The Best Egg Substitutes for Any Recipe

updated Nov 15, 2023
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substitutes for eggs
Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Design: The Kitchn

Eggs are a baking essential, a glue that holds cakes, muffins, and quick breads together. But what if you’re vegan, have an allergy or aversion, or just ran out of eggs and really want to make some muffins? Every home cook needs an easy egg substitute in their back pocket.

Replacing eggs in a baking recipe usually requires special considerations — does the substitute have the same moisture, protein, and fats as a large egg does? More importantly, an egg substitute needs to support the other ingredients — sugar, flour, and butter — without overpowering them so the resulting baked good still tastes delicious.

With that in mind, we tested eight different egg substitutes, most of them kitchen staples you’re likely to have on hand, to see how they performed. While each of these egg substitutes works — you can still bake muffins, pancakes, or quick breads with any of them — some of them performed better than others.

Quick Overview

So, What Is the Best Egg Substitute?

After testing several different methods, we found that both carbonated water and a mix of water, oil, and baking powder were the best egg substitutes. These two methods both delivered decent results during testing and created baked goods that were airy and fluffy in texture.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Design: The Kitchn

How We Tested Egg Substitutes

In order to test the best egg substitutes for baking, we used a basic vanilla muffin without any add-ins. Made with the called-for egg, this recipe produces a light, bouncy, and flavorful muffin. The top has a lovely crispness and the inside is tender. No bells and whistles here — just a very classic muffin. We also baked another batch without an egg at all and the resulting muffins were pale, dense, and a bit flat in flavor and height. Our goal for each egg substitute was to stay as close in taste and texture to the original.

We chose 8 different substitutes that were recommended by our own editors as well as the vegan community and that had reliable availability at this time.

(Note: we also tested this recipe using silken tofu, with good results, but as tofu is temporarily harder to find at grocery stores it isn’t included in this report.)

Credit: Joe Lingeman

Substitute: Aquafaba (Chickpea Cooking Liquid) 

Replacement: 3 tablespoons aquafaba = 1 large egg
Rating: 2/10

Aquafaba is the liquid from cooking beans or from a can of beans. It’s a popular egg substitute because its composition of carbohydrates, proteins, and other soluble plant solids mimic eggs: Aquafaba can emulsify, foam, bind, gelatinize, and thicken. For testing, we used aquafaba from canned chickpeas and while it imparted no flavor, it made the muffins chewy and dry. It was our least favorite of all the substitutes. 

Credit: Joe Lingeman

Substitute: Ground Flax Seed

Replacement: 1 tablespoon ground flax seeds and 3 tablespoons of water = 1 large egg
Rating: 2/10

To create a “flax egg” combine the ground flax seed and water and let the mixture thicken for about 5 minutes before using as you would an egg. When we baked muffins with flax seed eggs, the batter was a lot thicker than it was with other egg substitutes and the muffins themselves were denser and had a slightly grassy flavor.

Credit: Joe Lingeman

Substitute: Chia Seeds

Replacement : 1 tablespoon chia seeds (whole or ground) and 3 tablespoons of water = 1 large egg
Rating: 3/10

Like flax seeds, chia seeds need to be hydrated in water before adding them to the muffin batter. While chia seeds didn’t add flavor like the flax seeds, they added texture, like poppy seeds, to the finished muffin. Muffins baked with chia seeds had a light tender, texture despite their added crunch.

Credit: Joe Lingeman

Substitute: Arrowroot Powder

Replacement : 2 tablespoons arrowroot powder and 3 tablespoons water = 1 large egg
Rating: 3/10

Arrowroot comes from a tuber in South America and can be used in everything from gravies to pies to thicken liquids. As an egg replacement for baking, arrowroot is mixed with water to form a slurry before being added to the muffin mixture. In this simple muffin recipe, the arrowroot brought out some extra sweetness, but left the muffins a bit dry.

Credit: Joe Lingeman

Substitute: Applesauce

Replacement : 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce = 1 large egg for most recipes
Rating: 4/10

Applesauce has long been used to replace eggs and oil in recipes for the health conscious. Used as just an egg replacement here, it made the muffins a little chewier but very moist. The tops of the muffins did not get as crisp during baking. Using applesauce also made for a sweeter muffin with a slight apple flavor.

Credit: Joe Lingeman

Substitute: Mashed Banana

Replacement: 1/4 cup mashed banana (about 4 inches or 2 1/2 ounces) = 1 large egg
Rating: 5/10

Much like applesauce, mashed banana is an easy replacement for eggs in most baking recipes. As you might expect, there is definite banana flavor when baking with bananas in a simple vanilla muffin. Because of the bananas additional starches, the muffins were a little gummy compared to other muffins.

Credit: Joe Lingeman

Substitute: Water, Oil, and Baking Powder

Replacement: 2 tablespoons water + 2 teaspoons baking powder + 1 teaspoon vegetable oil = 1 large egg
Rating: 9/10

This simple combination leans on pantry staples you probably have on hand. Muffins baked with this egg replacement were light and airy and there was almost no difference in taste and structure. The tops were a bit more crisp and darkened slightly during baking and this might have been my favorite, if it weren’t for the next method.

Credit: Joe Lingeman

Substitute: Carbonated Water

Replacement: 1/4 cup carbonated water = 1 large egg
Rating: 10/10

This easy and surprising substitute yielded muffins that were almost indistinguishable from the muffins baked with egg. They were moist and tender on the inside with a lovely crisp top. This will definitely be my new go-to egg substitute in baking.