Egg-Free / Vegan Gluten-Free Baking

Egg-Free / Vegan Gluten-Free Baking

Consider the egg. It does so much for baked goods: it’s an emulsifier (preventing the separation of ingredients like oil and water); a texturizer; a tenderizer; a strengthener; an aid in leavening and in moisture. Eggs help make your baked goods smooth and creamy, light, fluffy and moist.

But what if you cannot use eggs or choose a vegan lifestyle? For many people living gluten-free, adding restrictions like no dairy or no eggs, puts them over the edge. No need to fret! You just need a quick primer in egg substitutes!

(See yesterday’s post for dairy-free substitutes!)


  • One trick to transforming many recipes to egg-free is to choose the right pan. Many quick breads, muffins and cakes will not have the same structural integrity without real eggs, so cheat a little bit and give your recipe more support by using smaller pans or muffin tins.
  • In any given recipe calling for more than two eggs, reconsider if you really must try it egg free.
  • In recipes calling for 3 eggs or more, try not to use more than two recipes of the same substitute (e.g. replace 3 eggs in a recipe by using two recipes of egg substitute #1 plus one recipe of egg substitute # 6 – see below).
  • Keep the fat in your recipes to help stand in for the lack of eggs, especially in recipes calling for more than 2 eggs. Thus, in a recipe calling for 3 eggs and milk, use egg substitutes and milk like coconut or almond which have more fat and body than a milk like skim dairy or rice milk.


Like gluten-free flours, there is no one-egg-substitute-fits-all for every kind of recipe. Try some of my preferred substitutes in your gluten-free baking to see which works best for you!
(Note: each substitute given will replace one large egg)

Egg-Free Gluten-Free Bread made with Flaxseed Meal + Water Egg Substitute


Best for: Casseroles, Dressings and Quick Breads
Egg-free mayonnaise dressing alternatives help bring lots of salads, baked goods and casseroles back to the table for those avoiding eggs. Look for Follow Your Heart Vegenaise®, Earth Balance® Mindful Mayo or Nayonaise® (mayo alternative or Miracle Whip sub) as reliable and readily available alternatives for these recipes.


Ener-G® Egg Replacer

Best for: Cookies, Cakes and Quick Breads
Pre-made Ener-G® egg replacer is gluten and egg free; the manufacturer states that this product is free of gluten, wheat, casein, dairy, egg, yeast, soy, nut, and rice. Note: most other commercial egg replacer products like Bob’s Red Mill contain wheat gluten and are NOT gluten-free.

Although this product is billed as a substitution for a full egg, egg white, or egg yolk, I personally do not like its performance as an egg yolk substitute, largely because this egg substitute is fat-free and yolks are largely comprised of fat. In recipes calling for yolks, try using this egg substitute plus 1 teaspoon canola oil to improve the texture of your dish.


Homemade Egg Substitute #1
Best for: Quick Breads, Cakes, Brownies and Some Cookies:

  • 1 Tablespoon milk powder (dairy, soy or Coconut Milk Powder)
  • 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 Tablespoons warm water

Homemade Egg substitute #2:
Best for: Quick Breads, Cakes, Brownies and Some Cookies:

  • 1 Tablespoon canola oil
  • 2 Tablespoons water
  • 2 teaspoons gluten-free baking powder

Homemade Egg substitute #3:
Best for: Quick Breads, Cakes, Brownies and Some Cookies:

  • ¼ cup yogurt (dairy, soy or coconut work best)
  • ¼ teaspoon gluten-free baking powder

Homemade Egg substitute # 5:
Best for: Savory Dishes and Cheesecakes

  • ¼ cup firm or extra firm silken tofu, blended in a food processor or blender
  • ½ teaspoon gluten-free baking powder

Homemade Egg substitute # 6:
Best for: Cookies, Quick Breads, Brownies and Pancakes 

  • ¼ cup applesauce, apple purée, apple butter or canned pumpkin OR mashed, very ripe bananas
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder (don’t add for cookies)

Homemade Egg Substitute #7:
Best for: Quick Breads, Yeast Breads, Batters and Some Cookies:

  • 1 Tablespoon flaxseed meal
  • 3 Tablespoons very warm water

Once the flaxseed meal is added to the water, stir and allow it to gel and absorb all the water before adding to your recipe; you can speed this process along by heating over low heat until a viscous liquid is formed.

For more egg substitutes (including egg yolk substitutes) consult with my book, Free for All Cooking: 150 Easy Gluten-Free, Allergy-Friendly Recipes the Whole Family Can Enjoy.