Vegan Baking: Your Guide to Plant-Based Replacements for Eggs, Butter, and More

|Updated Apr 14, 2022
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When it comes to baking vegan treats, following a recipe's exact measurements is key to ending up with the taste and consistency you want. Dairy and egg-free cookies can be either gooey, melty, and delicious – or crumble like dust because you forgot to add the second egg replacement.

Baking is an activity that you either love or hate: Some of us find the scooping and mixing therapeutic and enjoyable, and some completely intimidating, even more so when cake or cookie packaging only accounts for the dairy measurement on the label, and you follow a plant-based diet.

We understand the struggle that goes into converting a regular recipe into a vegan one, so with this guide, we made it easier than ever to make all your favorite vegan indulgences with our list of vegan egg substitutes for baking, butter replacements for baking, and natural vegan baking ingredients likely stocked in your pantry right now, so you can have your cake and eat it too.

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The Best Vegan Egg Replacements

You don't need eggs to make fluffy cakes and gooey chocolate chip cookies. Here are nine egg replacements that are completely vegan, allergy-friendly, healthier-for-you, easy to make, and get the job done just like the real thing – if not better. Note that some of the replacements work better for different recipes, such as silken tofu for pound cake, muffins, and quick bread.

1. Overripe banana

  • 1 medium-sized overripe banana equals one egg

When you see your banana start to brown, don't throw it out but instead use it in a muffin, cookie, or bread recipe. Just mash up one ripe banana in place of every egg the recipe calls for. Bananas are 75 percent water, adding moisture to your baked treats.

2. Silken Tofu

  • 1/4 cup silken tofu equals one egg

Tofu is a great substitute for pound cake, muffins, and quick bread. Using tofu also sneaks some protein into your treat (4g per 1/4 cup to be exact).

3. Flaxseeds or Chia seeds

1 tbsp of seeds combined with 3 tbsp water equals one egg

The same water-to-seed ratio can be used for both chia seeds and flaxseeds. Combine one tablespoon of flax or chia with three tablespoons of water per egg. Let this mixture sit for about 20 minutes to form a thick, binding consistency. Add chia or flax to your waffle recipes for a boost of fiber and Omega-3 fats.

4. Chickpea Brine, aka "Aquafaba"

  • The liquid of 1 can of chickpeas equals one egg

Don't want the liquid in your canned chickpeas to go to waste? The brine, also known as Aquafaba, mimics the fluffiness of an egg-white when whipped. Instead of whipped egg white, the liquid in the can of chickpeas can be similarly whipped. Use Aquafaba in sweets like meringues, cakes, and cookies.

5. Cornstarch

  • 2 tbsp cornstarch combined with 3 tbsp water equals one egg

Combine cornstarch with water before adding it to the recipe. Use this mixture as a thickening agent in custards, pies, or cheesecakes.

6. Avocado

  •  1/4 cup of avocado equals one egg

This superfood makes your baked goods softer and less likely to crumble since it is about 70 percent water. We recommend adding avocado to a fudgy brownie recipe since its soft texture helps mimic melting chocolate.

7. Applesauce

  • 1/4 cup of applesauce equals one egg

Use unsweetened applesauce so recipes don't taste too sugary. If you only have sweetened applesauce handy, just reduce the amount of sugar you use in the recipe. Applesauce works best in cakes and muffins. You may think that the apple taste will come through, but it is actually mild enough that it blends better than something like sweet potato or pumpkin.

8. Pumpkin or Sweet Potato Puree

  • 1/4 cup of puree equals one egg

Pumpkin and Sweet Potato purees add moisture to baked treats and are best used in pancakes or muffins. One thing to note is that the flavors of the puree will come through in the final product, so include this substitute in recipes that feature spicy autumnal flavors.

9. Vegan Yogurt

  • 1/4 cup of yogurt equals one egg

Vegan yogurt is another substitute that thickens baked bread and muffin batters. Buy unsweetened yogurt so the flavor doesn't overwhelm the recipe itself.

