Eggs seem to be in everything when you’re baking, from cookies to cakes. Even easy boxed cake mixes want you to add eggs. If you’re a vegan, suffer from an egg allergy, or maybe just in a hurry and you don’t have eggs to hand, what can you use as an egg substitute?
Normally I don’t eat a lot of sweet treats but every now and then, I just fancy a piece of cake. As a vegan, that can be really frustrating. It’s hard to find a cake that doesn’t contain eggs.
So I started experimenting with some mixed results! But today I’m going to share with you my top eleven egg substitutes when baking cakes. They’re all healthy eating options from natural ingredients. Don’t worry if you’re not vegan, these tips can be used in non-vegan recipes too!
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What can you substitute for eggs in a cake mix?
Fortunately, there are a few easy egg substitutes you can use to bake a cake without eggs. Most are readily available from a grocery store and you’ll probably find you have a few of these ingredients already lurking in your kitchen.
The top egg substitutes to replace eggs in a cake mix
- Vinegar and baking soda
- Silken tofu
- Mashed banana
- Unsweetened applesauce
- Chia seeds
- Ground flaxseeds
- Plain yogurt
- Pumpkin Puree
- Solid coconut oil
- Protein powder
If you’re trying out any of these egg replacement options for the first time, I recommend that you try them out in a simple cake or cookie recipe first, to make sure you get the right amount and that they turn out well.
A cake mix box is ideal and I used a box mix to test out these different egg substitutes. It was a great way of testing out what works and what doesn’t.
Your favorite egg replacement for cake mixes will be down to personal tastes and preference so try out a few of the different options to see what works best.
Even if you normally eat eggs, it can sometimes be a good idea to cut down on the number you eat. Eggs are very nutritious but eating too many may have an adverse effect on your cholesterol levels.
What happens if you bake a cake without eggs?
Without eggs, your cake mix won’t rise. It will be dense and flat. If you make a sponge without eggs it won’t hold together well so the texture may not be right.
The crust of cookies baked without eggs will also tend to brown too quickly before the inside is cooked through properly.
However baking cakes without eggs isn’t impossible. There are workarounds to get a well-risen and flavorful cake without eggs.
The function of eggs in cake mix
Eggs play a significant role in a cake mix most notably to give it structure. The proteins in eggs help to give your cake that light, fluffy texture. Eggs are also responsible for providing moisture and richness as well as adding flavor.
The main role of eggs is to help in leavening. As the cake bakes and proteins coagulate they trap air bubbles which cause the cake batter to rise. The egg yolks add fat making the batter taste rich and smooth.
Whatever you use to replace eggs needs to mimic the egg leavening properties, plus add richness to the batter and flavor.
9 Simple Ways To Replace Eggs In Cake Mixes
These are the best options I’ve discovered for replacing eggs. It can be easier to replace one egg in a recipe or maybe two instead of trying to make recipes with lots of eggs or egg yolks.
#1 Vinegar and baking soda
First up is vinegar and baking soda. This is a simple and easy substitution to add to the dry ingredients of your box of cake mix. It’s often available around the kitchen saving you a trip to grocery stores. Vinegar has the added benefit of making your cake mix more acidic which will react with baking soda, causing it to rise as well as add flavor.
All you need to do is add one tablespoon of vinegar plus one teaspoon baking soda for each egg that needs replacing in your recipe. Whisk together until it’s well mixed.
Apple cider vinegar works best for this purpose as it has a milder flavor than other types of vinegar and will give your cake mixes an apple-y taste!
As an extra tip, vinegar is also very good at controlling the over-browning of your cookies so they don’t burn. Add vinegar to your favorite cookie recipe and it will help stop them from browning too quickly.
#2 Silken tofu
This is another great replacement for eggs. It works well in both sweet and savory recipes which can be an extra bonus!
Silken tofu is very soft and creamy so it will give the cake mix a smooth, rich texture. The high protein content of tofu gives your cake mixes structure and works well for binding ingredients together.
However, you can taste the tofu very easily so it’s best to use this in recipes that are strongly flavored or baked goods where the flavors of the other ingredients will mask that mild sweetness from tofu. You could even add vanilla extract for extra richness and flavor if needed!
How much egg substitute depends on the original recipe. To replace one egg with silken tofu just whisk in a quarter cup of mashed up tofu until fully mixed through. It can help to blend the tofu until smooth before adding it to your bake.
If you want to use this substitution for two or more eggs in your recipe then just add half a cup instead and it should work well. You can always add some plant milk such as soy milk, or water if your cake batter is too stiff.
#3 Mashed banana
Another egg substitute that works well is mashed banana. It’s one of the most popular egg substitutes used in vegan baking and it’s easy to see why!
The banana gives the cake recipe a rich texture and moistness. It works well for sweet recipes. For savory recipes, you could give mashed potatoes a try.
For best results, you need to use a quarter cup of a mashed-up, very ripe banana per egg you want to replace. It works best if the ripe bananas are mashed into a smooth puree. You can also add some plant milk if needed.
This works better for denser cakes such as pound cake or brownie mix that don’t need to rise. Mashed bananas create a very moist cake!
#4 Unsweetened applesauce
This is a great substitute for eggs in baking because it adds moisture to the mix and binds everything together. It’s so easy to find in stores and it has the added benefit of giving your cake mix a hint of sweetness which can be perfect for sweet cakes or cupcakes!
