Non-Animal Derived Substitutes for Baking and Cooking

Erika Rood
Do It Green! Minnesota


Figuring out how to replace eggs in any recipe can be tricky. Basically, eggs function as leavening, binding, and thickening agents. In some recipes, eggs perform all three functions, like quick breads, but all recipes need the moisture from the eggs. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different egg substitutes to figure out which one works best in your favorite recipe. If your recipe calls for 3 or more eggs, consider combining a couple of egg substitutes to get your desired result.

Ener-g or Commercial Vegan Egg-Replacers: 1½ teaspoons plus 2 tablespoons water makes one egg. Make sure to mix or whisk the water and egg-replacer together before adding to your recipe. Ener-g egg-replacer seems to perform both binding and leavening functions, which is why I like it. I have heard that with commercial egg-replacers, it is possible to whisk or beat them to an almost-stiff egg point, which can be useful for more complex recipes.

Flaxseed: 1 tablespoon flaxseed plus 3 tablespoons water makes one egg. Either grind the one tablespoon of flaxseeds in a coffee grinder or use 2 tablespoons of flaxmeal (pre-ground flaxseeds) and whisk in the 3 tablespoons water. It will turn gelatinous and gooey. Flaxseed is a good egg replacer when you need a binder—cakes, bars, cookies, quick breads, etc. It does carry a distinct, but subtle, seedy flavor.

Baking Powder: ½ teaspoons baking powder plus ¼ cup of soy sour cream makes an egg or 1 teaspoon baking powder plus 2 tablespoons water makes an egg. Be sure to mix them together well. A baking powder egg substitute acts as a leavening agent. I would only recommend using this substitute for one egg.

Silken Tofu: ¼ cup of silken tofu makes one egg. You do not want any chunks, so make sure to blend it well in a food processor or blender. It is optional but recommended; add a little cornstarch to your tofu egg, about 1 to 2 teaspoons. I tend to use a tofu egg only in combination with other egg substitutes, like flaxseed or baking soda. The tofu egg in theory acts as a binder and fluffing agent but not as a leavening agent. The tofu egg tends to bind baked goods by making them dense and adding moisture.

Soy Yogurt: ¼ cup soy yogurt makes one egg. Use flavored soy yogurt, like vanilla, to add a more pronounced vanilla taste. This egg substitute is similar to the tofu egg; I prefer the yogurt to the tofu because it is more gelatinous and doesn’t seem to require additional starch.

Bananas: ¼ cup mashed banana makes one egg. This is a great egg substitute in a pinch. It leavens, fluffs, binds, and adds lots of moisture; however, it will make anything you bake taste very banana-esque.


Fats are important components in most desserts because they enhance flavor, texture, and appealing appearances to your baked goods. Replacing fats in any recipe may change the texture and taste.

Commercial vegan butter: Use a vegan butter substitute as you would animal butter in any recipe. It is hard to find vegan butter that is unsalted, so reduce the amount of salt by ¼ teaspoon per stick of vegan butter that you use. Choose non hydrogenated options for a healthier dessert.

Oil: If you are going to replace butter with oil for every 1 cup butter, use ¾ cup oil and add a dash of salt. You’ll also want to use a good baking oil, like safflower, grapeseed, canola, or vegetable oil. Olive oil is too dense and will adversely affect your baked good. It is important to note that oil does not bake the same as butter! Oil works best in cakes, brownies, and quick breads recipes.

Applesauce: Applesauce as a substitute can be used in much the same way as oil for replacing butter. However, applesauce has very little fat which could greatly affect the taste of your baked good. I recommend using applesauce with a recipe that has a lot of spice or you may want to add a tablespoon or two of oil to enhance the flavor. Also, applesauce tends to affect the appearance of the baked goods.

NonAnimal Substitues

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