There are so many options these days when it comes to replacing eggs in your vegan baking. So, we decided to test a whole bunch of substitutes to see which ones went boom and which ones went bust. We chose to test them all with the same brownie recipe, since we know brownies can be quite forgiving and almost always delicious (and it meant we got to eat a lot of brownies!). We deliberately left out commercial, store-bought brands and tested the most common egg replacements you probably already have stocked in your kitchen pantry. Let’s introduce you to our five vegan egg contenders.
Both flax and chia eggs are classic substitutes used in vegan baking. We find them to be quite interchangeable so we only tested this recipe with chia. To make a chia egg, add 1 Tbsp of whole or ground chia seeds to 3 Tbsp of water. Whole chia seeds can easily get stuck in your teeth, so we recommend using ground unless you’re in a pinch (you can blitz them in a coffee grinder!). Let the mixture sit for about 5 minutes, until it becomes gelatinous and thick. The reason why this works well in most baked goods, like muffins, cakes, breads and brownies, is because it adds moisture while also acting as a binder and not imparting any flavour. The downside is that because both chia and flax are darker in colour, they’ll change the colour of certain baked goods that are lighter, like cookies or cakes.
Result: The chia brownies came out gooey, fudgy and resembled a more traditional brownie texture.
Related: Common Ingredient Substitutions That Will Bring Your Recipes to Life
Aquafaba is newer on the vegan baking scene. It’s the reserved liquid from a can of chickpeas. So once you drain your can of chickpeas, keep the liquid and measure out 3 Tbsp to replace one egg, then whisk it until it becomes frothed. If you put this into a stand mixer for about 3-5 minutes it will become whipped and resemble whipped egg whites with stiff peaks. When it’s that whipped, it’s more ideal for making meringues or macarons. So, we just frothed it. Aquafaba doesn’t tend to give off much moisture, sometimes leading to a drier baked good.
Result: We were really excited to see how the aquafaba would turn out, mainly because it’s so weird and interesting. But unfortunately, it was a bust. The texture was tough and lacked any sort of fluffiness. It also didn’t rise and had a layer of tiny holes on top. This may be because too much air was incorporated into the batter while mixing and became trapped, making it dense and bubbly on top. This is possibly because aquafaba acts more like egg whites, rather than a whole egg.
If you don’t have arrowroot, you can replace it with potato starch, cornstarch or tapioca starch. Arrowroot is gluten-free, grain-free and vegan. To replace one egg, make a slurry by combining 2 Tbsp of starch with 3 Tbsp of water. Arrowroot acts as a great binder and thickener, which may change the texture of your baked good to be a little on the drier side.
Result: This was the best looking brownie, but it had a drier, cakier texture and wasn’t as fudgy. If you like a cakier brownie, this is a great egg substitute for you.
Applesauce is a classic substitute for a few different baking ingredients: eggs, sugar, butter and oil. The reason why it works well as an egg replacement is because it adds a lot of moisture, making for a fudgy texture. Use ¼ cup of applesauce to replace one egg.
Result: The applesauce made a great fudgy brownie, but not quite as gooey as the chia brownie. Sometimes applesauce can impart a strong flavour, but we didn’t find that at all and found it was barely detectable. It also had a bit more rise than the chia brownie.
Mashed Sweet Potato
Mashed sweet potatoes are an amazing egg substitute, they offer a natural sweetener, while adding moisture to create a fudgy texture and are thick enough to act as a binder. You’ll need ¼ cup of mashed sweet potato to replace one egg.
Result: The sweet potato brownie came out fairly similar to the applesauce one in terms of fudgy texture and rise, but you could definitely taste the sweet potato, which may or may not be appealing to you.
Related: You Won’t Believe These Fudgy Sweet Potato Brownies Are Totally Gluten-Free
Overall the Winner is…
The Best Vegan Brownie Recipe
Prep Time: 7 minutes
Bake Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 37 minutes
Servings: 9 brownies
2 vegan eggs
½ cup coconut oil, melted
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup coconut sugar
⅓ cup cocoa powder
½ cup spelt flour
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp baking powder
½ cup chocolate chips (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line an 8-inch brownie pan with parchment paper.
2. Prepare your vegan eggs and combine them with the coconut oil and vanilla in a bowl.
3. In a separate bowl, mix together the dry ingredients. Then add the dry into the wet until well combined, but not over-mixed. If you like, you can fold in chocolate chips.
4. Pour the batter into your brownie pan, shake the pan around until the batter is evenly spread out.
5. Bake it in the oven for 30 minutes, allow to cool for 10 minutes before slicing.
Want more vegan baking ideas? This carrot cake recipe and this raspberry cheezecake recipe are so good even non-vegans will love them.