What can I substitute for eggs in cakes?

In this brief guide, we shall answer the question “What can I substitute for eggs in cakes?” and outline all the possible substitutes and how they can be used. We shall also see a brief explanation as to why we use eggs for a better understanding of its substitutes. 

What can I substitute for eggs in cakes?

If you are in a pinch where you have decided to bake a cake on a particular day or have started the baking process, only to realise that you are out of eggs, there are fortunately a decently long list of alternatives that can be considered. These can be used in the case that you are allergic to eggs or are looking for vegan options. These alternatives are:

Why do we use eggs in cakes?

Eggs, in essence, are a very important component of cake batters. They act as a leavening agent and add much-needed structure to the cake that would otherwise leave it flat and much too soft. They also add moisture to the cakes that ensure that they aren’t left crumbly and dry in your mouth. 

The protein in both the yolk and white is what plays an important role in the cake’s structure. The protein coagulates (changes to a solid or semi-solid state) when baking and combines with the starch in the flour to form the cake’s crumb. 

The yolks in the eggs not only contain protein, but also fats, flavours, and more importantly, emulsifiers, that allow holding fats and water together that makes the cake batter to better hold liquid, and thus can contain more water content as well as sugar. This is what makes the cake have more moisture and hence making it more enjoyable. Eggs also contribute to the fluffy and airy texture of cakes. 

What is the list of alternatives for eggs in cakes?

1. Mashed bananas

Mashed, ripened bananas are an excellent, nutritious substitute for eggs. It adds density and moisture to your baked good, however, it does add a slight banana flavour so make sure that the recipe can afford that. Use a banana of moderate ripeness as the riper it is the sweeter it will be and can change the flavour of your dish. One egg can be replaced by ¼ cup of mashed banana.

The banana flavor is a great enhancement for vanilla and chocolate cakes so in such cases is a great alternative to consider.

2. Applesauce

Cooked apples are pureed to make applesauce. You can use the sweetened type, but the amount of sugar in the recipe will need to be reduced to compensate. This is a nutritious moistening alternative that can be used in muffins, cupcakes, cookies, and bars. Keep in mind, though, that too much applesauce can cause a rubbery texture.

In most recipes, one-fourth cup of applesauce can be substituted for an egg.

3. Silken tofu

Tofu is made by pressing into blocks processed, condensed soy milk. Silken tofu is softer due to its higher water content. To substitute with an egg, purée 1/4 cup silken tofu. It has a bland flavour when compared to the other options, but it can make a dish denser, so it’s best for brownies, cakes, and bread, as well as other recipes that only require a few eggs.

4. Ground flaxseeds mixed with water

These seeds are abundant in omega-3 fatty acids and fibre, making them extremely nutritious. This is a very healthy alternative. A spoonful of powdered seeds and three tablespoons of water can be combined to make a thick paste that can easily replace one egg.

Keep in mind, however, that this option makes your cake dense and can also leave a nutty flavour. It is hence advised to be used for savoury cakes like banana cake, fruitcakes, etc.

5. Yoghurt or buttermilk

This option provides the cake with a lot of moisture and texture. To avoid adding any additional sweetness or flavour to the cake, make sure to use plain and unsweetened yoghurt. 1⁄4 cup of yoghurt or buttermilk can be used in place of one egg.

Because this is a heavy substitute, it is a good idea to beat it first. Muffins, cupcakes, and cakes benefit the most from this alternative.

6. Vinegar + baking soda

This interaction produces carbon dioxide, which creates air bubbles in the baked item, giving it its airiness and light, fluffy texture. In most recipes, a teaspoon of baking soda mixed with 1 tablespoon of water can be used in place of an egg.

Conclusion

As seen in this article, there are many substitutes for eggs in acake, each with their individual properties and unique flavour profiles. We have outlined each of these alternatives and how they cna be replaced in a cake. You can also consider commercial egg replacement powders that work just as well but may not be easily available. 

Citations

https://www.webmd.com/diet/features/good-eggs-for-nutrition-theyre-hard-to-beat#:~:text=One%20egg%20has%20only%2075,nutrients%20like%20lutein%20and%20zeaxanthin.
https://www.australianeggs.org.au/nutrition/health-benefits
https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/egg-substitutes#TOC_TITLE_HDR_10
https://www.purewow.com/food/substitute-for-eggs

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.