Eggs are a very common ingredient in both sweet and savoury cooking. They act like the glue in baked cakes and cookies, and they are used to create fluffy omelettes and creamy quiches. Because of their popularity in cooking you may well have a few recipes that call for an egg or two.
Thankfully, there is a vegan egg substitute for pretty much every use you can think of. This means your favourite recipes can be easily veganised. Some you can make yourself at home using cupboard ingredients and some can be bought in the supermarket.
Before you decide on a vegan egg replacer you first need to decide on what you need it for. Some vegan egg alternatives are used to replace an egg in baking whilst some are used to replicate certain variations of a cooked egg in savoury foods.
Therefore, to make your decision-making easier I have separated this article into sections based on their suggested use, be that for vegan baking or for cooking. Within this article, I will discuss vegan egg substitutes bind together baked goods as well as direct egg replacements to create vegan scrambled eggs, omelettes and quiches.
The best vegan egg substitutes for baking
When it comes to baking your favourite cake and cookie recipes, you’ll want a vegan egg substitute that helps to bind together the ingredients as well providing structure to the bake. There are quite a few different vegan egg substitutes that you can use for baking, each is useful in different ways so I have suggested recipes that suit each.
Aquafaba is the miracle liquid that comes from inside a tin of beans, the most popular variation being that of the tin of chickpeas. Either use as it is or whisked up into a white stiff texture, it works perfectly as a vegan egg white substitute.
You can use aquafaba to make vegan meringues, vegan mayonnaise, or fluffy vegan cakes. You will be truly surprised at what you can achieve with the liquid from a tin of chickpeas!
I would avoid using this egg replacer when a recipe calls for a ‘whole egg’ since it works more like an egg white, adding an airy fluffiness to bakes. Structurally it doesn’t hold up as well as a chia or flax egg.
How to make an aquafaba egg: 1 egg = 3 tbsp of aquafaba. If your recipe calls for whipped egg whites then whisk the aquafaba using an electric whisk for about 10 minutes until it has formed stiff white peaks, otherwise, you can just use the liquid as it is.
When you mix chia seeds with water they form a strange-looking gel mix that has incredible binding properties. You can see how good it is just by touching it, as it will likely stick to your fingers. Once mixed into a cookie or cake batter it helps to bind all of the dry ingredients together to create structure in a bake.
How to make a chia egg: 1 egg = 1 tbsp chia seeds + 3 tbsp water. Simply mix the chia seeds and water together and set aside for about 5 minutes until it forms a thick gel-like substance.
Suggested recipes for chia eggs: try using a chia egg to make your favourite vegan cookie recipes
This one may sound like a dairy replacement, which you’d be correct in thinking, but it always works perfectly well as an egg replacement. You just need to make sure you are using it in a recipe that also calls for baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, or self-raising flour which already contains these leavening agents. This is because it requires an alkaline ingredient to create the chemical reaction that makes your vegan bakes nice and fluffy.
It is one of my favourite egg replacements in cake recipes, as it makes everything incredibly fluffy. But it is worth noting that you can’t just directly replace an egg with vegan buttermilk because it will add a lot more liquid to your cake batter which will stop your cake from cooking properly. You will need to substitute it for whatever liquid you have added to the recipe in order to make it work. Otherwise, follow an existing vegan recipe to get it right the first time!
How to make vegan buttermilk: whisk 1 tbsp of fresh lemon juice or apple cider vinegar into 250ml of plant-based milk, opt for high-protein milk like soya milk or oat milk. Set it aside for a few minutes to curdle slightly and then use.
This is one of the most popular vegan egg replacers and it has been used to create vegan baked goods for years. Some of the old-school vegan cake recipes that I have relied very heavily on are flax eggs. There is a reason it is so popular, it is one of the most reliable alternatives.
By grinding up the flaxseeds, or buying them pre-ground, and mixing them with water, you get a sticky gloop that helps to bind together cookies and cakes. Although, unlike chicken eggs, it doesn’t give any rise to a cake. Which is why I prefer using this for cookies and firmer cake recipes.
