When it comes to baking cakes, everyone knows that there are a handful of essential ingredients that you need, such as flour, sugar, and milk. Another key ingredient is eggs, whether the whole egg is used, or just the egg whites.
The eggs are what help to bind the cake batter together, and without it, the cake will not form and rise as it should. It is likely that we have all experienced the moment of horror when you are planning to make a cake, only to realize that you forgot to purchase eggs from the store, or the eggs you do have gone bad.
You may think that this completely ruins your attempts at making a cake, however, this is not entirely true. There are a handful of substitutes that can be used instead of eggs. While they are different to eggs, they act in a similar way, and are useful alternatives to be aware of.
In this article, I will be talking you through 7 of the best egg substitutes that can be used in cake mixes, and why eggs and substitutes are important to use.
Why Are Eggs Needed In Cake Mixes?
Before I discuss what 7 egg substitutes are the best to use in cake mixes, it is important for you to have a good understanding of why eggs are needed in cake mixes.
The eggs that are typically used in baking are chicken eggs, as these are the correct size and consistency. While you can use any size of egg, large eggs are the best option.
Eggs are a pivotal ingredient in not only cake mixes, but also the vast majority of baked goods. This is for a number of different reasons:
Eggs help to provide structure within the cake batter. As the cake batter begins to cook in the oven, it causes the cake to gain its structure. This is caused by a process called coagulation. The proteins within the egg begin to cook and form the shape of the cake.
Following on from the structure, the eggs within the cake batter help to provide stability. This goes hand in hand with the structure, and the stability helps the cake to stay risen, and hold its shape while it is cooking, and after it has cooled down. Without the stability, the cake can not rise correctly and become quite flat.
Moisture may be a surprising feature of eggs, and you would assume the milk would provide the moisture. However, eggs have high levels of water. As the cake is cooking, the egg helps the cake to remain moist and prevents it from drying out.
Flavor And Appearance
Eggs do help to provide cakes with the quintessential flavor we are all accustomed to. While this is not the main reason why they are used, it is an important part of the cooking process, and you will want the cake to taste as good as possible.
The egg also adds to the appearance and the color of the cake. Without this added, the color may look slightly different, which does have the potential to be slightly off-putting.
The eggs help to bind all of the ingredients together to provide the correct consistency of batter. Without the eggs, the cake batter can become too runny.
The egg yolk provides healthy fats that will add to specific recipes. While some cake batters do not use the egg yolk, the ones that do tend to taste richer. The yolk is a healthy fat that is full of nutrients, which is good.
If only egg whites are used, the foam created from them helps to keep the cake light and fluffy. Even when the whole egg is added, the white of the eggs are important when it comes to the cooking process.
As you can see, there are many reasons why egg is an important ingredient that should be used within a cake batter. This is why it can be difficult to find a suitable substitute for it. However, this is possible.
7 Simple Egg Substitutes You Can Use In Cake Mixes
As discussed, there are 7 egg substitutes that are a great option to use for cake batter. These substitutes have the majority of the features explained above, and will help to create a fantastic cake batter. The option you decide to choose will be based on personal preference, and the type of cake batter you are creating.
One of the best substitutes for eggs that can be used is Aquafaba. This is a popular alternative used in vegan baking. Out of all of the options featured, in many ways, it mimics eggs the best, especially when whipped.
Aquafaba is the bean water that can be found in cans of chickpeas. While it is something that the majority of people will drain from the can, I would recommend putting it to one side and using it as an egg substitute.
It has a fairly thick and slimy consistency that mimics eggs well, and it can be purchased in a powdered form too. It adds lightness to a batter, and will help to create stability and structure. However, it should be whipped before adding it to the cake batter.
Bananas are so versatile, and while you may be familiar with them being used in banana bread, you may not realize that they can be used instead of eggs completely in a cake batter.
When using bananas, ripe bananas are the best option to use as they are softer, and have a closer consistency to eggs. While they are not the perfect substitute when it comes to taste, because the flavor of the banana does transfer into the cake, the consistency is fantastic. I
f you enjoy the taste of banana, the flavor will not be an issue for you.
