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By the author of The Ultimate Guide to Frugal Living and The Flat Broke Cookbook
With the price of eggs, you might be thinking about cutting out recipes that require them for cooking and baking. I have good news: that may not be necessary.
I’ve navigated a world without eggs my entire life. First, my father was allergic to eggs when I was growing up, and then later, my youngest daughter was allergic to them. We became pros at dodging food that contained eggs in meals out or cooked by other people, and I also learned how to bake and cook without them.
Here are my best tips for how to cook and bake without eggs.
There are two ways to cook and bake without eggs:
- Look for recipes that don’t contain eggs in the first place.
- Learn to use substitutes.
I’ve used both of these strategies.
Recipes that don’t have eggs to start with
First things first, there are a surprising number of recipes that just don’t have eggs to begin with. Start with those as opposed to diving straight into the world of substitutions.
For example, a lot of Great Depression recipes omitted eggs (and other expensive ingredients) simply because folks couldn’t afford them. So-called “Depression Cake” doesn’t contain eggs, milk, or butter, and it’s absolutely delicious. It’s easy to find recipes for this cake online.
Here’s a chocolate depression cake recipe, and here’s a vanilla depression cake recipe.
Shortbread cookies are also egg-free from the get-go. Also, things like apple crisp (or other fruit crisps) don’t have egg in the topping. It’s made from just oats, sugar, and butter.
Sometimes visiting the recipes of other countries can help. For example, Russian tea cakes are egg-free, as are Mexican wedding cookies. Nahnkhatai are highly spiced cookies from India. Melomakaronos are traditional Greek Christmas honey cookies. Ma’amouls are tasty Lebanese date cookies. I’m sure there are others, but these are the ones that come to mind.
Some vegan recipes are super-thrifty as long as they don’t require wildly exotic ingredients and substitutions.
Let me be absolutely clear that the little carton of “egg substitute” in the dairy fridge at your local store is really just eggs that you don’t have to break. I find that name very misleading, and people have mistakenly thought it was safe for my daughter to eat things made with “egg substitutes,” sending us straight to the ER.
And it should go without saying (but for some folks, I need to add this) these work as an ingredient, not the star of the dish. You can’t make an applesauce omelet or fried baking soda.
There are quite a few egg substitutes that work well in standard recipes, though. Some of them are thrifty, and some are not. Here are the ones that I have used regularly for years.
You can use any kind of cooking oil in place of egg wash on a baked good. I use coconut oil on sweet foods and olive or sunflower oil on savory foods.
Unsweetened applesauce works in both sweet and savory baked goods. I find that it makes the dish a little bit moister and airier too. Use 1/4 cup of applesauce per egg.
You can mix this with oil or white vinegar, depending on what kind of recipe in which you’re using it. The standard is one teaspoon of soda to one tablespoon of liquid per egg. Use vinegar for things that you want to be light and fluffy, like pancakes. Use oil for things that can be a little more dense, like dinner rolls, quickbreads, or cake.
This super-fancy-sounding thing is just chickpea liquid. So the next time you’re draining a can of chickpeas, save the liquid to use in place of egg whites. Three tablespoons equals one egg or two egg whites.
This has long been a go-to for me because it works extremely well in both sweet and savory dishes, and it doesn’t cost much money at all. Either buy it in powder form or whiz it up in your food processor to get a powder. For the equivalent of one egg, add one tablespoon of ground flax seed to 3 tablespoons of water and let it sit for 15-20 minutes.
I like to use this in dense recipes like banana bread and zucchini bread. 1/4 cup of yogurt is the equivalent of one egg. I feel like this adds a lot of richness to my recipes. I’ve also regularly used it in casseroles and other savory dishes that call for egg and won’t be weird with a touch of dairy.
Plain old fizzy water works really well for recipes that you want to be light and fluffy. Use a quarter cup for one egg. Depending on what you’re making, you could also use soda pop. For example, if you were making orange-cranberry muffins and had some orange soda pop kicking around, it would work well and enhance the orange-y flavor. You can also add Coca-Cola or Dr. Pepper to chocolate cake mix with tasty results.
How do you cook and bake without eggs?
I know there are tons of other egg substitutes out there, but these are tried and true for me. If you’re looking for more egg-free baking ideas, check out my pumpkin pie filling and cookie recipes.
Have you been baking and cooking with fewer eggs due to the high prices? Do you have any egg substitutes that you like to use? What do you recommend? Let’s talk about it in the comments.
Daisy Luther is a coffee-swigging, adventure-seeking, globe-trotting blogger. She is the founder and publisher of three websites. 1) The Organic Prepper, which is about current events, preparedness, self-reliance, and the pursuit of liberty; 2) The Frugalite, a website with thrifty tips and solutions to help people get a handle on their personal finances without feeling deprived; and 3) PreppersDailyNews.com, an aggregate site where you can find links to all the most important news for those who wish to be prepared. Her work is widely republished across alternative media and she has appeared in many interviews.
Daisy is the best-selling author of 5 traditionally published books, 12 self-published books, and runs a small digital publishing company with PDF guides, printables, and courses at SelfRelianceand Survival.com You can find her on Facebook, Pinterest, Gab, MeWe, Parler, Instagram, and Twitter.
6 thoughts on “How to Cook and Bake Without Eggs”
Just remember that if you’re trying also cook “healthier” that replacing both fats (like eggs and butter) with something like applesauce is a recipe for disaster! I learned that after my heart attack (in 1999) and decided I had to cut out all my fat. OOPS 🙂
My 14 year old son is anaphylactic to eggs, so I’ve also become somewhat of a pro at avoiding them 🙂 Greek yogurt works better than regular yogurt in some recipes. Sour cream works well also. I prefer to find recipes that don’t call for eggs at all, makes it easier than trying to figure out which replacement would work better. Vegan recipes are good for this, I just use non vegan items in place of the vegan ones (butter, milk, etc).
I feel your pain! Thankfully my daughter isn’t anaphylactic, but it’s still a very unpleasant reaction. I’m sure you know all about sending “extra treats” to birthday parties and all that stuff so they still have something safe to eat.
Nice article. I stopped eating eggs, after having covid smell issues.. They smell, “wrong” when I cook them. And because of the avian flu and chicken issues, I don’t want to take a chance on “tainted” eggs on top of that.. So, your article was very helpful, because its almost impossible to bake without eggs. Thanks!
I will often leave eggs out of recipes just because I don’t want to mess with it. It’s kind of amazing how many kinds of baked goods actually have eggs as an optional ingredient rather than it being mandatory.
I have seen people who think you have to put eggs and milk in yeast bread. As a public service, I just wanted to mention here, that’s not needed. I have made wonderful springy, moist and fluffy bread with nothing but flour, water, salt and yeast. I have also made noodles with only flour, water and salt. It’s wonderful actually!
Just an FYI. Its best to grind your flax as you need it. It goes rancid very quickly. Also most seeds and grains lose their nutrition in a matter of days after being ground.
I always keep my flax seed in the fridge.