How to make a flax egg: 1 egg = 1 tbsp ground flaxseed + 3 tbsp water. Simply mix together ground flaxseed and water and set it aside for about 5 minutes until it has thickened.
Suggested recipes for flax egg: use a flax egg to make vegan cookies and biscuits, or in cake recipes that don’t need any ‘lift’, like this vegan rhubarb crumble cake
Mashed bananas are more than just children’s food, they work really well to bind together food. That being said, it does have a strong banana flavour, making it only really suitable for anything that you want to taste like banana.
It works really well when making a vegan banana bread recipe or banana pancakes.
How to make mashed banana egg: 1 egg = 1/2 mashed banana. Mash the banana until it has formed a soft gloop and there are no solid chunks left.
Suggested recipes for mashed banana egg: try using mashed bananas to create some delicious gluten-free banana pancakes or make a vegan banana bread
The best vegan egg substitutes for cooking
Eggs have many uses in cooking, like for scrambled eggs, omelettes and quiches. These are all very popular dishes that can still be enjoyed on a plant-based diet thanks to these awesome vegan ingredients that mimic eggs.
Tofu is an incredibly versatile ingredient, not only is it really popular in a lot of Asian cuisines, but it has also been adopted by the vegan community as a great vegan egg alternative. As well as being easy to cook with and make into egg-like dishes, it is also really healthy. Because it is made using soya beans, it is a really high-protein food.
The silken variety is soft and squidgy and it blends up into a smooth paste that upon baking in the oven, sets into a firm substance. This makes it the perfect replacement for eggs in recipes like quiche and frittata.
Read my guide on how to cook with silken tofu for more ideas on using this incredible egg alternative.
Firm tofu can be used to create a scrambled egg. Simply tear it up into chunks or cut it into small pieces and fry off with plenty of seasoning, and maybe some turmeric for an egg-like colour.
Gram flour is a really popular high-protein ingredient that is used in a lot of Indian cooking, as well as more recently, a lot of vegan dishes. It has incredible binding properties which means once it is introduced into water it forms a batter that doesn’t require any eggs.
Therefore, it can be used to make batters for frying food in as well as frying off to make a vegan omelette.
Suggested recipes: mix gram flour with water to make a batter and fry it off to create a vegan omelette
Ackee is a fruit found in the Caribbean and used in traditional Jamaican recipes like ackee and saltfish. A few years ago it became very popular in the vegan community as a vegan egg alternative which can be used like a scrambled egg.
It has a really soft texture and a creamy taste that is quite similar to cooked scrambled eggs. You can fry it off with some shallot, garlic and cherry tomatoes to make a delicious vegan scramble and serve it with a side of toast.
Frequently asked questions
Here are some FAQs regarding vegan egg replacements.
What is a vegan egg?
A vegan egg is an alternative to the eggs produced by chickens. It can be made using many different natural ingredients, depending on the type of egg dish you want to replicate. For instance, you can make a vegan scrambled egg using ackee, or a vegan quiche using silken tofu. If you are trying to replicate a dish that uses egg whites, like meringues, you can use aquafaba.
So, a vegan egg is either used to ‘bind’ ingredients together in recipes or to actually mimic eggs in a dish.
What can I eat instead of eggs for protein?
There are many high-protein foods that are plant-based, making them great alternatives to eggs. Some examples of plant-based protein sources include:
- Quinoa and amaranth (both complete proteins)
- Beans like chickpeas, black beans and butter beans
- Tofu and other soy products
- Nuts like peanuts and almonds
- Peas (another complete protein), including petit pois and garden peas
For more examples of egg-free protein sources, take a look through my article on the best high-protein vegan foods.
Why should I eat vegan eggs?
Chicken farming causes so much unnecessary suffering on chickens, and vegan egg alternatives are so good, meaning there really is no need to harm animals for tasty food! Moreover, by eating chicken eggs you are stopping them from eating the eggs themselves, which is part of their natural process.