DIY Vegan Egg Substitutes

Substituting eggs in vegan cooking has never been simpler and while you can buy vegan egg substitutes from the store, making your own is just as simple. Knowing the function of eggs will give you a great foundation for choosing which DIY vegan egg replacer to use.

Firstly, eggs act as a binder meaning they help to hold baked goods together and prevent them from becoming crumbly when baked.

Secondly, eggs provide structure; that is lift and texture to baked goods. This purpose is far trickier to “veganise” and to date I’ve only had any real success using aquafaba or chickpea flour with a touch of baking powder mixed in.

Thirdly, egg yolks help to emulsify fat in baking and prevent fats from separating.

Finally, eggs contribute to moisture in baking.

I recommend only ever trying to replace up to 2 or 3 eggs with vegan replacements. If you replace more eggs you might end  up with an under-baked hot mess. A handy rule of thumb is to stick to recipes that use one or two eggs or are vegan already. OK, let’s take a look at some of my favourite DIY vegan egg substitutes.

FLAX OR CHIA EGGS | BEST FOR LOAVES, MUFFINS & COOKIES

Little nutritional powerhouses, flax and chia seeds not only make great vegan egg substitutes in baked goods, pancakes and waffles, they add the goodness of omega fatty acids, fibre and protein to your recipe. They work well if you are only looking to replace 1 or 2 eggs.

For binding: 1 egg =

1 tbsp ground flaxseed, linseed or chia seeds

3 tbsp water

Combine in a small bowl and sit for 2-3 minutes before use.

For leavening: 1 egg = 

1 tbsp ground flaxseed, linseed or chia seeds

3 tbsp water

1/4 tsp baking powder

Combine in a small bowl until thick and creamy.

NB: chia seeds will thicken slightly more than flax eggs

AQUAFABA | BEST FOR MERINGUES AND BAKED GOODS

Aquafaba has become the darling of the vegan world in recent years. While it sounds terribly fancy, aquafaba is simply the brine from any canned or cooked beans, most popularly chickpeas. Aquafaba can mimic pretty convincingly egg white properties.

For meringues and macarons: 1 egg =

3 tbsp chickpea brine, whisked

For leavening and baking: 1 egg =

3 tbsp chickpea brine

1/4 tsp baking powder

Whisk together until frothy.

CHICKPEA FLOUR | GREAT ALL-ROUNDER AND BINDER

Chickpea flour is packed with protein and works to both bind and add lift to baked goods. I have been experimenting with chickpea flour to replace eggs quite a bit lately and it works wonderfully. Coagulating beautifully when baked it holds my pecan pie together without affecting the custardy texture of the dish.

For binding: 1 egg =

3 tbsp chickpea flour

3 tbsp water

Whisk together until creamy

FRUIT PUREE  | GOOD FOR CAKES, MUFFINS AND BROWNIES

Fruit and vegetable purees work well to bind ingredients however they provide no leavening so adding a pinch of baking powder, around 1/8 – 1/4 teaspoon, helps.

For binding: 1 egg = 

1/4 cup fruit or vegetable puree

I use sweet potato, pumpkin, banana, beetroot and apple sauce depending on what I am cooking. When choosing to use fruit or vegetable puree, it’s a good idea to note that they will add sweetness and flavour to your baked goods. Adding banana to chocolate cookies will make chocolate – banana cookies.

DAIRY-FREE YOGHURT OR SILKEN TOFU | BEST FOR CAKES AND BROWNIES

While dairy-free yoghurt and blended silken tofu won’t help to create structure in your baked goods, they do provide moisture. Unlike fruit purees like banana and apple, silken tofu and yoghurt don’t affect the taste of the end product.

For binding: 1 egg = 

1/4 cup dairy-free yoghurt or blended silken tofu

REPLACING EGGS IN EGG DISHES

Chickpea flour can also be used to replace eggs in omelettes and scrambles as Richa at Vegan Richa does here. I have also used it to create an authentic batter for a savoury French toast recipe in my cookbook.  

Meanwhile both firm and silken tofu can be used to create vegan scrambles. Firm tofu is more widely seen but gently folding silken tofu through a sauce or seasoned oil over heat also creates a delicious silken scramble.