Best Butter Replacement

The right amount of butter is the key to baking and perfecting any cookie recipe and we have the exact plant-based butter measurements you'll need for swapping out dairy.

1. Vegan Butter

  • Swap in equal quantities to butter

There are several different vegan butter brands sold at your local grocery store that taste just like the real thing. The base often consists of coconut or olive oil, some kind of plant-based fat. We taste-tested five different kinds and rated them on taste and health. In general, vegan butter substitutes can be swapped in equal quantities to butter in your baking recipe. Depending on the brand, the measurements for baking may be displayed on the package.

2. Margarine/Vegetable Shortening

  • Swap in equal quantities to butter

You probably used this product before or didn't realize it's dairy-free. The same conversion rate goes for margarine and vegetable shortening – these can be swapped in equal quantities to butter in your baking recipe.

3. Coconut Oil

  • Swap in equal quantities to butter
An easy swap for butter is coconut oil because it has a similar fat content. Use equal measurements of coconut butter to dairy butter.

4. Coconut Butter

  • Swap in equal quantities to butter

A great substitute for regular butter is coconut butter because it has a similar texture and is made from coconut oil. Use equal measurements of coconut butter to dairy butter.

5. Olive Oil

  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil for every 1/4 cup butter

Everyone has a bottle of olive oil somewhere in the pantry so why not use it as a butter substitute when you bake your cookies, cakes, muffins, and more.

6. Mashed Banana

  • Substitute an equal amount of mashed banana for the softened butter in your baking recipe

Bananas are one of the healthiest butter substitutes. Mashed bananas work best with cakes, muffins cookies, and bread, but keep an eye on your baked good because using a banana for butter may reduce cooking time by up to 25 percent.

7. Mashed/Pureed Avocado

  • Replace 1 cup of butter with 1 cup of pureed avocados

Another healthy substitute for butter is mashed or pureed avocado. Make your baked goods recipes even healthier with this option.

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Other Dairy Replacements

You replaced eggs and butter with a plant-based substitute, so why not make all your recipes completely dairy-free for the ultimate vegan baked good delight? There are endless store-bought dairy-free products like buttermilk replacement, sour cream replacement, and more that taste just as good as the real thing, if not better, and can help reduce inflammation in the body that dairy can cause. Take your recipes one step further and healthier with these vegan dairy replacements that we taste-tested and rated based on health and taste. Find which products work for you.

Which baking ingredients are naturally vegan?

Most pantry staples are naturally vegan: We're often asked by newly plant-based bakers, "Are baking soda and flour vegan?" The answer is yes.

Baking soda is vegan because it's simply sodium bicarbonate, a mineral produced from earth or other kinds of substances that have been mined, like salt, limestone, kelp, and more. Baking soda is an essential ingredient for baking since it helps dough rise, and makes cakes, cookies, and muffins extra fluffy. Flour in its purest form is simply crushed plants because it's made with wheat grains. For more naturally vegan baking ingredients, see the list below:

  • Egg Replacer Powder
  • Flax Seed Egg Replacer
  • Brown Rice Syrup
  • Non-Hydrogenated Tub Margarine/ Vegetable Shortening
  • Coconut Oil
  • All-Purpose Flour (Unbleached White Flour)
  • Whole Wheat Flour
  • Apple Cider Vinegar and Soy Milk
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Baking Powder
  • Cocoa Powder
  • Corn Flour
  • Dairy-Free Milk
  • Dairy-Free Butters
  • Caster Sugar
  • Dark Chocolate

Bottom line: You can easily turn baking recipes into vegan masterpieces.

Put your vegan butter and egg alternatives to use and check out our vegan dessert column for sweets, treats, and baked goods recipes. Want to share your favorite plant-based recipe? Head over to The Beet's Facebook page and post it there!