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

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 how well these easy egg substitutes work.

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 you might just have around.

After successfully using these food substitutions, you can employ them for more than emergency backup 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 puréed fruit in baked goods are wonderful options to boost flavor and make them incredibly moist. Talk about a happy accident!

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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 of 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 might impart a mild banana flavor to whatever you are cooking, which could be a good thing!


Believe it or not, hearty-healthy flaxseeds can be used as an egg substitute. Simply mix 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseeds with 3 tablespoons of water until fully absorbed and viscous. Use in place of one egg. You can use pre-ground flaxseeds, or grind them yourself in a spice or coffee grinder.

Find out more about flaxseeds >>

Vegetable oil

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

Water, oil and baking powder

Whisk together 2 tablespoons of water, 1 teaspoon of oil (like corn or vegetable oil) and 2 teaspoons of baking powder. Use this in place of one egg. When used in cookies and other baked goods, it works so well that no one will ever know.

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