Egg allergy? How to use egg substitutes in baking

By Penelope Henderson, MSc, RNutr/ 11/02/2022
egg substitutes

Food allergies are a constant worry for us parents and not knowing how your child will react is particularly scary. If you know your child has an egg allergy then its great to know there are egg substitutes in baking you can use as well in other types of cooking.

An egg allergy will present itself early on, typically with the first try of the egg. It is prevalent in approximately 2% in children and 0.1% in Adults (1) Its also reassuring to know that children can grow out of a mild egg allergy.

This blog explores in more depth about egg allergies, what they are, what to avoid and how to substitute eggs in recipes. Depending on the use and recipe it gives detail of the best egg substitutes for binding, glazes, meringues and types of baking. 

What is an egg allergy?

A picture of an egg

An egg allergy is when you get an adverse reaction (mild to severe)  from egg protein. Also known as a type 1 IgE- mediated allergy to egg (1). This type of allergy is an immediate reaction from the egg protein. 

You can also get a delayed reaction from egg protein which will occur more than 2 hours later also known as delayed non IgE.

Reactions can vary from mild such as runny nose or itchy eyes  to more severe (reflux, difficulty breathing). If symptoms are mild its hard to know if its the egg or something else as symptoms can be similar. For any concerns your best contact your GP

When do I introduce eggs to my baby?

It depends on whether you consider your baby high or low risk of an egg allergy. 

If they are high risk then there is evidence to suggest that its better to introduce eggs early on (around 4 months). 

If you would like further details on how to know if your baby is high or low risk and when to introduce them you might like to check out my allergy guide. How to introduce allergens to your baby. 

How do I introduce eggs to my baby?

If your anxious about introducing allergens for the first time, which understandably you would.

Then I have created an easy step by step guide to help you overcome your anxiety and put you more at ease, knowing what your doing. 

There is a page on 10 top tips for introducing allergens to your baby. For each of the allergens including egg it gives specific details on how to introduce them, what form, how much and how often. You can find it here.

How to introduce allergens to your baby mini guide

Can you outgrow an egg allergy?

An egg allergy can be outgrown or resolved if reactions are mild and there is no asthma. More severe reactions need to be dealt with a specialist (1)

One study found that 50% of children will outgrow their egg allergy by 3 years of age, with 66% outgrowing it by the age of 5. (2) So its good to know hopefully it will be short lived, 

What foods to avoid if you have an egg allergy?

Don’t eat any with the following ingredients: They should be highlighted in bold on the ingredients list so they are easier to spot.

  • Egg yolk
  • Egg white
  • Albumin (also spelled albumen)
  • Apovitellin.
  • Avidin globulin.
  • Egg (dried, powdered, solids, white, yolk)
  • Eggnog.
  • Lysozyme.
  • Mayonnaise.
  • Meringue (meringue powder)
  • Ovalbumin
  • Ovomucoid
  • Ovomucin
  • Ovovitellin
  • Surimi
  • Vitellin

Its also useful to remember that there are a range of food products that may contain egg. For example pasta, baked goods, breakfast foods, pretzels, salad dressings, ice cream and many more. 

What is the difference between an egg replacer and egg substitute?

They are not the same thing but if in any doubt then I recommend checking the ingredients to see what they contain. Eggs will be highlighted in bold on the ingredient list. 

A commercial egg replacer contains no egg, its made of other ingredients such as potato starch, tapioca starch, and leavening agents. Whereas a carton of commercial egg substitute that is labeled as this is usually a mix of egg white and other ingredients, so it contains some egg and should not be eaten if you have an egg allergy. 

Can you use egg substitutes if you’re allergic to egg?

Usually not because commercial egg substitutes are not produced for people allergic to eggs but for people who want a lower calorie egg option. They are still partly made with egg whites so not suitable for people who are allergic to egg. Always check the ingredients if unsure. 

What can I replace an egg with in a baking recipe?

egg substitutes in baking

Eggs are usually needed in most cakes and other baked recipes as they help provide structure, colour, flavour and consistency. 

Eggs work to bind ingredients together, they help with leavening or giving rise to products. They add moisture to recipes like cakes and they provide a great flavour. 

There are lots of alternatives to using an egg in baking. The following shows what you can use to replace one egg, so adjust the ingredients accordingly for more eggs. 

