LEARN HOW TO BAKE WITH VEGAN EGG SUBSTITUTES (CHEAT SHEET INCLUDED)
April 27, 2021
You can’t bake without eggs, right?
Here at BReD, we develop and bake egg-free recipes almost every single day! Over the years, we’ve experimented with various baked goods and tried and tested numerous vegan egg substitutes.
Egg replacements are relatively simple to use but there is no ‘one substitute fits all’ for vegan baking. Therefore, we must first understand what roles eggs play before we replace them in our cakes, cookies, muffins, breads, and other baked goods recipes.
In this article, we’ll be delving into the best vegan egg substitutes for baking.
egg substitutes: a baker’s cheat sheet
Here’s our cheat sheet to vegan baking egg replacements…
Hold on just a minute, don’t be hasty!
There’s way more to baking delicious goods than just substituting out the egg for a vegan alternative.
This cheat sheet is designed to be easily accessible but make sure you read the rest of the article to understand the many different properties of eggs in baking and how/when to choose which replacement.
Ok, here you go:
what do eggs do in baking?
Eggs play several roles in baking, such as the aerating effect from whipping egg whites, while the yolks contain lecithin, which makes them excellent emulsifiers.
In addition, eggs are useful for binding ingredients together, creating rise, providing structure and stability, changing the colour and flavour, adding moisture, and ensuring a light spongy texture.
There is no one-to-one conversion from a chicken egg to a vegan substitute. There are many properties of eggs so, when considering an egg alternative, you have to consider what the function of the egg is.
To bind ingredients together, you can use vegetable starches such as potato or corn starch. These have emulsifier properties, as does flax and chia seed and psyllium husk.
If an egg is 50g, you can use 10g ground flaxseed mixed with 30-40g water or plant milk. Flax is super high in fibre so when activated with water, it turns into a gel that glues everything together and keeps it moist.
Some people find there is an after-taste to flax and choose psyllium husk instead, though it is a little harder to find. It comes as a powder and so you don’t have to grind it up as you do flax. Psyllium husk is very fine so a teaspoon is enough to replace an egg, and the liquid content of the recipe will need to be increased with a little extra plant milk or water.
Pureed fruits, silken tofu, and plant-based yoghurt can also be used as a binding vegan egg substitute for baking but are weaker than the aforementioned alternatives and do little to provide structure. Therefore, these are best used for lighter bakes or alongside additional raising agents.
Another egg substitute is “aquafaba”, which is a posh word for “bean water” – the liquid you drain out of your chickpeas when you cook them or empty a can.
This is a magical liquid, which can be reduced by half its quantity (if you have cooked the chickpeas yourself) and used to make meringues. The trick to this is not using an oven, but a dehydrator as the temperature can be kept consistent.
Aquafaba freezes really well – the colder it is, the more likely it is to turn into egg whites. Aquafaba lasts for ages in the freezer too. Pour it in ice cube trays, freeze it and defrost when you need it. You don’t need to throw that bean water away again!
In addition to creating meringues and mousses, the aeration of eggs can be used to provide a spongy texture to cakes and other baked goods. As mentioned earlier, to achieve the same effect, raising agents can be added alongside (or even in replacement of) vegan egg substitutes. For example, you could use an acid (e.g. vinegar or lemon juice) with bicarbonate of soda, which will react together to leaven and lighten your bake.
EGG WASH (GLAZE)
We are often asked what we use instead of egg wash on pastry. Soy milk (which has a high lecithin content) and a little agave syrup (for sweetness) can work well. Brush it on and you can get a little shine on your tarts!
You may find that using vegan butter in a recipe might give a natural shine and no glaze is necessary anyway. Sometimes, vegan baking involves just taking stuff away without missing out. For pizza crust and burger buns, which might have an egg wash to stick seeds on with, at BReD we literally just use water. The seeds stick without any need for egg!
experimenting with vegan egg substitutes for baking
Baking with egg alternatives is a learning curve! By working out why a recipe needs eggs in the first place and using our guidelines above, you’ll be able to swap them out for plant-based replacements that achieve the same function or simply leave them out altogether (you may want to add some more liquid in this case, such as plant milk).
You’ll start getting a feel for it after a while and work out your own preferences. But for now, why not try out these...
Want to dip your tastebuds into vegan baking using egg substitutes? We’ve rounded up some of our favourite eggless recipes for you to try. Simply click on the link that takes your fancy and get baking!