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What is egg replacer?

Egg replacerSometimes, when a recipe does not include eggs, it will call for “egg replacer” instead. This is most often found in vegan recipes, since vegan recipes don’t include animal products and never use eggs, although a search for egg-free bloggers will find you plenty of people who also don’t want to include eggs in their cooking. Egg replacer is a packaged product that is a dry mixture of starches and/or binding ingredients that is meant to replace some of the function of an egg in a recipe. They include ingredients like cornstarch, potato starch, soy powder and flax seed, just to name a few. Some mixtures will contain a small amount of leavening or xanthan gum, as a binder.

Egg replacer doesn’t replace eggs in all circumstances, so you wouldn’t want to make an omelette out of it, but the replacers do work well in baked goods. In baked goods, eggs usually add some moisture and some thickening and binding power to a recipe, particularly in recipes were only one or two eggs is called for. Egg replacers that are a combination of starch and water – starch for thickening and water for moisture – can mimic the function well enough that your chocolate chip cookies will still taste very good when they come out of the oven.

Some do-it-yourself egg replacer recipes, for one egg, include:

  • 2 tbsp cornstarch + 1 tbsp water (what I generally use)
  • 2 tbsp potato starch + 1 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp ground flaxseed + 1 tbsp water

I’ve seen suggestions to use 1/4 cup applesauce, mashed banana or other fruit purees, but these don’t have the same effect as the starch and flaxseed mixtures and can potentially make your batter a little bit too thick or heavy.

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  • Laura Flowers
    June 4, 2009

    This little post is an important one. I get questions on how to replace eggs in baking on a semi-regular basis. I’ll just point people your way.


  • Anna
    June 4, 2009

    Argh, why did I spend $6.00 on a box of egg replacers when I could have just used cornstarch? Thanks for the tip! I’ll have to try the cornstarch egg replacement in the vegan, wheat free, Urth copycat cookies.

  • Jennifer Galatioto
    June 4, 2009

    Thanks – the homemade substitutions really help.

  • Kris
    June 4, 2009

    I’m a vegan baker who regularly reads your blog. I have my second cookbook on vegan baking coming out in a couple of months.

    On my site under “vegan baking?” I have a whole section on egg replacers. My book also has an entire section on the chemistry of baking and how to best replicate the chemistry in vegan baking.

    I think this may be the first time I’ve commented on your blog, although I’ve been reading for 3 years. Hi!

  • jenniegomes
    June 5, 2009

    I love eggs,its a part of my breakfast.thanks for giving this interesting information.

  • Anuradha
    June 5, 2009

    Hi Nicole

    Very useful, thanks. I’m not vegan but have developed an aversion for eggs, especially in desserts. I’ve waited long and searched hard for a good guide to a dependable substitute. At last, here it is, on one of my fav blogs. Just a thought–does replacing affect the taste? Hope some time to see a more detailed account of your experience with egg replacers. Anuradha


  • lillyhopes
    June 5, 2009

    I read your article and i got many information.i hope you will write again useful article.
    Thanks for great links with nice tips that will be helpful to me thanks again.

  • Mr. Dayton Ohio Mortgage
    June 13, 2009

    I agree with a previous poster. Just use cornstarch. This looks really disgusting.

  • The Beekeeper
    July 5, 2009

    Has any of you tried this with honey?

    It tastes very good with eggs.

    All the best!

  • Carrie
    October 9, 2009

    Does using egg replacer in a regular recipe change the baking time? My eggless cake recipes bake for 25 minutes but my egged cake recipes bake for 45. Any ideas?

  • Pascale
    November 18, 2009

    I’ve used Egg-replacer successfully many many times as a substitute for the real stuff. I use it because one of my kids is allergic to eggs. Feel free to check out a tried and true recipe for chocolate cookies on my blog: http://pm-betweenthelines.blogspot.com/2009/02/egg-free-chocolate-chip-cookies.html

  • hari
    January 7, 2011

    Thank you, but am awfully confused.. sorry for the STUPID question, but i assume it is any of these… right…or is it all of these mixed together….?

  • Nicole
    January 7, 2011

    Hari – It is any of those combinations.

  • Annie
    March 2, 2016

    How do cookies turn out when one uses the cornstarch slurry as an egg replacer in the dough? Do the cookies spread more? Get crispier? End up pasty? I hope you can help me out with this one. Thanks.

  • Nicole
    March 3, 2016

    Annie –

    There isn’t one answer to your question. Different cookie recipes will turn out slightly different ways. Often the cookies will spread a bit less than they do with an egg, but typically they turn out to be very similar. Some recipes may require a bit of experimentation if they rely a lot on the egg for their texture (such as very cakey cookies or cookies that use only egg whites).

    I hope that helps.

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