When does egg replacer work very well?

I have been experimenting with egg replacer, and while it works great in pancakes, it's been a major disappointment in cakes for me. The package says you can replace eggs with it in all your baked goods. What am I doing wrong that it makes my cakes come out so thin and rubbery and dense, barely rising at all? Also, can it be used to dip veggies and meat in, which will then be breaded and baked? Can it be used as a binder in meatballs or potato pancakes and vegetable fritters?

a Whole Foods Market Customer


Author Comment
Anita - I checked out your web site. There is no WAY you are just substituting flax/water for eggs in your baking business. I do this on occasion at home, but the resulting texture is extremely gummy (see my previous note). What do you use in place of eggs? (I understand if you don't want to share a secret, but I've got the nerve to ask!)
Anitalectric May 10, 2012
I would chuck the egg replacer in the garbage and use ground flax seeds instead. 1 tbp. ground flax plus 3 tbp warm water, blended together until light and frothy= 1 egg.
Author Comment
Thanks, all! I am using Bob's Red Mill egg replacer. I did not realize it is mainly a binder, so that's helpful to know. No allergy - just cutting back drastically on all animal products. So it's not a big problem for me to use eggs in a cake. I just like to replace what I can, and the milk and butter are easy to replace. I do have 2 vegan cookbooks, but the cake recipes have not been ideal. Ahh, yes - flax - my 5-year-old twins LOVE when I bake with flax. "It's just like gummies!" they say excitedly. Fine for home, but not to serve to guests! Anyway, thank you all for this valuable information.
Reiney May 9, 2012
Ah, of course. Thanks SeaJambon.

In that case, I'd search around and experiment with different cake recipes - you might find some recipes perform better with the replacers than others.

For example (assuming it's an allergy and other dairy is still on the table), look for cake recipes that cream butter/sugar together and contain baking powder or soda to achieve some of the cake's loft. Using the egg replacers in these types of recipes might get you closer to your desired result.

Other tips from my "tips for eggless baking" pastry notes:
- eggless cake batters are slightly thicker so avoid adding too much liquid
- use pastry flour instead of all purpose flour (may help make things lighter, less chewy)
- extra 1/2 - 1t of baking powder helps with leavening (the loft that petitbleu references)
- you'll have a stickier batter so use non-stick baking pans or oil the pan and then dust with flour
SeaJambon May 9, 2012
Sarah - Guessing but WFMC (or someone WFMC cooks for) likely has an egg allergy/sensitivity. Although not nearly as common as wheat/gluten sensitivities, eggs are still on the "top 10" most "allergic" foods.
Reiney May 8, 2012
Completely agree with petitbleu's advice. You're very likely not doing anything wrong. Eggs are cooking/baking's most "magical" ingredient, next to perhaps gluten. Seriously - the things that eggs are capable of are so very hard if not impossible to mimic with replacements, processed or natural.

Given your references to meat in your question, I take it you're not using egg replacer for vegan purposes. Can I ask why you want to use them?
petitbleu May 8, 2012
Eggs serve a few purposes in cakes. First and most basic, as a liquid. Second, as a binder. Third, for loft. Fourth, for fat. Egg replacer (I imagine you're using EnerG Egg Replacer?) simply acts as a binder. This leaves you with having to make up for less fat and less loft from the eggs. I'm no vegan baker, but I know that you might do well to take a page from a vegan baking book. I own Veganomicon for this very reason. Many vegan recipes use applesauce to compensate for the lack of eggs. Ground flax seeds soaked in water are also used.
I would imagine that as a binder in fritters, croquettes, etc. it would be just fine, but anything that has a fine, delicate crumb probably won't be good with egg replacer.
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