The Best Vegan Egg Replacer for Baking

When you just have to bake, and eggs aren’t an option, what next?

layabout muffins

Substituting in cooking is typically fair game: Having all the exact ingredients on hand is a rarity, then there are those times when you omit something out of preference and taste—or dietary restrictions. But when it comes to baking, people are typically a little more fearful to add ingredients or leave them out entirely.

That said, I've always been a fan of messing around with baking—including omitting eggs and trying out egg replacers. (Sometimes, your guests can’t eat eggs, and sometimes, you just don’t have eggs around). While there are commercial egg replacers on the market, I wanted to test out some ones you might already have in your kitchen. See how each fared below.

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labeled muffin tin

The Contenders

For this test I used a classic Blueberry Lemon Muffin recipe and substituted the two eggs called for with four different egg substitutes. For each egg called for, I tried substituting:

- Banana (1/4 cup mashed)

- Flax egg (Made by mixing 1 tablespoon ground golden flaxseed with 3 tablespoons water and letting it sit for 5 minutes)
- More acid and base (1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar and 1 teaspoon baking soda)

- Chickpea water (3 tablespoons of the water from an unsalted can of chickpeas, also known as aquafaba)

MoreOther adventures in aquafaba.

muffin cross section
From left: Chickpea water, banana, flax, acid/base

How They Fared

Out of all the muffins, the banana one clearly looked the most appealing. The extra sugar from the fruit helped the muffin top brown and gave it a caramelized chewy top. The texture was ever so slightly dense with a moist crumb. The only characteristic of this muffin I found problematic was the fact that it really tasted of banana. If this was a plain blueberry muffin, that might have not been so bad, but it was competing too much with the lemon. 

The flaxseed batter was the runniest of the bunch, which caused the blueberries to bleed, resulting in a grey muffin. The top remained pale with very little browning and caramelization. Much like the banana muffin, the flax muffin was ever so slightly dense and moist, yet the flax remained totally undetectable. The end result was ugly, but pretty tasty.

Acid and base
This one was an utter failure! Firstly, the batter was super stiff, so I had to add a splash more milk to bring it to the consistency of the others. Once in the oven, these muffins over-proofed, leaving a flat-topped muffin with a sunken middle and a strange yellow color. The texture was crumbly and dry and the flavor was overwhelmingly acrid and bitter. These headed straight for the compost. 

Chickpea water (aquafaba)
To be honest I felt awkward adding bean water to my muffins, but the chickpea water batter seemed the most like an egg-based batter than the rest of the muffins—neither too runny nor too stiff. The baked muffins had uniformly domed tops, with a slight golden color (still not as golden as the banana), a much lighter structure than both the banana and flax, and a nice bouncy crumb. And surprisingly enough, there was zero bean flavor!

muffins in a row

 From left: Chickpea water, banana, flax, acid/base

The Verdict

4th Place: Acid and Base. Maybe it works in another recipe, or in a smaller proportion, but not here. No way.

3rd Place: Banana. Tasty, but also pretty banana-y. Possibly best in something chocolaty, or as a plain banana muffin.

2nd Place: Flax. Pretty good all around, just not the most attractive looking.

1st Place: Chickpea water. I amazed to admit it, but this yielded a soft and fluffy muffin that nobody would suspect of being egg-free.

Photos by Sophie - Wholehearted Eats.

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See what other Food52 readers are saying.

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Merry H. June 16, 2018
I tried garbanzo water in a waffle recipe. Complete disaster. I had to scrape the doughy batter, which never rose, out of the waffle maker. Full fat coconut milk, on the other hand, worked perfectly.
Paula H. September 11, 2016
Splashing milk in the acid/base muffin rendered it non-vegan.
RHo April 11, 2017
It was almond milk. How do I know this? The recipe is hyperlinked in the article.
Christina D. September 11, 2016
You can also try and replace an egg with an avocado. One half avocado per one small sized egg. I bake christmas butter cookies with avocado and only the colour tells you there's no egg in it. You don't taste the avocado at all.
Patty J. June 23, 2016
one tablespoon soy flour and one tablespoon water for each egg. Works pretty well.
Nick October 12, 2015
I just found out about aquafaba myself and I'm going to start experimenting with it more. Highly recommend the Facebook pages as linked from the official website.

Here's some ideas what you can do with it.
Curious B. October 8, 2015
Ground white chia seeds mixed with water works really well too. Ditto for pureed silken tofu. I currently use 50/ 50 blend of both together as egg substitute in baking. The result is very close to eggs in baked goods. Curious to try combo of chickpea water and chia seed mixture or silken tofu puree.
Pavel K. October 5, 2015
See no control one with proper egg
Maria September 27, 2015
This was very interesting and helpful. I have been meaning to try the chickpea water.
Author Comment
Sophie -. October 8, 2015
So happy you found it useful, Maria!
Helen M. September 23, 2015
This is so helpful; thank you!

I use the acid/base method most frequently when baking and have never ever had my muffins looking crazy or with a weird texture/taste. HOWEVER, I've only made recipes that initially call for the acid/base NOT as a replacer in a recipe that calls for something else.

I'm excited to pull out some of my non-vegan baking recipes again and try the aquafaba! Great post :D
Author Comment
Sophie -. October 8, 2015
Thank you so much, Helen Marie! Who would have thought chickpea water?! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! :)
Laurena O. September 23, 2015
Great article -- my daughter has a severe egg allergy, so baking can be a challenge. What measurements do you use for these alternatives? For example, if a recipe calls for one egg, how much chickpea water should be used? Thanks!
Laurena O. September 23, 2015
My listed measurements in your article! Thanks :)
Author Comment
Sophie -. September 24, 2015
Laurena O. September 26, 2015
Me again...I wanted to make your classic lemon blueberry muffins that your reference in the article, but the recipelinked in your article doesn't have eggs--it's a vegan recipe. Can I substitute the oil in the recipe with the egg replacement?
Barbara September 23, 2015
Helpful article. Thank you! I've heard raw pureed zucchini may be a good egg sub as well. What do you think?
Author Comment
Sophie -. September 24, 2015
wow, I've never heard of that one! I bet it would be a lot like banana or applesauce, but without the added sweetness. I think that would be nice in savoury baking!
Beverly May 11, 2016
not sure why the limit to savory cooking when using grated zucchini, but if you're concerned about a zucchini-ish flavor, please don't. best chocolate cake I ever made was with grated zucchini, albeit not a vegan recipe
Denise September 23, 2015
Very helpful article for people with egg allergies. Just wish you had also tried applesauce!
Author Comment
Sophie -. September 23, 2015
Thank you, Densie! From experience, I'd classify apple sauce up there with banana - it adds a great kick of sweetness and moisture, but unlike the banana, doesn't interfere with flavour.
LisaMarie A. September 23, 2015
Do you whip the chickpea water first?
Author Comment
Sophie -. September 23, 2015
Nope, just straight out of the can!
Susan P. September 22, 2015
I have been experimenting with chia seed as an egg replacement with pretty good results. Have you tried it?
Author Comment
Sophie -. September 22, 2015
I love to use chia seeds! Overall, I would say they are up there with flax seeds - lots of fibre with added taste!
Carol S. September 27, 2015
I have used chia flour as well, but want to try that chickpea water. Intriguing!
Tasteaholics September 22, 2015
Great muffin recipe! Thanks :)
Author Comment
Sophie -. September 23, 2015
Thanks, Taseaholics!