Switching out the core ingredients in a classic recipe is always a risk. Not only will they potentially taste different, but the texture, rise, and shape can all be affected.
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But, whether you are looking for a vegan egg substitute for cookies or other baked good, have an allergy, or just forgot to buy eggs at the store, there are still plenty of ways that you can substitute eggs.
Eggs are used in baking primarily as a binding agent. This means that you simply need to find a substitute that will keep all of the ingredients combined. An egg substitute for binding is all you need. So let's replace that egg yolk and get started.
But, this can’t just be tap water or anything wet. The substitute needs to have the thick consistency of an egg.
The taste of the cookies won’t be much affected by substituting the egg. Just so long as you don’t choose anything with an overpowering taste.
Once baked, you cannot taste the egg in a cookie as the flavor comes from the sugar and other ingredients. So, it’s important to add something as tasteless as possible.
Eggless cookies are possible. So whether you're making a chocolate chip cookie, peanut butter, or sugar cookie, eggless cookie dough can be found for your cookie recipe. I use applesauce in my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe. Just put the dough ball on the cookie sheet or baking tray and pop them in the oven. In no time you have eggless chocolate chip cookies.
I've also tries maple syrup as an egg substitute with almond flour and vegetable oil. That didn't go well. Chocolate chip cookie dough with applesauce is still my favorite. If you're extra health conscious maybe try using coconut oil.
So, with that in mind, here are the best substitutes for eggs in cookies (while still retaining the taste).
Egg substitute for cookies:
Xanthum gum has been around for quite a while. But it has become more popular in recent years due to the increase in the number of people beginning vegan diets.
It is also often used as a replacement for gluten in gluten-free foods.
Xanthum gum has absolutely no flavor. But, it is very thick and will potentially make the cookies a little more dense than usual.
The amount you use will vary depending on your recipe. But xantham gum is often sold as “egg replacer” and will have instructions on the back for how to substitute one egg or one egg white.
Xanthum gum is not bought as gum but as a powder. It is a fine white powder that, when mixed with water, becomes thick and viscous. It has a very similar texture and consistency to egg white.
This is a very simple option. But it will involve finding the powder first. Although it has become a more popular ingredient, it might be a little tricky to find it in your local store.
If your go-to grocery store doesn’t stock it in the baking or free-from aisles, you can always try the closest health food store.
But, if you are in a rush and don’t have time to run to the store, cornstarch will also have a similar effect. For one egg, mix together 1 tablespoon of water and 2 tablespoons of cornstarch.
This ratio will create a thick, gloopy mixture that will be similar to the consistency of a mixed egg. Cornstarch is often used to thicken sauces and stews. So the cookies will be a little dense but it won’t be too noticeable.
This might be a surprising one. But the thick consistency of applesauce helps to bind the other ingredients of a cookie.
Applesauce is itself sweet (and a little sharp and acidic) but it won't affect the flavor. Try unsweetened applesauce instead.
By the time it has combined with the other ingredients and baked, it won't have retained any of its flavor. Applesauce is also very moist so it won't dry out the ingredients. You can try unsweetened applesauce or even pureed fruit in your baking recipe. Pumpkin puree is an interesting idea for certain cookies.
Water and Oil
This substitute might seem overly simple but that’s the best thing about it. You probably have some oil in your kitchen cupboard and you can just use the water from your kitchen faucet.
Simply combine these and add them as you normally would the egg.
All you need to do is mix one tablespoon of oil with two tablespoons of water. This will be the equivalent of one egg. Then add to the cookie dough mix as you would an egg normally.
Mashed banana has become a very popular substitute for egg in several different recipes recently.
They are very thick so will combine the ingredients well. But they are also soft and moist (when mashed) so they won’t dry out the cookies.
Although bananas have a strong taste and smell, this shouldn’t come through in the cookies. This is because you won’t need very much banana. But also because the sugar and other flavorings will overwhelm the banana.
For every egg that you would use, substitute half a banana. This will provide enough moisture for the other ingredients to combine and stick together. But won’t give too much of a banana flavor.
Mashed banana is a great substitute for egg but it will make the cookies softer than usual.
This won’t be the gooiness of chocolate chip cookies. But rather the dough inside will be soft. So, if you’re looking to make crunchy cookies, this might not be the best substitute for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
We add eggs to cookie recipes without thinking, and probably don’t realize the part they play. Eggs are used in cookies to add important moisture and act as a binding agent.
When eggs aren’t added, the cookies become dense, crumbly, and don’t spread out. While eggs may not add much in terms of flavor to a cookie, they’re still a vital ingredient. Without them, cookies will crumble apart and become too dry to enjoy.
Texture is very important to a cookie. They should be soft and moist, with some crumble but still able to hold together.
A lot of this is thanks to the addition of eggs. The thick texture of the egg binds the ingredients, and maintains moisture throughout the cooking process. With the egg removed, the flavor won’t change greatly, but the cookies still won’t be nice to eat.
There are many options for substituting eggs in chocolate chip cookies, including xanthan gum, applesauce, water and oil, and mashed banana.
It’s important to find something that has both the moisture and thick texture of egg, without altering flavor. Anything too dry will make the cookie dense, too thin won’t bind, and too strong a flavor will overpower the other ingredients.
Mashed banana and applesauce are mild flavored when used in low quantities. However, they do make the cookies denser and softer, so if you like a crunch then these aren’t ideal.
Xanthan gum is the best replacement. This is a powder that is mixed with water and used as an egg substitute. The only issue is it can be difficult to buy in supermarkets. However, if you regularly cook without eggs then it’s worth the extra effort to find.
To bind cookies without eggs you need to add something that can match the thick texture of egg white. The viscous texture binds the dry ingredients, and maintains moisture even when heated and cooked.
While some people add plain water for the moisture, this doesn’t have the right consistency. Instead, mix 1 tablespoon of oil to 2 tablespoons of water. This gives the water a much closer consistency to egg.
Alternatively, you can mix xanthan gum with water. Xanthan gum is a powder, and takes on a similar viscous consistency as egg when added to water.
Other options for binding include mashed banana and applesauce. These fruity options hold all the ingredients together, but may change the texture of the cookie. Both give cookies a denser, softer, chewy texture.
This isn’t ideal for chocolate chip cookies, but can work well in other recipes.
What is a substitute for 1 egg?
An easy substitute for 1 egg is 1 tablespoon of oil and 2 tablespoons of water. The oil will work with the water in the dough to replace the egg. This is a popular choice because most of us already have the ingredients.
Another easy option is to mix 2 tablespoons of cornstarch with 1 tablespoon of water. Cornstarch is a popular substitute for xanthan gum, for those who can’t source xanthan gum. For a substitute that makes a softer cookie, applesauce and mashed banana are both good.
To substitute 1 egg, a quarter cup of applesauce works well at maintaining moisture and binding. Pick an unsweetened option, or it may overpower other ingredients.
If using mashed banana, roughly half a banana works to substitute 1 egg. This will give cookies a much softer texture. However, it keeps the cookies moist throughout baking.