thickens to produce a gel-like (eggy!) substance that can be used instead of 1 large egg. Chia seeds work in a similar fashion (plus they make a mean pudding!).
Your resulting egg-less cake or cookie may not be insta-worthy, but we bet it will still taste pretty darn good.