Can You Substitute Applesauce for Eggs? (+How To)

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Applesauce is one of the most popular replacements for oil and butter in baking recipes.

And even though it may not always be a good idea to do it, you can also use it as a substitute for eggs.

In this article, I’m going to explain when you can do it and offer you a few alternative egg replacers as well.

Can you substitute applesauce for eggs?

Eggs are not only nutritious but also full of amazing chemical properties.

Depending on the recipe they’re used in, they can act as a leavener, binder, emulsifier, or even all three at the same time.

These qualities have made them an indispensable part of most desserts, pastries, and breads.

Applesauce, on the other hand, isn’t as versatile, but it does share the same binding potential as eggs.

With that said, here’s when it makes sense to substitute applesauce for eggs:

Applesauce contains a polysaccharide called pectin that has the ability to trap water. When pectin interacts with sugars, it creates a gel that binds dry ingredients together. This makes applesauce a great replacement for recipes that use eggs as a binding agent such as cookies, cupcakes, or muffins.

You can also use applesauce in place of eggs in box cake mixes, but the final product will have a slightly denser texture.

That’s why I prefer to use other egg substitutes whenever I’m baking a cake with a premade mix.

Anyways, if you do decide to use applesauce instead of eggs, you’ll need to do it at a ratio of 1/4 cup applesauce per egg.

This means you’ll need 1/2 cup (130g) of applesauce for two eggs, and 3/4 cup (195g) for three eggs.

I recommend you stick to the unsweetened variety since there’s no risk of messing up the flavor balance of your pastry.

If you only have sweetened applesauce at hand, you should simply deduct its sugar content from the recipe.

For most commercial brands, this means removing 12g of sugar for every egg the original recipe calls for.

One of the great things about applesauce is that it doesn’t leave an aftertaste like other fruit purees.

This lets me use it in pancakes, butterless cupcakes, or other pastries without ruining their original vanilla taste.

However, despite its many merits, it doesn’t do a great job as a leavener or emulsifier.

Fortunately, there are plenty of other plant-based alternatives that do.

Suggested read: How long can you keep eggs unrefrigerated?

What are some other egg substitutes in baking?

Before we hop on to the list, you should keep in mind that none of the alternatives will be suitable for recipes that call for more than three eggs.

In these cases, it would be best to look for an eggless recipe. I have a list of 17 ideas for eggless dessert recipes if you’re after something sweet.

With that said, here are six ingredients that can be used as egg replacers:

1. Flax Seeds

Flax seeds in and in front of a glass cup on a white kitchen board

Flax seeds may seem like an odd choice, but they’re probably the best egg substitute you can find.

Unlike most other egg substitutes, they can be used to provide structure, volume, and even emulsify fats and liquids all at the same time. This is thanks to a substance that covers the outer layer of flax seeds called mucilage.

When the mucilage gets combined with water it forms a gel, similarly to pectin.

This gel is commonly referred to as a “Flax Egg” in the vegan community.

To make one flax egg, you need to grind 1 tbsp of flax seeds, combine it with 3 tbsp of water and let the mixture sit for 10 minutes. You can use the same ratio and increase the ingredient amount if you need to replace more than one egg.

I don’t encourage using store-bought flax meal, since the “flax oil” may have gone rancid.

For that matter, you should use fresh flax seeds whenever you can.

The only downside to using flax seeds in place of eggs is the slight nutty flavor that they impart.

With that aside, flax seeds can substitute eggs in brownies, cookies, and even cakes.

2. Chia Seeds

Chia Seeds in and in front of a glass cup on a white kitchen board

When they get soaked in water, chia seeds act in a pretty similar fashion to a flax egg.

Just like flax seeds, they form a gelatinous substance that can be used to hold dry ingredients together in baking.

However, you don’t need to grind them to achieve this effect.

You can simply cover the seeds in water and let them soak for 15 minutes.

To replace one egg, you’ll need to soak 1 tbsp of flax seeds in 3 tbsp of water.

Using whole chia seeds gives pastries a crunchy texture similar to that of poppy seeds.

If you want your pastries to have a smoother consistency you can grind the chia seeds in a blender.

Unlike flax seeds, chia doesn’t impart any flavors on the final product so it can be used in most vegan cakes, brownies, and pastries.

3. Carbonated Water

A glass of carbonated water

Carbonated water is one of the oldest egg alternatives that has been used for decades.

The way this seemingly inappropriate replacement works is by filling the batter with tiny CO2 bubbles.

These bubbles expand during baking and push the particles around them which causes baked goods to rise.

This is extremely useful when you need to substitute eggs in pancakes, different variations of waffles, or breads.

When used as an egg supplement, a 1/4 cup of sparkling water is typically enough to replace one egg. Unfortunately, many online sources forget to mention that carbonated water can’t be used as a binding agent.

Therefore, using it for cookies, brownies or muffins is out of the question.

Suggested Read: Why won’t my spritz cookies come out and stick to the pan?

4. Aquafaba

A glass cup of an aquafaba on a white kitchen board alongside a lemon and a cup of chickpeas

Unlike most other egg substitutes, aquafaba was discovered quite recently.

This however doesn’t make it any less useful.

In fact, aquafaba is the best egg white replacement you can use for meringues and mousses due to its protein composition. And the best part is that it’s dirt cheap and easy to make.

You can make a batch of homemade aquafaba by draining a can of chickpeas and whipping the liquid along with some lemon juice into stiff peaks. This will yield you roughly 2 to 3 cups of aquafaba.

Alternatively, you can use the leftover water from boiled chickpeas in case you need a larger batch.

And don’t worry, your dessert won’t taste chickpea-y at all.

Even though I’ve heard people using aquafaba as a binder or even an emulsifier, I haven’t had the best results using it this way.

I’ve tried it on my eggless brownies twice, and they came out crumbly both times.

This is why I only use it for my eggless macarons, and meringues, and as an occasional marshmallow topping.

5. Peanut Butter

A top view of peanut butter in a glass cup

A few tablespoons of peanut butter can work miracles when you’re out of eggs.

Peanut butter has a high protein and fat content that turns it into a dangerously sticky concoction.

This makes it great at binding dry ingredients together especially in cookie or brownie recipes.

To replace one egg, simply measure three tablespoons of smooth peanut butter. You can also use other nut butters as long as they have a high oil content.

Needless to say, you should avoid using peanut butter in recipes where it might overwhelm other flavors like vanilla cookies.

6. Bananas

A bunch of bananas on a kitchen board

Mashed bananas are another great, plant-based alternative to eggs.

Similarly to applesauce, bananas are rich in pectin so they have strong binding properties when they’re mashed into a puree.

However, their intense flavor will carry over to any dessert you’re making which makes their use fairly limited. This is why I use banana puree only when I’m making quick breads or protein pancakes.

It’s no wonder that using applesauce for an eggless banana bread works so well for texture.

Anyways, if you’re going to use bananas as a substitute you should know that a 1/4 banana typically equals one large egg.

It’s also worth noting that the high fructose content in bananas will give your desserts a nice golden brown crust.

Suggested read: Can You Eat a Banana With a Black Center?

My Final Words

Applesauce can be a great substitute whether you’re out of eggs or you’ve cut them out of your diet.

Including it in recipes that use eggs as a binder will give you the best results, but it can also be combined with some baking powder for pancakes or waffles.

For any other occasion, you can try giving some of the other options on this list a try.

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Can You Substitute Applesauce for Eggs? (+How To)

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