The Incredible Edible Egg…
Gluten Free baking has its own set of obstacles and hurdles to leap over when it comes to binding, moisture, and texture (dense vs. light). Usually the solution tends to rely heavily on one vital ingredient: eggs. I mean can you blame them? This one ingredient can help with moisture retention, binding, and texture. Need a lighter cake? Add egg whites and whip it prior to inclusion. Need a moist pound cake? Add more egg yolk. Etc, Etc.
So what do you do when you are gluten free AND vegan (dairy and egg free)? Join support groups for those grieving the loss of cake? Watch friends devour a slice of fluffy cake and fantasize about a world in which you too can enjoy such an indulgent dessert? Ha! No. Everyone should have the ability to enjoy cake. Everyone!
This post is for all of you who have either suffered through cake-less years or are currently indulging in a harmful way just to get your cake fix in. I mean, I get it. For years I would eat everything healthy, but then a hankering for that fluffy and sweet treat would come over me and I would fail miserably and give in. The next day I would gain upwards of six pounds in pure inflammation. It sucks.
Painful relapses no more. I now have a list of egg alternatives that allow me to indulge on cake without sacrificing! Here are the list of replacers that go BEYOND the traditional found throughout the internet or your grocery store shelves. STOP paying for marketing gimmicks of “Egg Replacers”. Many of your egg alternatives are right in your pantry or fridge!
NOTE: These alternatives will replace up to THREE eggs within a cake recipe. Anymore and you are liable to get a very dense, wet, or oily cake.
$3.99 per pound (nuts.com)
Potato starch is my favorite little ingredient. Do not confuse potato starch for potato flour though or you will be unpleasantly surprised. Potato flour tastes like potatoes, starch does not. Simple.
This beautiful ingredient can act as a binder within your recipe. It also helps retain moisture to your baked goods. Many customers who have taste tested our cake mixes could not believe how moist the cake remained nine hours later after sitting out all day. Potato starch takes a bow for an active role in this quality of our cake mixes.
Buy a pound of it as it is cheap and keep it around for thickening soups and gravies as well. Potato starch holds better at higher temperatures compared to cornstarch.
1 Egg = 2 Tbsp Potato Starch + 3 Tbsp Water
Use for binding & moisture retention
Binding & Moisture
Cornstarch is another amazing ingredient. A starch that acts as a binder much like potato starch does however does not have the same moisture retention properties. Cornstarch is also not a great ingredient for higher temperatures and does not freeze well. Ever hear someone state that sponge cakes should never be frozen, well the same goes for cakes made with cornstarch as an ingredient. It changes the structure once thawed.
Cornstarch will give you a light and chewy structure so use sparingly because too much and you will have an unpleasant cake on your hands. As a tip for those who are interested in using cornstarch, make sure you buy a brand that states “non-GMO” as this ingredient tends to be highly modified genetically.
1 Egg = 2 Tbsp cornstarch + 3 Tbsp Water
Baking Soda + Vinegar
You probably have both of these ingredients sitting in your pantry as you read this. Apple cider or white vinegar is what you would need, I have not tried any other vinegars but do know that white and apple cider have a certain pH level that works best when considering the chemical reactions needed for desired results. Just mix your baking soda and vinegar in a separate small bowl and add it to your batter as the last ingredient to go in. This will give you a fluffier texture then using applesauce or flaxseed.
1 Egg = 1 tsp Baking Soda + 1 Tbsp Vinegar
Use for binding
Apple Sauce OR Flaxseed
Binding & Moisture (denser)
These are the least of my favorites for egg replacers. I am not crazy about them. Flaxseed gives off a slight taste and apple sauce makes a cake sweeter than the recipe calls for. The latter is not a huge problem, however both will give you a denser and heavier cake. I don’t like my cakes to be heavy and dense. If that doesn’t bother you and you have some laying around, by all means, cake is cake when in a pinch. I have done worse to satisfy a cake craving. To use ground flaxseed, mix it with warm water and allow it to gel up before adding to your batter.
1 Egg = 1 Tbsp ground flaxseed + 3 Tbsp Warm Water
1 Egg = 1/4 cup applesauce
Binding & Moisture (fluffier)
Pass the bubbly!
Carbonated water (ie mineral water, sparkling water, club soda) will give you the binding and moisture needed as well as a fluffier cake when replacing eggs. The bubbles within the mineral water assist the leavening agents to lift and aerate the cake. I have tried this multiple times (before I created my cake mix recipes) with online recipes I have found and my cakes were SO light and airy! It was amazing! I have also heard that if you simply replace some of the liquid within a recipe with carbonated water, you will get fluffier cakes.
1 Egg = 1/4 cup carbonated water
Water + Oil + Baking Powder
Binding & Moisture
I have personally used this one a few times when I was out of my mineral water (I love carbonated water!). It works like a charm and gives you the basic chemical composition of an egg.
Note: when choosing what type of oil to use, remember that neutral is best. Coconut oil would work as well. You don’t want the flavor of the oil to transition into your cakes (ie sesame oil = blah!).
1 Egg = 2 Tbsp Water + 1 Tbsp Oil + 2 tsp Baking Powder
Aquafaba (Chickpea Brine)
Binding & Texture (Fluffy)
I am 50/50 with aquafaba. I have used it in a vegan version of Italian Buttercream, I have whipped it into a vegan white cake recipe, but I always feel really wasteful when I don’t use the left over chickpeas from the drained can. I feel the equivalence to littering. However if you have plans for the chickpeas, then drain that can and have some fun in the kitchen!
Aquafaba can mimic egg whites. You whip it up until foamy and then fold it into your batters or just add it and then whip it with the butter and sugars (Whatever the recipe asks for you to do with the egg whites, you mimic with your aquafaba).
To replace an entire egg (yolk and white):
1 Whole Egg = 3 Tbsp Bean Brine
To replace one egg white:
1 Egg White = 2 Tbsp Bean Brine