Eggs are used when baking as a binding agent to pull ingredients together. Eggs also are a good source of protein and part of healthy diet that help make desserts delicious. For those who are vegans and do not eat any animal by-products, or for anyone allergic to eggs, there are options to use as substitutes to help make desserts just as delicious.
Fruit-based egg substitutes can work well when baking desserts because they are naturally sweet. Depending on the dessert, fruit-based egg substitutes also can be used to help bind ingredients together. Substitutes include sweetened and unsweetened applesauce, fresh or canned pumpkin puree and mashed bananas. These ingredients also can help add flavor to a baked desert. Generally, about 1/4 of a cup of fruit-based substitute will serve as the equivalent of 1 egg.
Flours and starches when mixed with water also make a binding agent. Mixing 2 or 3 tablespoons of soy flour, corn starch, potato starch or arrowroot with 1 tablespoon of water to create a binding agent equivalent to 1 egg. Starches can be tricky to use, however, because they can dry quickly. Starches are best substituted when making pie fillings, puddings and custards.
Soy products not only act as a binding agent but also are high in protein like the egg they are meant to substitute. Soy products work well in sweet or savory baked goods. Soy flour, milk and tofu can be used as an egg replacement. Mix 2 tablespoons of soy flour or soy milk powder with 1 tablespoon of water, or use 1/4 cup of soy milk or blend 1/4 cup of silken tofu to replace 1 egg.
Nuts and Seeds
Nut butter is a good binding agent to consider when making dense desserts such as brownies and cookies. It also will add a nutty flavor. Nut butters made from cashews, almonds and peanuts will provide extra flavor and binding. Butters made from tahini or sunflower seeds or ground flaxseed mixed with water will work as binding agents. Three tablespoons of nut or seed spread meets the equivalent of 1 egg.