Upset woman baking

It’s happened to all of us: We’re in the middle of making a recipe when we realize we’re out of a key ingredient. But don’t panic if you have to bake without eggs. You’ll be surprised at how well these easy food substitutions work.

A baking quick fix

Once you’ve freaked out about what you don’t have, take a deep breath and take stock of what you do have. Eggs are a crucial component of baked goods because they provide moisture and volume, but fortunately you can simulate that with a number of other ingredients that you might just have around.

After successfully using these food substitutions, you may employ them for more than emergency back-up in the future. They are all vegan alternatives and, with the exception of the vegetable oil, are more heart-healthy than eggs. Using banana, applesauce and other pureed fruit in baked goods is a wonderful tactic to boost flavor and make them incredibly moist. Talk about a happy accident!

Read more on healthy recipe substitutes >>


Use 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce in place of one egg in most baking recipes. Some sources say to mix it with 1/2 teaspoon baking powder. If all you have is sweetened applesauce, then simply reduce the amount of sugar in the recipe. Applesauce is also a popular healthy replacement for oil in many baked goods.


Use 1/4 cup mashed banana (from about half a banana) instead of one egg when baking. Note that this may impart a mild banana flavor to whatever you are cooking, which could be a good thing!

Flax seeds

Believe it or not, hearty-healthy flax seeds can be used as an egg substitute! Simply mix one tablespoon of ground flax seeds with 3 tablespoons water until fully absorbed and viscous. Use in place of one egg. (You can use pre-ground flax seeds or grind them yourself in a spice or coffee grinder.)

Read more on flax seeds >>

Vegetable oil

Typically 1/4 cup vegetable oil can be substituted for one egg when baking. If you are short more than one egg, you will want to try another method as any more vegetable oil may make the recipe too oily or greasy.

Water, oil and baking powder

Whisk together two tablespoons water, one teaspoon oil (like corn or vegetable oil) and two teaspoons baking powder. Use this in place of one egg. When used in cookies and other baked goods, it works so well no one would ever know!

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How to store leftovers properly

Tags: substitute foods

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Comments on "In a pickle: What to do if you’re out of eggs"

LInda April 07, 2014 | 7:39 AM

Had no egg for my chocolate chip cookies so I tried the water, oil and baking powder substitution and the outcome----Great tasting cookies

sunnygirl February 17, 2014 | 10:56 AM

How do these substitutes work? Eggs actually help keep things together. Without eggs wouldn't you have a crumbly mess?

GinaDee February 08, 2014 | 6:24 PM

I used pureed apples (for apple sauce) and I should have used baking powder, because my cupcakes and cake are flat.

Cassandra January 26, 2014 | 2:28 PM

Correction: she is allergic to eggs.

Cassandra January 26, 2014 | 2:27 PM

My granddaughter is allergic to oil. how do I substitute w/ baking powder if the recipe already calls for baking powder?

Sid December 31, 2013 | 3:41 AM

How much is 1/4 cup???

Rhea December 31, 2013 | 3:39 AM

So could I use vegetable oil instead of 1 egg for my cookies??????

Daisy December 16, 2013 | 6:56 PM

I'm making a coffee cake the oil & baking powder is already included. Should I still use the oil water and baking powder thing ?

Annette December 02, 2013 | 12:16 PM

I used the applesauce and baking powder solution for chocolate chip cookies. It was still a tad dry, so I added a teaspoon of coconut oil. Worked like a charm, thanks!

Susan October 03, 2013 | 12:23 PM

Will this work with cheesecake?

Nikki September 29, 2013 | 11:11 PM

I needed 3 eggs in my chocolate chip cookie recipe, but was out and it is seriously stormy outside. So, I used 1 applesauce cup, half an avocado, and about 1/3 cup of coconut oil. My cookies turned out soooo yummy!

Leah June 16, 2013 | 10:13 AM

Thanks for the tips going to try to make cookies for my father for fathers day today. Thanks again!

Guest May 22, 2013 | 7:13 PM

the water, oil, baking powder works extremely well in cakes! It seems to fizz a bit, but the result is fluffy and delicious!

Guest March 29, 2013 | 2:28 AM

Tried "Water, oil and baking powder" to substitute one egg for my chocolate chip cookies. Did not turn out wel at all.

Justin August 09, 2012 | 9:12 AM

Thanks so much for all the enthusiasm leaids! I KNOW you are going to LOVE these! To answer some questions: yes, UNSALTED Fleischmans' Margarine is dairy free, as well as Earth Balance buttery sticks. Depending the size of your cookie scooper this recipe will yield about 30 pies, give or take a few. The cookies will stay fresh for several days, individually wrapped in a little saran wrap, and doesn't require refrigeration. And finally, don't get too caught up on the sugar content since it is a once in a while treat. I've never called myself the fat free mama .LOL.

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