It works well in savory recipes too but you need to reduce any additional sugar by about half if using applesauce in place of eggs.
To replace one egg just whisk a quarter cup of unsweetened applesauce into the batter until smooth and fully mixed with no lumps or chunks. It’s best to use the apple sauce straight from the jar. No matter how many eggs you have in a recipe, never use more than one cup of applesauce – otherwise, your cake will turn out tough and chewy!
#5 Chia seeds
Another easy vegan cake mix substitute uses ground-up chia seeds mixed with water to form a gel-like substance called chia egg. This works best when blended so your best option is to put half a tablespoon of chia seeds in a small bowl and cover with three tablespoons water. Leave to soak for five minutes before using.
Then stir the gel into your cake mix until fully mixed through. It’s best to use chia seeds for whole egg or egg yolk substitutes only and not for egg whites.
Don’t use these seeds for recipes where you need to replace more than two eggs. The seeds have very little taste so they won’t affect your recipe flavors.
#6 Ground flaxseeds
Similar to chia seeds, flax seeds make a great egg substitute for baking. The flaxseed gel is quite thick and so it’s best used as an egg replacement when your recipe calls for just one or two eggs.
To replace just one egg, first whisk together one tablespoon of flaxseeds with three tablespoons of water. Stir until thick and foamy then add to the cake mix so it’s thoroughly mixed in. Make sure you get rid of any lumps!
You need to use ground flaxseed for this substitution. The flaxseed gel is often referred to as flax egg and flax eggs have a consistency of beaten eggs so they can’t be used instead of just egg whites.
#7 Plain yogurt
This is a great option for eggless baking if you want to add some healthy protein. You can even use homemade yogurt! Vegans can opt for a plant-based yogurt – vanilla soy yogurt is my favorite!
The consistency of yogurt is much closer to that of egg whites so it works best as an egg white replacement only. So if your recipe calls for two whole eggs just use the yogurt to replace one egg and find a different substitute for the second egg.
A ¼ of a cup of yogurt can be used to replace one egg in cake mixes. If you want to replace two or more eggs then just add a quarter cup for each extra egg required.
Stir together until smooth and fully mixed with no lumps. Yogurt will not act as a leavening agent so you will need to use baking powder or baking soda in your recipe to help your cake rise.
Ever heard of aquafaba? No? Neither had I until I started vegan baking! It’s made from cooking water leftover from legumes such as chickpeas and white beans. The starchy substances in the water act as a binder similar to eggs so it makes an ideal replacement for recipes that call for several eggs. This egg substitute works very well for whipping up like meringue or making cakes rise.
Aquafaba works best in recipes that require egg whites only so if the recipe calls for whole eggs or egg yolks then aquafaba is best avoided. It’s a good substitute for angel food cakes which are typically just made with egg whites.
To replace one egg, whisk together three tablespoons of aquafaba with half a teaspoon of cream of tartar until stiff peaks form. Add sugar slowly to sweeten and add flavorings as required.
#9 Pumpkin Puree
This puree works very well as an egg replacement and it also adds moisture and sweetness. It’s best used in recipes that call for just one or two eggs.
Use ¼ cup of puree for every egg. Whisk pumpkin puree together with water until smooth then stir into cake mix so it is thoroughly mixed in without lumps or chunks left behind.
If your recipe calls for sugar you will need to reduce this by half as pumpkin purees have a natural sweetness of their own.
#10 Solid coconut oil
Can you use oil instead of eggs in a cake mix? Yes of course and coconut oil is a healthy option.
Substitute eggs with one teaspoon of vegetable oil, two teaspoons of baking powder, and two tablespoons of water per whole egg. If you’re using solid coconut oil, you’ll need to melt it before use.
It will give your cakes a lovely nutty flavor.
#11 Protein powder
I’ve saved the best for last. You can get a very similar effect to eggs in baking recipes just by using unflavored protein powder.
To replace each whole egg, use one tablespoon of protein powder with three tablespoons of water plus half a teaspoon of baking soda. Mix well to ensure there are no lumps. You may find it helps to add some extra baking powder to your recipe.
You can use flavored protein powder such as chocolate or vanilla but don’t forget it will add flavor to your cakes! Chocolate flavored protein powder makes terrific chocolate cake!
Artificial Egg Replacers to Replace Eggs in a Cake Mix
I’m not a huge fan of artificial ingredients so I prefer to use healthier substitutes such as ground flaxseed, yogurt, pumpkin puree, or mashed bananas.
But vegan egg substitute is are great in a bind when you have a complex cake recipe that won’t work with your natural ingredients.
Hopefully, this article on the best egg substitutes for baked goods has been useful – why not try them out next time you make a cake? There’s no reason vegans or anyone who doesn’t eat eggs should miss out on delicious spongy cakes!
If you’re trying to lose weight it’s best to go easy on baking cakes but often cakes you bake at home are less indulgent than shop-bought alternatives. Weight loss is all about balance.
If an occasional piece of cake stops you from binge eating because your diet is too restrictive, by all means indulge – just don’t overdo it. If you have a real problem with eating too many sweet goods and bakes, it could be time to try quitting sugar.