16 egg substitutes in baking

IngredientsWhich recipes does it work best in?How much (to make up 1 egg)
* Apple sauceMost recipes1/4 cup
* BananaCakes, muffins, brownies or pancakes½ mashed banana or ¼ cup
Water, vinegar and baking powderCakes, cupcakes and breads1 tablespoon water, 1 tablespoon vinegar and 1 teaspoon baking powder
yeastbreads1 teaspoon yeast dissolved in ¼ cup of warm water
Oil and baking powderMost recipes1 1/2 tablespoons water, 1 1/2 tablespoons oil, 1 teaspoon baking powder
Gelatin and waterMost recipes1 packet gelatin, 2 tablespoons warm water (mix just before using)
Ground flaxseed or ground chia seeds and waterPancakes, waffles and muffins1 tablespoon ground flaxseed mixed in 3 tablespoons warm water
Plain yoghurt or buttermilkMuffins, cakes & cupcakes¼ cup
Arrowroot powderMost recipes2 tablespoons of powder with 3 tablespoons of water
Smooth nut butters (peanut, cashew or almond)Brownies and pancakes3 tablespoons of smooth nut butter
Carbonated waterCakes, cupcakes and breads¼ cup of carbonated water
Commercial egg replacerSuitable for all recipesApprox 1 ½ teaspoons of egg replacer to 2 – 3 tablespoons of water.
Egg substitutes
Apple sauce is an egg substitute in baking
apple sauce

* Mashed banana and apple sauce can also provide sweetness as well so you can use less sugar in your baking too. If you don’t want the taste of banana then mashed pumpkin or avocado can work too. 

Recipes with egg substitutes

Those recipes using apple sauce or banana work quite well in buns or muffins. 

Blueberry muffins with applesauce

This basic sponge cake uses vinegar to help make the cake rise. 

What are the best egg substitutes?

It depends on what your cooking. If your making a dish where the main ingredient is egg like an omlette or quiche then it is hard to find something that will replace them to replicate egg. However if your making something where egg is a just a small ingredient e.g in a cake with 1 – 3 eggs then you can use egg substitutes in baking. 

It is also worth thinking about what your making as certain substitutes work best in some recipes and not others, depending on the property of the egg your trying to replicate. Below are some examples. 

Egg substitute for scrambled eggs

There is nothing to replicate using eggs to make scrambled eggs but you could try using scrambled tofu. Try this version with added tomatoes or just plain tofu. Plain tofu is quite bland so you will need to add some flavour to tofu. 

Egg substitute for meringues and foams

aquafaba is an egg substitute in baking
meringue

Try using aquafaba, also known as chickpea water. You can make this from 2 Tbsps of water from a can of chickpeas which is equivalent to one egg white.

Egg substitutes for glaze

For a glaze on scones, buns etc that require an egg glaze you can use a little melted margarine brushed on top to help give a coloured glaze during cooking. Another alternative is oil like olive oil on pies etc. 

Egg substitutes for binding

A useful ingredient to use to bind and add texture in biscuits and cakes is xanthan gum. This is a powder which you can add to recipes. Approximately 1 teaspoon per recipe. Some of the other suggestions would work too (as above table) for binding ingredients together in baking. 

Those that work particularly well are chia and flax seeds for their gel like properties when mixed with water. 

Egg substitute for egg yolk

Soy lecithin is great for binding as well as being a great substitute for egg yolk. Replace 1 egg yolk with 1 tablespoon of soy lecithin. 

Conclusion

Having an egg allergy can be scary but knowing what to look for in ingredient information can help you feel informed. Its also great to know that there are over 16 types of egg substitutes in baking. All of which work well but have different properties so some work better in some recipes more than others. Knowing this and how to use them can help get the best egg substitute for your needs.

I would love to know whats your best or favourite egg substitute? 

If your struggling with your child’s egg allergy and would like some further advice. I offer a free clarity call to see if I can help. Click on the button below to get started.

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MEET THE AUTHOR
Author Penelope Henderson

Hi I’m Penelope Henderson RNutr Registered Nutritionist specialising in children’s nutrition and responsive feeding therapy.

I am a mum of 2, with over 15 years of experience in nutrition. I support parents to feel confident in how and what to feed their child. I hope you find my recipes and nutrition posts useful, so you can enjoy stress free cooking and mealtimes.

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