Can I substitute egg yolks for whole eggs?

In this brief article, we are going to answer the question,”Can I substitute egg yolks for whole eggs?”, and discuss the egg white equivalents. We will also discuss the nutritional profile of eggs and in which recipes can egg yolks be substituted for whole eggs along with some other substitutes that can be used for whole eggs.

Can I substitute egg yolks for whole eggs?

Yes, egg yolks can be substituted for whole eggs. Eggs are used  for the purpose of emulsification, for binding, and as thickening agents. 

Different parts of the egg contain different types of nutrients in significant amounts. The egg white is rich in protein and the yolk is rich in iron, vitamin B-12, B-2 and some amounts of vitamin D. 

Whole eggs play a role in providing the fattiness, emulsification, flavour and colour while the whites of eggs play a role in providing lighter textures which compensate for the weak gluten development of rich breads. Recipes where whole eggs are used use less amount of water or milk, which is provided by the whites of eggs.

Less amounts of proteins are well handled by white, yellow and pound cakes whereas sponge cakes rely heavily on protein. The structure of soft breads is derived from the gluten which is present in flours and also benefits from the added fat from yolks. 

Egg yolks and milk are well suited to be used for custards, flans, puddings, french toast or custard based ice creams, cinnamon rolls and doughnuts.

What are egg whites equivalent to?

2 egg whites equal one whole egg.  An egg consists of about one tablespoon of egg yolk and 2 tablespoons of the whites. 2 egg whites are used to reduce fat and to lessen the tenderization of the bread in sauces, custards and cream fillings. 

What is the nutritional profile of eggs?

2 egg whites consists of 45 calories with 1-3 grams of fats and 7 grams proteins. A whole egg consists of 75 calories, with 7 grams of protein and about 5 grams of fat. 

Egg whites can thus be considered as a low fat food source which comes under the food group of low fat meat, whereas egg comes under the food group of medium fat meat according to  the American diabetic food exchange list.

Where can you substitute egg whites for whole eggs?

 Egg whites can be substituted for whole eggs in:

Cookies

Egg whole makes the cookies soft and moist and the texture becomes similar to that of cakes. If the yolks are added the flavour of the cookies become richer and the product becomes nutritious. Egg whites contain protein which play an important role to set and dry the cookies.

Cakes

The yolks of eggs work well in cakes as compared to whites of eggs. On the other hand, egg whites work better than yolks in sponge cakes because sponge cakes heavily rely on the firmness which is provided by the whites of the eggs.

Breads

Bread recipes that need extra amounts of fats can be provided by the yolks of eggs. The regular breads and doughnuts get their desired structure without the use of egg yolks and egg whites from flours. 

Egg yolks can better be used in recipes that require milk because the flavour of both blend well with each other. A point to be noted is that egg whites provide a higher volume than egg yolks. 

Yeast breads

Yeast breads such as Italian panettone and french brioche contain rich amounts of butter and when eggs are added they help the butter to remain in the dough preventing it from melting and running out. 

Proteins from eggs add to the structure and texture as described above which traps the air bubbles thus adding to the tenderness and richness to the dough.

On the other hand, the yolks of eggs are better suited for emulsifying because of their characteristic binding properties and therefore soften the bread and cookies.

Other FAQs about Eggs that you may be interested in.

Can pickled eggs go in the fridge?

Can you bake a frittata in a glass dish

Can you boil an egg in 3 minutes

 

Conclusion

In this brief article, we answered the question,”Can I substitute egg yolks for whole eggs?”, and discussed the egg white equivalents. We have also discussed the nutritional profile of eggs and in which recipes can egg yolks be substituted for whole eggs along with some other substitutes that can be used for whole eggs.

 

References

https://cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/24096/can-you-use-just-egg-yolks-when-recipe-asks-for-eggs#:~:text=Remember%20that%20the%20volume%20of,recipes%20call%20for%20only%20yolks.
https://oureverydaylife.com/whole-eggs-vs-egg-yolks-sweet-bread-22054.html

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.