Bananas bind the ingredients well, and help to create structure and stability within the cake. Given that they are full of moisture, your cake will not dry out either. They are easy to find in stores, and are a quick and simple substitute to consider.
Tofu is an egg substitute that many people are surprised by. However, it is a fantastic option to consider, and works well. Tofu is created using soy milk that has been condensed. Even so, the flavor is fairly bland, and not too overpowering.
It is a useful option because it helps to add a good amount of moisture to the cake batter, and the consistency is great. It can be blended easily, so you do not have to worry about it affecting the consistency of your cake batter.
The only issue with tofu is that sometimes it can be too moist. This can potentially be a problem because it will cause rising issues with the cake, and it can become stodgy.
However, you can choose to purchase tofu that is not too watery, or you can drain some of the water from the tofu before blending it and adding it to the cake mix.
4. Buttermilk Or Yogurt
I have included both buttermilk and yogurt under the same substitute, as they both act in a very similar way. While the consistency is great, you will need to use additional leavening agents to help the cake rise and cook correctly.
Neither buttermilk or yogurt is overwhelming in its flavor, and helps to add a good amount of moisture. You can choose to use less fattening options if you are on a diet, and the texture of both are smooth and easy to add to cake batter.
Buttermilk is more acidic in comparison to yogurt. While this is not really an issue, if you need to use a lot of it within a recipe, this can affect the fluffy and light texture of the cake, which is worth keeping in mind.
Flaxseeds are another egg substitute that many people are surprised to learn about. While they do not seem as though they would be a successful binding agent, they are.
When adding flax seeds, they must not be added straight to the batter. Instead, they will first need to be soaked and mixed with water. This allows the flaxseeds to expand in the water. The mixture should be 1:3, using more water than flaxseeds.
After they have soaked for a while, the mixture will become thick and resemble egg whites. This can then be added to your cake batter. While the consistency is great and the results are similar to eggs, the flaxseeds do have a strong flavor. This can be off putting for people who do not enjoy this taste.
6. Egg Replacer
Egg replacer is an option that can be purchased commercially. It is a great option to consider, but it is not a fresh ingredient. This is why some people prefer not to use it. However, being a mix that can be stored in the pantry, it is useful to have in case of emergencies, and will last for a good amount of time.
Being an egg replacer, it does a great job at mimicking how egg acts within a cake. Some of the egg replacers are even vegan or vegetarian, which is great if you want to avoid using animal products. It does not have an overly powerful taste, and will not impact the cake in any way.
The mix needs to be mixed in with water to create a similar consistency of eggs. While it is not a perfect substitute, it is great in cake batter because it helps to keep the cake light and fluffy. In addition to this, the cake remains stable and structured while cooking, and after it has cooled.
7. Vinegar And Baking Soda
Last, but not least, I would suggest vinegar and baking soda. While baking soda is often used in cooking, vinegar does seem to be a questionable ingredient. When you take into consideration how strong vinegar can be, this is understandable.
However, the vinegar cannot really be tasted once it has reacted and mixed with the baking soda. I would recommend using white distilled vinegar, and it is not overly potent. You will want to mix a teaspoon of baking soda, with a tablespoon of vinegar and add this to the cake mix.
This creates a reaction that then will help the cake to become soft and fluffy when it is baked. It does not affect the overall taste of the cake, and it is a useful option to consider. These are two ingredients that the majority of people will have in their house, and will not need to be purchased.
I hope you have found this article useful and insightful. As you can see, these 7 egg substitutes are great options to consider. They are all vastly different options, but are equally successful. Even so, there may be one option which you find is the most suitable for you, and the recipe you are using.
I would encourage you to try a few different options to see which one is the best for you. What is great about many of these options is that they are vegan friendly, which is great if you are looking for suitable alternatives to eggs. It means you can still enjoy your favorite recipes by putting a vegan twist on them.