I’m back with more vegan baking basics! It’s been a while since I’ve done a post and I’ve gotten a few questions about egg replacers. While it seems easy enough to replace eggs with powdered substitutes like Ener-G, I wanted to highlight the more whole foods replacers I’ve been using lately. I also wanted to feature replacements that would be accessible to everyone (Ener-G can be hard to find/expensive/a pain to order). Along with the replacements, I’ll go into a little bit about the type of baked goods the replacements do best in and how. This will be a bit shorter than the other baking basics posts, but I hope it’s helpful!
Bananas were the first egg replacement I had ever heard of, going way back to my high school days. Occasionally, my mom would bake brownies with banana instead of eggs and the result was always surprisingly moist, rich, and perfect. Bananas are my go-to in a pinch egg replacer because I normally have a few on hand, either ripe or frozen and they are easy enough to incorporate into heavy batters. I’ve found that bananas do best in baked goods when they are going to be masked by another, stronger flavor, like chocolate. The best baked goods are brownies, pancakes, very chocolately cookies, and quick breads. If you are looking for a crisp, crunchy cookie, bananas are not your girl. The extra moisture lent by the fruit does well in something that needs to stay moist (like brownies), but not in something that you want to stay crispy and crunchy. I haven’t tried bananas much in cakes or cupcakes, simply because I’m afraid they would weigh down the batter and not allow a proper rise, but it’s on my list of to-do’s. The upside of using bananas is that they lend a bit of sweetness to the baked good, so added sugar can be reduced a bit within the recipe.
To use: The ratio should be 1/2-1 banana, mashed per egg, if the batter looks a little thick after adding the banana, slightly increase the liquid (non dairy milk, water, etc.).
Flax Egg (Ground Flax seed +water)
When I first started transitioning into vegan baking I kept seeing recipes call for a ‘flax egg’, um what the heck is that? I had never heard of ground flax seed, let alone made an egg out of it! As I started to read more and more about vegan baking, I found out flax eggs are a wonderful way to replace eggs, in the right recipe. I honestly don’t use flax eggs all that often in delicate baking, such as cakes, but love to use it when making breads, granola bars, and hearty cookies or muffins. Flax eggs can’t really be hidden in a thin batter all that well, but in a thick batter they do wonderfully. Again, brownies, cookies (chocolate chip, fudge, oatmeal, etc.), and quick breads are perfect for flex eggs. A lot of times when I use flax eggs in baking, they go undetected, so no one needs to know it’s packed with all those good nutrients!
To use: Mix 1 tablespoon ground flax seed with 3 tablespoons water in a small bowl (this is equal to 1 egg). Let mixture sit for 5-10 minutes, or until it gels together.
Baking Soda+Apple Cider Vinegar
Finally, my last and final vegan egg replacer is a combination of baking soda and apple cider vinegar. I know, this combination sounds like a weird science experiment ready to explode, and you would be partially correct! The mixture of vinegar and baking soda creates a foamy reaction, which happens to be perfect for more delicate vegan baking. I use this replacer in cakes (like the lemon wedding shower cake I made last month), delicate cookies, and when I need to make an egg replacer much less detectable in a baked good. The only caveat to using this mixture as a replacer is that the liquid in many recipes does need to be increased slightly. Since you aren’t using egg yolks and whites, the small addition of a teaspoon of vinegar sometimes isn’t enough to get the batter to the correct consistency. I’ve found that using this vinegar and soda combination works perfectly for taking a favorite non vegan recipe and making it vegan.
To use: In a small bowl, combine 1 teaspoons baking soda with 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar to 1 egg. Add into recipe after mixture has bubbled slightly. I haven’t tried this with any other vinegar other than apple cider, so I can’t recommend white vinegar.
What is your favorite egg replacment? Tell me! I’m always curious to hear what people use!