Egg yolks are a great ingredient for sauces and baking because they add thickness, flavor, and color to a dish. They have many functions in recipes whether they are used to thicken, bind or help something rise, for example, a cake.
So, the most important thing to know is what you’re trying to replace.
Although eggs are usually seen as an essential part of baking and cooking, there are substitutes that you can use to replace egg yolks and still ensure the same results.
Some substitutes include silken tofu, chia eggs, flax eggs, flour, and oil, among others.
Whether you’re vegan, have an egg allergy, or want to cut down on cholesterol, there are many substitutes that you can use.
Let’s look at a few of them.
Best Egg Yolk Substitutes
The following egg yolk substitutes can help you can replace this unique ingredient successfully and save your recipe. So, let’s go through each and find the perfect one for your needs.
1. Flax egg
If a recipe calls for an egg for binding, for example in a cake mix, you can replace the yolk and the white with a flax egg.
All you have to do is get 1 tablespoon of flax seeds and then add 3 tablespoons of water. You can also microwave this for about 20 seconds to receive your desired consistency.
After leaving it to sit for 10 minutes it should have the consistency of a beaten egg, and this will help you bind your ingredients together.
This should only be used in baking recipes such as cakes and brownies.
2. Chia egg
A chia egg has the same purpose as a flax egg and the same ratio. Combine 1 tablespoon of chia seeds with 3 tablespoons of water and leave for 10 minutes.
The mix will soon become gelatinous and resemble an egg and can be added to bind any recipe together. You can use chia egg for all baked goods and batters that will be cooked such as cakes, brownies, cookies, and pancakes.
Applesauce is a common replacement for egg yolk, as it replaces the fat and cholesterol. It can be used as both a raising and a binding agent in cakes and cookies. But you cannot use it as a substitute for ice creams and custards.
Once baked, the applesauce doesn’t have a lot of taste, making it a perfect alternative for egg yolks.
4. Oil and water
This is a good alternative for binding if you don’t have a flax egg or chia egg. All you have to do is combine 1 tablespoon each of oil and water, with 1 teaspoon of baking powder.
This should also be used in batters that will be cooked, as the oil and water will help the mixture bind, and the baking powder will help the mixture rise.
5. Chickpea flour
This is a great vegan alternative for eggs and can be used when binding and leavening, and can also be used in savory and sweet recipes.
All you have to do is mix a tablespoon of chickpea powder with water to form a paste and add it to the mix. This will ensure that your mix is leavened. It is also a perfect way to bind your mixture too.
6. Silken tofu
Silken tofu will help a cake mix rise and should be used in baked goods and batters in place of egg yolk. You will need to blend the silken tofu to a smooth consistency, then add a couple of tablespoons to your mix.
The silken tofu will act as egg yolk and works for vegans. Many restaurants make their own ‘egg yolks’ out of silken tofu, when blending it with agar and spices and let it set.
7. Carbonated water or soda
If you’re baking a cake and have suddenly run out of eggs, the best alternative is carbonated water or soda. Simply add about half a cup of carbonated water in place of one whole egg and avoid overmixing, and the carbonation will help your cake rise.
You can also add flavored sodas to boost the flavor of your baked goods. Carbonated water can be used in cakes and pancakes. However, it is not advised to be used in other recipes.
8. Apple cider vinegar and baking soda
This is another great leavening agent that can be used in place of egg yolks.
Mix a teaspoon of apple silver vinegar with a teaspoon of baking soda. Then, add it to the mixture to help it rise. You can also substitute baking soda with half a teaspoon of baking powder.
The reaction between the vinegar and raising agents will help your cake, pancakes, or brownies to rise, ensuring a fluffy outcome without needing eggs. It is not suitable for savory recipes.
This can be used in savory or sweet recipes as a thickener.
Egg yolks are used to thicken sauces or mixes, so you can use mashed, ripe avocado instead, but note that it might add an extra flavor, which would work better in savory dishes.
However, many chocolate puddings are made with avocado which helps thicken them and adds to the smooth consistency of the pudding, so you can experiment.
This product is a great substitute for egg yolks as a thickening agent, especially in sauces or puddings, such as hollandaise sauce or custards.
Cornstarch is a thickening agent that is heat-activated. Therefore, when mixed with water and added to a mixture it will immediately start to thicken it.
It is also easy to find and can be used to thicken many different sauces and stews in place of egg yolks. It does not have a flavor and will not alter the taste of your final dish, making it a good substitute for egg yolks when thickening.
Butter is a good substitute for egg yolks when you’re looking for flavor.
For example, if you’re making vegan hollandaise sauce, using this butter is great because it still has that creamy, fatty flavor without the egg yolks. You can also use butter in cakes to give it a richer, more buttery flavor and not need the egg yolks.
However, you should not use butter as a raising agent instead of eggs. Otherwise, your cake will turn out dense and flat, instead of moist and airy.
12. Coconut milk
Coconut milk might sound odd, but it can be used in place of egg yolks when thickening something that does not need to be cooked.
It is a great vegan alternative for making ice cream. All you have to do is put the coconut milk in the fridge overnight, scoop out the solids and whip it before adding other ingredients.
You can also use it to thicken custards and pie bases. It does a great job but you cannot use it in place of a raising agent and should not be used in cakes and cookies.
If you want an even thicker consistency for your custard or ice cream, try finding coconut cream in a can as that is usually a lot thicker.
13. Agar-Agar powder
Agar-Agar is a vegetarian alternative to gelatin. It is a great way to thicken mixes that don’t need to be cooked any further, such as custards, pie fillings, or even ice cream.
It is activated when warmed. So, you can add it to a custard base while cooking. And as it cooled it thickens the entire mixture. This cannot be used for baked goods such as cakes and cookies but is great for pies, custards, and ice creams.
Egg Yolk Substitutes Chart
Apple Cider Vinegar and Baking Soda
What is a vegan substitute for egg yolks?
Depending on the recipe, there are many vegan substitutes for egg yolks.
The most popular is silken tofu. When blended, can be added to custards to help thicken and also be used as a raising agent. Flax eggs and chia eggs are also good binding agents when making baked goods such as cakes and cookies.
Can you bake without egg yolks?
Yes, you can bake without egg yolks.
While egg yolks offer a lot in baking when it comes to binding, rising, and taste, you can find a lot of alternatives such as butter, baking soda, chickpea flower of flax, or chia eggs to give you the properties you need to have a successful product.
Make sure you are using the correct replacement by considering the chart above!
What does egg yolk do in baking?
Egg yolks do a lot of things in baking.
Their proteins help create structure when broken down and bind a cake mix or cookie mix. Egg yolks also add fat to a mix which will give a cake more flavor and moistness.
Eggs can also be used as a thickener, more in custards, but sometimes in cakes as well. They are a base baking ingredient, but with the right swaps, you can still have a successful baked good.